Fish finders, Depth finders or Sonar’s. No matter what you want to call them, they are all the same in what they do by helping the angler determine the best place to throw some baits. but in this post we’er going to refer to them as a depth finders.
here is the video that the above picture was extracted from, see the hit in real time
How Depthfinders Works
Depth finders work by sending out an electronic impulse from the unit to the transducer. The transducer converts the impulse into a sound wave that is beamed through the water column. The sound wave will travel downward until it reaches the bottom structure, after which it will bounce back to the transducer. The sound wave will also travel through any objects found between the lake bottom and the surface of the water and (fish or baitfish). When the signal is received, the unit will then make its interpretations, finally showcasing the results on the screen.
Technology has advances in the last five years that gives us more choices and options like the side view and the GPS mapping, just more tools to help us in our search for our targeted species. The GPS is the coolest thing though for marking a mapping path of a deep ledge by making way points every 50-100 foot and then its just a matter of connecting the dots with your boat keeping the baits in the strike zone and you can get right back on that ledge the next time your fishing the area. This saves a lot of searching time.
The new side view is cool because you can see structure up to 150 ft out each side of the boat, making it easier to find structure and potential spots, mark that spot on your GPS and you will be able to set up on it quickly.
There are many different brands and horsepower’s along with prices that will reflect on the amount of gadgets and task they perform. It just depends on where you fish and what you want it to do when choosing a depth finder.
The power of a sonar unit is described in Watts. The term “peak to peak” is used to describe the overall output power of the transmitter. When dealing with depth finders, the higher the wattage, the more efficient and powerful the overall unit will be. The bare minimum peak-to-peak power would be 800 Watts Low wattage will ultimately bring you slow readouts, meaning a delayed reaction for a reading of a spot you have already traveled over, but accurate at keeping you in touch with the bottom.
These low-wattage units will run anywhere from 99.00 to 300.00 and will keep you in touch with the bottom structure and maybe give you a temp reading.
One key point to remember: before you purchase a unit, the shallower the water you fish, the less power you will need.
For those that fish deeper water (such as the big rivers and reservoirs) I would recommend the higher wattage units 3000 plus Watts. these units can run from 499.00 to 2200.00 it’s best to choose the most powerful unit that will do what you want it to do, for what your wallet will allow.