I often get asked about what do fish look like on the sounder? How can you tell what kind of fish they are? I am hoping in this article to just purely show you what I am seeing on each screen shot.
The only way we now know what we are looking at on the screen is that we have caught it. We can now decipher a school of leather jackets that appear as bunch of yellow and green fish, slimy mackerel will have splurges of red through the bait school, snapper and kingfish. Your sounder might show it a little differently depending on your settings.
A sounder will not only give you the depth location but will also indicate the type of bottom you are fishing whether it be rock or sand etc; and what size the fish are. Obviously the more solid the red is in the fish on the switch fire setting than the bigger it is. This is also the case on the down imaging and side imaging the stronger the white dot the bigger the fish or in some instances you will also see the shadow of the fish.
The technology we have is absolutely amazing. I personally don’t like to use the fish ID symbols on the sounder. If you have tampered with your sounder a bit too much and don’t think it is reading properly or it is one you have brought 2nd hand then a good way to get everything back in tune is to restore factory settings. From personal experience this is the best starting point. If you feel the need you can then start to fiddle with colours, sensitivity etc; once you start getting a handle on things.
A good habit I have also gotten into is each time I catch the species I am targeting I will mark a weigh point, you will see if you keep doing this it will give you a pattern of where the fish are holding.
We were able to put this to the test the other month. We had no transducer and so just went snapper fishing with our chart plotter and pulled up in areas where we previously had caught fish. We knew the approximate depth as shown on the chart. Guess what it worked, plenty of snapper were caught.
The tools we have these days are making it easier to locate the fish now all you have to do is work out how to catch them.