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  1. #1

    How to read your sounder

    I was just wondering how many of us, got sounders, but just struggle understanding them.

    I bought a lowrance 9 " sounder, but what do i look at on screen to understand what is on the bottom, and using down and side view to it maxium.

    I really want to get the best out of my sounder, so i was wondering if there are people like me out there, how about we throw $10, $15 or $20 each in say a group of 6 and then ask an expert on this site to show us the ins and outs of sounder reading. We could pay him what we collected as a group. I antisapate maybe a 2 hour session. That would give someone $60, $90 or $120 just depends on an agreed amount.

    That way we wouldnt be asking for info for nothing.

    May not suit anyone but just putting the idea out there.

    cheers
    greg

  2. #2

    Re: How to read your sounder

    Someone posted a contact about a week ago of a person who does this type of education.

    Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk

  3. #3

    Re: How to read your sounder

    Sounds good pixie. I was just thinking it would be nice to pay one of the guys on here.

    I know we got many experts on here.

    Anyway just wait and see

  4. #4

    Re: How to read your sounder

    We run on water training down here in Melbourne.
    Attachment 115905

    Marine outfitting solutions
    www.moosemarine.com.au

  5. #5

    Re: How to read your sounder

    In brisbane her, moose

  6. #6

    Re: How to read your sounder


    Marine outfitting solutions
    www.moosemarine.com.au

  7. #7

    Re: How to read your sounder

    Hope this helps.

    There are lots of sounders but really they all do the same thing - to a point.

    First things first - take it off auto.
    Second - slow the screen down by half.

    The most important thing you need to understand is the difference between hard and soft bottom. I.E hard being reef, rock or a wreck v's soft being sand/mud.
    If you are targeting reef species like snapper you have to find hard bottom, whereas other species like whiting you would find sand/weed. I know little about the later so i'll concentrate on hard bottom.

    The way to tell if you are on hard bottom is by watching the thickness of the red line on your sounder screen. The wider it gets the harder the bottom.
    Sometimes you will drive along and you will see the ocean floor either rise up or down, if the red line on your sounder screen does not get thicker then it is not hard bottom, so keep moving on.
    Now keep in mind that an increase or decrease in either speed or throttle will manipulate how this red line appears on the screen. So you have to make sure that any reading you are working with is from a consistent throttle/speed range. Basically you will rev your engine slightly and the bottom thickness will change and it makes you believe the bottom has changed, you'll soon work out when you turn around that there is nothing there.

    So 'slow down' out there and keep the 'throttle consistent'.

    When you find hard bottom you will find the fish! Look for hard bottom at speed, once you see hard bottom turn around and run back over it at slow speed, this is when you look for fish schools. Don't look for fish whilst travelling look for hard bottom.

    The next thing to do is slow the screen down. If the screen is scrolling through at a rate of knots slow it down to half of its settings. You will think it's running to slow but persist with half it will pay off.

    Once you have slowed the screen down. You want to remove most of the water column (reef fishing not pelagic) you really only want to see the bottom 3rd. I.E 20meters out of 60m. If in the bay (say up to 20m) ignore this step. For snapper fishing who cares what's in the top 3rd so why ask your sounder to look there.

    Lastly setting your gain. This is a constant process whilst you are at the helm, it's not a set and forget. Different depth and sea conditions will dictate where you put this. For the sake of this thread take your gain to full gain, then back it off until you feel that it is showing snow but the screen is detailed. It's a hard one to explain though there are plenty of youtube video's out there i'm sure.

    Now as for reading fish on your screen v's say weed or a tree for example. Start by simply saying if it's connected to the ocean floor it's not fish, if it's not connected I.E a gap from the bottom then its fish. Sure that basic but run with that for a while.

    Hope this helps and I wish i could put up some pics but thats too hard on Ausfish cause you can't just paste pics.
    So fire away with questions and Im sure we can help.

    Last tip - don't fall into the trap that you feel you need to understand every little bit of info on the screen. Find hard bottom and you'll find bait schools and the fish.



  8. #8

    Re: How to read your sounder

    Thanks heaps Al.
    I will try all that tomorrow. When u say gain are u talking sencativity?

    When I drive along I see bumps on bottom of screen . I assume that's dome type of structure . When I hit + button they get larger. I then see like big bait sort of balls.

  9. #9

    Re: How to read your sounder

    Quote Originally Posted by Seahorse View Post
    When u say gain are u talking sencativity?
    Yes, Gain = Sensitivity depending on the brand sounder.

    So I find the easiest way to adjust gain (taught to me many moons ago by a guru) is to change the depth range to about 3x what you're seeing. So, in 20m water change the range to 60m. Now, go into the sensitivity/gain setting and turn it "up" until you see "two bottoms", doesn't matter whether rock or mud. It's easy to tell, coz the second bottom will mirror the first and will be about double what the "real bottom" depth is. Once you've got the gain high enough to see the two bottoms, then turn it down until the screen is "de-cluttered" - your gain is now set! You can now change the depth range back to the correct one (or auto if necessary). Bear in mind, you will need to change this at least every time you go out at a minimum and often even more than once if you do a lot of re-positioning depth changes etc. Hope that helps. Mat.

  10. #10

    Re: How to read your sounder

    I also actually like to speed up the ping/scroll speed of the screen rather than slow it down. The refresh rate makes a big difference when marking fish when you're on the move. Mat.

  11. #11

    Re: How to read your sounder

    Thanks heaps guys. This is a big help. Hopefully helping other people as well.
    I will prob ask some silly sounding questions but hey got to learn to read it correctly.

    cheers
    greg

  12. #12
    Ausfish Silver Member jackson4300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Brisbane/Ipswich

    Re: How to read your sounder

    There is a sounder tech guy on facebook who does on the water sessions, teaches you about your sounder and also a bit of a fishing guide. You find the fish on the sounder and then he helps to target them, $90 an hr with a minimum of 2hrs, Nick is his name I think.
    I find sounding in the Brisbane river is harder than a cleaner area of salt like Redland bay. Redland bay my sounder reads perfectly on auto settings, but in the river auto settings will be lucky to identify the bottom!

  13. #13

    Re: How to read your sounder

    Quote Originally Posted by jackson4300 View Post
    There is a sounder tech guy on facebook who does on the water sessions, teaches you about your sounder and also a bit of a fishing guide. You find the fish on the sounder and then he helps to target them, $90 an hr with a minimum of 2hrs, Nick is his name I think.
    I find sounding in the Brisbane river is harder than a cleaner area of salt like Redland bay. Redland bay my sounder reads perfectly on auto settings, but in the river auto settings will be lucky to identify the bottom!
    Lowrance Guru
    Nick Whyte -Tech Fishing 0422213669
    I am not in danger, I am the danger - Walter White

  14. #14

    Re: How to read your sounder

    Bit rich at $90 per hour, min 2 hrs

  15. #15

    Re: How to read your sounder

    Quote Originally Posted by Seahorse View Post
    Bit rich at $90 per hour, min 2 hrs
    Not really, especially when you consider time/fuel to drive to/from whichever ramp it is. Seems fair to me.

    I would jump in with you on this, as I also had a hell of a time understanding the sounder system, but my tub sank out past the Barwons, so I no longer have a sounder!

    Cuzza

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