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Understanding Sonar 3/19/2016 Posted on March 19, 2016

Sonar Training Humminbird Snapshot

Black arrow is a fish close to the bottom
Red arrows are air bubbles
Green arrow is bait or fish on edge of sonar cone

Fish close to the bottom display as bumps on the bottom.
Air bubbles are caused by decaying matter at the bottom and show up as diagonal lines.
Bait or fish on the edge of the cone display as blurry and not dense with unusual looking arches.

Humminbird Sonar interpretaion

by Bruce Samson under humminbird humminbird sonar

Humminbird ONIX AutoChart Live Review Posted on June 05, 2015

Since I now live on a lake I decided to map it with AutoChart Live on my Humminbird ONIX. I use a zero lines SD card to record the data to since at the present time if you record to the internal memory you can’t get the data exported.
I started mapping the closest area before I went out fishing and mapping.
This image is showing the start of the mapping. The single colored bands are one pass.

Notice the improvement as I collect more data.

I used to do this with DrDepth and my laptop but using AutoChart Live is much easier.
I have found a few spots not on the regular Navionics and Lowrance map chips and I plan to keep this map just for me since I like eating fish and secret spots are a treasure to be protected for my family.
I suspect it will take all year to map the lake accurately since I stop to fish since fishing is more important than mapping.

The process is very easy, press menu and select AutoChart Live, and this menu allows you to select record which starts the process and make sure you have the AutoChart Live box checked.
Notice the Save Location box, you select this and I recommend using a AutoChart zero line card to record instead of the internal memory so you have your recorded data for later use. The internal memory only allows 8 hours of recording time.

This is not a toy but an important fishing tool for structure fishermen.

Interpreting Sonar - Hummingbird GPS Posted on June 05, 2015

Do you think this is a good spot to fish? Make a guess what you see, I am fishing vertical in waves so everything is wavy looking. The screenshots are from Humminbird ONIX with the all in one transducer using 200 kHz. The Lowrance Gen 3 is using the Airmar TM150 transducer on fixed frequency 145 kHz. I run both at the same time for comparison and if I see a fish on just one transducer I know which side of the boat it is on!!!!

I was fishing weeds like these since all kinds of fish like emerging weeds.

I tried slip bobbers, jigs and rigs with no bites so my friend and I took a look with my AV Multi-Vu Complete Camera System which has no screen but a plugs into my Lowrance Gen 3 and I use it as the screen.

Well, I was wrong again! I thought I was seeing fish in the weeds but I looked for a long time and never saw a fish but saw many tall weeds lying horizontal so the sonar did not show the weeds as attached to the bottom and they then looked like fish to me. I have said for years the best use of a camera in the boat is if you see fish and can’t get them to bite look with the camera to confirm if you are reading your sonar correct. Many times the fish are the wrong species and like this time unusual weeds.


Understanding DownScan/Down Imaging 2/25/2105 Posted on February 25, 2015

DownScan Interpretation

This explanation is to help explain what you see with down imaging, it is pertinent to all brand’s down imaging.
Down imaging has a wider cone and will show targets off the side better than the 2D sonar (traditional sonar 200 kHz).
Notice the man-made structure plus the rocks.
Sonar tells us the distance to the target. The man-made structure pointed out with the white arrow is 8 feet from the transducer. How about the red arrow? It is pointing at rocks and long strips of something man-made. You can’t tell which side it is on since the left and right edge of the cone is combined, something 12 feet from the transducer on the left with be superimposed on something 12 feet from the transducer on the right side.

If you have side scan you can see which side of the boat a target is.
Notice the rocks are opposite the man-made structure but on the DownScan they are overlapped.

The next example shows fish by a tree on DownScan and the side scan shows the same fish to the left side. The problem is we don’t have enough screens to show all we want. I like to see the map, 2D sonar, down imaging and side scan and that is a lot of dash space to be used. The fish and the tree look like white spots and are hard to interpret.  I like one model with splitscreen sonar and DownScan and one splitscreen map and side scan with the side scan using 2/3 of the screen since wide screens are best for side scan like I used 2/3 for sides can in the image.


Jan 2015 Humminbird ONIX Review Posted on January 21, 2015

Johnnie Candle review of the Humminbird ONIX after using it last summer.


11/2014 Crappie arches at different speeds and with different sonar models Posted on November 10, 2014


Another article using fish arches to help you understand sonar.


Side Scan Fish Speeds 9/3/14 Posted on September 03, 2014

I often get questions on what fish look like on side scan at different speeds from both Humminbird and Lowrance users.


8/1/2014 Humminbird 2D sonar palettes Posted on August 01, 2014

Doc discusses his 2 favorite palettes

by Bruce Samson under humminbird humminbird sonar

Humminbird Down Imaging 6/22/14 Posted on June 22, 2014

Learn how to interpret your Humminbird



Transducers and fish arches Posted on May 23, 2014

Improper Humminbird transducer placement can cause poor sonar performance.


by Bruce Samson under humminbird humminbird sonar