Educational Articles » lowrance sonar

Fish or weeds? Posted on July 15, 2018

Just another example on why down imaging helps sonar interpretation. The weeds look similar to fish.

Weeds or fish 1

 In this one the fish look like weeds.

weeds or fish 2

Airmar TM150 setup Posted on May 28, 2018

If you use the Airmar TM 150 on a Lowrance I have found the Custom setting of single frequency 105 kHz gives me the best results. However you need to turn off the noise rejection to get those results.

The left side of this image has the default setting of Noise Rejection set at low and the right side is the Noise Rejection turned off. I don't know why this transducer doesn't perform well with the Noise Rejection on.

Lowrance TM 150 settings

Fish size on sonar Posted on October 30, 2017

Identifying fish size on sonar is very difficult since you can change the size with sensitivity adjustments or depth range. Fish look larger on a depth range of 20 foot than 100 foot. The size of a fish is determined by the color of the fish arch. For example if you have palette colors yellow, blue and red. The more yellow you see the bigger the fish. The thickness of the fish arch also determines fish size. How long the fish arch is just how long the fish is below the transducer.

In the image the black vertical lines show how long the fish is under the transducer and the green lines show the thickness of the fish arch.

fish arch

The best way to tell size is catch one the fish you see on sonar or use an Aqua-Vu camera.

The first example shows my bait dropping (green arrow), the bait is intercepted by a bass (red arrow) and the bass swims to the bottom (black arrow) and then I set the hook and catch him.

bass

This is the bass.

large bass on sonar

How about these fish. Needless to say I was excited when I found them but they didn't bite so I dropped the Aqua-Vu camera and was surprised what I found.

carp on sonarcarp on sonar 2

Watch video of fish

 On this screenshot is a 7.5 lb. northern pike, you can see when I set the hook and started bringing him to the surface.

Northern pike for sonar size educationnorthern pike

The last screenshot is smallmouth bass and I caught a few, this is a picture of one of them. One of my favorite fish to catch.

smallmouth basssmallmouth bass

This screenshot shows a 29.5 inch walleye after being released.

29 inch walleye29 inch walleye

I was lucky in my timing to collect good data to prove fish size on sonar.

Last but not least is what a 5 inch minnow attached to a sinker looks like with 1.5-2.5 lb. walleyes below it.

walleye and minnow size on sonar

 

Crappies on different sonar brands Posted on August 27, 2017

Learn how crappies display on different sonar brands.

Crappies are a much sought after fish and I get a lot of questions about what they look like on sonar. Crappies often suspend over open water, making  them  difficult to target. In this session I will show what they look like on different sonar brands.

Image #1 shows crappies on a 2D Garmin sonar using High Chirp.

Image #2 shows the same school with a Humminbird using the MEGA transducer on High Chirp.

Image #3 is the same school using a Lowrance TM150 transducer set at 105 kHz frequency.

Lowrance Crappie

Image #4 shows the same school with the Humminbird side imaging

Humminbird side imaging crappie

Next are 2 videos showing the Panoptix with 2 different transducers. The PS 30 looks down and to the side and the PS 21 looks to the side.

I use side imaging or the PS 21 to find the school when it moves since they see to the side and I use Minn Kota Spot Lock to sit on the school and vertically jig for supper.

PS 21 video

PS 30 video

3D StructureScan Training Posted on March 14, 2017

Short video on how to use the 3D StructureScan and how to adjust the features and settings.

Watch Video

Identifying species with sonar Posted on November 19, 2016

Sorry, but it doesn’t work well. We can only make educated guesses.

I was looking for walleyes in the fall and noticed these nice fish at the depth I fish plus they were close to the bottom which is typical for walleyes.

But you bass anglers should read this tutorial so you can catch more fish.

I used small minnows and didn’t get bit so I up-sized to giant chubs (7 inches) and bass anglers know how much smallmouth love big minnows and I got bit.  My Go Pro works well for selfies.

I decided to put down the camera to see if any walleye were mixed in and nope, just lots of bass. So, I smoked them and released them so someone else can have the same pleasure.

Watch Video of the fish

Find Fish Fast Posted on October 11, 2016

Just another reminder to not speed down the lake to the "next hotspot". I usually keep the boat at 20-24 mph and pay attention to the sonar because fish will show up in places that I don't suspect. Rule of thumb for walleyes is they don't follow the rules.

I was traveling at about 22 mph when these fish showed up on a drop and slowed to 3.7 mph. Notice the cursor is on the fish. I marked a waypoint and caught supper. I caught the walleye near the bottom and I am not sure what the suspended fish were since they didn't bite. They could have been walleye.

 

by Bruce Samson under lowrance lowrance sonar

Understanding Humminbird/Lowrance Sonar Auto-Sensitivity Posted on August 12, 2016

Understanding bottom hardness is vital to understanding and catching walleyes.

Sometimes it is easy like this image with the hard bottom on the left.

Humminbird bottom hardness

I use Auto-sensitivity on my Humminbird and Lowrance models almost always. It works so well we never notice when it adjusts. Auto-Sensitivity mainly adjusts for depth. We need a higher sensitivity in deeper water since the sound that returns as you go deeper becomes weaker. A manual setting of sensitivity for 10 feet to get the optimal image would not show fish at 100 feet and this is where Auto-Sensitivity shines.

I’ll use examples from this summer when there were a lot of microorganisms in the water so you see a funny screen to help understand what is happening when the auto-sensitivity is working.

The first image shows rapid depth changes at a speed of 30 mph. Notice the clutter clears when I go shallow (green arrows).

Lowrance Auto-Sensitivity

The next image shows the suspended clutter change as I go up the slope. At the same time as the clutter changes, the bottom changes (green arrow). The Auto-Sensitivity has decreased the sensitivity at a certain depth.  It is important to understand this when you are trying to determine bottom hardness as walleyes are often found by finding hard bottom.

Humminbird Auto-Sensitivity

 

The 3rd image shows what appears to be harder bottom on the right side of the image but this is caused mainly by the Auto-Sensitivity increasing the sensitivity as I go deeper (green arrow).

Harder bottom has a wider bottom band and stronger colors like the yellow. It is easily to fooled by this image and think there is a transition from soft to hard bottom which walleyes often prefer.

Lowrance Auto-Sensitivity

Auto-Sensitivity is a great feature but understanding its limitations is important for hunting hard bottom which can result in you greasing the pan for walleye more often.

 

Lowrance 3D StructureScan Posted on July 08, 2016

I finally got to play around with the new Lowrance 3D StructureScan and used it to target suspended crappie.
The 3D display works like side can but now you can see where the fish are suspended in the water column. With side scan you can only see the fish are off to the side not where they are in the water column.
This image shows the prop wash bubbles (red circle) and the crappies suspended on the left side (green arrow).

The next image shows the crappies as history as I drive back to them. The red arrows show the prop wash bubbles and the green arrows different schools of crappie. You can rotate the screen to give these different views of the 3D live. So far I have only found it useful for suspended fish but there will be more crappie tacos for me because of this tool.

Down Imaging and 2D sonar for Understanding Sonar Posted on June 30, 2016

Don’t miss supper, get better at sonar and fish where there are fish. Use the splitscreen sonar and down imaging and compare the two and you will become an expert.

Down imaging has a narrow wide cone and the 2D sonar has a round cone so they view targets differently and comparing the two makes interpreting sonar much easier.

This image is showing trees and the 2D sonar on the left is difficult to interpret but the down imaging shows the trees well.

Humminbird down imaging

This image shows fish on the side of a boulder but the down imaging shows 2 fish and I get much more excited seeing two fish than one.

Humminbird down imaging

This image shows 2 bait balls in weeds (yellow and green arrows) that the 2D sonar looks like weeds.

Humminbird ONIX

This image looks like stacked fish because of the arches but it is a common when you have posts or trees.

Lowrance DownScan

On this image the bait ball and the larger fish near it are missed with 2d sonar.

Lowrance DownScan

I see images like these everyday on the water since I usually run down imaging with 2d sonar. If you miss a fish on sonar you may miss supper.

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