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Most of the fish finders today come with a Fish ID option. And if you’re buying one of the cheapest fish finders on the market, that might be the only option available in the unit. This feature is designed to take the guesswork out of the game by helping you identify fish more quickly. Instead of displaying fish as arches, the fish finder displays them as fish icons. This can be a real asset to your fishing. But how to use Fish ID to catch more fish? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Tips for Using Fish ID
Fish finders use a special signal processing algorithm that analyzes sonar returns and signals that meet certain criteria identifies as fish. These signals are then displayed on the monitor as fish symbols. Depending on the model of your fish finder, the Fish ID feature can slightly differ. For example, the fish can be displayed in different colors and they can be displayed in different sizes, though most often there are just three sizes. Each size represents the intensity of the sonar return, so it doesn’t always mean a bigger fish.
Some of the more advanced fish finders that have the Fish ID feature also offer sensitivity adjustment. This gives you control over how much of the sonar data is displayed. For example, if you’re fishing for smaller fish, you could increase the sensitivity. It would allow you to catch weaker returns, such as of smaller fish. However, on the other hand, if you’re looking for bigger fish and want to reduce noise on the screen, you could decrease the sensitivity.
In addition to fish symbols, fish finder will also often display symbols representing rocks, plants and bottom structure. This representation might not be as accurate as with fish arches, but it can give a good idea of what’s below your boat.
Before you get out on the water and try using your fish finder with the Fish ID feature, we recommend reading the manual that came with your product. It will help you learn more about your particular unit and learn the specific features that it comes with. However, below you can find some general tips on how to use Fish ID for vertical fishing and for detecting fish in cover.
Fish love cover since it makes for a great hiding place and great protection. You’ll find lots of fish both big and small behind fallen trees or submerged plants. And Fish ID technology is great at finding these fish in cover. The first thing to do is to identify the cover under your boat. Find a submerged tree or brush. Then turn on the Fish ID feature and wait for the transducer to send back sonar returns. If you see returns displaying larger fish, you might have just found bass or some other good catch.
Another useful way to use Fish ID is when vertical fishing. This feature can help you target fish that are directly below your boat. To do this, switch from the wide sonar beam to the narrow one. This will give you a more detailed view of what’s happening in the water directly below the transducer. Then, by switching to the Fish ID option, you’ll be able to see fish icons with the depth that they are located at. This will let you know where you should drop the bait.
Lastly, you might also find the Fish Alarm feature useful. It sounds when the sonar detects a fish. However, since Fish ID is not always reliable, the alarm can get pretty annoying. If you do want to use the alarm, we would recommend setting it only for bigger fish or just rely on the images on the screen.
While the Fish ID feature can be very helpful in locating fish, it is more often used by beginners than seasonal anglers. This is due to the fact that this type of display of sonar returns is not always reliable.
Numerous times you’ll find that the fish finder will be fooled by a sonar return and display a dish symbol. However, in reality, it might just be trash, debris or air bubbles. Especially if you set up a Fish Alarm on your fish finder, you’ll quickly notice that your thing will be beeping every 10 seconds.
Moreover, you also lose lots of cover and structure when using the Fish ID. And it makes it difficult to tell a difference between various types of fish, such as between bass, catfish, etc.
To avoid getting these false readings, many prefer to use fish arches instead. They provide the most information.
The downside for first time fish finder users is that all that information can seem confusing. However, after reading a few guides on how to read a fish finder and some practice on the water, you’ll be able to get the hang of it. This will help you to get the most possible amount of information from your fish finder.