How to Read a Fish Finder Screen

Are you planning to enjoy the day out on the water?

If so, Fishing is one of the most fun and interesting activity to spend your time with the family or friends. The fishes usually live in the places where they can get their prey, but it’s important for them to have eyes over the predators too.


If you find the water condition and in thorough of the fish habits, then you can identify the spot quickly. The fish finder makes your fishing experience easier and it gives the clear details whether it contains single or group of fishes beneath the water.

How Fish Finders Work

The fish finder uses sonar technology to capture the image of the underwater area and then it will display it on the screen. Most of the fish finder comes with the GPS receiver, transducer, Bluetooth, networking devices and many other accessories.


The main function of the transducer is to detect the things around the particular region and then it sends the collected information to the head unit. It contains piezoelectric elements for creating vibrations at certain frequencies and it converts the return signal into an electric signal.

GPS and Chartplotters

Some fish finders contain GPS capability for tracking the positions using the map. It allows you to note the exact point where it contains more fishes and then you can use the information for later reference. The built-in software works magically for displaying the images on the screen from the collected data.


The fish finders are available in different shapes and sizes. Get the device with the biggest screen if you want to see more information on the display. The average size is 3.5 inches and using the 9 inches screen you can view both sonar and chartplotter details at one time. It is important to choose the high-resolution fish finder for getting more clear and accurate images.


The networking features are now included in most of the fish finders and the device gets connected to the hub automatically. Some of them use Ethernet system like the Hummingbird and other uses NMEA2000 system for creating the connections to the units.

How to Read the Fish Finder Screen

It is necessary to understand the interpret data which is displayed on the monitor screen because each fish has its own necessities, food, temperature and depth etc.

Depth, Temperature, and Speed

The transducers fixed in the fish finder collects the data such as speed, temperature, distance and the rate of the returning waves. Then it converts the information into the visual data which is in the form of thick lines, arches and dots.

The line represents the different depths and the arch denotes the presence of large fishes. The depth finder gives details about the level of the water and this information will get displayed on the left side of the screen in feet or meters.  

The depth readings also show the water temperature and you can find the special type of fishes which lives in particular depth or temperature. The speed sensors are included in most of the fish finders for detecting the speed of your boat and make sure to pay attention to the features before getting the device for you.

Color and Echo

The fish finder displays the information in different colors and some produce in grayscale like black and white. The hardness of the objects is represented by the strong colors and it is mainly based upon the echo received by the device. The bottoms of the ocean, lake or river are denoted by the lines, if the below region is rocky surface it will be represented in a thick line.

Data Display Sequence

First, set the fish finder then move slowly around the place and you can get an idea how your monitor screen displays data. The most fish finder works better in slow speed and try to maintain the optimal speed while using the units.

You have to read the data from right to left because the most recent data will get displayed on the right side and the left side contains older information. Use the zoom in option when you want to focus the particular object.  

Reading Fish-ID

Now, you have to understand the objects to identify the fish and other objects that look like the fish. There is the option for converting the dots or arches into the different sizes of fish symbols using the fish ID technology. It also contains various icons for representing the school of fishes, plants and rock which is present beneath the water.

Bottom Line

Though the fish finder looks like a complicated device, you can understand it easily. You require just some time to learn about the details that get displayed on your fish finder monitor.

After clarifying your doubts, you need to check whether you can identify the fish and its location for the proper use.

Let’s know in comments if you are using any fish finders?

How to Use a Fish Finder to Catch More Fishes

The development of new technologies creates the way for the production of new devices that simplifies your work and one among them is the fish finder.

It is considered to be the basic requirements for fishing and uses sonar technology for finding fishes beneath the water. If you fix a fish finder on your boat, you can save more time than driving around the body of water for detecting the fishes.


How to Use a Fish Finder

The fishing is one of the interesting activity for almost all age group people. Using the fish finder, you can easily identify the location where there are a large number of fishes. In this article, you can get more detail about the fish finder and follow the below steps to catch more fishes.  

Understanding the Display

After getting the best fish finder, you have to read the manual to get more details about the device. The description given is easily understandable and you can identify the basic information like current temperature, depth and seep of the boat which you get from top left or right of the display.

The fish finder displays information on the screen and you need to read it from right to left as the right side of the display contains recent information and the oldest information are present on the left side when you use the down image mode.

If you set the side image mode, read the data from top to bottom because the newer information will update at the top frequently and the bottom contains older data.  

Locating Fish and Mapping the Area

If you are trying to catch the smaller fish, then use the small patches or blobs and set the mode as SONAR. you can find small dots getting displayed on the screen to denote the presence of small fishes and the large arched shapes represent large fishes like catfish, salmon etc.

The fish finders come with the many amazing features, it helps you to identify the type of the terrain when your boat moves. You can also set the color of the line and by default, it will get displayed in red.

The chart plotter simplifies your job and it allows you to note the potential areas where you can find more fishes. If the chart plotter function is not included your fish finder, then get a separate one to mark the particular area and to save your time.

Adjust the Display

The various types of fishes grow beneath the water which lives in different depths and sometimes it’s difficult to find its exact position. The zoom in function gives clear image and you can identify the particular depth quickly.

Some fishfinder comes with multiple features like adjusting the color palette according to the users reading ability. You can find this in the menu of your fish finder and it helps you to change the color of the background and the displaying letters on the screen.

The data are updated regularly in the high-speed mode, you can minimize the speed if you want to clarify the doubts or to get the clear details. In addition to this, the fish symbol feature helps to translate the unfamiliar data like dots, lines or arches into the different size fish symbols.

The details provided by the fish finder is sometimes inaccurate and to avoid such problems you have to adjust the sensitivity of the device manually. Try to increase it until you see two readings on the display, it also reduces the noise level in the data.

Bottom Line:

The fish finders are more helpful for the small range fishers as they can monitor the fishes at any places beneath the fresh or marine water.

Try to get the best fish finders to catch more fishes and share us your experience.

Happy Fishing!