How To Read A Fish Finder Screen ( Newbies Guide )

  • By: fishlovers
  • Date: May 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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Fish finders can be tricky to understand for beginners, but don’t worry. We’re here with all the answers to all your answers.

With this easy guide, you’ll be able to read the screen on your fish finder with ease. You will learn how it works and what each symbol means so that fishing becomes an even more successful activity.

How To Understand The Display

Fish finders are like an X-ray for your fishing trip. This tool let you see what’s below the surface of your boat. Also, it shows how fish retorts to lures and areas where schools of fishes are located.

The majority of fish finders use sonar technology which works by creating images by means of shooting a beam below into the water. However, they only provide you with little underneath reports because this is how deep waters are detected by using it. It’s true that the Sonar coverage isn’t going give you more results, but with a few tricks up your sleeve (or in this case – onscreen) sonar can still get an excellent read.

Fish ID Technology

The easiest way to identify fish is by using Fish ID technology. This clever little gizmo converts your raw data into an easy to understand interface that will help you deduce what’s underneath your boat.


Little fish icons are easy to spot with the Fish ID technology. You’ll be able see them in several sizes and lengths, as well as other objects like plants or congregations of fishes that dwell there.

The icon on your screen is a representation of how deep you are in the process. You should read it as a guide to move closer or away from what’s being shown, depending upon whether we want more focus given towards this object at hand but there might also be other things happening behind its scenes which could affect these decisions too.

Fish IDs are a great way to positively identify fish you catch, but it’s important not get too excited about what your device says. Most of the time when we use these things in our nets, they turn out not be schools of fishes at all maybe plants. But with constant practice this should become easier and more accurate for catching tasty treats.

Arch shaped fish finder

With an arch shaped fish finder, you will have a lot less trouble getting the right depth readings. The transducers are designed with this type of design in mind so that they can transmit information more efficiently and quickly than other types without having any frequency interference or loss like we experience with other models.

The fish arches on your device represent how big or small a detected angler might be. So, when you see larger, more impressive symbols like this one here it means that the machine detected a big meal sized creature while small ones would have smaller arching patterns in their readings.

Identifying fish from their locations and sizes is not something that can be done with just one glance. The best way, in my opinion (and the most enjoyable!), would involve using a fish finder image database like those found on your device or computer screen as reference points for identifying what you see underwater. it might seem difficult at first if we’re unfamiliarised how these functions; over time once understood everything will become easier because then there are fewer unknown terms.

Identify Fish Thickness and Lenght

We all know that a bigger fish means a bigger arch. But what if your arch is too wide or short? The thickness, fullness and length of the arch, so it’s important to take these factors into account when examining an arch.

The displayed image is clear and easy to understand. Under the transducer, the black vertical lines express the length of the fish, while green represents its thicknesses.

Thickness of the Arch

But what about the fish’s height? Is it possible to find out how tall a particular fish maybe? You’re likely going to get an idea of its size if you look at their width of arc.

NOTE: The thickness of the arch is what we look for when trying to identify big fish. If there’s a full arc in our screen, then that means it will show us all sizes and can give an accurate measurement on who has largest Overall Length (or AL). So, if your return shows schools or groups at different lengths but with equal picks like this example here- go ahead by selecting biggest one.

Display Arching Signal

Your fish finder can display an arching signal as either full or half. If the creature swims to every part of your sonar cone, it’ll show up with a whole curve on screen; but only if they’re interested in one particular section, a half arc will be shown.

Half Arches are often thought of as smaller fish but this isn’t always true. It could be a big one. There’s no way for you to know how large your opponent is without looking at them directly or handling their caught specimen in hand, so it pays off with patience and research before jumping into battle every time someone sees an arc size that might seem too small for what they’re fighting against.

The arch size can be misleading when analysing the fish size. I advise you watch the thickness of the arches because it gives precise information about the fish sizes.

Use Your Fish Finder To Find Baitfish

The best way to find baitfish is with your fishfinder, but sometimes they are hard for humans to see. Dots or dashes will show up on the screen as little balls of green shadown scattered throughout watery depths while lines often connect two dots together in groups.

Find a Trophy Fish using Your Fish Finder

A great way to find a trophy fish is by looking at its width. The bigger the arch, thicker it’s likely going be and thus more meat on your hook. Read on thickness of fish arc to understand how to identify fishes like trophy and other big fishes.

Identify Underwater Structure

The sonar display will show you the depth of water, which can be used to determine if there are any underwater structures near your location. The cool thing about this is that it lets you see what kind of view I would have into whatever area we’re fishing in without having actually been down there yourself.

What’s your depth? The transducer will let you know. It can also show what type of fish are in the river and where they’re located. This is typically found on top left corner screens with meters instead feet as its scale measurement, so don’t worry if it doesn’t look like anything else around here.

The depth finder is a great feature that shows you the temperature of water and what type or size fish will be lurking in there.

The best way to identify any drop offs in the water is by scanning your fish finder at a slow speed. I suggest using narrow beam mode, which provides excellent coverage and will let you see every detail of what’s below deck.

scanning the underwater terrain with a fish finder is like exploring new territory. The contour lines on these maps show you where there may be good fishing or diving spots, as well as areas that could prove useless when it comes time to search for your target fish.

What’s even better than having an underwater camera that can take pictures of you as well? Having a mapping system so the best spots are always underneath your boat. The bathymetric map will show depth changes, drop offs and other important information about where to go for great shots by creating color coded underwater contour maps.

Judge The Hardness Of The Sea bottom

Do you want to know what type and hardness of bottom there is under your boat? If so, the 2D sonar fish finder can help. It shows a map with coloured depths that corresponds well together and also displays some information on each point such as muddy or clear water conditions at its base (which would make sense if they’re fishing spots).

There are several factors to consider when determining this

Sea Bottom Thickness

The more echo you get from your fish finder, the thicker and bolder that line will be. This means there’s less porous bottom in those waters which makes for a much harder surface.

The transducer is displaying a thin light line, which signifies that the bottom has some sort of surface.

Screen Colour Detector

The fish finder is an incredibly useful gadgets for any fisherman. They come in different colours and black/white versions, so it’s important to know which one you need.

The colour of a fish finder is an important indicator for finding especially deep water species. Fish finders with coloured screens will show high and dark colours when returning strong echoes from the transducer, meaning they are able to detect plenty in that area or give off stronger signals than others nearby which makes them easier on your eyes during nigh time fishing.

The detector’s darkest colour is usually its return from details like seabed or bottom of water.

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