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depthfinder help - serious newbie questions


hoglaw

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I have a Hummingbird 597HD. It has the dual beam and switchfire, though I don't know what those do really (I understand one beam is a higher frequency and one is a lower frequency - one has a wider cone and one is more detail oriented).

I haven't really played with it at all, and haven't used it for much more than the depth and temperature. I wish I had a better understanding of how it all worked. I understand how to "read" the image, and that it's a picture in time from left to right going from oldest to newest. What I don't understand is how to use it to make me a better fisherman.

When I'm cruising around at a decent clip I can see fish arches and tracks and know what they mean. It was fun jigging around horseshoe bend last year for white bass and striper. But I want to apply it more to helping me find brush piles, logs and crappie.

Sometimes I see lots of clutter on the screen and I know it isn't baitfish. Does that mean my sensitivitiy is too high? Do I need to turn the little fish icon things off? It's easy enough for me to see a big school of bait in deep water with zig zagging lines underneath it and know what's going on, but I want to be able to see evidence of structure better.

Is there a good article someone can point me to that will help me understand its capabilities a little better? If you could offer a quick crash course, what would you recommend? Ultimately I want to be able to slow troll through an area from 7-15 feet deep and find the stick-ups that I'm sure are in there.

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To be honest, Down imaging helps me sort out the clutter.

Those brushpiles laying flat on the bottom are confusing bc they appear like big arches.

The DI solved that problem.

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I agree with F&F. It's way easier to explain it in person.

Fish icon/ ID? Turn that off. :-)

I no nothing of the Quickfire feature but sonar is sonar. If you understand what you're seeing, that's what's most important. Does this model have downscan or sidescan features? I'm assuming no. Of not and only seeing traditional sonar, understanding images shown is strictly interpretation. It's not exactly. It's educated guesswork based on experience and understanding of the technology and how it works.

I have the two Doctor Sonar DVDs and its more specific to my HDS models.

For what you're wanting, you just have to learn how to better interpret the images shown on your graph. If you see stickups you want to fish, nark a waypoint. Without sideimaging or downimaging technology, it's much harder to find and locate logs. All you will see is a blob on the bottom if you're directly over it.

Need marine repair? Send our own forum friend "fishinwrench" a message. 

He will treat you like family!!! I owe fishinwrench a lot of thanks. He has been a great mechanic with lots of patience!

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I agree with the rest. Its hard to describe, and easiest to learn first hand. I spent countless hours scouring the internet trying to understand it all. I have the 571 DI which helped a lot with determining trees vs fish, but when I came across a deal on a color Lowrance unit my HB just waits as standby.

The best way to find out is going over area that you can see some what and trees in the water. Look at how they show up. Drop a jig over the side of the boat, near the transducer, and watch how it shows up. That will kind of give you an idea of what fish, or non fish, might look like.

J Doc started a thread a while back that had quite a few pictures on it and descriptions. It may or may not help.

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What I typically do when setting up someones sonar for them is go to a area I know very well as to the types of structure. I will dial in the DI and SC unit first on the default color. Once its fine tuned to pick up a tick-turd I proceed to switch over to traditional sonar again using the default setting and dial it in to pick up fish by the size.

The latter is more difficult and why I like doing it for crappie as they are fast to bite and I can gauge the size by whats caught then hover over the school and adjust it to the point its only picking up fish in the 12'' range or larger to weed out small fish and bait fish. The main console unit is for finding structure, bait and fish and the bow mount is for fishing suspended fish. I also heavily use my aquavu to verify what im seeing plus fishing to verify size.

Takes about 2 to 4 hours as a rule to dial things in and then a couple hours explaining.

Here is a shot I took last week. I verified everything with Camera and Catching ( Crappie were 12 to 14'' )

Original shot unedited

post-13044-0-55844700-1429039353_thumb.j

Edited for easy of understanding

post-13044-0-70369400-1429039354_thumb.j

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I see.

Check the General Discussion forum. There is a sticky on sonar interpretation I started. Within that thread are videos and articles. Lots of good information.o Most of which covers basics and you're looking for advanced information I believe.

Adjusting your settings can help show trees better even on standard color sonar.

Need marine repair? Send our own forum friend "fishinwrench" a message. 

He will treat you like family!!! I owe fishinwrench a lot of thanks. He has been a great mechanic with lots of patience!

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There another site I use for help on these matters on my lowrance and they have a section for hummingbirds but I don't know if I can post it on this site. YouTube also has a lot of info.

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