Portable Fish Finders: Using Science To Catch Fish

Last updated on August 25th, 2018 at 04:47 pm

Now a days, if you are wanting to catch more fish from your kayak or a boat, you can greatly increase your chances by using a depth sounder or one of the top portable fish finder for sale online.

Portable Fish Finders & Science

What really interests us, however, is the science behind portable fish finders. Portable and cheap fish finders, in terms of technology, are developing nearly daily as they are becoming increasingly more accurate, sensitive, and incorporate advanced features, such as GPS or sonar. While the portable fish finders are becoming smaller, they are also becoming more complex. Additionally, manufacturers such as Lowrance, Humminbird, and Garmin are now offering fish finders that can multi-task. For example, your portable fish finder can now even double as your GPS or chartplotter.

Fish Finder Transducers

Because the transducer transmits and receives the signal, and then sends it to the device for reading and display, a fish finder’s transducer is arguably just as important as the fish finder screen. The type, location, and power, of the fish finders transducer all have a significant impact on the usefulness and accuracy of what the fisherman sees on the display.

Most often, transducer frequencies operate in the 200 and 50kHz ranges. While they are most commonly found in a combination of both, they are also available as stand-alone frequencies. As it has a lower frequency, thus greater water penetration, the 50kHz generally used in deeper water situations. The drawback of the 50kHz transducer is that it delivers less information on the fish finders display. If you are using your portable fish finder to look for small bait, or deep fish, you will likely want to go with a 200kHz transducer. If this describes your situation, you definitely don’t want to get a cheap fish finder for sale.

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Don’t forget, other factors such as water quality and clarity and water turbulence will also have an impact on how deep the signal will penetrate the water, and ultimately what you will see on the fish finder display.

Fish finders transducer output of power is most often measured in kilowatts and Watts. Often times you may see references to Watts “RMS” or Watts “peak-to-peak”. By dividing the peak-to-peak Wattage by a factor of 8, you end up with the fish finders RMS specification. In a cheap fish finder for sale, which might cost $300, you will have maybe 1400 Watts peak-to-peak. On the other hand, with a higher end $1300 fish finder, it may have upwards of 2300 Watts peak-to-peak. That is a significant difference which could be measured in several hundred feet. Most of the smaller, portable fish finders, which you might use on a kayak or canoe, are on the lower end of this spectrum.

How Portable Fish Finders Work

The transducer of the portable fish finder outputs an analogue signal that is then converted into sound pulses. These pulses are then transmitted back through the end of the fish finders transducer. While traveling through the water, they form a column that is shaped like a radiating conical beam. The depth that is measured by the depth finder is determined by the amount of time that the signal requires to travel both to and from an object. At the same time, the portable fish finder additionally uses the return signal volume and strength to decipher relative sizes and shapes.

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Are 3D Sonar Fish Finders Affordable?

It’s true that $300 may net you a lower-end fish finder which will provide you water depth and a fair display for basic fishing use, most fishermen with a trailer boat should look for a 3D sonar fish finder capable of a diverse range of uses. Based upon our research of fish finders for sale online, if you are wanting a bright, colorful display on your depth finder, the expected cost will likely be in the neighborhood of $1200. For more serious anglers fishing in deeper waters, like the Pacific Ocean, where water depths are easily thousands of meters, they truly need to consider a 1kW transducer 3D sonar fish finder for approximately $1500, or more, and the fish finder that will be the brain of the operation should be about $2100 or so.

Fish Finders Of Tomorrow

There are rumors that some of the portable fish finder manufacturers, like Eagle, Humminbird, Lowrance and Garmin are working on the next generation of fish finders, some of which may be robotic and able to be steered or controlled from the boat. We can’t wait to see these fish finders for sale in the future. A great resource to track future fish finder technology and read fish finder reviews is http://lakeforkprofishingguide.com/.