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Why Use a Fishfinder?

by Brent Torgeson

For those of you that are on the fence about getting a fishfinder, here are some reasons why I say yes!

First, most think putting big dollar color electronics on a kayak would be problematic and there goes your money with one roll of your yak. Well those color finders are nice, but you don’t need to spend $300 to $400 to get what you need. A basic fishfinder can give you all the benefits you need.

Some of the main reasons for getting a fishfinder would be:

  • To locate bait when it is hard to find on the surface. Many times bait may be suspended in the water column and can be located by the sounder. Times when you can’t get bait at your dependable spot, you’ll be glad you invested in the fishfinder.
  • Targeting specific species with the help of your electronics will allow you to find structure (bass) or flat areas (halibut). Knowing the depth of the bottom is also an advantage, especially if you are in an area where you don’t fish often. If it works out to be a fishy area you can come back to it by getting some land references if you don’t have GPS. Lining up a couple land reference points and finding the depth you were in can put you back in that area.
  • If you like to dive off your kayak, knowing the depth and what kind of structure is on the bottom will allow you to save time and energy by not having to guess on a good spot to jump in with hopes of stumbling on a great reef structure. Knowing the bottom depth is obviously a good thing to know before you dawn your BCD and jump in.

These are some of the obvious reasons to invest in a fishfinder. They have other features that may or may not apply to your specific needs, for example; shallow water alarm, changing the scope of your transducer, dual screen options of water column depths, etc.

Lowrance Elite-4x DSI Sonar

What will you need to go along with your fish finder? You will need to have a power source. In most cases all fishfinders will run off 12-v power. If you already have or want to add other electronics (such as bait tanks or lights) getting a battery with as much amperage hours as possible will be a huge benefit in the long run. Make sure you add an in-line fuse to your fish finder for overload protection (most come with one in the package). You’ll also need 18-22 gauge marine wire and shrink butt connectors.

We prefer products that have their transducer and power supply in one plug. This way using only one wire seal will do the trick for an easy waterproof transition from inside your kayak to your mount. Look for a head unit that can easily detach from the mount so you do not need to keep the unit connected all the time.