Understanding your Electronics
by: Jim Reaneau
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This article will cover the use of your electronicsIt is hard to describe all the uses of each type of LCR. The most critical thing is to get your transducer mounted properly. If it is at an angle it will not read fish symbols properly. Use the glue the manufacturer recommends for your unit and supplies in the package. On most units there is a menu box that will take you to the screen you want. I use Lowrance electronics and this is how I set it. I put it on zoom with a split screen.. This gives me the detail I need. You can fine-tune your screen when you become more familiar with its operation. I use this screen all the time.. I turn the fish ID off and use the inverted V pattern in AUTO. There are many areas you can fine-tune if you turn off the automatic settings. When you first turn the unit on it will be in the automatic mode and you will get a picture of the bottom and there will be a gray line (read the owners manual and you will find this in it). The wider the gray line the harder the bottom and bass like hard bottoms. If the bottom is soft the signal will be absorbed and the gray line will be narrow on the bottom of your screen. Bass will hang around hard surfaces like roadbeds, islands and points. Look on your lake map and find some of these areas and run the graph across them and look at the picture. Fish will show up like an inverted "V" or a fish symbol.. The larger the symbol the larger the fish. The more looking you do the better you get with the unit. Pretty soon you can judge size and kind of fish. I can tell bar fish, crappie, and black bass. The newer units have memory and will hold the settings you set till you change them even after you turn the unit off and on. This is great, and you dont have to be setting it every time.
Now that it is winter, you want to find some crappie,bass, or bar fish if you are fishing Lake Fork. Look for long points, humps, and roadbeds and graph them back and forth till you come in contact with something that looks like and inverted "V" or fish symbol. Drop a Carolina rig ,crappie jig,or a jigging spoon down and try to catch one of these fish. If you see a cloud that is spread out this may be shad, if you find shad and fish together then you may have found feeding bass and this is a good sign. I have a transducer on my trolling which at times I will drop a spoon and fish it right under the motor. I can see it hop and fall and this way I can jig right in the middle of fish I have found.
I have had many people ask can you really catch fish with this thing. Well before the day is over I usually show them fish and catch them. Once you get the fundamentals of what you are looking at you are on your way to catching more fish.
It is very hard to describe how to use the unit on paper and that is why most people have trouble reading the directions from the booklet that comes with the unit. But read the book after reading this and it may help some. The "AUTOMATIC settings in the auto mode will help till you get use to what you see.
The split screen will blow the bottom and the fish up so you can see them better. When all else fails book a trip with me and I can give you some hands on training.
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