Tools of The Trade – Sonar

Fish finders, depth sounders, sonars: It doesn’t matter what you call them, they’ve come a long way from the original paper graph of the seventies. They still perform the same function, however: to help you locate fish and see beyond the surface of the water. Without them, we’d still be in the dark ages.

But how does all of this work?

In simple terms, a signal is transmitted down through the water via a transducer and when that sound wave hits an object that has more density than the surrounding water (like a fish, fallen tree, weed bed, and, of course, bottom), it bounces back, gets processed and is displayed as an image on the unit’s screen. Throughout the years this image has gotten clearer and clearer.

Today, with the advent of breakthrough features like CHIRP technology, DownVu, SideVu, HD-ID and so on, recognizing fish and fish-holding structure is a breeze. Detailed bottom contours, suspended fish and even thermoclines are that much more accurate, detailed and distinguishable.

But do you really need to know how all this modern technology works? Not really. You can just rest assured that every bit of CHIRP, HD-ID, DownVu and SideVu will help you put fish in the boat.

The question shouldn’t be, “Do I need a fish finder to become a better angler?” The question should be, “Since I already have one on the console, shouldn’t I be putting another one on the bow?”

2 Replies to “Tools of The Trade – Sonar”

  1. Fish Finders are NOT Sonar!

    As you all should be aware by now, I am a former member of the Royal Canadian Navy and served aboard H.M.C.S. Fraser as a Sonarman [Sonar technician (surface) (STG)] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonar_technician That distinction alone makes me highly qualified to speak on this subject concerning this misnomer.

    Your misguided opening disclaimer is way off the mark and I quote : “Fish finders, depth sounders, sonars: It doesn’t matter what you call them”, unquote. It most certainly does matter, at the very least in a legal sense. The “Tool of the Trade” referred to and as mentioned by Fish’n’ Canada is not, nor will it ever be actual Sonar! There is no place for false and misleading statements in a public forum, either here, in fishing magazines or any other related publications….EVER!

    Oh sure, the old standby excuse, “That’s what the fishing industry has called these units for decades”, is lame and in reality this untruth has it’s consequences. Allow me to explain one more time. Sonar is an Acronym for Sound Navigation And Ranging, (SO, NA, R). The fallacy that people assume FISH FINDERS are somehow similar, makes one appear uneducated and unwilling to accept the facts of acoustics and acoustical engineering in an aquatic state. Even with this so called CHIRP technology, DownVu, SideVu, HD-ID and so on, FISH FINDERS are still NOT SONAR.

    I have previously challenged anyone, in the fishing industry to prove to me outright that these units do produce any type of acoustics (sound) and can be legally used for navigation. It’s simple. Just turn on your boat electronics (FISH FINDER) and stick your head under the water and listen. Do you hear anything?..of course not!

    As for the navigational aspect, FISH FINDER manufacturers have profoundly stated themselves in their instruction booklets, that these units should NEVER be used for navigation purposes. Get it? They at least admit to this profound truth. Legally speaking, why deny the obvious? Yeah I know, “That’s what the fishing industry has called these units for decades.” Well the fishing industry is WRONG when they continue to promote a misleading idealism and make false statements in public forums!

    So, again I challenge each and ever owner and manufacturer of any brand of FISH FINDER, to turn on their electronics the next time they are out on the water. Then stick your head under the surface and tell me “loud” and clear, if you hear anything.

    I am eagerly waiting for your “echoed” response!

Leave a Reply

Back to top