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Understanding Sonar and the use of Fish Finders - Part 2 of 3

In this article, let’s review the use of fish finders (sonar) for structure, which is actually a “key” to catching more fish! This post is a continuation of Understanding Sonar and the use of Fish Finders.

When you are fishing shallow water, you usually will not mark fish, but rather, you will be marking structure. Marking structure is probably the most effective way to use fish finders (sonar) while fishing for any type of game fish that like to stay close to the bottom.

Whether it’s fresh water bass or salt water fluke, using your fish finder (Sonar) to “read the bottom” will definitely put you on to more fish.


A basic thing to look for is to see if the bottom is flat as a pancake, or is it an irregular bottom, with constant changing depths? Does the depth change suddenly – such as from 25 feet to 20 feet, marking a nice break or “drop off”? Changes in bottom depth and structure are natural fish magnets.

Other structure to look for are things such as weeds and weed edges – or submerged trees, timber, or rocks.

Fishing weed edges is a natural place for aggressive game fish to be found. Active game fish will sit on weed edges and hide there in order to snatch up some passing bait (or your lure!). In a case like this, you will want to use an electric motor along with your fish finder, to follow a weed edge.

Or, if you are fishing a weed flat, then you would use your fish finder (sonar) to help you stay on the weed flat. The minute you see that you have moved off the weed flat, you can use your electric motor to move back on the weed bed and stay on the fish!

The 80/20 rule definitely applies to fishing… 80% of the fish are in 20% of the water.

It’s important that you are fishing the right areas and using fish finders (sonar) to find structure, is a must to making sure you are fishing the 20% of the water which is holding fish!

In part 3 we will review fish finders and how they relate to: water depth, bait fish and changes in the bottom composition, which will help you catch more fish!

Good fishing,

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