The joy of fishing is catching the fish! Before you can catch fish, you have to find them. Therefore, a total scan transducer is one of the basic electronic accessories that every fisherman wants. However, the options can be overwhelming. To limit the search for the right locator, start asking yourself some questions:
1) Do I want to secure the locator to my boat or plan to use it on several boats? This answers the first question of a portable unit and a fixed mounting unit and a transducer. For some brands such as Humminbird, the same model is available in both a portable and a fixed unit. However, you must select the right transducer or multiple transducers to have a truly portable fish finder.
2) What type of water do I fish most often? The type and depth of water affect the amount of energy required for the total scan transducer for accurately showing a school of fish and underwater structures. Freshwater typically requires less energy than salt water. However, cloudy water requires much greater power to “see” through the water. Seeing fish in deeper water also requires more power than shallow water.
3) How much space do I have to mount the probe? Total Scan Transducer comes in a variety of sizes. In general, larger screens are easier to read, which makes it easier to distinguish bottom fish or structures. The wider screens provide a more continuous view of what is happening under your boat. But consider the space available on your boat and where you are likely to mount the unit.
4) Do I want a colour or black and white screen on my probe? Many fishermen find that color displays are easier to read in bright sunlight. The colours also make it easier to distinguish the difference between the different symbols and indicators used to denote the size and structures of the fish. Whether it’s a colour or black and white, opt for a larger number of vertical pixels to increase the resolution of fish, background, and structures (the number of horizontal pixels is less important).
5) What other characteristics are important to me? You can add other sensors to your probes, such as a water temperature sensor or a speed sensor. You can add a split screen, fish identification functions, and audible alerts. Are these important to you?
6) What other capabilities are important to me? You can add a GPS to your locator if you do not already have it on your boat. With some units, you can add map plotters: maps of inland lakes and watercourses. This gives you a map of the waters and shows you exactly where it is on that map. You can also use a separate portable GPS unit to identify and mark the locations of your favourite fishing locations.
A fish finder can give you that little extra advantage. Choosing the correct characteristics of the fish finder can allow you to tell the depth of the water, the location of a single fish or school of fish, the composition of the bottom (soft, rocky, weedy), thermoclines (difference in water temperature), the structures in the water (shipwrecks, stumps, falls), surface water temperature and location. It can even help you find your way home!
When you begin to classify the different brands and models of fish finders, you will find a variety of units that will satisfy your needs. Take a few minutes before beginning to answer these questions and list your needs and uses. Then, you can determine which locator will cover those needs more effectively.