Electronic Fish Finder
How does an electronic fish finder work?
Some 75 years ago the US Navy developed a new technology that would come to revolutionise the way that anglers spend their time. The technology that allows electronic fish finders to work is called sonar, and initially it was used to find submarines at great depths under the ocean.
Some 30 years later, and a very clever man realised that the technology could be used to sense the position of fish below a boat, and the first electronic fish finder was produced for the average angler.
An Electronic fish finder will use sound waves transmitted through water. When the sound wave hits the bottom and returns to the receiver, the depth of the water can be calculated. If the sound wave hits an object between the boat and the bottom then the depth of this object (hopefully a fish) will be indicated.
The original electronic fish finder used a rotating light that would flash to signal the bottom or an underwater object, while later units led to paper graphs to display depths.
What about the features on a new electronic fish finder?
Today, with new technology changing the way that the electronic fish finder works and is used, LCD digital monitors are built into the fish finder. The greater the number of pixels on a screen, the better the detail is displayed on the screen.
The first incarnation of LCD screens have been improved, to the extent that using the new Bottom Line 5100 electronic fish finder has been described as watching a 25″ underwater television, such is the quality.
The range of features and enhancements available on electronic fish finders is wide, with units priced between under $100 and over $2000. For example, the Smartcast fish finder (left) brings basic electronic fish finder technology to a wrist-mounted receiver at a value price, while the feature-packed Lowrance LCX-19C is perhaps the ultimate fish finder with every conceivable feature included, going deeper and with greater accuracy. Another important feature of the LCX-19C is the water surface temperature guage, particularly useful in spring when the bass are spawning.
What can an electronic fish finder do for me?
With just a quick reference to the fish finder, the angler can see what is beneath the boat – lots of fish or just some deep empty water.
Today, with the enhancements of the newer LCD units, very fine detail along with additional features are available in different models at various price ranges. Almost all anglers have at least one type of fish locator on their boat and many have two.
However, perhaps the main change to the electronic fish finder has been the advent of the GPS fish finder, which allows the fisherman to navigate unknown waters with the aid of Global Positioning Systems.
Click here to browse a range of over 85 electronic fish finders from variety of manufacturers. Alternatively, have a look at our reviews on this site by browsing the manufacturer sections at the top of the page.