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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dawhunt mentioned seeing a lot of fish on the fish finder on Saturday.

I saw tons of fish marks fishing from Fremont down to St. Johns.

I saw them marking from 30 down to 50. Most deeper (this was 11AM to 3PM).

But were they really fish or stuff in the water?
 
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With a powerful sensitive machine you can tell the difference between trash and fish. Most of the newer automatic machines won't allow you to tweak the signal to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Keta,

I can tweak the heck out of my fish finder. It has too many tweaks <grin>. I'd probably be better off with an automatic.

If I turn down the sensitivity, it would have to be an oversized sturgeon to show up.

It showed fish but I wonder. A lot of folks were fishing in the area. I wonder if they were marking fish also. That would give me some confidence that I've got it set correctly.

There's a lot of wood and stuff floating down the Willamette after all the rain. I was wondering if I was seeing suspended flotsam or it's really full of fish.

Brion
 
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Fish with swim bladders will send back a different signal than a stick. Turn down the sensitivity until the signal return isn't picked up. Then turn it up until you just start picking up the bottom signal. Any marks you get above the bottom will probably be trash.
 

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I always turn my lowrance/eagle to fastrack mode when I question it accuracy. That way you can definately identify fish from debris. A fish shows up as an arch on the screen and debris shows up as just that, a bunch of debris with no form usually just a bunch of lines.
Brion If your FF has this feature and you don't use it, give it a try. :smile: it works pretty slick. LuckyDuck1
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The worst day fishing is always better that the best day working. :cheers:
 

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Corkie Monster, I have had 3 or 4 of the battery operated fishing buddies. I have to say THEY SUCK! At least the ones I had did. One thing after another. Usually it was the cold. When it's cold the screen would always flash on then off again. A couple would fog up as yours did. Why did it take 3 or 4 to figure this out you might be thinking? Well, I couldn't get a money back or trade out to something else. It was always an exchange. Finally I got my money back. They must work for some people or they would have been taken off the market long ago. :shrug: SPACE FISH
 

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I have a Lowrance X91, I turn the sesitivity way down, to 10% or lower and am quite confident that when it says fish it means fish. Started runing it at 100% when I first got it and there seemed to be millions of fish under the boat at all times so I talked to some one who is real savy with all kinds of fish finders from the cheapest to the most expensive,and all he said was TURN THE SENCITIVITY DOWN WAY WAY DOWN.
DAB
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lucky Duck and Fish_on,

Thanks for the info.

I have a Raymarine with enough dials and buttons to look at home in the Space Shuttle.

If I understand the gist, I should turn down the sensitivity. Before I do that, I'd like to hear from folks fishing in the Willamette if they are getting lots of fish sign on their fish finders.

I didn't catch fish where I was marking them and did catch one where I was not marking them.

Brion
 

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We were marking abunch of fish at Sellwood as well around 4ish last night. Same thing, was'nt sure if it was trash or fish. But our Bottom Line Fishing Buddy is a peice of trash too. It's going back to Cabelas very soon. It foged up on us today and the dang thing is only about 2 months old.

CM
 

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Brion, I have also marked tons of fish in that same area the last couple of weeks. It's hard to imagine there is not more being caught. I've fished for 10-12 hours down there and caught two within 20 minutes of each other. The fish finders are fine. I just wish I could figure what's wrong with my bait. HJ
 

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I have a Lowrance X-85. I trust only true fish Arches. I won't run the finder in Fish I.D. Mode. It picks up everything. but when running it with fish ID off and look for true arches it works well.
 

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Same with my X85 - the Fish Tracker mode shows hundreds of little fish symbols. It seems to work best on Auto (unit adjusts for conditions) and anything that is not an arch is not a fish.

I always see a lot of marks in the 30-50 foot range but have no clue as to what type of fish they are. Also remember that the area a fish finder can "see" at 30' is 4 times the area that is seen at 15'. It make sense that we will see more marks in deeper water, we are seeing a bigger area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
HawgJaw: Thanks...that's what I wanted to know...if other folks were reliably marking fish.

Finz: I have mine set for the arches, not the fish symbols. It marks fish size by the size of the arch and the color.

Gr8waves: I see stuff in the water but the fish marks are per the manual. I saw a lot of perfect fish marks which is why I was curious if others saw it also.

Fishing yesterday, I was seeing a lot of fish marks (what the manual says fish marks look like) suspended in the 30 foot range in about 50 feet of water. Didn't see anyone catch any.

Seems like folks are saying that we are marking lots of fish. I think I might try my downrigger and see if I put my lure in their face if they go for it. Other than being on the bottom, it's hard for me to figure out how deep my bait is. Lot of folks have a good sense of touch on this but I'm never confident of where my lure is unless I'm bottom fishing.

Brion
 

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For you guys that are running your finder with the Fish ID on... turn it off. The Fish ID will show a lot of "garbage" as fish. I have a Lowrance X-91 and it took a little time to learn how to use it correctly but I trust it big time now. First step is turning that Fish ID off and looking for arches. I also have the sensitivity setting down around 30% most of the time.

If you can see fish on the screen it does not mean they will bite :grin:
 

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Fish finders are really depth finders. You can trust the depth but not the fish part. You can have thermoclines, debris, dissovled oxygen, turbulence, and any number of other factors that will show up as fish on your very expensive fish oops depth finder. I get a good laugh when I see people casting to fish they saw on the fish oops depth finder. Unless conditions are perfect it is anybody's guess whether or not its really fish. Not to say that fish do not show up but only that it is also a good chance its not a fish. My .02 worth. :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Haftafish,

Fish finders are really depth finders.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Actually they are sonar units to find things in the water. The bottom is one of those things. Military to commerical evolution.

Commercial guys get fancy with side looks etc. and the commercial technology is where a good portion of the retail stuff comes from via Furuono, Raymarine etc. My instructional manual goes into how the image for fish will look different than debris etc. It also goes into how different bottoms will show up, sand, mud, rock.

I think 5-cents had it right, you need to get your unit set for our conditions and fish and it will show you the fish.

I've played around with mine and think I've got it set right but needed some confirmation from folks in the same area.

What I need is the "Bite" switch that sends out sound waves to get them to go for my lures. My luck they'll jump out of the water into the next boat <grin>.

Brion
 

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Haftafish,

I have to agree and disagree with you at the same time. It really depends how much you are spending for the unit and what it does. If you go to GI Joes and buy a $99 unit you are getting a glorified depth finder. If you are investing in a good unit you are getting a sonar unit that will show fish. There is an excellent story in the latest STS Mag about color fish finders and how the technology is different. Those things look simply awesome. You can even see you downrigger line dropping to the fishes level with color. The color units alos seperate the garbage, thermoclines and bait balls from the bigger fish. I tell you what I am saving my money for one! :grin:
 

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Get next to somebody that has a good unit and knows how to run it so you can compare and learn yours. My Lowrance is older but still works great, and I trust it completly as long as nobody mucks with it or puts it in auto mode. With a good fish finder you should be able to:

Tell what the bottom consist of
Separate fish a few inches apart
Distinguish between fish and false signals, thermaclines, turblance or structure
Remove surface clutter
Tell the approx size of most of the fish, (zoom your screen and then count the pixels per foot and the pixels in the middle of the arch.
and tell the depth (duh)

They are just like any other tool, mostly dependant on the skill of the user.
 
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