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Spotting fish vs fishing structure

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When you go fishing, are you guys looking for fish on the finder and then fishing for them, or are you looking for potential fish holding structure? Can you even see walleyes if they are laying on the bottom, which they like to do. What about a color unit, will it show fish on the bottom? thnx

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To answer your question... Both...

For walleye, I do tend to look for fish on the depthfinder before fishing for them. Ad with a good eletronics you can see fish. Other times the bite may be better in the weeds, and often times you are fishing the area and unable to graph them first.

Sorry to be so vauge.. but.. again, the answer is both!

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Short answer, I fish structure. I can't count how many times I caught walleyes and never seen even one on the graph. But on the other hand there are days that you will see active fish up off the bottom a ways. But I will always fish a good piece of structure a while before leaving if I see no fish.

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I feel differently. I don’t necessarily believe it is beneficial to rely too much on sonar fish echoes. One of the reasons planer boards and long-line trolling can be effective is because they take advantage of how the fish tend to get spooked by the passing of the boat. How often is boat traffic blamed for poor fishing, and rightly so? If they move to avoid the boat overhead, they will not show up on your sonar screen but it doesn’t mean they have moved out of range. Those that pursue trout go to great lengths to avoid detection by what they wear, observing the sun’s location, where they cast their shadow, even stepping lightly on the ground. Other fish can be just as spooky.

Also, the area viewed by the cone angle of the transducer is so small that you are asking a lot to fish only where you might see them. I suppose motoring around for a while in an area to scan it for fish may show they are there or at least they were a moment ago. And certainly there are those occasions where the fish will return or perhaps not move at all and I have even experienced increased success by starting my outboard but I believe that in most cases one is more likely tipping the scales in his favor applying a little stealth.

I fish the structure but it can help decide how to fish the structure if you can see where the fish are. As upnorth pointed out, you may discover they are suspended or hugging the bottom and this may alter your attack. It’s using the tools to your advantage.

Below is a quick reference chart for the area covered by the specific transducer cone angles. For example, if you are fishing in 10 feet of water and the cone angle on your transducer is 20 degrees, the area viewed across the bottom is 3.5 feet and decreasing as you go up. A fish would have to be located within 1/12,445th of an acre to be detected. Good luck with that. Not seeing fish doesn’t mean they are not there.

• 12 degrees - 0.21 or roughly 1/5 of depth

• 20 degrees - 0.35 or roughly 1/3 of depth

• 24 degrees - 0.42 or roughly 2/5 of depth

• 30 degrees - 0.53 or roughly 1/2 of depth

• 40 degrees - 0.72 or roughly 3/4 of depth

• 50 degrees - 0.93 or roughly 9/10 of depth

• 60 degrees - 1.15 x depth

• 70 degrees - 1.4 x depth

• 73 degrees - 1.48 x depth

• 80 degrees - 1.68 x depth

• 90 degrees - 2 x depth

• 100 degrees - 2.38 x depth

• 110 degrees - 2.85 x depth

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