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CALVINIST

fish signals on graph

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CALVINIST

I am new at using and interpreting signals on a graph. I recently purchased a new Ray Marine l470 graph. I fish mainly for walleyes. I have the "fish symbol" turned off and sensitivity on "auto". Problem is, I don't see the classic "hook-shape" echo (^) that is indicative of fish. Instead, I see a variety of cigar-type shapes, some large some small, some suspended some hugging the bottom. These show up over sandy/gravel bottom in areas I suspect are holding fish, so I can only guess that is what they are, but I am not confident that is what they are. What is going on? Can anyone tell me why I am not recieving the classic echo that indicates fish?

Thanks

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Noonaford

I have the same question. I have my new graph on auto sensitivity. So are the fish I see on my graph fish or something else. I would like to think they are fish or a good looking mermaid!!!

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fishingaddict

Here is my 2 cents.

I have an old eagle unit and fish for bass but the prinicples remain the same. Get rid of the auto. Run everything in manual mode. It takes a while(also frustration) getting to use to read in manual. Run the sentivity in manual between 20-65% depending on the weeds etc. Run the chart speed in manual speed up for deep water and slow down for shallower water. Run the grayline between 40-75% depending on the bottom contour.

Also if you call the manufacture and ask for more general info on running various setting I have found(depedning whoo you get on the phone) they are very helpful.

the fishing addict

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Tom Wilson

You are correct in assuming that the cigar shapes are fish. Basically any type of solid blob is most likely a fish. The big deal with the class hook echo is that this is the marketing they use to get you to love their unit. (all unit demos show you the hook in order to get you to see how much clarity the units have, and how well they pick up fish signals). If you are seeing perfect arcs on your graph there are only two reasons for it, and other than giving you a starting point, neither are good for your fishing(trolling excluded). The arc is made from the pulse signal being returned to the transducer. It starts at the nose of the fish(beginning of the arc), comes over the middle of the fish(upper portion of the arc), and then tapers off the tail(end of the arc). The reason this is not good is that if you are seeing perfect arcs you are traveling over your fish. It has come through one side of your cone angle, and properly exited the other. It also could be that the fish swam directly through your cone angle at the right speed, but either way in order for that "classic hook" to form the fish must enter and exit the cone angle of your transducer. I have an Lowrance X15 and I love it, but I believe the only time I ever saw perfect arcs was up on Mille lacs trolling across wide open mud flats, or on occasion when zipping across the lake. The beauty of this though is that when you do see the arcs you can slow down and then pinpoint the fish you are seeking.

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Tom Wilson

Noonaford,
By the way if you find that your unit will pick up mermaids, I'll give you ten grand for it. LOL

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addicted

You may want to check and fool around with the angle of the tranducer. I was getting half hooks and strange readings on my Eagle Ultra. I messed with the angle of the transducer and ran it in the manual mode Sensetivity 75%+ and Gray line 50% area,Walla the crapppies and eyes were found alot easier.

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Addicted

It's not only a name, but a state of mind!

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Doop

I'm very interested in this topic....i've learned a lot already. My buddy and I are looking at getting a Garmin 240 and I know we would have been on the water hoping to see the as advertised "arcs" and probably would have been very frustrated when they weren't showing up.

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beeflover

what happens when you adjust the grayline?

I have just left the grayline on the factory setting

lots a gray hard bottom, little gray or weak signal is soft bottom

how does the grayline setting relating to marking fish

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RandyR

It takes time and practice to interpret sonar signals. I have a Lowrance X87, a fairly inexpensive but very good unit, the best I've ever owned. I bought it after having two Garman units go bad on me in a four year period. I'm not saying that can't happen with other brands, but twice with the same brand makes me leary.
I occasionally see the perfect arches, but it has much to do with the speed you are passing over the fish. While drifting or backtrolling for walleye I will see cigar shaped returns. The more important thing is how well (for walleyes) the unit distinguishes fish on or near the bottom from the bottom itself. The grayline feature of Lowrance units is excellent in that regard, I can tell if it is a fish belly to the bottom or a rock by the shades of gray shown on the screen. I would imagine the expensive color units are even better, but I can't justify spending that kind of $ on a sonar unit these days, kids in college! As one of the previous posters put so well, the demo modes are really not an accurate indication of what you usually see. An example i can think of, just got back from a week on my favorite lake near Babbitt and a friend and I were drift jigging in 15 - 20 feet of water for walleye. His jig was under the transducer and I could clearly see it a foot above bottom. We were also marking fish frequently in the same area, mostly cigar shaped returns or returns that appeared as protrusions from the lake bottom. One of the "protrusions" rose to the level of the jig and the echoes became continuous lines. I told my friend " I think you are getting a bite!" He looked at me like I was nuts and then his rod tip bounced. He set the hook on a small pike. To me, being able to see that much detail far outweighs seeing the classic arch return. The Garman units I had never showed arch returns in any circumstances, the Lowrance unit does when conditions are right, but that might be 10% of the time or less.

[This message has been edited by RandyR (edited 05-30-2004).]

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CALVINIST

Thanks for everyone's two cents. It has really helped me understand things I didn't understand before.

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