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I have been getting things organized for the open water season on the Red this year and have been thinking of getting a Bottom Line Fishing Buddy sonar unit to use for Red River fishing. This unit has a side finder feature that in theory sounds like it would be good for river fishing. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with sidefinder sonar units on the Red. Someone told me that the sidefinder sonar units work better in deeper water and not is good in shallow water so don't know if it would work very well when the water depth is often less than 10 feet. Since the catfish and walleye are often close to the bottom in the river I wonder if this unit would be able to mark fish that close to the bottom? I would appreciate any of your thoughts on this subject. Good fishing. Bruce

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Factors you need to consider are cone angle width and gradient taper to insure a good side finder readings.

If the slope is very gradual the cone will make contact with the bottom and that will effect the reading and the way the unit interprets the signal. When the water is deep enough to carry the signal to a distance were the cone is fully develop it will read accurately.

I use a Botomline TL-3300 SideFinder that has a side finder capacity in both directions left & right and can be calibrated to read in 40'-60'-80'-120' distances. So by useing the scale that is most appropriate to the contour of the area you wish to scan you can receive a reliable reading.

The portable unit has a advantage in it can be used anywhere such as a river bank. The configuration of the taper of the back will determine if you will be able to scan a full distance with a full cone. The taper of a bank generally will get deeper as it leaves the shore and enters the channel. This will be to your advantage to alow the transducer cone to operate properly.

Short version of all this is it is like shinning a flashlight. The beam may hit a object in it's path and the beam will be effected.

They are a great tool if the right conditions as long as you know what you are reading.

Clear as mud I suspect, but if not I am glad I may have helped.


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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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