Portable Fish Finder

Fishing is a great way to unwind and enjoy the outdoors, but there are times when the fish are not biting that it can get very frustrating. A portable fish finder is a compact device that can put an end to those lean times and make fishing trips more enjoyable. It consists of a handheld display unit attached to a small transducer that floats in the water. Professional anglers will find the performance of a portable fish finder somewhat limited but its more than adequate for a casual fishing trip. It’s also great for testing the water depth in a shallow river to avoid getting stuck on a sandbank.

A portable fish finder works by using active sonar to find objects under the water. The transducer send outs sound pulses at regular intervals and measures the echoes they create when they strike various object. The intensity of an echo is used to work out the size of an object, and the time taken to return is used to work out how deep it is. The object may be a school of fish, seaweed, rock shelf, or the sandy bottom of a river. Some fish finders can work out what type of fish is present, and those with side scanning sonar can even detect fish hiding under rock shelfs.

There are many benefits to using a portable fish finder instead of a fixed model. For starters, most anglers prefer small, open boats that are not suitable for installing a large fish finder. There is less chance that it will be stolen because it can be packed up and taken home after a trip instead of being left behind on the boat. The portable models are also cheaper than the fixed models, which typically have large displays and need to be powered from the onboard electrical supply. A portable model can also be taken off the boat and used to find fish lurking about a wharf or rock ledge.

The weather and the environment are often unkind to anglers, so a portable fish finder needs to be able to operate in all conditions. It should be able to tolerate blistering hot days and freezing cold nights, and it should be waterproof enough to survive the rain and rogue waves that wash over the side. A color display with an adjustable backlight is easier to see than a monochrome display without one, especially when there is not much ambient light. The size and resolution of the screen also make a big difference to its visibility. The only drawback of a large and bright display is that it uses a lot of power and quickly drains the battery.

A portable fish finder with an integrated GPS receiver is more expensive than a regular model, but its often cheaper than buying the two devices separately. Most models can also measure the water temperature, which is helpful for locating certain species of fish. Other features to look out for are the maximum detection depth, sonar beam angle, battery life, and the length of the transducer cable. An alarm that sounds when the water depth gets too shallow is also good to have when fishing in streams. A mounting bracket is not necessary but comes in handy while you are holding a fishing rod and trying to steer the boat at the same time.

The other part of a portable fish finder is its external transducer, which emits sound pulses and measures their returning echoes. The transducer is connected to the display unit by a long cable but is otherwise free to move. Unlike other transducers, it’s usually not attached to the hull of the boat. A ring made of plastic or foam keeps it floating on the surface of the water. Transducers are solid devices that will tolerate a few bumps and knocks, but they should be packed in foam when not being use and not simply left to roll around in the bottom of a boat.

This Portable Fish Finder Review is Written/Updated on Nov 15th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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