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Deeper Sonar versus underwater video view

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Florian Rossmark
(@frossmark)
Member Moderator Vetted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 63
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Deeper sonars have become the most popular and widespread carp fishing accessory. They are extremely powerful and versatile. You use your smartphone or tablet as your sonar screen, it automatically records and most have a GPS (depending on model) and create a depth-map of the venue right away, that you can see on the screen. 

You can cast them or attach to your bait-boat or even to a full-size boat.

While the different models have various advantages, there are also settings like the sensibility and more importantly the ankle of the sonar beam. The smaller the ankle, the less surface underwater you will cover, but the more exact the response, while a wider ankle allows for a wider surface. Depth comes in to play on top of it, a very wide ankle on very deep water will cover way more surface than the same ankle on shallow water.

Further is it important to keep in mind the speed that the deeper travels, this will influence anything that you see or don't see. For example, if you keep the deeper at the same spot and don't move it, but you see a lot of fish-symbols or half-moons (if the symbols are turned off), this might tell you there is a lot of fish - well - it might be a single fish that is simply moving around. Same applies if you pull relatively slow versus faster, but if a fish swims with the sonar direction, you still might get a false-positive reading, indicating a lot more fish within the ankle of the beam than there is in reality.

There is a very high chance to misinterpret what you see on your screen. In the days of 3D sonars, and having one myself, I also can tell you it is not all what it seems to be, while 2D sonars are even harder to interpret, simply because they show less detail.

If you want my honest opinion, look for the bottom structure, the depths, high weed or low weed and hard ground or soft ground. That's it. We aren't bass-fisher that are after a life-feed to see the fish, we are passive trap-hunters that try to find the best spot to present our bait.

Having said all of that, and while one could go on for hours on the topic, I wanted to share that there is a bunch of interesting videos out there that show sonar readings vs. underwater camera views. I add a view here, feel free to add more as well. I did this personally, partly added some of the footage to my own videos, there is always a big aha-moment when you see what it really looks like vs. what you saw on the sonar. 

The sonar is a tool, don't get hung up on what the screen shows you about all the fish and whatever you think to see there, but you don't need to have underwater drones or cameras to catch either - a led rod to check the ground is still a great tool or sheer reading of your surroundings like overhanging trees etc. 

You can go to extremes and dive or use the famous ground-probing method to actually see what the ground smells like and what is in it - and yes, you look after mud that has bloodworms - perfect spot, even if your bait sinks in - so don't get hung up on the sonar alone, but don't think you need to go crazy either.

Florian Rossmark
Germany / USA - Carp Angler


   
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Jeff Bourns
(@jeff-bourns)
Trusted Carper Customer Vetted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 51
 

@frossmark I have a lot to learn in regard to sonar. Lately I have been using it more like you suggest, seeing what the underwater terrain is like and concentrating less on curve signatures. That being said, I do believe this image shows a fish as I witnessed a big surface swirl and cast in the direction of it.

Screenshot 20230912 194415

   
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Florian Rossmark
(@frossmark)
Member Moderator Vetted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 63
Topic starter  

@jeff-bourns definitive a fish there, clear as anything!

Florian Rossmark
Germany / USA - Carp Angler


   
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