How to Read Humminbird Fish Finder – Beginners Guide

Humminbird fish finders are one of the best and the popular brand most anglers use. With it, you can see whatever is underneath your water vessel, like rocks, vegetation and fish. However, after buying your humminbird fish finder and installing it, you can easily get frustrated if you’ve never used a fish finder device before. This is because it shows wavy lines and dots, which are the signals all over the screen, but not the fish or the obstacles you may expect to see. For this reason, you should know how to read your humminbird fish finder properly, to take full advantage of the gadget. The video below provides a good basic idea to start with.

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Reading Your Humminbird Fish Finder

In the rest of this article, we will guide you to read your humminbird fish finder and interpret the information on its screen.

So what are all those signals appearing and moving on your fish finder screen? Well through these signals, your fish finder is providing the vital information like the presence of fish, water depth, temperature and your boat’s speed. You will also see other submerged objects like rocks and vegetation as well.

Tip: To learn to read your humminbird fish finder screen, it’s advisable to be immobile in the boat. If you do so, the screen reading won’t change much when you’re observing it; the depth will also be constant.

So why the data on my fish finder screen is moving from right to left? Remember, the transducer keeps keying new information every time with the current data appearing on the right-hand side of the screen. If there are new updates, the data will move gradually to the left as the recent information show on the other side. Note that whatever you see on the screen is what the transducer can identify. So, the information you’ll get will depend on the location of your transducer. For example, if you install it at the transom, the information will be from the boat’s back.

What the Digital Readings on your Humminbird Fish Finder Signify

After switching on your humminbird fish finder, there are several different digital readings that will appear on the screen. The new water depth will be showing in one corner, while the water temperature will be right below it. On the other side of the screen, you’ll also see ascending numbers from top to bottom, which is important in estimating the depth of either fish or object underwater.

A thick line at the bottom of the screen signifies a coarse base, while a thin one signifies a soft water bottom. Check above the lines that present the bottom surface, if you notice lines that extend upwards that’s a possibility of having rigid structures, rocks, or submerged wood. Having several lines shows the density of submerged objects, stones, or wood.

At times though, the signal might be a sign of fish since most fish finders can’t always differentiate between fish and other things. But the arches most likely represent the presence of fish. Although it depends upon which model you use, like for example a humminbird helix 5 fish finder shows icons on the screen when it identifies fish. To know the location of fish, check on the color display on the screen. Orange shows that fish is directly below the vessel, while blue is a sign of fish in the outer edge of the sonar. On top of the fish icon, you’ll see the depth of the fish.

Hint: Unfortunately there are no standard symbols when it comes to identifying fish on a fish finder screen. It can vary depending upon brand and model.

Tips you should use when reading Humminbird Fish Finder

  • Practice with your humminbird fish finder regularly

You can, with time, start reading the fish finder while moving on the water to see the difference between the two. You will also understand more about the colors and read the data faster than before with constant practice.

  • Refer to the manufacturer’s manual

Just like learning to use any other tech gadget, I don’t fully rely on online information. Instead, I also refer to the manufacturer’s manual to understand how my fish finder works. If you also do this, you’ll know how to use some features you’d never comprehend, like zooming or freezing the screen.  

  • Know the type of fish you’re to get in various water temperatures

Since using fish finders like humminbird helix 5 helps you identify individual fish and temperature, take your time to see the type of fish you’re to get. If you like fishing, in particular, this information is needful in deciding on where to fish. Doing this will help you become successful in your fishing journey.

  • Set your fish finder well

Having your humminbird fish finder in the right setting will enable you to avoid errors since it gives precise results. But poor settings will provide you with false information, leading to low catch and wrong judgment. To achieve this, check on your fish finder’s sensitivity setting and tune it until all the clutter finishes.

How Humminbird Down Imaging Fish Finder Works

Using humminbird down imaging fish finders will help you see the images underneath your boat. But you can only identify the objects under your boat and not comprehend their exact location or the side of the ship it is in. On your screen, you’ll see a cloud-like appearance if the fish finder sees a baitfish. You will also know what’s happening below your boat, enabling you to strategize well.  

Using humminbird down imaging will also help you know the water depth as it measures the deepness of every ditch. You’ll also spot where there’s plenty of vegetation through down imaging, enabling you to cast your equipment in the right place. You can use humminbird helix 5, which features a down imaging technique with a dual-beam that allows you to see both fish contours and other structures.

Does Humminbird Fish Finders include Side Imaging?

The answer to this simple question is yes. Humminbird fish finders like helix 5 or 7 have both side imaging and down imaging. Side imaging helps you see either side of the boat as it casts two thin beams. Every side gets 180 degrees beam, and it covers an area of around 240 feet. Through this, you’ll get a great catch since you can see 450 feet of the water. But to achieve this, you’ve got to know how to use, read and comprehend your fish finder.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to read humminbird fish finder will enable you to identify various objects underwater. It will also help you understand where fish is and the water temperature, which is essential in determining the kind of fish you can expect there. Since humminbird fish finders are among one of the best, you should know how to read any model to have an easy time if you decide to upgrade later.

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