How to Read Lowrance Fish Finder

Can you go fishing and read a Lowrance fish finder without experiencing any challenges? Have you bought a Lowrance fish finder and don’t know how to read it? Then you’re in the right place. Read on and understand how to read a Lowrance fish finder and quench your thirst for using it on water. You’ll also know how to interpret the data on the Lowrance fish finder’s screen.

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More About Lowrance Fish Finder

The manufacturers of Lowrance fish finders are one of the leading marine electronics producers worldwide. The first consumer sonar device by Lowrance was made in 1957. These devices, which were initially green boxes, are now better owing to improved technology. The current Lowrance has better features like GPS navigation and C-MAP, enabling you to identify and save images of the underwater domain. Lowrance fish finders come with networking abilities and broadband 4G, allowing you to set it well and update software easily. You can also create and save the map using Lowrance fish finders.

Downloading premade maps with higher resolution and finer details is also possible with this fish finder. If you have this information, you’ll navigate with ease or fish in the same place severally. There are also some Lowrance brands with chirp technology, giving you clear, high-resolution images under your boat. Since there are regular innovations and evolutions, Lowrance will give you accurate data with high-resolution pictures.

How You Can Read Your Lowrance Fish Finder

If you’re using Lowrance fish finder sonar, you need to understand how to read it. You can use the following steps to read the display on your Lowrance fish finder;

  • First, switch on the fish finder using the power button at the front. Ensure the fish finder is on automatic mode and the alarm switched off.
  • Then check what signals are present in your Lowrance fish finder. Concentrate on the digital reading on the screen.  You should see water temperature, depth of water, and speed.
  • Check for a line at the bottom part of the screen which cuts across it. It represents the bottom surface like the bottom of the lake or river which you’re fishing on.  If it’s a hard bottom, the line will be thicker and darker. A thin line signifies a soft bottom, while a flat one represents a flat lake bottom.
  • Look at the objects that appear above the line to know if there’s fish, rocks, or vegetation. Vertical lines show the presence of vegetation like trees. Aquatic vegetation like weeds will show thick and bigger icons.
  • To know the water column, check on the line between the top and bottom of the screen. If you see an icon that appears like arches, that’s a sign of fish. A bigger icon is a sign of bigger fish, while a smaller one shows a smaller fish. Be keen on the fish location on the water column to know if it’s above the vegetation or hiding at the bottom.

Understanding Lowrance Fish Finder Features

We will look at different Lowrance features from the down scan imaging to side-scan imaging and more.

The fish size on sonar

It’s never easy knowing the size of fish on a sonar since the depth range and sensitivity adjustments can alter it. Remember, fish appears big at a depth of between 20 feet and 100 feet. But you can guess the size of fish on the Lowrance sonar by looking at the color of the fish arch or how thick it is.

Lowrance fish finder on down scan

Knowing how to read down scan imaging on your Lowrance fish finder is important as it covers a wider cone area allowing you to see the target. Because of this, the Lowrance down scan works better than 2D sonars. For example, if you’re looking for fish from their hiding places using sonar, it won’t be easy work. But with a Lowrance down imaging, you’ll have easy work doing this since it helps you identify an individual object and not the surrounding.

Lowrance fish finder for side scan

Many anglers experience many challenges using side-scan, which may be because of having a small screen on the boat. So, if you’re fishing, you might not use this fish finder feature but rather concentrate on others like map or Lowrance down scan.  However, if you want to use Lowrance side imaging, ensure it’s in the right condition. When using the Lowrance side scan, the rocky bottom will be showing big, giving fish a chance to hide. But a softer bottom will not give room for this enabling you to identify fish with ease.

Lowrance 3D structure scan explained

You can use the Lowrance 3D structure scan to identify suspended crappie. It has a 3D display that performs similarly to the side scan, although it allows you to see the suspension point of the fish. The Lowrance 3d sonar allows you to see the image of fish in the water column, unlike the side scan that enables you to see fish on your sides.

Lowrance trackback

This feature helps works by making images that disappeared reappear on the fish finder’s screen. It will help you identify objects that you’d never see since it’s never easy identifying fish at first sight. Remember, it’s never bad to recheck to meet your target.

Explaining What Appears on The Screen of Lowrance Fish Finder

If you’re using a Lowrance fish finder, expect to see either horizontal line, one at the top while the other at the bottom of the screen. You’ll also see some arches in between lines or blurred blobs. These signs will appear anywhere on the screen.

What continuous horizontal lines mean

The line that will appear on the lower side of your Lowrance fish finders screen shows the seabed. If you see either curves, ups or downs, they represent the structure of the object. You will not have challenges identifying this line since it’s the thickest and most visible.

The continuous line at the top represents the water surface and the surface clutter. It is where sonar beams are distracted. Any object in the surface clutter won’t be registered on the sonar since it’s near the transducer, making them unreadable.

Arches on Lowrance fish finder

While fishing, you will see this mark on your fish finder. You will see this when any of the objects like fish passes near the scanning zone of the transducer.  


Blobs are the patches of mess on the fish finders screen near ground level. These signs appear when there are several objects in a cluster. Since they’re close to one another, they appear as one big body. This sign represents a school of baitfish or bush.


When using the Lowrance color fish finder, you’ll see different colors on the screen. Some will be yellow, blue, or red. Blue shows water, while red or yellow signifies an object underwater. Note that it’s hard to see red without yellow. This is because red is a sign of a weaker echo, and yellow is for a stronger echo. Big objects create both weak and strong echoes causing both the red and yellow marks.

Tips and Tricks You Should Use When Fishing with Lowrance Fish Finder HDS

If you have Lowrance fish finder HDS use the following tricks;

  • Never use a single battery to start an HP motor since it’s risky. Use two connected batteries, one for starting the motor while the other one for electronics.

  • If you are using HDS 5X with no card slots but want to upgrade its software, call them through your local sports goods store and inquire if they’ve got it. It’s there to take your device then install the update through their power while using ethernet.
  • Don’t switch it off by long-pressing the power button but instead, touch the power button once and then select power off since HDS operates like a computer.

Final Thoughts

Reading a fish finder Lowrance is not hard if you’ve never used the other types of fish finders. However, if you don’t know how to use a Lowrance fish finder, I hope reading this article has been of great help to you. But knowing Lowrance’s features and tricks will enable you to read and understand the fish finder in no time. If you know how to read Lowrance fish finder, you’ll identify more fish, increasing your catch and fishing knowledge.

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