How to Use a Fishfinder in Shallow Water

Using a fishfinder device can be tricky, especially if you’re not a technology. These devices can immensely improve your fishing adventure, provided that you know how to read sonar. The data on the screen provides a clear picture of what’s underneath the water surface. By learning the basics of sonar reading you’ll be able to use any similar device. But what about using a fishfinder in shallow waters? Surely you can’t use it in the same manner as on a lake or at sea.

So unless you want to limit your adventurous spirit and focus only on one fishing method, we suggest that you learn how to use the full potential of fishfinder.

Choose the Right Battery and Fishfinder Model


Before you can start using a fishfinder device you need to know which one to purchase. There are many models, each intended for a unique style of fishing. One thing that you should be concerned about when buying a fishfinder, is the power that it requires. This determines how large of a battery you’ll need to use the device. Depending on your boat type you’ll either need a very light battery with as little as 100 watts, or a bigger one that can go up to 500 watts or more.

The more power you have, more precise your readings will be. On the other side, power also adds to the weight of the battery. This means that your dinghy or kayak might get heavier to control as you add weight.

There are many fishfinder models that can work in both shallow and deep water fishing. Some even have options to set the sonar frequency for ice fishing, salt or fresh water fishing. What you need is the basic model with high frequency. Higher frequencies work better in shallow waters, while lower frequency models are designed for deep water fishing.

Setting Up The Fishfinder


Latest models of fishfinder devices provide a variety of modes that you can choose and adjust the parameters to your fishing style. These high-tech devices will automatically set the sonar frequencies for a specific type of fishing in a matter of seconds. The only problem is that they cost a fortune. Being that they have so many modes installed, they practically replace multiple electronic devices.

However, if you focus only on shallow water fishing there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a high-tech multipurpose fishfinder device. By purchasing a basic shallow water model you’ll have more than enough data to spot underwater activity at your hands.

High-frequency fishfinders are extremely easy to install on your kayak or a small boat. The only thing that you’ll need is a waterproof box to place your battery inside it. This way your battery will be safely secured even in a case that you let some water in. Now you can use your fishfinder device no matter how shallow water the river you’re fish in is.

How to Read Sonar in Shallow Water


Now you need to learn how to read the actual data on you shallow water fishfinder device. It’s all about knowing the shapes. Because sonar communication is based on echolocation, what you see on your display are objects and shapes that reflected some amount of this sound that was released. To make sure you understand what you’re seeing on your fishfinder's display, remember one simple rule: curves are animate, flats are inanimate objects. It’s as simple as that.

Inanimate objects like stones at the bottom of the river, garbage, or large underwater rocks completely reflect the sound sending it back to the receiver.


Fish and other living things like underwater algae and seaweed don’t fully reflect the sound. Due to their unique shape, fish and other underwater living organism large enough to obstruct the sound wave path, change the direction of the sound wave. This is why they aren’t represented with a clear flat line that can be easily distinguishable from anything else on the screen. Instead, you’ll see small curved lines and otherwise amorphous objects. This represents underwater activity. So, once you spot a cloud of amorphous lines on your fishfinder’s display, you’ll know that it’s time to pull out your fishing rod.

Using Your Fishfinder to Improve your Fishing Adventure


Equipped with this device, you’ll have no trouble finding fish in a lake, pond, river or at sea. And what better way to start your fishing career than buying a fishfinder. It’s the ultimate tool for modern sports fishing. Once you start using it you won’t be you realize that fishing without it is an opportunity wasted. It will greatly improve your fishing experience as every catch increases your status among other anglers.

Technology has evolved to such extent that it has integrated into every aspect of our lives. Fishing is one of the oldest methods of providing food, and now thanks to technological improvements, we became so efficient at it that we do it for sports.

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, and you’re planning to spend this summer on your favorite lake, the only thing left for you to do is to get a decent fishfinder. Make sure that you choose one fishing method and stick to it. Otherwise, you’ll spend thousands of dollars on various devices, accessories, and electronics.


Now that you know all about using a shallow water fishfinder it’s time to set the sails and start your ultimate fishing adventure. The fun never really stops, as after each time you’ll want to try a different technique, choose a different setting or try the same at a different location. It’s the best thing that ever happened to sports fishing industry.

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