Author Topic: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A  (Read 2345 times)

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Offline Croaker Stroker

Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« on: April 14, 2014, 12:44:52 PM »
I moved this from  Salmon Kings HDS7 thread....

Don't feel bad. I have a Humminbird 597 with down imaging. Seemed like the best deal when I bought it, and it works beautifully on the lakes, but not worth a damn in the ocean, unless im in the shallows (50' or less) It's supposed to have regular sonar down to 1200' and DI to 600' but it just seems to go blank, and can't seem to figure out the depth. I've been out by the oil rigs in the Catalina channel, where I know the depth is around 90' but it will tell me it's 900 or 1 foot! and forget finding fish . . .

Your FishFinder should work great at the Oil Islands.  If you are having problems with your FF jumping to shallow depths, then your sensitivity may be turned up too high.  There is also a setting for fresh or salt water. Be sure you are set to saltwater.

***don't back down,  that will really confuse your FF ***

It may help to turn off the automatic depth function and set the depth slightly more than what you will be fishing. This will eliminate the jumping if your FF is reading plankton, baitfish, or bubbles on the surface and thinks it sees the bottom.

There is also a "switch" to turn on "advanced" settings.  You will want to switch to this to access some of the settings you will need.

Download the PDF owners manual from the Humminbird website and go out to your boat and practice on the trailer. There are lots of settings to learn.   When you turn on the FF, push and hold the power button momentarily and you will see "Sonar Off".  Go ahead and turn that off so you don't overheat your transducer.

If you have any questions....please feel free to post them. I'm sure there are many of us Humminbird users on this Forum who can help you.
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

So.Cali

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Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 05:30:30 AM »
Question #1. what do you mean by "don't back down"?
Question #2. the only time I seem to get any decent results is when I play with the beam hertz settings. which is the correct ones?
Question #3. It has a salt water and freshwater setting, and I do set that for the water I am in, but it also has a shallow and deep setting for salt, but the owners manual does not say what depth is shallow or deep. There is the obvious answers, but where is the gray area?
Question #4 When I am stationary, I get a good view on the screen, but once I start moving (more than idle) it gets fuzzy. The faster I go, the worse it gets. Is this engine interference?
 I am sure I'll have more questions on this, but this is all for now. Thanks for your help!

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 08:58:07 AM »
Question #1. what do you mean by "don't back down"?

Don't go in reverse while the sounder is on automatic depth. It will detect the bubbles from your prop, jump to that depth, and stay there for several minutes until it resets.

Question #2. the only time I seem to get any decent results is when I play with the beam hertz settings. which is the correct ones?

I use "dual", which gives you both. Otherwise I suggest 200 because it has a narrower beam angle.  But regardless of the beam angle, the strongest return signal will usually be directly under your boat.


Question #3. It has a salt water and freshwater setting, and I do set that for the water I am in, but it also has a shallow and deep setting for salt, but the owners manual does not say what depth is shallow or deep.

I use the "deep" setting

There is the obvious answers, but where is the gray area?

Sorry, I don't know what you mean ?

Question #4 When I am stationary, I get a good view on the screen, but once I start moving (more than idle) it gets fuzzy. The faster I go, the worse it gets. Is this engine interference?

A certain amount at speed is normal.

It is interference....Could be from you're engine, could be turbulence created while you are moving.  I bought an extension cable and ran my transducer wire under the port gunnel, around the bow, to the helm to avoid the ignition wires.  You can also "filter" some of that out by using "clear mode",turning your sensitivity down, and setting your "noise filter" to high.

 I am sure I'll have more questions on this, but this is all for now. Thanks for your help!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 09:15:16 AM by Croaker Stroker »
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline Threeweight

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 09:34:10 AM »
Here's a good graphic illustrating 50 vs. 200 mhz...



And the explanation that goes with it:

http://www.boatus.com/boattech/articles/selecting-transducer.asp

Transducer Frequency

Transducers for recreational and light commercial boats usually operate on frequencies between about 25 and 400 KHz, with 50 and 200 KHz being the two most common. As with most radio or radar transmissions, lower frequencies generally have greater penetrating power while higher frequencies offer higher resolution or detail. A low frequency around 50 KHz is excellent for displaying a wide area of the bottom, especially if the water is deep, while a higher frequency shows more bottom detail in shallow water, a very useful trait for fishfinders and recorders. A depth sounder signal that reads up to 400’ in fresh water may lose as much as half of its penetrating power in saltwater, so lower frequencies may be favored for saltwater use.

Many fishfinders have dual-frequency transducers, with 50/200 KHz combinations being the most common. Since the body of a fish is mostly water, the depth finder signals don’t bounce directly off their bodies—it is the air in fishes’ gills and air bladder that create the target. With dual frequencies, the low frequency can search a wide area of deep water for targets, showing schools of fish as wide patches on the screen. The higher frequency offers more detail of objects directly below the boat, showing better bottom formations, bottom-feeding fish, and schools of baitfish, especially in shallower waters.

Fish finderThere is wide variety in dual-frequency and multiplefrequency models. Some have the ability to switch back and forth between two frequencies, while others offer two screens to view simultaneously. A few even have the ability to detect their own acoustic signals when a large number of boats fishing nearby with similar units create "crosstalk and other interference". The transducers of some high-end scanning sonars have multiple elements within their housings, allowing them to "see" in front of the boat or out to the sides.
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.”
       --- Hunter S. Thompson

So.Cali

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Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2014, 05:33:56 AM »
Croaker, what I meant about the grey area, is that the FF has two settings fo salt water, shallow and deep. I know 30' would surely be considered shallow, and 600' would be considered deep, but what is the   cutoff? 100' 200'?  I don't know what it's doing on those settings eiher. You said you leave yours on the deep water setting, but will it give more accuracy on the shallow setting in X "shallow" depth?

3w8, tanks for that info as well. I have two different settings, and one is 50/200 mgh and the other is 400/ 250 (I think). The latter is probably for the shallows and the fore mentioned would be for deeper waters.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 05:43:02 AM by So.Cali »

Offline Jwoo 1800

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2014, 07:49:47 AM »
So cal, 50/200 is the standard sonar. The 250/400 or whatever it is, is your downscan/hybrid/down image (whatever hummingbird calls it). For standard sonar 50 MHz is definitely what you want for deep but 200 should give more detail shallow and still get you a decent scan down a couple hundred feet. I usually use 150-200' as either/or. Below 200 or so solely 50 MHz. I'm also running lowrance so as the saying goes. Your mileage may vary.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
93 Sea Chaser 19'
94 Merc Black Max 135
05 Honda 8 Classic

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 10:42:51 AM »

Make sure your transducer is under water when you are moving. Some people make the mistake of mounting them too high.




1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

So.Cali

  • Guest
Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 07:02:50 AM »
Croaker, when I installed the transducer, following the instructions, I mounted it flush with the bottom of the boat as that is what the instructions said to do. should I drop it down 1/4 inch or so?

Jwoo, thanks! I'm glad this topic came up even though it sprouted from another thread. These are things I figured I was kinda on my own to figure out, and little to no help online.

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2014, 08:32:57 AM »
Croaker, when I installed the transducer, following the instructions, I mounted it flush with the bottom of the boat as that is what the instructions said to do. should I drop it down 1/4 inch or so?

That may help ?   :shrug9:   Our boats are a little different than most, considering the sponsons. Maybe your transducer is lifting up too close to the surface while underway ?

Do you have trim tabs ?
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

So.Cali

  • Guest
Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2014, 08:43:02 AM »
I suppose that is a good possibility! I'm going to be installing the Lenco trim tabs here soon (hopefully tonight or tomorrow) and I will probably move the transducer to one of the sponsons. It's already mounted and wired through the starboard side, but I am debating on moving it to the port side. the problem with that is I already have my bait pump on the port side, and will probably be moved to the sponson as well to make room for the trim tabs. I suppose I could just switch them? My question to that is, if I don't move the transducer to the port side, could I put a plastic conduit sheathing over the cable to block electrical interference? And if I mount it on the sponson (transducer), should I keep that in line with the bottom of the boat, or should I also drop it down a hair?

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2014, 08:51:11 AM »
I am not suggesting moving it to the sponson.  Mine is mounted in the transom, outboard of the trim tabs.  Which does not allow the trim tabs to be spread as far as I would like, but they still work fine.

I think you should try lowering the transducer like the picture. It's easy, hopefully no additional hull holes required.  If you don't like it, you can always move it back.
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

So.Cali

  • Guest
Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2014, 08:56:10 AM »
I believe I mounted it in a way that I can easily adjust it down. I'll look at it later today.

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2014, 08:59:44 AM »
Put a six foot straight edge on the boat hull to check your transducer position.  If you don't have a straight edge, a piece of wood will do.  Avoid using the "eyeball" method.   :jester:

Also be sure your transducer is parallel with you hull.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 09:03:08 AM by Croaker Stroker »
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

So.Cali

  • Guest
Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2014, 09:08:27 AM »
I have a 3' straight edge, and a 4' level. Will either of those do?

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2014, 09:16:13 AM »
I have a 3' straight edge, and a 4' level. Will either of those do?

That should work.
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline fishorcrab

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2014, 09:20:45 AM »
So.Cali.,

A plastic conduit over your transducer cable may reduce chafing from unfriendly sharp objects but will do nothing to reduce electrical interference.  That would require a metal conduit.  Even then, the cable is probably twisted pair which reduces common mode interference anyway.  You just don't want the transducer to tightly parallel other cables carrying electrical power or signals.  Most interference will likely come from nearby boats running transducers at the same frequencies and that wii come from your transducer picking up the sonar pulses they send out.

Paul
SC16 Yamaha 4s 90
SP17 Honda 4s 90  - Croaker made me do it. :)

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2014, 09:25:08 AM »

My bait pump switch and wiring are in the stern by the bait tank.
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

So.Cali

  • Guest
Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2014, 09:38:27 AM »

My bait pump switch and wiring are in the stern by the bait tank.

 Mine too!

 Fishorcrab, i didn't know if it would work, I just hapened to have it floating around. I guess on that note, I'll probably move it over to the port side. EVERYTHING else is running under the starboard gunnel.

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2014, 10:01:29 AM »

Sorry, I thought you meant your bait pump wiring ran up the port side.

Most FishFinder users are not as picky as I am. (Wedocq excluded) I get a clear bottom return at 20mph. And only slight interference at 30mph even at 200 - 300 depth.  Sometimes, while traveling to a spot, I will notice a mark, or a thickened bottom, or a bump, indicating structure.  I have located some of my better spots this way.

If you are unable to see a clear screen at speed, then you are missing much of the capability of your Fish Finder. IMO

1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

So.Cali

  • Guest
Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2014, 06:42:30 PM »
Yeah, my FF goes straight to fuzz pretty much as soon as I give it any throttle. This makes me think it's getting way to much interference from the electrical wires running along with it.

Offline Chuck Jones

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2014, 10:44:50 AM »
Humminbird just came out with a newer iteration...the 959 Di...I just had it installed in the BYB and am itching to get out and see if the propaganda that comes with it is true.  The simulator looked great, but it's a simulator!  It has down and side scan capability, (AKA structure scan) but from what I've heard, those features don't go down much beyond 300 feet.  Great for rivers and lakes to see structure and reduce the contributions I make to Poseidon's lure and terminal tackle collection.
(91) 19' Sea Ranger HT....SOLD 5/2013
(07) 21' Sea Ranger HT.....SOLD 3/2014
(05) 21' Design Concepts ...4/20/14

I often have silent thoughts in my head, but sometimes I worry about what they're thinking

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2014, 02:50:29 PM »
Chuck,

It's probably gonna take a bit of practice to get good with it.

The maximum fishing depth allowable for rockfish is 300'.  We don't get Pacific Halibut down here.  I don't know what else to fish for beyond 300' anyway.

Please keep us posted on how that unit works.  Did you get the Navionics+ with it ??
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."

Offline Chuck Jones

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2014, 10:46:34 PM »
Damn AOL anyway....I wrote up an informative blurb and it ate the damn thing.  Here goes again.... :nono: :nono: :doh:

I bought the Humminbird in Montana because there's no sales tax.  Makes you wonder how a state can function without raping the inhabitants doesn't it?  I also bought a Hummer proprietary software that's put out under the Hummer nomenclature...called "Lakemaster".  It takes in all the lakes and waterways for the western states to include AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, and WY.  Just how well it compares with Navionics I don;'t know, but I'll report in a later post.  It also has a rather unique function in that in addition to the available contour lines that you'd get on Navionics, it will draw in additonal contours and obstacles you run over during the course of using the unit as a fishfinder or depth gauge.  According to the propaganda, this "personalizes" your software for the areas you fish and adds in a lot more details.  I don't know if these details can be transferred to other units running the same software.  It would be great to be able to trade details with other fishing buddies running other areas in order to build a highly accurate and detailed map of your areas.  This software runs $125, so it's cheaper than the Navionics platinum....just how comperable I'll have to let you know.  One of my buds runs the Navionics, so we can compare.
(91) 19' Sea Ranger HT....SOLD 5/2013
(07) 21' Sea Ranger HT.....SOLD 3/2014
(05) 21' Design Concepts ...4/20/14

I often have silent thoughts in my head, but sometimes I worry about what they're thinking

Offline fishorcrab

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2014, 11:24:30 PM »
Croaker,

Sablefish aka black cod is something you go for in deep water.  We caught them at 500-600 ft in Sitka while fishing for halibut. Very tasty and there is a California fishery.

http://www.stripersonline.com/t/734047/black-cod-aka-sablefish

Paul
SC16 Yamaha 4s 90
SP17 Honda 4s 90  - Croaker made me do it. :)

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: Humminbird FishFinder Q and A
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2014, 11:01:41 AM »
Croaker,

Sablefish aka black cod is something you go for in deep water.  We caught them at 500-600 ft in Sitka while fishing for halibut. Very tasty and there is a California fishery.

http://www.stripersonline.com/t/734047/black-cod-aka-sablefish

Paul


You're right Paul. I guess there are a few other fish we can fish for at depths greater than 300',  like Swordfish, Sand Dabs, and some we probably are unaware of.  I have never seen a Sablefish this far South.

There are a bunch of new regulations regarding Cow Cod and rockfish.  I don't know what the rule is if you catch a rockfish in water greater than 300' while fishing for something else... :shrug9:
1987 - 17' Sea Pacer - 2004 Evinrude 90 E-tec
15' Sea Sprinter - **SOLD**

"If a fish will, he will… if he won't, he won't… and that's about it… except… he may take this when he won't take that."