Fish finder, any one use one?

-- Last Updated: Aug-16-12 1:52 PM EST --

I was presented with a list of gifts to choose from for completing 30 years working for my employer. There weren't a lot of things on the list that I needed, but the Humminbird Piranhamax 230 portable fish finder looked interesting. I chose it and it arrived yesterday. It seems from all of the reviews and literature to be a pretty slick gadget. I am used to finding fish the old ways.

So, tell me your experiences with these things.

I’ve got one
Mine’s not a portable. I am still rigging it on my canoe, but I’m eager to play with it.

They’re not really fish finders as much as they are bottom finders. Oh sure, they’ll identify fish, but the learning the structure of the lake bottom is going to be your big thing to learn.

My lake (I usually river fish shallow water) is man-made. There are sheds, roads, trees, bridges, fencelines, all sorts of things down there that will hold fish at different times of year and conditions. I’m eager to find them.

I may not even fish them that much. Most of my fishing at that reservoir is at dusk just beating the shoreline weeds with a grub to get away. Though I did catch my personal best largemouth bass at that lake, I’m usually a numbers guy.

  • Big D

used mine on a couple different yaks.They’re very good for finding the structure fish hang around.

the bottom line
Thanks, guys. Learning the bottom does seem important. Our reservoirs, built over the stream that was dammed for that purpose, conceal lots of texture. Also, I think that fishing over the former creek bed might be productive as they probably have a natural pull to that habitat. I frequently cast to the rise ripples, being a fly fisherman. I might get a little more use out of my sinking line and appropriate wet flies.

Here’s a lake that I particularly want to examine the underwater parts.

As can be seen from the photo there are lots of exposed rocks that at one time were cliffs over the creek. The shoreline is steep and deep in many places. There are some big fish hiding down there.

Works pretty good!

– Last Updated: Aug-27-12 10:24 AM EST –

I got out yesterday and played with the new toy. A few observations:

Keep it far enough below the waterline so as to not suck bubbles down across the sensor. I had the mounting bracket sticking up a bit above for the first couple hundred yards and moved it. Got lots quieter.

It does cause a small amount of drag and will pull the boat around like a rudder. If you are paddling any distance between put-in and fishing its best to remove it and save batteries.

If I rocked the boat just a bit I could ping the same fish multiple times. Also, paddle turbulence past the sensor showed up on the screen as a sudden up spike in depth.

My brand/model is a lot easier to "mount" in the boat than that shown recently in the Paddling News streamer. Just remember to tether it in case something like a big fish hits your boat and rolls you over.

I was paddling after lunch and the big fish were between 50' - 150' deep loafing around where it was cool. Not fly fishing stuff for sure.

pm 150
i bought the pm 150, not a portable but is. i built a dashboard for my canoe and only put one bolt through with a wing nut for quick on/off and am very pleased. too bad no one knows how to read a monitor. people tell me where to find out and or give me a link which will say yes it can and thats all