mustrumr wrote:Great thread! I've got no idea how to read my sounder (Lowrance X50DS) - I've always been land-based till I got the Outback.
As far as I can see the Fish ID in this model is useless. First time i switched it on I went "Holy shit, there's fish everywhere!" Then i noticed i was passing over a swarm of the big brown jellyfish we get in the Swan. Anything suspended in the water - seaweed, plastic bags, whatever - gets the fish symbol. Some of them may even have been fish - but how can I tell?
I don't see arches when I turn Fish ID off. Matter of fact I don't see much at all, except the bottom. I'm assuming the install is OK since it was done for me by Sailpower, who sold me the yak. I've got the sensitivity set to maximum, but as you can tell, I don't know what I'm doing.
Right now all I'm using it for is as a depth indicator - useful, but not what I was hoping for. OK, I know it's a cheapie, but I'm assuming that if I knew a bit more I'd learn to see the fish.
I've had a look at a couple of books, but they seemed to be aimed at owners of expensive colour units. Does anyone know of a good book aimed at B&W sounders? Or web sites? Anything?
Please help me turn my fish finder into a finder of fish!
All fish ID are useless so get rid of the stupid things!
Your x50 is pretty much the same as my x52, except I have a slightly larger screen, and you have a dual frequency transducer.
Set the transducer to 200mhz.
Turn the scroll speed right up to full.
Turn the sensitivity to maximum until the screen goes black with interference, then slowly back the sensitivity off until the screen starts to clear, leaving any interference (blackness) up near the surface (you don't look for fish up there anyways).
You have just maximised the information your sounder can show you, and these units are quite good for the price, with decent resolution and enough power for the depths we fish in.
No bells and whistles, but a good clear reading, and a capable unit.
You will only see complete "classic" arches when a fish passes through the centre of the transducer cone. When fish just go through the side of the cone you will only see a part arch, or possibly only a few tiny pixels, so watch the screen and pay close attention to all those little black dots which pop up.
Another option with this unit is to simply set the sensitivity to "auto" until you get more used to operating the thing. It works OK in auto mode too.
Excuse the crap photography, but these units show very good arches when the fish are there!
Oh, and to keep this post on track, these are Bream actively feeding!