Sonar, Down Imaging, Side Imaging and 360 Imaging For Catfish [CR EP 26]
Summary: In the last episode of Catfishing Radio we discussed bank fishing for catfish tips and common mistakes focusing on increasing the success of anglers fishing for catfish from the shore, regardless of which catfish species you target. In this weeks show we are flipping things around a bit again and focusing on the catfish boat anglers and discussing different sonar technologies along with choosing a fishfinder for catfish. If you are looking into purchasing electronics for the first time or considering upgrading the existing equipment on your boat, there is valuable information on this Catfishing Radio podcast. This will help you better understand the different technologies and make a more informed decision when purchasing. We start the show off by discussing the different technologies, down imaging (or down scan), side imaging (or side scan), traditional 2d sonar (broad band) and the latest and greatest technology, 360 degree imaging and outline each of these different technologies and how they pertain to fishing for blue catfish, channel catfish and flathead catfish. 2D Sonar (Broadband) 2D sonar or broadband sonar is the typical sonar technology that has been around for year. This shows the bottom contour, arches for fish, bait fish and gives you a good picture of what is going on directly below the boat when you pass over an area. This is an essential tool if you are going to target catfish (especially blue catfish). Older units are available in black and white and newer units have color screens that provide a higher level of information due to their color readouts. Down Imaging and Downscan Down imaging or downscan technology also looks directly below the boat (like traditional 2d broadband sonar) but provides a much more detailed picture. It allows you to see more definition in the fish, structure and cover below the boat and provides a much clearer picture. Side Imaging and Sidescan Side imaging or sidescan shoots a sonar beam on either side of the boat (or one side if you choose that option in the settings) and gives you a highly detailed image of what is on either side of the boat. This allows you to see cover, structure and even balls of threadfin shad and gizzard shad. The side imaging range is adjustable on most units and allows you to see out as far as several hundred feet but to get a clear picture with detail that is usable you have to look at a much more narrow range. 360 Degree Imaging This is the latest technology from Humminbird. The 360 degree imaging technology provides a highly detailed image (like side imaging and down imaging) of everything below and surrounding the boat and will function while sitting still. This is a new technology that comes with a premium price tag. Choosing a Fishfinder For Catfishing – What Features To Look For I am constantly getting phone calls, emails and talking with clients who fish with me at North Texas Catfish Guide Service who have either just made a purchase of one of these technologies or are about to make a purchase. The technology is confusing and they often come out with what I consider to be a waste of money or a bad purchasing decision not giving them the features they need. These opinions are based on my long term use of the Humminbird 1198c and the different features available. Brand – My suggestion is to stick with Lowrance or Humminbird, nothing else. They are the two undisputed leaders in this market. My preference is Humminbird because they are made in the USA, everything is self contained within the fishfinder for installation (except the transducer) and Humminbird hastop notch customer service (something Lowrance has really struggled with for a long time). Screen Size – When using down imaging and side imaging screen size has a MAJOR impact on the functionality of the unit and being able to really see what is going on. Always go with the biggest screen possible.