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Electronics for inshore

Old 12-30-2020, 05:39 PM
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Default Electronics for inshore

Just wondering if anyone uses the newer side scan units inshore to locate fish like trout and puppy drum? I have never heard much talk about them from inshore guys.
Old 12-30-2020, 06:04 PM
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Yep, sidescan is awesome inshore, but you have to tune your unit, and not just use the default settings.
Old 12-30-2020, 06:11 PM
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I must fish different, it’s a tech thing imo with a cool factor. Cast off the side of your boat from time to time?? I would not invest in it for trout or drum fishing. I personally wouldn’t but see why some would want it for reef fishing off the beach a ways.
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Old 12-30-2020, 07:16 PM
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It is cool to have and I use it some but not all of the time. Normally I will go to a place that I know from past experience holds fish. If I am fishing nearshore on a reef I will use it much more.
Old 12-30-2020, 07:46 PM
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I have had good luck with it but the hard part would be the distinction trout are usually easier to identify. Gar are hard to tell sometimes and can be similar to reds. Here’s an image of a school of trout in a spot I never fished before we caught several nice fish after we found this school.
On the right side of the side imaging you can see them schooled up tight and suspended.

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Old 12-31-2020, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Nickp1 View Post
I have had good luck with it but the hard part would be the distinction trout are usually easier to identify. Gar are hard to tell sometimes and can be similar to reds. Here’s an image of a school of trout in a spot I never fished before we caught several nice fish after we found this school.
On the right side of the side imaging you can see them schooled up tight and suspended.
I have a simrad go7 and have not been able to find any fish or structure with sidescan. Have totalscan transducer. Simrad customer service has been useless.
Might be better sticking with garmin or hummingbird...
Old 12-31-2020, 04:55 AM
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I’m not sure about them but this is gen3 mega imaging from humminbird. See the log on the left side. It’s tall you can see the shadow coming off it.
min the ocean it’s incredible finding holes ledges and fish.
But I would go lowrance now with the better mapping they have. That’s the only downfall with humminbird. No Sirius XM weather or other cool features for offshore.
Old 12-31-2020, 07:12 AM
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Thanks for the info.
Old 12-31-2020, 11:14 AM
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I would think that the side imaging would be more useful for finding structure. I am no expert on inshore but I don't know if every patch of oyster shells and etc can be found by eye at low tide? Maybe not? It might be good for finding sneaky spots. I know that nearshore guys use it for locating bait balls. I know in freshwater it is extremely useful for finding new brush piles, rocks, stumps etc.
Old 12-31-2020, 01:09 PM
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Like all brands you have to play with the settings on your simrad to dial it in. I have the go 9 with totalscan and the structure is clear. Go to somewhere you know has structure or even a bridge and take some time to find it. Depth down is counted in the distance from side to side. So if your in 20ft of water and you have it set to 40ft out to the side. Your really only seeing 20ft out. Tap on the structure when you see it and can set a waypoint. I'm still learning everytime I use it. Oldschool fishing has some good videos on the simrad sidescan. I have seen bait on the sidescan clear as day. I have not seen a school of game fish yet but i have only used it a few times looking for rockfish. The sonar yes. Garmin isnt bad either. In the store Garmins looks more detail bc of what the simulator is showing you. Garmin branch's, simrad a rock. Well ofcourse branches can be more defined than a rock. To me, the simrad has more detail than the garmen when your on the water.
Old 12-31-2020, 04:39 PM
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I have a humming bird 998cs that worked great for decking fish on wrecks and bridges.

have a newer unit on my present boat,

goining to sell my hummingbird 998cs
Old 01-01-2021, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by CAP1 View Post
Yep, sidescan is awesome inshore, but you have to tune your unit, and not just use the default settings.
Can you please share more details, thanks ........ICM
Yesterday saw a school of Mullets in shallow clear water under a dock before they presented themselves on my Garmin side scan.
I rely more on my polarized sunglasses than my Garmin....would like to get better at using my Garmin.
Any settings or tips ? Thanks .....ICM
Old 01-01-2021, 07:40 AM
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I have a lowrance elite ti and I use the structure scan for flounder a lot but that is mainly just to find structure not necessarily see the fish. I wish I could use it to find schools of trout and see what depth they are at. My trout fishing tactics usually involve hitting the known spots and basically waiting them out with the tide change. Works sometimes and sometimes not.
Old 01-01-2021, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ice Cream Man View Post
Can you please share more details, thanks ........ICM
Yesterday saw a school of Mullets in shallow clear water under a dock before they presented themselves on my Garmin side scan.
I rely more on my polarized sunglasses than my Garmin....would like to get better at using my Garmin.
Any settings or tips ? Thanks .....ICM

ICM, every unit is different. For me, Garmin units are different than the Simrad units I have seen, but the principle is the same. To me, sidescan is more useful the deeper the water. You're less likely to see fish out to the beam of the boat on the surface than further down in the water column (5-10' say).
It takes time and messing with the sidescan menu settings. I have gotten away from just the default settings. Adjust the distance out you want to see away from Auto. If I am working a bank 50-75' away, I don't want the scanner looking out at 300'. I also don't want it set to only look 10'. Also note how the display changes when you make a setting change. You can also ratchet up the Contrast.

The best advice I can give is to take an hour or two one day and slow motor (trolling motor or engine) down a bank back and forth, changing one setting each pass. Watch the difference a single change makes. It takes knowing what a school of fish looks like to spot them on sidescan. Structure is pretty self explanatory.
A fish, or many fish tend to like a dot or dots out to the side. It is a different representation than a fish directly under the boat. If you motor by a dock, the pilings appear as bright white dots. Real fish, less bright, but still dots.

Here are a couple of youtube vids that may help -



There are plenty of others out there if you search.

Last edited by CAP1; 01-01-2021 at 12:09 PM.
Old 01-01-2021, 09:20 AM
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The biggest thing for me was simple: learning what fish look like. I watched the videos, bought the Dr. Sonar DVD, but it was not until I went out with some one who had experience and actually caught fish that I saw how valuable they are. Luckily I have a computer savvy young friend who helped me who had the same unit I do.
I have the Lowrance Elite TI2. Not the top of the line but it does the job. On the sidescan, fish look like (edit) grains of rice. Using the touchscreen and the map feature I can mark them and navigate to them. Just marking them is one thing but getting back to them is key. Being able to pull up to that mark on the screen, set down the Terrova, and hit the anchor button is a game changer!
​My basic set-up is 3 panels: entire bottom of the screen is sidescan (range no more than 4 times your depth), top left is map, and top right is either structure scan or CHIRP. ( I usually have a second unit for conventional sonar/map as well).
Only adjustments I make to the factory settings is range after you choose your view and palletes.
Sonar and troller have Bluetooth. Also amazing features.

​​

Last edited by Striperk9; 01-01-2021 at 01:23 PM. Reason: minor addition
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Old 01-01-2021, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Striperk9 View Post
The biggest thing for me was simple: learning what fish look like.
On the sidescan, fish look like rice.

​​
^ This.
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Old 01-01-2021, 02:23 PM
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I've gotten fairly used to identifying fish on my friends unit, who I fish with a lot in freshwater. A lot of times it's easier to find a fishes shadow than it is the actual fish. This is how we locate crappie a lot. We usually see their shadows on the side scan pretty easily. But in general fish usually show up as white grains of rice like others said. Bigger fish are easier to distinguish and we actually take on a fish shape.
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