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How to Read a Garmin Fish Finder – 5 Easy Steps

how to read a garmin fish finder
Written by Immanuel Baranov
Last Update: March 8, 2022

A fish finder is also known as a sounder because it works using the sound. The Garmin fish finder is a device that uses sound navigation and Sonar (ranging) techniques to detect fish under the water by observing the reflected pulses of the sound energy. Modern fish finding devices like Garmin fish finders have customized displays that enable you to understand the information from the reflected sound to locate a school of fish under the water.

A fish finder is an essential fishing accessory just like fishing drones or fishing headlamps or sunglasses.This article will guide you on how to use the Garmin fish finder efficiently to maximize the fun and benefits of your fishing experience.

How to Read a Garmin Fish Finder Step by Step

Step 1: Turning the Device On

Turn on the Garmin fish finder by pressing the power button. In case you are confused; the button with the red circle is the power button.

Step 2: Finding the Depth and Temperature of the Water

Look closely at the screen’s upper left corner. The number showing at the top indicates the depth of the water. The Garmin fish finder uses the imperial system of measurement. So, you will see the number of the depth of water in feet. At the upper left corner of the screen, you will also see another number that indicates the temperature of the water. The temperature is shown in Fahrenheit, not Celsius.

Step 3: Figuring out the Bottom Line

Detect the line that is running across the bottom of the screen. This line illustrates the bottom of the water surface you are on. This line can also be settled if your boat is not moving at all. However, it does not matter that much. Go through the line from left to right. If the line shows any slope going upward, your boat is moving toward shallower water. If the line shows the slope going downward, your boat is floating or moving toward deeper water. The thickness of the line indicates the coarseness of the underwater surface. The coarser the surface is, the thicker the line will be.

Note : With the side imaging or the side view fish finders, you might face some difficulties to determine the geography of the underwater surface, but bottom line fish finders are good for it.

Step 4: Learning the geography underwater

Pay close attention to the lines or signs that extend off the surface indicating line. These lines or signs indicate the geography of the surface ranging from rocks to plants under the water. Some small and dark-colored hump signs indicate rocks. The slightly taller lines indicate the submerged trees. The tree indicating lines should be a little darker than the small plant indicating lines. So, close attention is necessary to determine the geography of the underwater surface.

Step 5: Understanding the Readings

Now, concentrate on the screen above the surface indicating lines. This part of the screen illustrates the water between the under-water surface and the water surface. Now, you look for the most important things. The hook-signs on the screen show you the fishes. The larger the fish is, the larger the hook will appear. Identify the place where most of the fishes are. Locate how far below the water surface that place is. It’s important to locate the exact position of the fishes to determine where you will be fishing. Otherwise, you might end up getting nothing at the end of the day.

You might already know that Garmin fish finders are some of the top fish finders for a serious angler like you. Follow all these steps to be able to read your Garmin fish finder effectively.

Finally, Garmin fish finders come in different variations. So, you could face some difficulties reading the different version of this fish finder. However, if the instructions mentioned above do not match with your Garmin fish finder, you have probably bought a different version. In that case, read the user manuals carefully and if you find it difficult to understand, then leave a comment below.

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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