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Sonar question

Post By: Kev-o      Posted: 1/22/2023 5:15:43 PM     Points: 81038    
Iím having some issues being able to interpret the information on my sonar. Last week while fishing I was unable to see the last 7í of the bottom. It was filled with a solid line from the bottom up to 7í. Bought a new one because I figured that it was broken. This weekend I had the same issue with the new one as well as the old one only this time it wouldnít read the last 4í of the bottom. Turned the gain up and down adjusted the bottom lock played with this setting and that setting and nothing changed. I do understand that the the sonar cone will stop if you are on a slope and you wonít be able to see the ďbottomĒ and your jigs and the fish past the ďzeroĒ line will be hidden as well. Is this sediment settling on the bottom? Does this explain why I could see further down this week as opposed to last week? Has anyone else run into this issue and knows what is happening and how to fix it? I would appreciate any help on an explanation or how to resolve this. When fishing for lakers that mostly hang out on the bottom this problem was not very beneficial to my cause. Thanks in advance.
 Reply by: fishingmanlee      Posted: Jan. 22, 5:29:25 PM     Points: 213
Iíve encountered the same phenomena at mountain reservoirs. What Iíve found is that there was a nearby boulder obstructing the cone. I know this because my jig from time to time would ďswimĒ atop the feature and not fall all the way down. Try your sonar somewhere you are certain itís a featureless flat and decide if you are still encountering the same issue. Iíve also had weak bottom feedback because the coax cable had been slightly severed because I allowed a fish to wrap around the transducer. Best to ALWAYS remove your transfer when youíre certain the fish is cleanly hooked.
 Reply by: Kev-o      Posted: Jan. 22, 6:57:14 PM     Points: 81038
The connections are brand new and worked the same on both units. Did not have a problem at bodecker a couple of weeks ago on the flat bottom. Just found it very odd when moving around at Granby that the same results occurred in several different areas. I have never had this problem in the same area Iíve been fishing for multiple years. Thought it might be the transducer but it is new as well.
 Reply by: That1guy, fishing      Posted: Jan. 22, 8:40:55 PM     Points: 232
Adjust sensitivity??
 Reply by: Crit      Posted: Jan. 22, 8:46:44 PM     Points: 14
Bought a new what? Ducer Iím guessing
What unit is that?
Sounds like you have an issue with your graph since you tried it in multiple locations
 Reply by: GoNe_FiShIn_11      Posted: Jan. 22, 10:30:33 PM     Points: 11422
My question is what frequency does that finder run? Itís possible youíre running a wide cone in the deep water picking up abstraction from a larger areas.

Could be the ducer is bad out the box. Try another lake with 20 to 30 fow and see if it does the same. If so contract the maker or try to exchange the ducer or graph if itís new enough.
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: Jan. 23, 7:56:13 AM     Points: 9780
Your sonar works just fine.

If you are fishing on a slope, the sonar's cone hits the bottom at various depths, say 25-32' deep, because you are on a slope.

If the sonar sees the bottom at the "upper" edge of the cone, (25') there is no way it can also see the bottom on the lower edge of the slope (32'). There isn't any way to change this, unless you can change the frequency to a narrower sonar beam.

 Reply by: Kev-o      Posted: Jan. 23, 8:05:38 AM     Points: 81038
Tried 77kh and 200hk both read the same even on duel beam with both frequencies on the split screen. The ďchirpĒ looks even weirder. Will have to try a flatter lake and see if it reads different. Have a garmin unit. Both are garmin.
 Reply by: not too old to fish      Posted: Jan. 23, 10:44:19 AM     Points: 8447
If the signal you are receiving is the same for both units the odds of anything being wrong with both units is very unlikely. As was previously said, the bottom may be slanted and giving you mixed signals, so try moving the transducer at an angle and observe what happens to your signal. If the amplitude or signal height increases at an angle you have the answer. One other thing to consider is multiple rocks of different sizes laying on the bottom. This can give you mixed signals that can mask the true bottom of the lake and sends multiple signals that are hard to interpret. Weed beds can do the same thing but usually weed beds are not in that depth of water.
 Reply by: tpw      Posted: Jan. 23, 11:27:37 AM     Points: 351
Over the years I have come across what appears to be a thermal layer showing odd displays but usually clear up rather quickly.
 Reply by: Mark      Posted: Jan. 23, 12:27:06 PM     Points: 113
I had a similar problem this year. Turns out I had changed the range setting without knowing it by pressing that +/- bar inadvertently on a very cold morning when I was in a hurry. I had taken range out of auto. When I reset to factory settings out of frustration the problem went away. I know most people here have way more sonar experience than me but I hope this helps you.
 Reply by: Kev-o      Posted: Jan. 23, 3:49:08 PM     Points: 81038
Getting a lot of great responses here! Iím pretty sure I fiddled with that +- button as well. Might try to reset the factory settings as well. Appreciate all the help. 🎣
 Reply by: Mark      Posted: Feb. 1, 11:07:39 AM     Points: 113
Kev-o, Just wondering if you ever got that sonar thing figured out, and if so what was the problem? Thanks
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: Feb. 1, 11:16:39 AM     Points: 9780
Adjustments may never show the area you are describing. Here's my visual representation of The Dead zone.
 Reply by: GingerLife      Posted: Feb. 1, 11:55:09 AM     Points: 568
Both my buddy and I had a garmin iceducer go bad this year after two years of use. We bought them around the same time too. It made us angry, but replacing our ducers fixed everything,
 Reply by: Kithme      Posted: Feb. 1, 12:12:40 PM     Points: 702
I too struggle when there's a steep slope.

Have you tried to compare with other sonar in the same hole? I switch to a Marcum from a Lowrance and it took me a while to understand what I was seeing in the Marcum. Patience will get you there.

(apologies in advance, had 10 minutes before the next meeting to update the figure.)
 Reply by: Budha      Posted: Feb. 1, 1:26:59 PM     Points: 172
Hi Kev-o. Like everyone else my first thought is the slope cone effect. Sounds like you were already aware of that and it sounds like you did not think that was the issue. Did the +/- setting suggestion fix the issue?
 Reply by: fishingmanlee      Posted: Feb. 1, 3:23:55 PM     Points: 213
The above diagram is not to scale and therefore impermissible.
 Reply by: Kev-o      Posted: Feb. 1, 6:52:22 PM     Points: 81038
Clever and informative illustrations guys lol! I took last weekend off of ice fishing since I was gone all weekend two weeks in a row. Headed to a Loveland area lake that I KNOW has a flat bottom to try and get a baseline. Pretty sure that you guys are correct. Did I try another sonar unit in the same hole as the other? Yes. Did I get the same results that day? Yes. One with an open water transducer and one with a new ice transducer. Will definitely let you guys know what I learned about it Saturday night. Once again I appreciate all the responses and look forward to sharing more info with all of you. 🎣👍
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: Feb. 4, 12:37:50 PM     Points: 9780
With my Helix 5 this week, I was able to fine tune the sonar to vaguely read the dead zone (below 25' in the illustration). The Dead Zone was yellowed out, but my 5" jig would show as a faint red line when I dropped below 25'.

On the small screen, it was difficult to pay attention to it, but it was possible. Biggest change was to switch to a 15 degree beam instead of the 15-21 CHIRP.

This is one reason I really favor sonar over flashers, the ability to fine tune the frequency to meet my needs!
 Reply by: Kev-o      Posted: Feb. 4, 5:15:33 PM     Points: 81038
What I learned today is exactly what I thought and has been explained very well from the responses. Definitely on a slope. Bottom today was very flat. Could see all the way to the bottom without any disruption. Would be nice to see more structure at the bottom of the lake but I donít think that it is possible. Appreciate all of your information as well as input and feedback once again.
Thank you all very much!🎣
 Reply by: not too old to fish      Posted: Feb. 4, 9:19:12 PM     Points: 8447
There is no left or right for signals on the screen, you should be able to see the reflection from anything in the sound cone at the appropriate depth. Brush, rocks, sticks, weeds and logs will all show up on screen at the appropriate depth but you can't tell how far apart the objects actually are from each other.

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