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  1. #1
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    Does depth finders have an effect on fish hitting your bait?

    Talking with a friend last night about depth finders and weather they have an effect on fish hitting your bait. He said that in a lot of tournaments some are turning off the electronics after they have located a spot to fish, there thinking is the fish can detect the sound that the sonar puts out in the water.
    I think this is going to be a yes and no topic, but I am interested in what others think about this, and your reasoning for your decision. Tight Lines.

  2. #2
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    Years ago I had a striper guide tell me the very same thing.
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  3. #3
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    I'm in the camp of no it doesn't, on its own. Reason I say that is experience of catching fish in shallow water, with one or two depth finders running (the 2d sonar type) ... and more recently with DI, SI, and the latest "forward looking" sonars blasting out sonar pings from 50kHz to over 1000kHz.

    That said, there "might be" some instances where the sonar pings have some "added" negative influence on the fish ... I don't know. Can they sense (hear) the sonar pings ?? ... yes. But, it likely gets blended in with all the other noises/vibrations going on down there, and since it doesn't represent a known threat ... it's likely ignored, or at least tolerated.
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  4. #4
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    Every minute is a new minute when it comes to fishing. I certainly think there are times it matters. When is hard to say. I certainly know for a fact there are times it doesn't matter. There are some places where slapping a paddle on the water or smacking the side of the boat simulates a hatchery feeding call and draws fish in. I have no scientific facts, but I have had times that playing certain types of music seemed to have generated strikes. When a soft song came on, nothing. AC\DC? rods went down. I had friends on the boat that noted it and we adjusted the playlist accordingly! Ha! Was it really a factor? I can't say for sure but playing AC\DC sure didn't hurt and we had a rockin' good time. Could be the next day they were more in the mood for some Elvis, or moody blues, or god forbid Country?

    I'll say that I don't think there will ever be a time where I turn my electronics off. I gain far too much information from them and if I need to adjust, I'd rather not do it blindly. Granted, I am rarely a guy that casts the banks and that would certainly be a factor as well.
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  5. #5
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    I've never worried much with it bass fishing or pulling bait for stripers or fishing jigs for crappie for that matter. I figure my trolling motor and me banging around in the boat put off more sound than my electronics will BUT I have always shut it off if I am night fishing under lights for crappie or walleye. Not sure why but just always have. After I get set up in the right depth and get some shad up on the screen I shut it down. Don't know if there is any sound reasoning for that or not its just what I do.
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  6. #6
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    Everyone has their own thing... LOL, Again, I'd definitely leave mine on while night fishing under lights. What if the bait moves up or down and I need to adjust? Presence of predator fish WILL affect the bait much more than a ping where they are already under it. Look at it this way... If the ping didn't affect the bait which is already under the ping and your light, I certainly don't think it's going to matter to the predatory fish. Think of all the noise the bait have already made that drew the fish in to begin with...

    The times I think a ping would matter... Shallow when a fish might feel trapped and they are not in an aggressive mood. Probably a calm day when there is little noise in the water. Probably not much as far as bait or other vibrations in the water. Those are places I tend to want to avoid anyway.

    It hasn't happened to me but I know first hand.... A summer day, a buddy puts some baits over the side of the boat. Everyone is swimming, splashing, jumping in the water... Bang! A Striper hits one of the baits. The guy had to get out of the water to get the rod.. An aggressive fish that was ready to feed. I don't think a sonar ping would have mattered. My guess is that was on as well.

    I've had times (Many) where stripers wouldn't touch down rods (lines right over the side of the boat) but were killing baits on planer boards or floats away from the boat. Conventional wisdom says they were boat shy. Maybe sonar shy? I don't know.. That's why I try to cover as many bases as I can.

    Every day is a new day when fishing. To Ping or not to ping? It's not even a question for me. I'm pinging!!
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the reply.

    Gentlemen, Thanks for your reply. I don't know if there is a positive way to determine if this really affects the fish bite. I remember a trip to Lake Barkley when we caught over 50 bass in a small creek, my sonar was on the whole time, that didn't seem to have an effect on them then and the next morning in a different area fishing buck brush with a Ricco top water bait we had caught about 50 bass then and the sonar was on then.
    I guess fish are similar to us, if you dine out in a restaurant you still eat even with all the noise, then there are times you would like to have a quiet meal at home. Maybe mood is a determine factor along with water conditions and time of year. I'm 72 yrs old and have been fishing since I was 4 when my father handed me a cane pole and I caught my first fish ( bluegill ) and I learn something new each time out. I don't think we ever stop learning. Thanks for your reply's. Tight Lines
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brushawg View Post
    Gentlemen, Thanks for your reply. I don't know if there is a positive way to determine if this really affects the fish bite. I remember a trip to Lake Barkley when we caught over 50 bass in a small creek, my sonar was on the whole time, that didn't seem to have an effect on them then and the next morning in a different area fishing buck brush with a Ricco top water bait we had caught about 50 bass then and the sonar was on then.
    I guess fish are similar to us, if you dine out in a restaurant you still eat even with all the noise, then there are times you would like to have a quiet meal at home. Maybe mood is a determine factor along with water conditions and time of year. I'm 72 yrs old and have been fishing since I was 4 when my father handed me a cane pole and I caught my first fish ( bluegill ) and I learn something new each time out. I don't think we ever stop learning. Thanks for your reply's. Tight Lines
    Sir if your 72 yrs young and still fishing your doing something right! keep it up!!
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  9. #9
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    Wormin

    Thanks for the complement. At 72 I do have a lot of health issues and a sever back problem. The best therapy that works for me is to go fishing. It gets me out of the house and I focus more on fishing than my problems. I just can't get out in the real cold weather like I did some years back ( 40 degrees is my cut off ). I spend the winter months taking care of my boat and getting my tackle in order. I also have some molds and pour my bass sinkers and 1/4 & 1/8 oz. jigs. Keep the mind and body as active as you can, don't become sedentary. Tight Lines & Bass Wishes.
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  10. #10
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    let's put it to the test

    I think as units have gotten more powerful to provide higher quality images, they may likely have a negative effect on fishing. Anybody got a kid that needs a science fair project? Get a tank with some minnows and set your transducer in the water and turn it on. Drop in some fish food and see how they eat. Next week leave the transducer in but not powered on and feed them again. Likely to see a difference.
    RJP
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  11. #11
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    I turn mine off in water less than 6 feet when trolling.

    I used to think it had an effect until I started seeing fish coming up to bait on the live scope. But over my 60+ years fishing I have seen fish come up to my jigging spoon in deep water. So who knows????

  12. #12
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    Old thread but I have never noticed a difference. I primarily fish shallow and rarely turn them off. Sometimes I won’t turn them on though.

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