For a successful fishing trip, you need to be prepared with a stocked tackle box and plenty of time. You also need fish to catch. Many new fishermen think that they can find fish in any body of water. This, however, isn’t true. Fish tend to congregate in certain areas. If you can’t locate these areas, your fishing trip will become a frustrating bust. With certain basic knowledge about fish, one can find them quickly the old-fashioned way without using technology. On the other hand, fish-finding technology has come a long way and makes it easier than ever to find fish. Here are ways to find fish with and without electronics.

Fishing With Electronics

Fishing has become a highly sophisticated, technologically advanced endeavor. Various mapping, sonar and infrared technology can measure water temperature, depth and current speed. Fish finding technology helps anglers detect the specific size, movement and location of schools of fish. Numerous fish finding apps can be downloaded onto your smartphone and ready to use on the go.

Technology has indeed taken the guesswork out of fish finding, making anglers more successful. Fishing technology ranges from the simple to the highly sophisticated and complex, ranging from under $100 to many hundreds of dollars. Your budget, your fishing intent (recreational vs. commercial), the specific fish you’re going after and the fishing environment (lake vs river vs ocean) can have a bearing on what type of fish finding technology is right for you.

Some of the most common types of fish finding technology include:

Side Scan Imaging- This form of sonar allows fishermen in boats to get a good idea of the characteristics of the sea or lake floor. Sonar equipment attached to the front, back or bottom of a boat sends and receives sound waves that bounce off on the objects in the water below. The size, shape and texture of objects can be made known. Side scan technology can detect one’s boat location, rising, descending and flat terrain, the depth of the water, location and size of rocks and timber and most importantly, the location of fish schools and they size and type of fish underneath the boat. lake or sea bottom. Compare the screenshot and diagram to help visualize how Side Imaging works. We’ve included several call outs to explain what you’re seeing. Remember, Side Imaging is a history of what you’ve already passed by.

Infrared-Like the sonar locating technology of side scan imaging, infrared uses reflective signals from objects under the water to provide the fisherman information about the location, size and shape of the objects. However, infrared works with light waves instead of sound waves. With infrared fish finders, fishermen can get idea of the water depth, and terrain under the water. Schools of fish can be detected and quickly located.

GPS- Similar to mapping one’s route, fishermen can locate specific locations where they have had previous fishing success. Many fishing GPS systems update frequently for accuracy. Multiple waypoints can also be displayed. Some GPS systems, such as the Garmin echoMap utilizes sonar to help fishermen chart the best course to find the most fish. GPS like Google Maps can help fishermen discover new fishing spots thanks to the Google Earth view.

Fishing Without Electronics

What if you don’t have access to any fancy fish finding technology? Can you still have a successful fishing trip? In short yes.  Many fishermen of the past have done so. In fact, many fishing truists and fundamentalists believe a good fisherman will be able to quickly and easily know how to spot a fishing goldmine without any high-tech fish finding gadgets.

Whatever your reason is to finding fish without technology, here are some tips on how to find fish quickly and easily sans technology:

Look for sources of food. Like any living thing, fish need to eat to survive.  Weed beds, places with fallen timber, shallow waters where fish can easily catch insects on the surface, “edges” and “feeding lanes” of intersecting currents that flush prey downstream all are great places for fish to hide.

Look for where there is plenty of oxygen. Aside from food, fish need oxygen to breathe. Certain environments promote oxygenation while other locations diminish the oxygen of the water. Turbulent water such as waterfalls and riffles, and the presence of healthy, living, brightly-color vegetation are all indicators of highly oxygenated water. Avoid fishing in areas with decaying plant material, areas that are polluted and which have sewage in the water.

Pay attention to water temperature. Most fish don’t like water that is too hot or too cold. Each species of fish has a preferred water temperature. For instance, big mouth bass, sun fish and perch like water in the mid-70s while lake trout Coho salmon enjoy the chillier waters that are in the low 40s to low 50s.

Fish species have a 10-20-degree water temperature tolerance between the coldest temperature they can stand to the highest. Most of the common types of fish prefer water with a temperature ranging from 40 (the coldest) to 80 (the hottest). While fish can be present in water with a temperature on the extreme, the fish become “inactive” meaning they won’t bite.

Look for safe hiding places. Fish have many predators that can easily snatch them from the water. Because of this, fish tend to conceal themselves. Gaps in timber-covered water, lily pads, fallen trees, submerged logs and rocks, ledges, deep pools and edges around sudden drop-offs are great places where fishes tend to hide.

Pay attention to the current. Fish don’t like strong, fast-moving currents. Instead, many fish prefer moderate currents. Moderate currents can be found along the banks and just under the surface of the water. In streams, the ideal, moderate current is directly around rocks.

Whether or not you use electronics to find fish, you won’t be successful if you don’t have the proper equipment. At Kiehberg, we sell a variety of quality fishing gear, at comparable prices. If there is something missing from your tacklebox, contact us today or browse our fishing gear inventory.