How to Read a Humminbird Fish Finder

Kristian Ole



Hummingbird fish finders are a popular type of fish finder that helps anglers and other recreational boaters identify what is in the water underneath them. These fish finders show the bottom of the reservoir, river, or lake, as well as the structure, vegetation, and water creatures in the lake.

So you have a shiny brand new toy on your boat, and you are delighted to crank it up and try out your new fish-catching device! You turn it on, and all you see are wavy lines and dots scattered all over … and you say, “What? Where are the fish?”

Fish finders are also known as sounders– what they do is they shoot out acoustic waves into the water and measure their speed and strength when they return. They are a sonar tools specifically designed to find a school of fish. Newer fish finders have integrated GPS navigation, marine radar, and compasses. The readings appear as “echoes” on the screen. The thinking behind it is that the most and slowest echoes need to be at the bottom, and everything in between is either objects or fish. It’s that simple!

Fish finders are unbelievable gadgets– they have a bit of a learning curve. When you get the hang of reading your fish finder, you can do it half asleep!

Knowing How To Read a Humminbird Fish Finder

Press the “on” button to power up your device.

Have a look at the digital readings that appear on the screen. Depending on the style of the fish finder, these might be depth, water temperature level, and boat speed readings. Remember these readings are based upon the area of the transducer that sends out finder signals from the water to the fish finder.

When you study the bottom of the screen, specifically the line that crosses it. A thick, dark line represents a tough bottom, while a thin, light line recommends the bottom is soft.

Look above the line that represents the bottom. Lines or other items that extend up from the bottom likely are of hard structure, submerged wood, rocks, or water vegetation. Plentiful lines or things near each other suggest the density of the wood, rocks, greenery, and other objects.

In some designs, the icons represent fish. Note where these objects are in the water column, however, keep in mind that many fish finders can not decipher the difference between fish and other objects that might be in the water.

Recognizing fish size displayed on the sonar is very difficult since you can alter the size with sensitivity changes or depth range. Fish appear larger on a depth series of twenty feet than one hundred. The color of the fish arch identifies the size of a fish. For instance, if you have yellow, red, and blue palette colors, the more yellow you see, the larger the fish. The density of the fish arch likewise determines its size. So how long the fish arch is how long the fish is below the transducer.

Exactly How to Interpret a Fish Finder Display

Checking out Humminbird fish finders can be intimidating at first, but it is very important to learn how to operate them before you buy a sounder. If you wait until you’re on the water with your fish finder, you’ll quickly understand that you may have tossed your money in the water. Regardless of exactly how much the fish finder you purchase it, you will certainly not understand immediately where the fish are as soon as you turn the unit on.

Humminbird Fish finders are very helpful gadgets that aid fishermen, anglers, scuba divers, and many others who love to spend time in the water. Fish finders are coming to be increasingly well-loved. It’s a great idea to do some consumer research about sonar finders before you purchase and then buy a design that can satisfy your needs.

After you determine which fish finders of the many available you desire to buy comes the frequently hard and difficult procedure of setting up the fish finder. For you to capture any fish with a fish finder, you’ll need to understand the details presented on the display screen.

Some Popular Humminbird Fish Finders include:

  1. Humminbird 409820-1 Helix 7 Fishfinder
  2. Humminbird Piranha Max Fish Finder Dual Beam PLUS
  3. Humminbird ICE-55 Six Color Flasher
  4. Humminbird HELIX Series 5 Fish Finder
  5. Humminbird 410030-1 Helix 12 Chirp Sonar
  6. Humminbird ICE-35 Three Color Flasher
  7. Humminbird Helix 7 Inch Fish Finder
  8. Humminbird Helix Mega Fish Finder
  9. Humminbird ICE-45 Three Color Flasher
  10. Humminbird 409990-1 Helix 10 SI Sonar
  11. Humminbird Helix 5 Fish Finder Dual Beam PLUS

Temperature, Rate, and Depth of the Water Sensors

To read a fish finder depth reading on display, it’s crucial to recognize exactly how the depth reading on the device operates. Sonar waves are sent out from the transducer, or the lower part of the fish finder put in the water. They bounce off objects and then return to the transducer, and then the transducer examines the rate and range at which this wave returns.

Usually, you can read the water temperature level below the depth analysis. This is also beneficial for finding particular types of fish, as some choose warmer water and others choose to flourish in cooler temperatures. Using those newly acquired skills, you can then try to find a school of fish and observe the various temperatures that some kinds of aquatic creatures choose to live in.

Numerous Humminbird fish finders have a depth-sensing unit on the transducer, informing you exactly how deep the water depth below your boat is. Generally, on the leading left of the fish finder’s display, the deepness will typically be displayed. Typically read in meters rather than feet, the depth display must be relatively precise and clear, and the amount of precision will depend on your particular fish finder design.

Also, the Speed Sensor will provide a digital reading of your speed through the water. And in a second, the Down Imaging ultra-thin beam will scan the area up to four hundred feet to the left and right of your boat’s location – for total coverage of up to eight hundred feet. In addition, the Flashers also allow you to determine whether the bottom is hard or soft.

Information Display Sequence

A fish finder will almost always read from right to left – the reverse of exactly how you read a publication that’s composed in English. The most current results will be on the far right of the fish finder’s display, and the prior results will be to the left. This indicates that while you are still, you will get a reasonably stable image of the structure, vegetation, and fish.

If you’re moving, however, your fish finder will show you what is directly below the transducer at the right part of the screen and what your boat has already just passed on the left side. You will eventually get comfortable with the distance and general proportions from your vessel to the fish finder, but at this point, you should already be more familiar with your device. You can set a custom-made zoom on a specific area if you only wish to concentrate on what’s straight below you, or if you wish to look more carefully at one area.

The Depth Sounder will show fish, and other objects and structures, as groups of pixels between the surface and bottom. And of course, various other factors can affect the unit’s ability to show fish. The Sensitivity or Gain of the unit must be set high enough that it will detect the return signal of a fish. Try turning the Sensitivity/Gain on the display menu to a higher setting if needed.

As soon as you find the best fish finder from among the collection of sonar devices, you will find that you have reached a significant turning point in your advancement as a fisherman. These electronic devices are complex yet terrific devices. We hope this write-up was valuable to you and showed you how to start to use a Humminbird fish finder. If you ever have an issue with your unit, please contact the official website for returns.


How do you read a Humminbird fish finder screen?

To read a Humminbird fish finder screen, look for the digital display of water depth, temperature, and fish presence. The display may also show a graph of the water column with color-coded signals indicating the intensity of fish returns.

How do you read a Humminbird Side Imaging?

To read a Humminbird Side Imaging, look for the digital display of underwater images on the screen. The display will show a detailed, panoramic view of the water column, which can help you locate fish, structure, and other underwater features.

How do you identify fish on a Humminbird fish finder?

To identify fish on a Humminbird fish finder, look for color-coded signals on the display that correspond to the intensity of the fish return. Typically, stronger signals indicate larger fish or schools of fish, while weaker signals may indicate smaller fish or debris in the water. Additionally, pay attention to the fish arch’s size and shape, which can help you distinguish between different types of fish.


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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