Having a 10″ or greater size Chartplotter, Sonar, Down Imaging & Side Imaging combo whether it’s a Humminbird, Garmin or a Lowrance will be of extreme help as you can split your screen four ways:

  • CHARTPLOTTER – keeps you on course by being able to see water depths, follow contour lines, locate ditches and other lake bottom features. No matter which unit you have, apples or oranges, be sure you add the external antenna. Either a Lowrance Point One or a Humminbird AS GPR. This will ensure that you are where you think you are. It also makes it easier to stay on specific structure, etc.
  • SONAR – identifies underwater structure and fish and provides depth information.
  • DOWN IMAGING / DOWNSCAN – further identifies what is seen on Sonar and be able to tell the difference between trees and stacked up fish. It focuses on structure and fish.
  • SIDE IMAGING / SIDE SCAN – gives you a slice of what is on your left, right or both sides of the boat from 5′ to 270′ each side. It also provides details beyond what the sonar or down imaging can provide. You may be going in a direction and the Stripers may be on either side of you but you won’t see them without the side imaging.

Having the tracking map allows you to stay on course while your Sonar points out your targets and with the Down Imaging further identifying fish as opposed to trees or brush piles.



SONAR INTERPRETATIONSCone diameter at bottom is 1/3 of depth to bottom. If distance to bottom is 21′ then the cone diameter is 7′ or 3 1/2′ from the center of the cone to the edges.






Provided by John McCalpin


Other electronics could be a Hydrowave Fish Feeding Stimulator which sends out sounds underwater that mimic bait fish thrashing either in a passive or aggressive mode.


Remember the Flasher? All of our units still have them. When you are Downlining marking several fish & you decide to Spot Lock or Anchor your trolling motor, turning on your Flasher will give you a 360° view under your boat and while sitting still in the water you will see fish under the boat as they move as opposed to sonar or down imaging which only shows the movement from right to left as a snapshot. It is possible that when the fish move away it is noticed on the flasher but not on sonar or down imaging until the screen refreshes.