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Thread: Fish Finders for Halibut

  1. #1
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    Default Fish Finders for Halibut

    What kind of fish finder do you all think is best for finding halibut? Obviously, knowing bottom type is important but is it better to use charts to find bottom type or a fish finder? What kind of fish finder is better for this? I had a cheep Garmin fish finder that just died. It was the bare bones type. Now it's time to get a new one. At first I picked this Lowrance one with basic gps/chart system which I thought would be good for marking spots as well as black and white sonar.

    http://www.basspro.com/Lowrance-Mark...5011714/247264

    Is it better to go for color? Can you tell bottom type differences (sand/gravel/mud) better with different fish finders? I want to stay in the lower price range for budget reasons. I'm sure the 800$ ones are better but it's just not realistic for me. Basically in the 200-300$ range are you better with one with color sonar or small chart plotting? Any tips would be appreciated. Unfortunately so many of the reviews on web are from down south where people are fishing in lakes that are 15' deep.

  2. #2

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    I'm using a Lowrance Elite 5, but I've used other color finders recently and lots of B/W over the years. The necessary info for interpreting bottom type is there on most of them, but frankly easier to see on the color machine. B/W would be fine, provided you could set the range so the bottom trace was a quarter to a third up from the bottom of the screen so you could see clearly what's going on below it. That's where the necessary info resides. If it's a machine that keeps your bottom trace pressed right down against the bottom of the screen all the time, take a pass.

    Speaking of spotting the halibut themselves however, I've had some interesting experiences. A number of times while mooching or jigging close to bottom for salmon, I'll see this big old green blob raise up off the bottom, and BOOM! One of the rods dives with a halibut. They may not have a swim bladder to register, but that big flat surface sure returns a signal once it's off bottom.

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    I agree with BrownBear - I have used just about all types of sounders over the years and IMO the use of color makes figuring out the type of substrate a lot easier. A "softer" bottom usually reflects a different color than a hard, rocky one. On my current Furuno sounder I have the "Gain" set so hard bottom is a deep red and sand/gravel a much lighter shade of yellow-red. If you know a spot that changes from hard to soft and vice-versa I would take your new machine to that spot and see how the image changes as you go from one bottom type to the other. If you are jigging with braided line you can easily tell if you are on hard bottom or soft by how the jig feels impacting the bottom. Keep this in mind when you are watching the bottom image on the sounder Good luck!

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    I agree 100 % with JKD and Brownbear. Color is the best way to go. Your not going to see too many "butts" on the screen unless like Brownbear stated, you get them to raise up a little bit off the bottom so your sonar can distinguish them. However, what you look for is structure, and when you see a ball of bait fish (usually a big yellow or reddish yellow glob on the screen) setting in behind some structure, be it a pinicle, or drop off or bump, the odds of finding a halibut or two under neath that ball of bait fish is pretty good.

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    Thanks so much for the feed back. I definitely am going to look at color ones now. Does anyone find a particular brand better than another?

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    Look for the rockpiles and pinnacles. You won't always find large numbers of Halibut but the larger ones always seem to hang around that type of structure.

    Anchor up, throw out some baits and be patient...
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    I just bought the Lowrance HDS with the new LSS 2 structure scan ,Can not wait to give that thing a try
    With detail like this ,I might find something LOL!!!

    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

  8. #8

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    Furuno with bottom lock. You can see them, most of the time. The solid red lines = halibut.

  9. #9
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Furuno with bottom lock. You can see them, most of the time. The solid red lines = halibut.
    I remember you posted this last year. We tried it with our furuno unit and it sure seems to pick it up. You can see the jig bouncing and the red vertical bars and then WHAM! Flat fish! Thanks for the tip.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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