Here are two more screen shoots that i did from a recording from my Humminbird Onix 10 SI Cross Touch unit. As you can see from the first screen shot there is a school of bait fish and to the right there is a small top or stump. Can you spot the top and the possible fish in that area?
Humminbird unit down image set to 455 kHz settings.
Down image set to 800 kHz setting.
Now let’s look at another screen shoot from the same area but this time I have the 800 kHz settings instead of the 455 kHz. Can you see the treetop and or stumps from the first screenshot? As you can see there is a huge difference when you are looking for structure and fish while scanning with your down image unit.
If you own a Humminbird unit and their Auto Chart Pro software then you will be able to see what you’re fishing as you are on the water from your waypoints. Not only will you be able to see the contour lines but also what is on the bottom of the lake ahead of you, behind you and to the right and the left of you as you’re on the water fishing. Mark a waypoint and pull up onto it and start making your cast thinking you hit might that stump, brush pile or rock pile? With the Auto Chart Pro software you will be able to know what it is that you are casting to. If you have your units hooked to a network the Overlays will show up on the other unit even if you don’t have a Zero Line card in that unit. I have mine in the console unit and it shows on my bow unit as I’m fishing my waypoints.
On a standard GPS screen you only see the contour lines and your waypoint icon. (The red lines are my track).
Now take a look at that same GPS screen with the Auto Chart Pro software with the Side Image Mosaic recording overlay. Make sure you have your Auto Chart Pro Zero Lines Card in the second SD card slot.
See the huge difference in knowing what you are casting to?
See the huge rock that you can clearly see? You can now see where the target is at know exactly where to make your cast.
Okay now that we have the converted maps and recording on your Auto Chart Zero Lines Card here are the settings you will need to make to get them on the screen. These Menu settings are on my Onix 10 SI Cross Touch. Select the GPS screen on the unit and select the Menu button on the unit to bring up the menu options for the GPS screen.
Scroll down to the bottom option and select Chart Options.
After selecting Chart Options now Select Map Data. As you can see I have Global turned OFF for these settings.
(Figure AC_9a) (Figure AC_4a)
The first thing we need to do is to select Satellite–Land from the Base Layer option menus screen. This let’s you see both the contour lines and the satellite image of the land around the lake. Press Exit once to go back to the prior screen.
Now from the Map Data menu screen select Map Overlay for the next options.
Make sure that Overlays is turned ON and I like mine set at 90%. Also select SI Mosaic option as well. Press the Exit button once to go back to the prior screen.
From the Map Data menu screen this time select Depth so you can make a few option selections there.
Make sure to select Depth Colors is ON I use 5 colors. Make sure Depth Highlight is ON, I set the mine to 1 foot. The last thing is to set your Highlight Range. I use 5 feet for mine. That’s it now exit ll the way out to the GPS map screen again.
Hope this help you more out of your Humminbird units.
Here is a Side Scan shot from my Humminbird Onix Touch SI 10″ of an old sunken boat I found.
Let’s take a look at this shot of an old sunken boat I found with my Humminbird Onix. I have the kHz setting set to 455kHz narrow beam on Down Image. Do you see the fish?
Here the the settings on the Down Image is set to 800 kHZ on narrow beam. See the fish?
As you can see the fish are very easy to spot with these settings.
If you own a Humminbird depth finder there are settings that allow you to change the kHz setting for your unit. So you may think does it really matter if I change these? I’m not going to get into the technical aspects of the inter workings of the setting I’m only going to show you three photos of why it matters when you are looking for fish. One thing is that these shots are from recordings taken with my Humminbird Onix 10 Touch SI and Humminbirds AutoChart Pro software. One thing to note is that the water depth under the boat is about 8 feet deep.
Here is a traditional shot of a tree and an old boat. The boat is to the extreme left and the tree is in the center of the shot. As you can see from the dark red colors this means it is a hard solid object. The setting is set to 200 kHz. From this shot you really can’t tell what the object is. If you can see at the very top of tall three shots this is very heavy current from water being released from the spillways at Pickwick Dam. They were actually spilling about 90,000 cfs. There are a few small fish that can be seen in this shot.
Here in the next shot I have the unit set to 455 kHz. With this setting the beam is set to wide and you can see farther out from what it straight under the boat. Again you can see the turbulence created from the current. Now you can see rocks and boulders laying on the bottom and a better view of the fish. The fish as you can tell are suspended and not on the bottom. There are a few very near the bottom and I think these are drum as I did catch a couple of them on a hair jig. The tree and the boat you can barely see them but you can make them out.
Now in the final shot I set the unit to 800 kHz for the down image settings. See how much clearer the old boat and the tree under the boat. Since the 800 kHz beam is much narrower you are able to see much more detail not only can you see the tree but the limbs on the tree. So all three settings have their place while you are fishing. To get the most out of your unit you have to play with the settings on your unit whether its an Onix or a core unit such as an old 597.
I hope this explains a little more about your unit and the settings and what it is capable of doing for you. I’ll post a few more shots as I find the time to get out on the water.
I recently had a chance to hit the lake for a day of crappie fishing. From reports from friends and others I had heard that the Dock Shooting bite was on for the crappie. A co-worker of mine Phil Lowry and I headed to the lake and launched my Ranger, powered on the Humminbird Onix and headed for the area of the lake we wanted to fish. I started on a point and turned my unit to side scan at 100′ out each side as I was wanting to convert the recording data into an AutoChart Pro map to be used in my Humminbird units. I had the chart speed set to 5 and was idling my boat at about 3.5 mph or so. Here is a link to a short video I did off the recording sorry for the shaking video as I was trying to hold my smartphone as I was viewing the recording. Side Scanning Docks for Crappie. Below is a photo of a screen shot from the recording. We shot this dock and caught about 20 crappie from this dock.
Below is a huge top placed in the lake by another crappie fisherman. We only caught about 6 crappie from this top.
Below is a photo of the largest crappie I caught that day, I’d say a little over two pounds.
In this blog I’ll show you what you need to create your own high detail lake charts for lakes that have no charts available for them. Here in North Alabama we have four lakes the BDA lakes created by T.V.A. as part of the flood control of Pickwick Lake. These are smaller lakes with Cedar Creek being the largest of the four which includes, Upper Bear, Little Bear and Bear Creek. In this example I’ll be showing you what I’ve already mapped on a part of Little Bear.
First you will need a few things to get you started, first a Humminbird Sonar unit that is capiable of saving sonar recordings. Next a blank SD card for the recordings, a laptop or desktop computer for converting the records and finally the software to do the converting. As for the Humminbird units I suggest that you use one of their side image units, Helix 5 would do okay for this but the larger the screens like a 1100 series or in my case the Onix 10 will give you a much better image and detail after the charts are created. As for the software you will need Humminbirds AutoChart Pro to convert the records and a Zero Lines card if you have more than one Humminbird unit to use the charts in them.
Once you have your recording you load up the AutoChart Pro software and create your charts. In the image below I have already converted the recording to part of one of the lake arms. In this case I just created the contour lines showing the depths in one foot increments. The first image is the lake arm without any detail or what you would see if you turned on your Humminbird unit and were fishing this are.
As you see there is not detail at all only showing a rough shoreline, so you have no idea what is below the boat as far as structure, man-made cover or the depth unless you looked at your sonar for the depth.
Now look at the detail you get once you have converted the recording in the software to the chart. If you will notice the tan area in the lake arm are areas where I have not saved a recording yet. I’ll fill in those spots the few trips to the lake.
Now in the above image I’ve taken my side image recording and over-layed them into the chart so now I know what is exactly in the lake arm. Do you see the hard bottom ares (white spots), rock piles, bottom depth changes and even a treetop placed by another angler on the lake floor? You think this will help you in locating and catching fish?
And finally I’ve put the contour lines over the side image recordings and now have a lot more information to help me locate and catch fish. I can change the transparency so the contour lines are barely visible and know exactly where to make my cast onto that rock pile, tree-top etc.
Hope this lets you know what is available out there to be used in conjunction with your Humminbird units.
Tight Lines…. until next blog…
Here are a couple of images that were from a Tennessee River lake that were sent to me by a buddy of mine. These were recorded from his old Humminbird 997 unit but recorded and viewed in DeepView.
In this image you can clearly see the old creek channel and the debris that was washed down the creek channel before the lake was impounded. The old bridge is still there and is clearly seen in this image.
In this image you can clearly see an old set of train tracks left in the lake.
When I get a change I’ll take a recording of these same objects with my Humminbird Onix 10 SI and compare the difference in the images.
I was doing a little side scanning with my Humminbird Onix Touch 10 today and ran across this interesting shot. At first glance it looks like shell-cracker beds that I have seen in the past while looking for bream beds. But this is in November and not near a full moon so I knew these were not bream beds. What I finally determined they were were holes being dug by water turtles as there were a lot of them in the immediate area and I notice some of them coming up with mud on their shells. I’m not sure why they were digging holes in the mud (eating something on the bottom, digging holes for hibernation, etc.) but I thought it was interesting enough to do a screen shot.