Category Archives: Humminbird Settings

Down Images – Narrow or Wide Beam?

When you’re out on the water scanning with your down image you have the options of using the 455 kHz or 800 kHz setting on my Humminbird Onix. In the photos I’ll show you what you are missing if you are not using the correct setting. When you are in deep water you need different setting than when you are in shallow water. With the Humminbird Onix the 455 kHz setting is using two 86 kHz beams at once which covers 172 degrees. While the 800 kHz setting use two 55 degree beams that only cover 110 degrees total. So you can see that the narrower beam does not reach out as far as the wider 455 kHz setting.

With the 2D or sonar beam you have a choice of either the 20 degree or the 83 degree cone or a combination of both. You need to remember that with the 2D sonar cone set to 20 degrees you are only scanning 1/3 the depth of the water. In other words if you are in say 9 feet of water you are only looking at a 3 foot circle under your boat. With the 83 degree setting you are covering an equal area to your depth. If you are still in the 9 foot of water you are scanning a 9 foot circle under your boat. For the best scanning I’d suggest you a combination of both the 20 cone and the 83 degree cone.

Now let’s look at the photos a second. The photo above I have the setting set to 455 kHz with a wide beam selected. In this can I am in water that is less than 10 feet deep and you can see I can scan a very wide area out from my boat.

Now in this photo I have my unit set to 800 kHz with a beam wide setting which only covers 110 degrees out from both sides of the boat. I’m still in about 10 feet of water or less. As you can see you can’t see nearly as much detail as in the photo above set to 455 kHz.

Now let’s look at the down image scan while I’m scanning in water around 30 feet deep in the photo above. I have the unit set to 455 kHz and I’m covering 172 degrees under the boat. The fish by the way are stripe and shad. As you can see there are rocks close to the shore line.

Finally in the above photo I have the unit set to 800 kHz in 30 feet of water and scanning the exact same water and since I have a narrow 110 degree of coverage I can’t see the shoreline or the rocks near the shore. I can still see the stripe and the shad but in this case the 455  kHz gave me more detail than the 800 kHz setting.

Let’s wrap it up, the setting are really up to you and what depth water you are in. If you only have a Down Image unit the beams are different in that your choices are 455 kHz using a 75 degree cone angle and 800 kHz which only gives you a 45 degree cone angle which will not give you as much coverage as the side Image units. One recommendation I suggest is to set the Down Image to 800 kHz and the Side Image to 455 kHz while scanning so you don’t get the cross-talk if the transducer trying to pick them both up at once id you have them set to the same 455 or 800 kHz setting.

Hope this helps you better understand your unit better….

Tight lines….

Humminbird Down Image – Stumps, Piers and Bass

In this screen shot from my Humminbird Onix I did a Down Image of a pier along a deep cove. In the photo you can clearly see the pier post, a couple of stumps and bass suspended under the pier and  few bluegill hugging the bottom. When I scan using my Down Image I always use the 800 kHz settings to get a clearer detail image then I get with the 455 kHz setting.

Humminbird 455 kHz vs 800 kHz Settings

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.

Tight lines…..

Humminbird Auto Chart Pro Overlays

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.










(Figure 1)

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.

(Figure 2)

See the huge difference in knowing what you are casting to?










(Figure 3)

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.

I did a prior blog on the Software and how to do Recordings and converting them into a Side Image Mosaic.

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.







(Figure 4)

Scroll down to the bottom option and select Chart Options.







(Figure AC_3a)

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.







(Figure AC_5a)

Now from the Map Data menu screen select Map Overlay for the next options.







(Figure AC_6a)

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.







(Figure AC_7a)

From the Map Data menu screen this time select Depth so you can make a few option selections there.







(Figure AC_8a)

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.

Tight lines……

Find The Fish

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?

As you can see or I should say don’t see the fish in this shot from the Down Image with the 455 kHz narrow beam settings.

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.

Humminbird kHz Does it Matter?

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.

Tight lines……

Side Scanning Docks for Crappie

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.