Got a chance to use my new Lowrance Combo unit with structure scan recently. There were loads of birds, bait and fish all week, and I really did not need structure scan or even a depth finder but wanted to try it out. I just got the new unit installed before leaving for eight days of fishing up north. Did not have time to study the unit ahead of time. It took about a day and a half to learn to use all the pertinent features of the chart plotter and regular depth finder. I really like some of the new features and the screen is very sharp and bright. It is a significant improvement over my 104c.
With loads of fish and bait on top and under the surface, I fired up the structure scan to see what it looked like with obvious targets all around the boat. Not sure yet whether it is showing the bait or the fish or both. It is not really what I expected and I will need much more experience with the side scanning and bottom scanning feature.
Here are some screen shots when we were in lots of bait and fish. Can those with experience with this unit help explain the marks on the side scan pics? Does it look like yours? Does it appear that the transducer is mounted and working properly. I have no idea what the picture is supposed to look like. Any info or discussion appreciated.
Everything looks good to me Bill. Was it a little bumpy out when you took these pictures? You were on a big school of fish!
Yes we were--every day.
The wind blew every day but it was not severe and we lost no time. The day the screen shots were taken was this past Tuesday and it was the calmest day with about two footers in the ocean. Can you tell the difference between the bait and fish? The bait was anchovies from 3/4 inch to 2 inches. Are those marks on the side scan bait or stripers?
Very nice. I'm interested in other opinions, but I think you are scanning too wide an area to see bait that small. You're looking at a 200' range so they're going to be tiny specks. All the visible marks look like fish to me. Agree that there is a lot of fish in that school. That's something we never see in the Bay, fish from top to bottom in 60'. I think there is bait visible on your sonar though, the smaller dots between the fish marks. In the last picture I think you were moving a little faster. I sometimes switch over to downscan to identify the size and structure of the bait schools. Here's a downscan shot of a school of stripers ambushing a pod of peanut bunker with a much tighter range.
Those are mostly fish and a lot of them. In 60 ft you can see the shadows cast on the bottom with 120ft range. Shawn's image is a good one. Use your down scan to get a more precise look at what your graph shows. If you take all the fish off that meter except for an area about the size of your thumb, that's what we had tonight in the bay and we were ecstatic with that!
Thanks guys. That is helpful. I am sure it will get to be second nature after a while. There were so many fish I did not need any meter but turned on structure scan to see what they would look like. I thought too that the marks were fish. The bait was tiny to the eye and I did not think the bait would show that big on the meter. I am sure there were some fish brushing their backs against the transducer because they bumped into the boat at times.
Shawn, do you have any side scan screen shots with fish on them?
I agree, you were seeing fish on the side scan. I use my side scan and down scan everytime I am on the water. The down scan can pick up fish in rip up at CCNPP if it is dialed in properly. makes fishing that area extremely easy.
Capt. Kyle Johnson "Doctors' Orders", Solomons Is. MD
Come on Friday I hope it looks like that next week.
With all the vibrant colors the screen is capable of producing, I am wondering why Lowrance chose mud brown for structure scan. It looks like a 1950's X-ray.
You can change the colors, there are several options. I just think the brown option pics up definition better but it's personal taste I guess.