About a month ago I got the HDS-7 Gen-2 with Structure Scan and I know that a lot of guys on here are very knowledgeable about these units. I took it offshore tuna fishing the day after it was installed and fished the bay with it 4 days ago. When I was fishing in the bay there was a lot of clutter and ect. on the regular sonar. Does anyone have any tips on how to adjust the unit easily for the different kinds of fishing I do? I have not messed around with the Structure Scan a lot yet. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks...
lots of good and bad HDS Instructional videos on you tube. You can lower the sensitivity settings to reduce surface clutter, or just try lower rpms on the engine and see if that helps. If you still have unacceptable surface clutter you may want to check how the tranducer is mounted.
Depending on what clutter you are seeing, it could be a sensitivity issue. If you reduce it, you also reduce the strength of the fish return. What I just find out that helps a great deal is that I switched the sonar background color to blue. That way any "clutter' blends in a you are only left with nice red arches.
There is also a "noise reduction" setting that helps get out true interference from other sources such as engines. You'll have to go through the manual for the easiest way to find the menus.
If it's interference from bubbles, you can trying lower the transducer location to get it deeper into the water.
"The Chesapeake does not impress those who know it best as the grandest or most of anything. For all its size and gross statistics, it is an intimate place where land and water intertwine in infinite varities of mood and pattern."
William W. Warner "Beautiful Swimmers"
The interference usually isn't. The stuff on the surface is often turbulence, but what you're seeing though the water is returns from minute suspended particles. These units are a lot more sensitive than what we're used to. You'll probably also notice that you see pycnoclines (temperate layers as a result of salinity stratification) that are very useful. What happens is more of those little pieces of whatever float on top or just below the layers and the units are sensitive enough to show a return that looks like a horizontal line across the screen. In some places, like around the mouths of rivers, you might see three or four layers. The fish will relate to a layer they find most comfortable. Figure out which one it is, then look for a ledge that hits that depth well. This year, with all the suspended fish around, it's especially helpful to see those layers. I keep my HDS unit on auto sensitivity, but then dial it down to minus 5 or so. Lately, I've been going even lower, down to minus 10 even and still get good fish returns and hints of the thermal layers. Otherwise, I set it up for the right transducer and shallow water fishing, and use the settings right out of the box. No need to over-think it, it'll do the job if you don't screw it up.
I just got my HDS-5 Gen2 a month ago or so and have had to play a lot with the sensitivity & noise reduction settings. If you see a lot of clutter throughout the column and think it's engine/turbulence, try shutting off engine and drifting to see if it goes away. I've seen the clutter remain a lot even with engine off, so I've had to set sensitivity down to -11% (with Auto mode on). I recently also bumped up noise reduction from low to medium, which seems to help. At times I can set sensitivity higher towards the -4% level (recommended by some). This may be when I'm in deeper water but can't confirm that yet. I've been using blue background (Palette 10) but go back to white sometimes. Please take my suggestions with a grain of salt since I'm no expert and am still tinkering with it.
I also just got the same unit.. I am still testing it out but went with everyones recommindation first. Just doing some minior tweeks like Jack. I plan on heading out after lunch to play some more.. :-)
How did it do offshore? I only have the SS as I used my furuno fishfinder and have found the SS worthless in the deep. Matter of fact I pretty much don't even use my HDS offshore other than as a backup GPS...sad to say.