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Humminbird Units: Find Fish Quickly

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 6/25/2011

Humminbird offers different types of fishfinders, but they all work similarly. The goal of these units is to find fish as quickly as possible. Learn how to setup and use your unit. Also, learn about the different symbols and menu functions.

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    A Humminbird fishfinder mounts directly to your boat, and it helps you see the lay of the land under the water. Its main purpose, however, is to help fisherman find fish. Before you can do that, however, you must set the fishfinder and know how to use it.

    All of the fishfinders offered by Humminbird have both a transducer and a control head. The transducer collects electrical energy and transforms that energy into sound waves. These sound waves are displayed on the control head. You can place the transducer either directly to the internal section of a fiberglass hull boat or on the transom. If you have another type of boat like a boat with a metal or wood hull, you may need a different type of transducer.

    The control head is actually the display that shows the sound waves. It also has all of the controls for the device. You should mount the control head where you can see it and easily access the controls.

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    Installing the Fishfinder

    When you have selected a place to mount your fishfinder, you need to drill the mounting holes. To do this, follow the below steps:

    1. Place and hold the mounting template in the area where you want to install the transducer. Humminbird Unit 
    2. Mark the holes on the transom.
    3. Only use a 5/32 inch drill bit. Drill both holes.
    4. Put the transducer together, and add it to the mounting bracket.
    5. Add silicone sealant to the mounting holes for additional support.
    6. Screw transducer in place.
    7. Adjust the transducer position as necessary.

    Then, you need to run the transducer to the control head. You can usually do this by placing the cable inside either the conduit or channel that holds your other wires. If your cable is too short, contact Humminbird for an extension cable.

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    Simulator Mode

    Once your fishfinder is installed, go out into the water, and see if the fishfinder is working. While you can do this with a trailered boat, it’s better to be on the water. If the device is working, you can now use the fishfinder simulator to learn how to use the unit. The simulator allows you to run commands like you are actually operating the fishfinder.

    There are two ways to access the simulator. You can either hold down the Power button until it starts chirping. This usually takes about three seconds. If the unit is already on, select the Simulator option from the main menu. When you are ready to exit the simulator mode, simply turn the unit off.

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    While each unit is different, generally all Humminbird units have the following items on the screen:

    • Speed: This shows you the actual speed of the boat. You usually need the Humminbird Temp/Speed accessory to see this information.
    • Temperature: The temperature of the water surface.
    • Depth: This displays the current water depth. Certain units have an alarm that goes off if the water is getting too shallow.
    • Depth Range: Your unit may have different depth ranges with zero being the surface of the water. The water surface or zero line is represented by a horizontal line at the top of the screen.
    • Bottom: One of the main features of these fishfinders is that you can see the composition of the water bottom. Depending on your unit, this may include distinguishing from hard bottom and rocky bottom. A hard and smooth bottom is usually represented by a dense, narrow line. The rocky bottom usually has small bumps that vary in density. If the bottom is sand or mud the line will look very thick.
    • Fish ID: Again, the main purpose of a fishfinder is to find fish. It’s important for you to quickly be able to see individual or schools of fishes. If the fishfinder determines that a sonar return matches a fish, you’ll see a fish symbol on your screen. Small schools of fish are normally represented by small dots.

    While these are the major things represented on the control board, you unit may have additional items represented, including surface Unit Display clutter, structure, second returns and thermoclines.

    You also have different menu functions, which allow you do to things like adjust the sensitivity of the sonar. You can change the layout of the menu. Most Humminbird fishfinder units have a light, which controls the backlight display.

    For fisherman, the most important menu function is the Fish Alarm. You can set this function to go off when the fishfinder locates fish in the water. You can select from three different fish sizes. For example, if you only want the alarm to go off when there’s large fish in the area, select the “Large Fish Only" option. All you have to do is drop your line in the water.

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