Yes. You learn to spot them very quickly. For me, on the start of a session on the Trent, for barbel, I will perhaps cast it out literally 2 or 3 times and let it float downstream. I'm not looking for fish - in fact most people I know who own one turn that ability off (I have no idea how effective the actual fish finder is - every now and again you see a mid-water 'bounce' which I assume is a shoal of roach or something) - I'm just doing a quick general scan of the swim. How deep is it, is there an obvious drop off etc. Reel in from once straight in front of me, and once down stream and I have a pretty good vague sketch of where it starts to shallow up. When I work full time and get out fishing perhaps every other week on average, this massively speeds up my ability to get fishing - it works for me.
Knowing the particular lake that came from, most likely yes. Essentially, it's stuff that gives almost a 'half signal' back, so could be very light weed, silt, chod etc. There are some silty patches and some much clearer bits, and you can see that to the left there is deeper stuff, then some weed, then clearer before the bigger 'anomaly'.
Thanks Silverfisher and Yuccaman. I’ve looked at these because I generally fish gravel pits and they are notorious for dramatic depth changes and,because of gin clear water, submerged weed. Just when you think you know what’s happening underwater weed can appear and throw a spanner in the works. Nice to know it can spot both
The way these type of things work reflects the make up of the bottom Of the water column. The harder the bottom (as in gravel etc) the thinner the line that the screen will display. A silty bottom will show as a thicker line and a weedy bottom a even less distinct ‘layer’.
a guy turned up at my lake recently and was testing a castable depth sounder in preparation for a trip to fish abroad. His remote screen was just a mess of electronic noise and was incapable of showing any detail of what was going on underwater. He had no instructions and no idea what to do; I had a play and soon worked out how to reduce the sensitivity and suddenly things became clearer. Within a few minutes he was able to distinguish between clean and weedy bottom. We then checked what the machine was suggesting by going out in a boat and Looking over the side at the very same features that the sounder was recording. It was reasonably accurate, whilst having a bit of time lag.
ive used echo sounders on big Stillwater for decades (where they and boats are allowed) - they are invaluable in speeding up the time taken to map bottom contours. My mates also use the castable ones for basic depth info on new river stretches that we are thinking of fishing. Indeed a pal was prospecting 2 newThames stretches this week......
I really can't see what the fuss is about. He was only familiarising himself with the contours of his swim, he needed skill to know where to put his bait and then hook and land the fish. All he was using was a very advanced pair of Polaroids.