The new technology that the latest fish finders use is incredible. For commercial vessels, whether big or small, there are fishfinders that will make the job easier.
Simrad 9” and 16” fishfinder
These units from Simrad have the very latest in all technology for commercial fishing vessels. Specifically created with CHIRP technology that gives precise echo detail, these units are seriously good at high resolution images of what lies beneath. The CHIRP technology uses a number of different frequency sonar pulses to give high resolution images from all depth ranges. The vertical heave compensation eliminates the effects of wave action in rough seas, improving accuracy of bottom tracking.
The software is also very clever, allowing you to colour mark fish. You can target specific fish- either fish that are on the bottom or a target strength. This software highlights them in a contrasting colour to make it super easy to get the relevant information you need. You can also remove specific target colour strengths, to filter out unwanted sonar returns like thermoclines or small fish.
There are minute markers, great for towing lures or trawlers who need to know when the target enters the net. You are provided the time taken since you passed over the target so you can accurately estimate when you’ll be encountering the fish.
Users can also separate the water from the bottom with a contrasting white line.
All the units are designed as stand-alone with dedicated displays, but they can be used in conjunction with a Simrad Chartplotter too. Built tough, they are bracketed in with flush-mount watertight installation options, making it totally impervious to water on all angles. It has an integrated keypad and rotary dial as well as on-screen menu options. This means the unit can be used easily when the sea is rough, gloves are worn, or there is water present. The S9000 starts from $1500.
Designed for large vessels, this amazing piece of technology identifies the size of the fish before they are caught. This means fishing operations are more efficient, only chasing and catching the fish you can sell. The combination of Split Bean technology and TruEcho CHIRP not only makes the fish size more accurate, bot also gives much higher resolution images. You will be able to see fish outlines within schools of fish. This information about fish size is displayed in graph form, so you can quickly and accurately make decisions.
The user experience has also been improved, with a trackball and InstantAccess bar. These make it easy to access all controls in all conditions, and quickly access options as you need them.
The transducer is 16cm in diameter, making retrofits and new installs straight forward.
Echo Pilot 3D
This sonar is part of the next generation of sonar- a forward-looking 3D image is presented, giving so much information that it becomes easy to make decisions. The dual bronze retractable transducers have complete forward coverage, regardless of hull type. The image presented shows 60 degrees on the horizontal plane and 90 degrees in the vertical, up to 200m forward.
This system runs in real time, with one or two second updates. There are multiple display options, with colour coded depth functions. Over NZ$30,000 worth of kit, this unit is not for the hobbyist or small vessels but a large commercial operation will be much more efficient with this on the boat.
Garmin Striker 7SV
A sonar and GPS unit might be all you need for a smaller vessel, or a commercial tour operator. This is where Garmin come in. With a large range of dual units that are more moderately priced, they offer good value for money. The 7SV gives near-photographic quality images that show fish, objects and structure. The CHIRP sonar provides continuous frequencies that give more information than a single frequency.
There are three display sizes up to 7 inches, and they all have a keyed interface and dedicated buttons. It’s designed for consumer use and it’s simple to operate and reasonably intuitive.
Of course, as with all Garmin units, the GPS features are top-of-the-line too, with way point maps, and being able to mark and navigate locations. Simply mark your favourite fishing spot, and easily find it tomorrow.
If you are in the market for a fish finder, whether it’s a small one for a fishing charter or a large one with all the bells and whistles for a trawler, there are plenty of options. Garmin offer a range of fantastic dual GPS and fish finding units at the smaller end of the scale, while the echo pilot systems are elaborate enough for trawlers- and offering enough benefits to make the price worth it for a large commercial operation. Contact Marine Services to find out where you can buy the fishfinder that’s right for your business.