How to Use a Portable Fish Finder

By Wade Johnson

How to Use a Portable Fish FinderEvery purchase of a fish finder comes with a user manual that details many aspects of the device. But how to use a portable fish finder in real life is far different, and is far simpler.

The tweaky bits of the user manual often lead the intriguing mind to a numb state because following extremely minute details is super execrable.

Portable fish finders are too handy being a perfect fit for the weekend-fishing-goers and are inexpensive as well.

You can use portable fish finders anywhere you like, be it the lake, river, seashore, even in the deep sea.

What is a Portable Fish Finder and its Benefits of Use

A portable fish finder is a device that hints out to find the presence of fish underwater. And it is as compact as holding a smartphone in your palm for easy usage.

It primarily uses sonar technology which then detects the objects down the water surface. So, be it the small to large fish, it will detect everything and display over the display for you to decide if it is a good spot to cast the line.

And being portable, it can act as a hand-held device and does not require to be mounted.

Then the portable fish finders come with a series of features that make your every fishing trip exceedingly successful, and the notable ones such as;

  • Easily goes into your pocket
  • Helps you to locate the presence of fishing without casting the line
  • Determines the depth and water temperature to have a feel if it is the right spot for fishing
  • Does not require specific mounts because of its hand-held design
  • Works great just like the costlier fish finders do!
  • Quite inexpensive!
  • Hassle-free use!
  • Works in all water conditions; sea, lake, river, and pond

How to Use a Portable Fish Finder

We assume you have a portable fish finder already bought and is ready to go on your very first fishing trip. And the transducer already lowered in the water.

Apart from sniffing the whole User Manual that came along, the real-life usage will always be different in its kind.

1- Always Read the Manual

No doubt the User Manual that comes along with your fish finder is a great place to understand what your lovely little portable fish finder holds for you in terms of buttons, their functions, and all.

But again, follow us along to find the best use of a portable fish finder to make every casting worth catching the fish.

2- Turn Off Fishes

We are not up at the water for fishing when it comes to using the fish finder. We actually have to determine what is inside the water to make a clear picture of the whole scenario.

And leaving the fish symbol on can break preparing the interpretation of the whole underwater scene.

So, turn off this function and get the comprehensive underwater image right on your fish finder display to visualize how good this spot would be to cast the line.

But do not just leave there with this awesome functionality of detecting the fish turned off. You can turn on this option from time to time to ensure the fish are circling around.

Since the portable fish finders may stress out during the continuous use and miss the accuracy to correctly map the underwater scene, turning off the detection of fishes will help align its accuracy. That is the reason we had advised doing so!

3- Keep the Other Auto Functions On

Do not entangle with other auto functions that pre-select as the fish finder powers on other than the fish symbol one.

With these default functions, any newbie fisherman can get ahold of what’s inside the water and decide if this seems to be the right spot to fish or not.

4- Peak into the Transducer

Okay, that’s the tricky part we have landed upon.

When your transducer starts malfunctioning, sending in the wrong signals, causing glitches, and anything that is not making it hold doing its work — it is time to peak into the transducer.

And not that we are replacing any equipment out of the transducer. It is simply to adjust its sensitivity level to meet the correct one or maybe increase it to reach more underwater depth.

That takes the range to play with. Turn off the Auto Function for Sensitivity before you get to expand the sensitivity to the point when the new line occurs on the bottom of your screen.

Now, unwind the sensitivity to avoid the noise and clutter on a deep level. Doing this will take you to explore what the water surface looks like even being into relatively deeper water.

5- Reset the Range Now

After all these tweaks, it is time to reset the range which will take the transducer to where it is set.

6- Try Zoom Feature

Now play with the zoom feature to get real close to the fish. Whereas the beam will now penetrate even to the tight spaces to find where the fish are hovering, taking you to lower your line further down to incite them!

Critical Preparation to Go Fishing with Portable Fish Finder

Do not forget to follow these quick tips for stress-free fishing with a portable fish finder.

a) Look at Power Options

Okay, the portable fish finders mainly take the power from AA or AAA batteries. And we admit you just had inserted a new pair of batteries that can easily last a day or two with continuous usage.

Since the fish finders consume just a little power, there is hardly a chance to get the new batteries to drain out completely. But we still advise using rechargeable (branded) batteries which will ultimately slash your battery expense to a greater extent.

Also, keep the additional pairs of batteries because you cannot predict the circumstances that may happen on the trip.

b) Cater to Speed

Do not use the fish finder at a faster speed. This may eventually break the transducer and the fish finder (cable attached to it.)

Going at speed to another fishing spot, do not lower the fish finder into the water. But make sure the boat is moving at 1 or 2 mph and then you can lower the transducer attached to the fish finder for scanning purposes.


Follow these best practices that enhance how to use a portable fish finder and bring the expected results by taking the bag full of fish.

Not only this guide is for the newbies but anyone who is a frequent user of this awesome result-oriented device.

And that is what we found out to be the most-inexpensive device for the hobbyist fishermen that would never put a strain on their pockets, and be operational for years (if kept with good care!)

So, let’s break the records by catching the hoard of fish on your next trip! 🙂

Wade Johnson
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