Years ago I bought my first fish finder, and eagerly headed out to the lake to fish stare at my sonar. And for a period of time (years) I went from being a guy who could catch fish to a guy who went out on the lake and stared at my sonar.
I had no idea that bass and walleye mostly hang so close to cover that you can’t find them. I could not tell the difference between crappie and schools of bait. I didn’t know to look for active fish under balls of shad. I didn’t realize that I was suppose to be looking for key structure a lot of the time instead of fish. Never heard of a sonar cone, or a hook echo. I didn’t know that watching the gain change strength could indicate the composition of the bottom.
By the time I learn how to effectively use my old Humminbird flasher, technology had caught up with my stupidity, making them so simple to read (idiot proof) that even I could understand what I was looking at.
But as advanced as these units are, there is still a learning curve. The videos here do more to explain these space age sonars than anything else I have seen. They will save you hours on the water and get you catching fish — instead of staring at your sonar.
Now with side imagining and high definition down imaging with under a quarter and inch of separation you can actually see game fish hanging close to structure.