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I’m just getting back into fishing. I’ve got a 14 foot row boat with a 9.9 outboard on it. I don’t even have a fish finder. How much of your success do you attribute to a fish finder and how do you find fish without the fish finder?
 

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I’m just getting back into fishing. I’ve got a 14 foot row boat with a 9.9 outboard on it. I don’t even have a fish finder. How much of your success do you attribute to a fish finder and how do you find fish without the fish finder?
People caught lots of fish before there were such things as fish finders. Fish finders in those days were local knowledge of the stream, lake or river you were fishing. Don't let not having an electronic gadget stop you from enjoying yourself.
 

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People caught lots of fish before there were such things as fish finders. Fish finders in those days were local knowledge of the stream, lake or river you were fishing. Don't let not having an electronic gadget stop you from enjoying yourself.
👍👍
 

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Depends if trolling or casting. If trolling need one for depth, other then that wouldn’t need one
No you don't, people fished forever without a depth finder while trolling, both fresh and salt water, it is just a matter of adjusting your speed with what you are dragging. Slowing down and speeding up till you hit the right depth. All these fishing shows on tv pushing electronics are no more than infomercials rather than simply entertainment and education. All the electronics imho have turned fishing from a relaxing time on the water into I gotta catch em or else I won't have fun. None of us has to catch fish to eat!
 

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No you don't, people fished forever without a depth finder while trolling, both fresh and salt water, it is just a matter of adjusting your speed with what you are dragging. Slowing down and speeding up till you hit the right depth. All these fishing shows on tv pushing electronics are no more than infomercials rather than simply entertainment and education. All the electronics imho have turned fishing from a relaxing time on the water into I gotta catch em or else I won't have fun. None of us has to catch fish to eat!
Ok you don’t need one but makes it a whole lot easier. Fish finder with map showing counter will actually enjoy your day and increase your odds. I’m not sure what talking about don’t need them to catch fish. You don’t but if going to spend the time doing it mine as well increase yours odds.
 

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Why do you have a motor on your boat, because it makes it easier to move around the water. The same with a fish finder, it makes it easier to catch fish. I go fishing to catch fish.

Every species of fish lives in a certain place in the lake. So if you catch a fish at 10 foot on a point and move to another point you start at 10 feet and if you catch a fish you have a pattern. If the fish aren’t shallow like they are now but out in deeper water a finder will make it easier to find them. They don’t catch the fish for you but the finder will give you a better chance to catch fish. There are units out there that you can get for around $100.
 

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. How did we ever survive without all this stuff and catch fish and a lot of fish by actually going out and learning how and where to fish. If people want to spend the money to for the electronics it is up to them but it is pretty sad when someone who said he wants to get back into fishing but is concerned about doing it because he has no fish finder.
 

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Without electronics "read" the shoreline. If the bank is relatively flat chances are the water is shallow with a gentle slop to it, the steeper the bank the deeper the water is near it. Is there a visible transition from mud/sand to rock. If there is a long sloping point on land it probably extends out, is it steeper on one side? Type of weeds in the water are also an indicator of depth.

Just like today there was a lot of info put out by "pro's" in the 50's, 60's and 70's it came in book or magazine form back then. I read a few growing up in fact one of my "best" Christmas presents was A.J. McClane's Fishing Encyclopedia - more about fish and fishing than a 12 year old can digest(almost LOL). I know one book I had/have(no idea where) had a lot of drawings showing possible underwater scenes from what was visible on shore. Maybe a trip to the local library can help you find some of those classic's.

Once you pick a spot to try a heavy jig cast around can help you with what is going on under water. If the jig hits the water and your line goes slack = shallow, if line comes off your reel before going slack = deep(count down method every second equals 1' of depth). Of course it will vary by the weight of your jig. You can also develop a feel for what is on the bottom - soft or hard, weeds or clean..... And guys did that before graphite rods and braided line LOL.
 

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. How did we ever survive without all this stuff and catch fish and a lot of fish by actually going out and learning how and where to fish. If people want to spend the money to for the electronics it is up to them but it is pretty sad when someone who said he wants to get back into fishing but is concerned about doing it because he has no fish finder.
Do you have a boat and fish?
 

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If you can find a contour map for the lake you want to fish it would help otherwise it's like everything else, figuring it out mostly on your own.
This right here. If you can get a map. Otherwise if you have a general idea of the weed line or significant points that fall quickly into deeper water you can use those areas to begin searching for fish. And as Icemole says, read the shoreline too.

Years ago before we had a fish finder my dad and I learned to catch pike up on the Rideau Chain in Canada by trolling the edges of weed lines with big shad raps. I was taught this technique by an old angler I met up there. He was actually from Carbondale. I was a teenager and wanted to catch pike and we weren't having much luck with anything more than a few "hammer handles." Everyone at the campground marina said "Joe the Whistler" was the pike expert. He offered to take me if I was on the dock bright and early. Man did I get an education that day and we caught pike! I showed my dad the technique and we had success too. Later my stepbrother and I used it in the Thousand Islands to catch pike too, just long-line trolling big shad raps from a zodiac with an outboard! Rock walls were often hot spots too.

And another way to search is to spend a day casting a bucktail spinners. That's one of my favorite ways to search and learn an unknown lake. Just hit it hard with like a #3 Mepps bucktail to find fish. Then you can go back and fish certain areas more thoroughly.
 

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As stated above, looking at the terrain on the bank will give you a general idea of what's below the water. Fishing for bass and panfish this time if year is fairly easy as the fish are in the shallows.

While you can certainly catch fish deeper without a finder, it certainly helps one be more productive. You can find a small used b&w for under $50.
 
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This right here. If you can get a map. Otherwise if you have a general idea of the weed line or significant points that fall quickly into deeper water you can use those areas to begin searching for fish. And as Icemole says, read the shoreline too.

Years ago before we had a fish finder my dad and I learned to catch pike up on the Rideau Chain in Canada by trolling the edges of weed lines with big shad raps. I was taught this technique by an old angler I met up there. He was actually from Carbondale. I was a teenager and wanted to catch pike and we weren't having much luck with anything more than a few "hammer handles." Everyone at the campground marina said "Joe the Whistler" was the pike expert. He offered to take me if I was on the dock bright and early. Man did I get an education that day and we caught pike! I showed my dad the technique and we had success too. Later my stepbrother and I used it in the Thousand Islands to catch pike too, just long-line trolling big shad raps from a zodiac with an outboard! Rock walls were often hot spots too.

And another way to search is to spend a day casting a bucktail spinners. That's one of my favorite ways to search and learn an unknown lake. Just hit it hard with like a #3 Mepps bucktail to find fish. Then you can go back and fish certain areas more thoroughly.
I learned trolling for walleye on what we called "little Rideau" lake Westport was the town on the lake... They used to have a big walleye bragging board posted in town some kind of prizes I'm sure. Never made the board but family friend + my fishing buddy Davy Snyder was on it quite a bit. Weren't many pike in there when we started going up(60's) more bass and walleye, although we caught more pike in later years(early 80's). Uncle of mine used to come up too don't think he used anything but Mepps spinners with a piece of pork rind... didn't get many walleyes but cleaned up on bass.
 
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Another good option is the Navionics ap for your phone. It's 10 bucks and has depth charts for most lakes in the US. The GPS option on your phone shows where you are, therefore giving you a fairly accurate depth. You can also mark spots to return to a productive area.
 

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Icemole, we stayed in a cabin on Indian Lake, right by the inlet to Clear Lake. We fished Big Rideau Lake a lot too. There was a great little tackle shop in Westport nicknamed "The Best Little Lure House in Westport." We took a drive up there once or twice.

We never caught any walleye up there (of course we didn't know much about finding for them) but we did well bass, large and smallmouth and the pike too. This was late 80s early 90s.
 

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I would say get out there and get your line wet. Change your location, bait, presentation and depths you are fishing until you find the fish. Watch others or ask to see what they are doing. Once you get a fish finder you will be set up better, but until then , I would hit the water.
 
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