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another side imaging question

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I have been thinking about buying a side imaging unit. Been reading up on them a little bit. Sounds to me that the quality of picture you get depends alot upon how fast you are moving. Too fast, the picture gets blurry, too slow and you don't get very good pictures either.

I do alot of vertical jigging, rigging, etc. for eyes. My question is this, if I was slowly moving(backtrolling) a breakline/weedline on a piece of structure, would I beable to see if the fish are relating to the structure either shallower or deeper than I am fishig using the side imaging.

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You may be able to. I have been fishing a break and seen a school of bait fish with slightly larger marks under out a ways from the break, marked that spot with the gps and then moved verticle over them and cought quite few eyes I would probably never have caught since it was quite a ways off the break. It is possible to see fish but much easier to see ideal structure that hold them. It is pretty impressive shallow too finding small rock piles or individual rocks that hold fish in less than 10 fow. I pretty much fish eyes only and love the SI. I have a 797 si. From what I have heard the 997 has better resolution screen and more power to show a even cleaner image. I kinda wish I had sprung for the extra grand.

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Will it show you fish at 1.1 mph? Yes, it has to, but dont expect a incredible image of them because of the distortion factors. You can be going 1.1 and make a slow turn and you will increase the outside beam speed incrementally, much like making a turn with a plug while trolling. Outside plug speeds up, inside plug slows down.

Another thing to think about is, if you are double anchored solid and a fish swims thru the side image beam at 2-5 miles per hour, (slow for a fish, I believe) you will get the same image as if the boat is moving that speed and the fish is stationary. Another thing to keep in mind, is that not every fish is parallel with the boat when you go by. A fish that is facing the boat will show a completely different image/shadow than a fish that is parallel to the boat. A fish that is angled will look different also. Depth of water, has a profound impact on the images of fish. Not so much structure, but fish. The deeper you go, the smaller the image of the fish will be and the harder it is to see them, particularly with a smaller screen. Ive seen walleyes in 40 fow with side imaging, but you need to really, really look at each image to figure it out. Purchase as much screen as you can afford as it makes reading the information much easier.

Reading depth changesin SI is different also because you need to read the brightness(or lack of)the SI return outside of the water column. Obviously, reading depth changes in the water column area is easy, but outside of the water column, gets tricky. Experience and hours on the water are the key.(And of course, proper settings)

If you are able to decipher what the side imaging is showing you, you will do fine. Dont expect to learn everything about side imaging in the first week in the water, or even the first month. Ive owned mine for a year and I'm still learning every trip out.

Its added a new kind of "fun factor" to my fishing. You think you really know what an area looks like, but are amazed when you see it in SI.

Wouldnt be without it.

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