Electronics such as fishfinders have come a long way, but most anglers don’t help themselves and fully utilize the capability of their electronics due to improper transducer installation and, in some cases, using the wrong transducer for the application. While this isn’t a topic for a short conversation, it will hopefully get you thinking and doing research to get the best combo for your boat, electronics and specific style of fishing.
On my Ranger 621, I choose three different types of transducers for various applications:
2D Skimmer: My bread-and-butter transducer, this is mounted on the pad near the drain plug and located to the left of the main engine to get the clearest picture possible when running on plane and looking for fish or bait at speeds in excess of 25 mph.
SI/DI/2D Skimmer: In the past for Side Imaging and Down Imaging, I used a true thru hull transducer that required a hole to be drilled in the bottom of my boat. While it worked fine, I wanted to have another skimmer to be used as a backup, and be able to mark at speeds faster than I was able to with the thru hull due to its mounted location.
Shoot Thru: Used by many bass anglers, walleye anglers typically use them as a backup in fiberglass boats because these transducers aren’t as sensitive, and they require proper placement that isn’t as easily adjusted as a transom-mounted skimmer.
Exact location and even angles will vary from boat to boat because driving styles, boat load and transom type differ so much. The key is trial and error, with incremental changes to both transducer height and angle until you get great readings like the one in the pic above. Gluing and screwing a sacrificial transducer board to the transom is a good way to ensure you have the fewest number of holes possible in your boat.
Check out the video below to see the transducer mounting system I use on my boat.
Editor’s note: Capt. Ross Robertson of Bigwater Guide Service and his crew provide educational guide trips for monster walleyes and smallmouth bass. The Bigwater team fishes ice-out to ice-up on the Great Lakes, spending the majority of the year on Lake Erie’s western and central basins.
Images and video by Capt. Ross Robertson