How to Tune Sonar Sensitivity for a Hawkeye FishTrax Fish Finder

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A lot of people have asked us to provide more information about the sensitivity settings for our  FishTrax Fish finders.

Most of the calls our technicians receive are regarding incorrect fish readings, meaning the display is showing what looks like fish but nothing is biting the hook! Ninety-nine percent of the time we find out the sensitivity is set to 80-100%. In most cases this is way too much.

When your sensitivity settings are too high you tend to pick up water turbulence, sediment, algae and other tiny objects in the water column. It can be very frustrating.

Tune Fish Finder Sensitivity

The first thing you want to do is set your depth range to twice the depth of the water you are currently in.

For example, if you are in 30 feet of water set your range to 60 feet. Then turn your sensitivity down to 10-20% and start slowly working your way up until you can see a small secondary bottom echo which will appear as a line towards the bottom of the display. The primary bottom echo will be light yellow to orange and easily identifiable well before the secondary appears.

The secondary echo is the signal hitting the bottom, then bouncing off the water surface, then back to the bottom to the transducer. Seeing this echo ensures you are getting the maximum signal received by the transducer. Once you have the secondary echo you can either adjust your depth range back to the depth you are fishing at or set it back to auto.

Tips

  • On the Hawkeye FT1C, set the transparency on menu 2 up to 70% and you can see behind the menu while you adjust.
  • I usually tune my sensitivity a few times a day while fishing depending on how much the environmental factors change. Depth, water temperature, clarity and salinity can all dictate where your sensitivity setting needs to be.
  • Don’t forget that speed requires more sensitivity as signal loss can occur when you start moving at a faster rate.
  • If you are picking up clutter at the top of the water column it’s probably from turbulence from the prop or waves. This can easily be cleared up by turning on the surface clarity feature on your FishTrax.

I hope this helps you get a better understanding of the sensitivity settings. Knowing how to optimize your fish finder will help you find that tournament-winning lunker faster and easier!


Gabe Isham



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