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Catching up with fish

Marbled rockfish

What can we learn from the fish finder screen?

Marbled rockfish You are going over a rocky reef area when the bottom contour line is rough and steep like this picture. The Bottom Discrimination Mode, at the bottom of the screen, can help you anytime by clearly showing bottom composition, even when you are going over flat seabed.

This screenshot was taken with the boat slowly moving at a speed of 0.5 knots. The fish finder was set to transmit at 200 kHz.

Fish finder screen explained

  • Water depth: 25.9 m
  • Height difference: Not huge but uphill seabed
  • Bottom structure: Rough, steep, and rocky reef area
  • Fish school echo: some fish school echo

The catch of the day was marbled rockfish. While marbled rockfish are some ugly fish, they are great eating!

Rockfish actually have various species; some of them like to live in the deep shore, while others like a shallow shore. This time, we will be taking a look at the ones in shallow seashore.

As you can see from the picture, marbled rockfish stick to the sea floor most of the time. It is almost impossible to find rockfish crawling on the seabed with a fish finder; but we can search for the places where marbled rockfish normally gather.

Marbled rockfish are found by the reefs, rocky areas, and wrecks, because they prefer to eat small crabs or shrimp which live in rocky area.

You can find a rocky area by searching for where the seabed line on your fish finder gets rough. Or if you have FCV-627/628 or FCV-587/588, you can also take advantage of the Bottom Discrimination Mode, which will tell you bottom structure with the description of “RCKS”.

When fishing for marbled rockfish, it is necessary for you to drop your bait to the bottom, however, at the point of reefs and rough stones your bait will likely get stuck. If you are drifting your boat, the likeliness of this happening is even greater.

In order to avoid that as much as possible, it is very important to know the bottom coutour and makeup where you dropped your bait. Our recommendation is to set the frequency to 200 kHz, at which the pointing angle is narrowed, and the fishing line be hung from where the transducer is attached, so we can see the bait in the range of the angle of the transmitted ultrasonic wave.

Now you can reel in and out your line as needed to avoid getting stuck on the rocks. Repeating this procedure will eventually result in attracting marbled rockfish.

  • Marbled rockfish Marbled rockfish are fantastic eating; however they do not move much and are slow to grow up, so release any small ones you caught, so that you can catch them when they are larger.
  • Marbled rockfish Marbled rockfish prefer to stay still in daytime. Their body is very difficult to tell from rock, which is of great advantage to catch their bait.

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Writer introduction

Nobuaki Ono, FURUNO field tester.

DAIWA field tester, Writer at Boat Club, a monthly Japanese boating publication

Nobuaki is a hobby angler who travels around Japan together with his beloved car-top boat Tomoe-maru. With a keen interest in fishing as well as scuba diving, he has gained a substantial amount of knowledge in how to utilize fish finders to the fullest. Nobuaki regularly holds well-attended training courses in the use of fish finders, as well as being a proponent for proper sea manners and safety at sea. Sharing his knowledge is a passion for Nobuaki, and he manages his own homepage as well as being a sought after writer in Japanese boating publications.