Sounder settings for billfish

February 21, 2018

Luke Ryan explains how to make the most of trying conditions in his latest blog post.

I have just returned from fishing the Heavy Tackle Comp at Exmouth WA, the weather and water conditions were challenging to say the very least. Weather forecasts predicting 20-25 knot winds and swells between 1.5-2.5m with the last day of the tournament being cancelled early due to the conditions. My team and I did not manage to tag any fish during the event unfortunately however we did manage to find some fish outside of the tournament.

Aiding to the fish that we did catch were the NSS evo3 units paired with a S5100 module and TM275LH-W transducer. When we did find the fish there were certain things that stood out: water clarity, water temperature and bait. Although I didn't stumble across any masses of bait there was still enough to show that certain areas were worth fishing. The water temperature was quite hot with the average reading between 27.5-29.5°C, which was shutting the bite down big time. I noticed everywhere we found fish there was a slight change in water temp, using the temp graph on the EVO3 makes it really simple to mark temp breaks onto the GPS so working the area becomes a lot easier.

I marked a number of suspected billfish on the sounder in the areas where we caught fish too. Setting the echo page to look at the first 80mt of water and constantly keeping a watchful eye to see what is being displayed on the screen was key. Some of the settings I like to run the unit on while trolling are as follows:

  • Scroll speed - X2
  • Ping speed - Max
  • TVG - 1
  • Noise rejection - OFF
  • Colour - 87-91
  • Gain - Auto -1
  • High Chirp
  • Depth 80mt



Overall the week we had was tough with very trying conditions but we still managed to get out and give it a crack. The Simrad gear we used and how all the networking on the vessel flows through the system makes a tough weeks fishing just that little bit better.