Use FishHunter To Find Fish!
Best Portable Fish Finder: First task
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, to catch fish you need to:
FIND THE FISH!
There are several ways to do that.
- Use search baits (square bill crankbait, spinnerbait, jerk bait)
- Look for specific cover, structure, or clues (logs, stickup, weeds, baitfish)
- Electronics (fish finder)
I thought I’d share my opinions on the best portable fish finder. Here’s Part 1 of my review the FishHunter Directional 3D Portable Fish Finder. In this part, I will discuss what I got in the box. Future posts (once I figure out all the tricks!) will discuss using the FishHunter.
Now, if you have a $50 boat, you probably have a fish finder installed. Though I know that doesn’t always mean fishermen USE them, or even understand HOW to use them. But PRO bass fishermen do both.
But what if you fish from shore, or fish from a kayak, or, like this BassHole, fish from a float tube like device? Then you can use a portable fish finder.
FishHunter Directional 3D fish finder
FishHunter makes 3 fish finders:
- The Military Grade fish finder,
- The FishHunter PRO, and
- The FishHunter Directional 3D Wireless Portable Fish Finder.
Today I’m looking at everything that came in the box with my FishHunter Directional 3D, described as “The Most Powerful, Portable Fish Finder EVER.”
First, the accessories
You get 15 feet of nylon cord to use as a leash, and a small clip so you can attach it to your FishHunter. Then you throw it out and let it float next to you.
Alternatively, you can tie your fishing line onto your FishHunter and cast it out into the area where you are seeking fish.
IF you use a rod AND are fishing from shore, of course you want to make certain you’ve got some strong line and a good knot! Probably braided line would be best. You sure don’t want your FishFinder to break off and float away!
Also, I did cast it out with my medium weight rod, and when I try casting again, I’ll use my heavier rod, because the FishHunter weighs 6 1/2 ounces, which is pretty heavy compared to most lures I throw!
I typically use the leash. I clip it to the FishHunter and then use my own clip to connect the hand loop to my Hobie Float Cat, and let it float out beside, in front, or behind me.
4 Sonar Modes (more later!)
I’ll do another video to talk about using the 4 sonar modes, or at least the 3 I use:
- Directional Casting,
- 3D Bottom Contour, and
- Bottom Mapping.
The fourth mode is for Ice Fishing, and though I did go ice fishing once in my life, well, once was enough for me! But if you do ice fish, the FishHunter can help you find the fish hiding under the ice.
Phone Case with Arm Straps & Neck Lanyard
Next up is the Phone Case. The Phone case is waterproof, and comes with 2 different ways of carrying it with you.
First are two straps you can loop into the back of the phone case so you can wear it on your arm. The straps are elastic, and are quite comfortable. So when you hear the PING! telling you there are fish nearby, you can quickly glance at your arm to see where you should be fishing. And catching!
If you wear your phone on your arm, the only photos you can take with your phone are selfies.
The other method is a lanyard you can clip to the top of the phone case, which allows you to wear it around your neck. Then you can put into a pocket until you need it, or let it hang around your neck.
I put my iPhone 5 into the pouch, and it’s already in a LifeProof protective case, and it fits easily. There is still some room, so I think the larger phone would also fit. But if you have a tablet, then you would need some other means of keeping it safe from the water.
One point I will make is that with my other phone case (one I got for my birthday), the closures are so tight and hard to open I need to use pliers or something else to pry them open. The case provided by FishHunter opens much more easily.
So you do get a very nice waterproof phone case.
Next up is the charger.
FishHunter advises you to charge your FishHunter for at least 4 hours before you try to use it or synch it with your smartphone.
There’s a USB cord you use to charge your FishHunter. You simply plug it into the FishHunter on the bottom of the unit. The other end can then be plugged into either a unit which can be plugged into any electrical socket in your house, OR, you can use the other adapater, plug the USB cord into it, and charge your FishHunter with what we used to call the cigaretter lighter in your car or boat (now called a power port). So if you have a trolling motor on your kayak or inflatable boat, and a power port, then you can recharge while you are fishing.
The FishHunter Directional 3D Portable Fish Finder
And now, the main event! The FishHunter Directional 3D Portable Fish Finder.
Here it is. It floats in the water, and when it is in the water, a WiFi transmitter is activated.
The FishHunter 3D has 5 transducers that work at a dual frequency so you can view quality renderings of underwater contours in 3D. The sonar will render picture quality images p to 160 feet elow the surface.
Before you can connect the FishHunter to your smartphone or tablet, you do need to download the FishHunter App. I did that even before I got the FishHunter, and so don’t need to wait for your FishHunter to arrive to download the App. Just search for FishHunter wherever you normally get your Apps.
- Easy to connect to your Smartphone, iPhone, or tablet.
I was able to synch the FishHunter to my phone in my home. It just needs to be in water, which activates the device. So I drew a sink of water and floated the FishHunter. My phone instantly found the WiFi link.
Easy to use. I took my FishHunter out without even looking at the instructions, and was able to figure out how to work it. However, I got a much better understanding by watching videos provided by FishHunter. To see how the 4 modes work, check out these videos:
- 5x the coverage area (due to the 5 transducers).
- Create your own 3D bottom maps.
- WiFi Data Speed 4x faster than Bluetooth.
- View depths up to 160 feet.
- WiFi range of 200 feet.
- Easy App updates.
- Great screens. Below I’ve included versions of the images available with your FishHunter:
- 4 foot minimum depth required. For the FishHunter sonar to work properly, you do need to be in water at least 4 feet deep, so it is somewhat restricted regarding shoreline fishing.
- Not cheap. At about $250.00, the FishHunter Directional 3D is pricey. Other offerings by FishHunter are less expensive, but the features of this version really make it a good value.
Final (for now!) Thoughts & Tips
Rating: 9 out of 10 (which could be increased in the future)
The FishHunter floats, and sends a signal to your smartphone or tablet, depending on which mode you are in. I’ll create more videos to talk about USING the FishHunter, especially when I figure it all out completely!
Right now I mostly use “Directional Casting.” That mode shows you where the FishHunter Sonar has located fish, at what depth, and where they are in relation to the FishHunter.
I’ll confess I haven’t caught any of the fish the FishHunter has alerted me to, but I will say I’m much more confident that I have some chance thanks to the PING! of the FishHuner Sonar.
Adjust Phone Settings
My iPhone 5’s battery must not be very powerful. So before I use the FishHunter, I always check to make sure:
- Bluetooth is off. Great feature for connecting to my car while driving, but it drains a lot of energy.
- All other Apps are closed. Open apps also needlessly drain energy.
- Camera is closed. OK, so it is another app, but since I take photos with my phone, it’s necessary for me to remember to close the app!
- Sleep mode increased. Though this will take more power, if my phone goes to sleep, then I have to reconnect to the WiFi, and do everything over again.
Read the Instructions!
- This Has User Error written all over it! I managed to figure out a lot of how the FishHunter works without reading anything, but watching the videos referenced above and even flipping through the booklet included with the FishFinder vastly improved my success.
- Click the “Fish View” toggle. I love the fish images, and by taking the advice offered above, I learned how to make sure they are available.
I definitely believe the FishHunter Directional 3D Portable Fish Finder will revolutionize my bass fishing.
- Being able to learn the bottom contours of the lakes I fish over and over again to discover structure, ledges, troughs, and so forth, where bass hang out.
- Locating bass hanging out in deeper water.
- Finding the depth where the fish are holding, so I can choose the appropriate lures and fish them at the optimum depth.
I’ll post again once I’ve had the opportunity to use these features (hopefully NOT the Ice Fishing Flasher for a while yet!) and let you know how they help.
If you have any feedback on the FishHunter, or any other fish finder, or any other topic at all, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, ask a question, or share your fishing adventures!
Roger, The Smiling BassHole