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Old 11-10-2017, 10:02
Anthony Pearson's Avatar
Anthony Pearson Anthony Pearson is offline
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Default Will the use of technology affect fish behaviour?

As some of you will know, I've been toying with the idea of purchasing a Deeper Smart Fish-Finder. In fact, I've borrowed one off a mate and have been fascinated by the information it gives. However, I have a problem. On a recent visit to a river stretch I am unfamiliar with, I used my watercraft and picked a swim. Before fishing I cast out the Deeper and discovered a really impressive drop-off about 40 yds downstream. This looked too good an opportunity to miss so I shifted all my gear to the peg below it so I could upstream ledger the spot. Despite giving it a real go, I managed only one small bream.

Now, there could be many reasons for this such as better features nearby which I was unaware of. But it had me thinking: if a feature becomes well-known and heavily fished, does this pressure lead to a change in fish behaviour i.e. do they avoid this area? I've read about this happening when anglers fish directly into holding areas such as snags etc, but is this the case for those locations we identify as feeding areas? If you take this to its conclusion, will the increased use of technology to find the theoretical hotspots and the sharing of this information have a detrimental impact (from an angler's perspective) on the numbers of fish in such a swim? We are of course talking long-term here, but if the fish move from a heavily fished raft feature (because they don't feel safe) why could the same not happen in a regular feeding spot?

On a different note, when fishing a big, relatively featureless-looking river, if I only target the ones identified by a fishfinder, am I restricting my chances of success or improving them?
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:42
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Terry Simner Terry Simner is offline
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Hi Anthony, I'd have thought however we come by the knowledge (watercraft/happenstance-luck/technology) any 'action' by the angler based on that knowledge will result in a 'reaction' by our prey, the barbel. That is..if an area is pressured then that area will eventually be abandoned by the fish.
On your last point/question...I believe that luck plays a lesser or greater part in almost every success on the banks, so having a closed mind will tend to limit our chances of 'getting lucky'.
IMHO
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Old 11-10-2017, 13:03
Jason Bean Jason Bean is offline
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a good friend of mine tries to rationalise his days fishing in advance based on his past experiences. Bearing in mind he's 77, has a very good memory and inherent pessimist...he seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy of doom before we even start.

so for me I like the luck, the learning and the not knowing. trying to pre-determine with technology does take the fun out of it and...... I definetly know as I used a fish finder for years living in Ireland and it definitely pushed the fish around.
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Old 11-10-2017, 14:38
Mike Hodgkiss Mike Hodgkiss is offline
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Anthony , I think Jason has hit the nail on the head ,I think that using ' technology '' will take all the fun, and indeed the mystery out of fishing . I did have a brief mess about with a fishfinder a few years a go , one like a little yellow duck that you fastened on the end of a running line . Yes it gave me some indications of topography of the river bed and indeed the presence of some fish but it also was a magnet for pike who kept attacking it ! I reckon observation, a bit of leading around, or running a float through a swim is sufficient . The other thing that might happen is if you find a fish holding spot you may be tempted to keep fishing in the same area and be less inclined to explore .
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Old 11-10-2017, 16:04
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Dean Aston Dean Aston is offline
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Brought one when they first came out and rate them. Brilliant for my stillwater fishing saves lot of time and I've used it on rivers . I think I'm OK with watercraft but features I find using it been brilliant. I'm 47 perhaps I'm still down with the kids .Can't see how it's taking the fun out of fishing if honest.
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Old 11-10-2017, 16:21
Stephen Crowhurst Stephen Crowhurst is offline
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In essence how is it any different to a marker float? More accurate, maybe? But the result is the same.
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Old 11-10-2017, 16:26
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Bruce Fowkes Bruce Fowkes is offline
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I used a similar device on a stretch of the Lower Severn a few seasons back. After a bit of searching I found a decent 'scour' in the riverbed that screamed fish. Having lost gear in that swim in the past, I suspect it was left behind when a snag was moved along the riverbed in times of flood.

I fished the new hotspot with great optimism on several occasions, with only the odd bream to show for my efforts. At the same time, I was also fishing another swim nearby that shows as flat and featureless on the depth finder, but contains freshwater mussels and snails. Results from this area were much better with several decent double figure barbel through the autumn.

I'm all for the use of technology, and each to their own and all that. However, on this occasion it was previous experience and time spent on the bank getting to know a stretch of river that trumped the 'quick fix' of technology.
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Old 11-10-2017, 18:28
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Anthony Pearson Anthony Pearson is offline
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Thanks for the comments chaps. It's always useful to hear someone else's point of view.

Stephen, it would take forever and be pretty difficult on a big river to get accurate results with a marker float. Also, river beds are frequently changing so the technology would be a time-saver.

Mike, I can see your reticence about restricting oneself to what the sonar says, but as far as fishing the same spots repeatedly, I'm fortunately past that stage, with or without the tech.

Bruce, I lost several fish to a hidden snag but have now been able to identify it in more detail and this has given me the option of casting to the swim from a different peg. When conditions are right I'll be giving it a try.

I am fortunate to be in the position of having more miles of river to fish than I have the time or energy to do so, even if I am changing swims regularly. Perhaps I'll keep a diary and write a book on the success/failure of using such a device as I don't think anyone's done that on the rivers yet.
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Old 11-10-2017, 21:02
Stephen Crowhurst Stephen Crowhurst is offline
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Sorry Anthony, what I meant is that it's not cheating etc it's undoubtedly faster and probably more effective but the ultimately the aim is the same, to produce an idea of the features in front of you. I don't see an issue with it.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:03
Joe Winstanley Joe Winstanley is offline
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I haven't used a fish–finder but I can a see clear use for them in certain circumstances.

On a technical note - does the signal bounce back off silt?

Imagine if you will a flat river bed on a deep slow part of the river with a hard gravelly/ rocky bottom and the finder indicates a deep depression amongst that - would the reading be the same if the depression was full of silt, (level to the top) or free from silt?
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