Split-screen imaging with traditional sonar on one side and mapping on the other.
The sonar screen capture, taken during summer, shows a thermocline starting at
20 feet and balls of shad near the surface.
Smart, Castable Fishfinders
By Brad Wiegmann
To use a smart, castable fishfinder, you must charge your cellphone and the castable transducer before logging in to the Deeper App where you will see sonar imaging and detailed mapping.
Interfacing between smartphones and marine electronic units isn’t anything special. Most electronic companies allow for linking a smartphone and the unit. However, the smartphone is really only a monitor with basic touch controls. Deeper Sonar is a castable transducer connecting to a smartphone through a wi-fi connection to produce sonar imaging of structure, vegetation, fish, baitfish and mapping.
Unlike portable, self-contained ice-fishing sonar models that are available from Garmin, Humminbird, Lowrance, MarCum and others, Deeper Sonar allow the anglers to cast out a transducer that can sit upright and get sonar imaging, plus create and see mapping. Of course, you could add live-imaging sonar (LIS) to an ice-fishing sonar unit, but that raises the cost up substantially, plus LIS doesn’t have the ability to create bathymetric maps.
Catfish anglers using castable smart sonar are typically standing on shore, a dock or in a boat without electronics. By using an angler’s existing smartphone and downloading an app to the smartphone, it turns the smartphone or table into a sonar display. The smartphone controls what and how an angler sees sonar and mapping imaging.
Before fishing, an angler has to set up the smartphone to personalize the sonar imaging and information that will appear on the screen. It starts with what type of fishing an angler is doing. You have to pick from onshore, boat, ice fishing or scan without utilizing GPS.
Next, an angler can select from a basic display that shows fish as icons or RAW with detailed imagery similar to what you normally see on boat units. Anglers can split screen the mapping and sonar imaging along with instant depth and temperature readings.
Beam angle can be selected on the app depending on the model. Deeper Sonar has three frequencies of CHIRP, including Narrow CHIRP 675kHz (cone angle 7 degrees), Medium CHIRP 240kHz (cone angle 20 degrees) and Wide CHIRP 100kHz (cone angle 47 degrees).
Deeper Pro+ has the same cone angles but not in CHIRP. Deeper Pro has only a wide 55 degree and narrow 15-degree cone angle. Once a beam angle is selected, an angler can adjust the display sensitivity according to the turbidity in the water.
Sonar scans and bathymetric mapping can be created by anglers in a boat, but catfish anglers can simply cast out the transducer tethered to a line from the bank or dock and slowly reel in to display the imaging. Your smartphone can save scan history files, allowing you to go back and review mapping and sonar imaging. These files can be saved to the Cloud or on the smart device connected to the transducer.
Castable smart sonar is perfect for catfish anglers fishing ponds from the bank or a dock. The castable transducer is about the size of a baseball and has a built-in rechargeable battery. The connection range is less than 400 feet, but that’s plenty for most catfish anglers fishing a river, pond or lake.
(Brad Wiegmann of Springdale, Arkansas is a fishing guide, podcaster, social media influencer, professional photographer, videographer and outdoor writer published in dozens of print and electronic media outlets across the nation. Every month, he provides CatfishNOW readers with the latest information on the ever-changing world of fishing electronics. Learn more at BradWiegmann.com.)