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Catching up with fish

Red seabream

What can we learn from this fish finder screen?

A Red seabream was caught where the seabed changes composition from sandy/muddy to rocky. A Red seabream was caught where the seabed changes composition from sandy/muddy to rocky.

On this day the currents and wind were moving in opposite directions, the wind acting as a break and the currents gently moving the boat at a speed of about 0.3 knots. On the fish finder screen we can see echoes in 50 kHz on the left side and 200 kHz on the right side.

Fish finder screen explained

  • Water depth: 52.2m
  • Seabed composition: From sandy/ muddy to rocky
  • Echoes that appear to be fish can be seen close to the seabed

The screenshot above was captured just seconds before catching a 60cm Red seabream. It shows the jig being reeled in as well as Red seabream swimming up from the seabed following the jig. A Red seabream was caught using a special Japanese rubber jig called tairaba.

Red seabream prefers to habit areas with reefs, especially areas with a variation between reefs and sandy seabed. By using the Bottom Discrimination feature on your FURUNO fish finder, you can identify and search for areas like this. The Red seabream that was caught during this trip was caught close to a reef. The screenshot from the fish finder shows how the bottom composition changes from sandy to rocky, and echoes of Red seabream following the bait.

When using a rubber jig to fish for Red seabream, you should start reeling in the jig as soon as it touches the seabed. The reason for this is that Red seabream are said to start following the jig as it falls down in the water. The jig attempts to mimic a living bait, so if it remains unmoved as it touches the seabed the Red seabream might quickly lose interest. When fishing with tairaba you should always follow the same routine without interruption: let the jig fall down, as it reaches the seabed immediately start reeling it in.

Right below the boat the water depth is 52.2m, roughly 8m shallower compared with the sandy seabed previously passed. When you spot a fish on your fish finder swimming right below, first confirm the depth, and then drop the jig and control the fall with your thumb on your reel. By controlling the fall you will attract the interest of the Red seabream as well as help you avoid getting the jig snagged into objects.

  • A 60cm male Red seabream caught. A 60cm male Red seabream caught.
  • It’s truly wonderful when you get a good catch using the fish finder in combination with your experience. It’s truly wonderful when you get a good catch using the fish finder in combination with your experience.

Madai, or Red seabream, typically swim from the bottom of the sea to the upper layers (mainly the middle layers), but depending on the target bait, they may swim even closer to the surface. Small Madai tend to move in groups, but as they grow older, they move alone. They are very easy to catch with a fish finder, no matter how deep they swim.
At the time this video was shot, the Madai emerged from the middle layer and approached the young Japanese Chicken grunt that were gathering in schools around higher reefs. were they swimming slowly because they didn’t want to reveal their presence to the group of preys? Or was it because they were waiting for the right moment to attack? The reason is not clear, however, when a Madai approached, the Chicken grunt quickly got away to avoid the predator.
With a fish finder, a school of small fish can be displayed as a single large echo on the screen, but when it is only one fish, even a large one like a big Red seabream, the fish finder will often display only a small echo the size of a dot on the screen. When searching for a solitary fish, keep in mind that it will be represented by a dot and you must be careful not to overlook these small dots on your screen.

Underwater Exploration

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.