Minnesota guide Brad Hawthorne breaks down the best settings for side imaging to provide the cleanest picture of fish and structure.
Best Settings for Side Imaging
Side imaging is a crucial tool for many anglers and there are some simple adjustments you can make in the settings that will give you the best picture of structure and fish.
The following list is how to set your Humminbird MEGA side imaging settings.
Humminbird MEGA Side Imaging Settings
Sensitivity: Between 14 – 16
Range: 90 Feet
Chart Speed: 5
Contour Mode: OFF
Colors (Color Pallet): 4 or 2
Dynamic Contrast: OFF
Once you have your settings for side imaging adjusted correctly drive around side scanning at about 2-mph. Do your best to keep the boat between 1.5-mph and 3-mph for the best picture.
There is a few things you should look for when side scanning an area. The first is hot, white returns ( in the shape of a grain of rice) with a shadow behind it. These types of returns are going to be fish.
Depending on how many fish you see in an area will help determine how you should approach the spot and what type of presentations you should use.
As an example if you are side scanning an area and see a school of fish bunched up it may be a good time to use casting presentations. On the flip side of that if you side scan over an area and see that the fish are really spread out then fast moving tactics like trolling or pulling spinners is going to be a better option.
Another thing you’ll want to look for once your have the correctly settings for side imaging is bottom transitions. It could any type of bottom transition like a rock to sand, weed to sand, or mud to rock transition.
Once you have your side imaging dialed and understand what to look for it’s amazing how many more fish you will put in the boat throughout the season.