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Old 06-14-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
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Question Alabama reefs help

I have all of the public reef numbers for Alabama but most of the time I have a very difficult time locating the structure with the coordinates given. I have the hot spot fishing chip for my garmin and a Hilton atlas. I have been able to find a few eventually (Tulsa, drydock, southeast banks, a couple of tanks) but its been tough. I know what to look for on sonar, I just have to look a looong time to find it and sometimes come up empty and decide to move on to the next search. Do you have any particular methods to find reefs when looking for new one? I try to stay north of the coordinates because I figured that previous storms may have moved them a little.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:05 PM   #2
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Have had the same problem. We found that some sets of coordinates are dead-on, and others, well, not so much. But what we found is that the coordinates that were off would often be in sets. If you look at the deployments, they were clearly done in a north to south fashion, and we have found that if we have trouble finding a coordinate, but we keep looking and finally get on it, we note on the chartplotter which direction the module was compared to where the original coordinate was, and often times, the modules to the north or south of that will be off a similar distance in a similar direction. I've seen them be as much as 100'-150' from where they are supposed to be.

Also, as odd as it may sound, switch up the people running the boat when you're having trouble finding a spot. There will be times when my dad will go crazy trying to find a spot, and then I'll take the helm, and I'll find it in a couple of minutes. I would say put your best electronics person at the wheel when you're looking for a spot.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:04 AM   #3
JMB
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It can be tough sometimes.

Sometimes it's the location, operator, seas, equipment, the list can be long and have multiple factors. I think another thing that happens is that the DGPS can be off as much as 100 or so. I think some days more satellites lock on/off and can change the GPS accuracy from day to day. Furthermore, I wonder if being so close to military bases does the military "jam" or reduce accuracy from time to time?

Time Bandit offers some good advice.

Also, I would practice on bigger spots that are easy to find. Practice using your Man Overboard feature or log a new waypoint when you find the spot or fish on a site. This helps relocate the spot after you move off of it.

I wish I could offer better advice but it just takes practice and experience. Something's just can't be learned by reading.

But a big thing to remember is don't always worry about being exactly on the spot when snapper fishing. On small spots like pyramids and tanks, most of the bigger fish hang a good ways off the reef anyway. I always power drift the spots and always catch the big ones off, way off, the spot.

If you want more specifics about using your equipment, post your make/model of all plotter and fishfinder, transducer with specs, and anything else that may help people give you advice on using your exact unit. I have had Garmin, Raymarine, and Furuno units and all work a little different and each takes practice to get the most from them.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I have a Garmin 740s, transducer is transom mounted. When I get close to the designated spot I put on the bottom lock-usually set to 20 or 30 feet. There is no mistaking when I am over the reefs but it just takes quite a while for me to find them.

I guess I should start looking in a north to south pattern. What reefs do you think are easiest to find?
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:00 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I have a Garmin 740s, transducer is transom mounted. When I get close to the designated spot I put on the bottom lock-usually set to 20 or 30 feet. There is no mistaking when I am over the reefs but it just takes quite a while for me to find them.

I guess I should start looking in a north to south pattern. What reefs do you think are easiest to find?
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:21 PM   #6
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Couple of Quick questions: I assume you can take your sounder into a split screen mode with chartplotter on one side and bottom finder on the other? Also, assuming your unit has a zoom feature on the chartplotter function, are you using it to zoom in as close to the mark as you can? What is the scale in full zoom mode on your unit?
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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Bigger reefs are: Wallace, Allen, anything with tug/barge/rubble/bridge in the name.

Something else to consider is to move slowly and turn before the chart plotter catches up. There is a lag. So when circling, it is easy to overshoot the turn towards the wreck when looking at the plotter. Hard to explain.

Hope this helps a little, it is something that is easier to show than tell.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Time Bandit View Post
Couple of Quick questions: I assume you can take your sounder into a split screen mode with chartplotter on one side and bottom finder on the other? Also, assuming your unit has a zoom feature on the chartplotter function, are you using it to zoom in as close to the mark as you can? What is the scale in full zoom mode on your unit?
Yes I use the split screen mode with chartplotter and sounder. I usually zoom in on the chart to about 200 ft when I get close to the spot and when I see structure on the sounder, I will mark the spot. I think I am zooming in all the way but will be sure I am this weekend!
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMB View Post
Bigger reefs are: Wallace, Allen, anything with tug/barge/rubble/bridge in the name.

Something else to consider is to move slowly and turn before the chart plotter catches up. There is a lag. So when circling, it is easy to overshoot the turn towards the wreck when looking at the plotter. Hard to explain.

Hope this helps a little, it is something that is easier to show than tell.
Haven't thought about a little lag...I will keep it in mind. Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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I suggest turning on "tracks" on the chart portion as you get closer. It helps "visualize" what you have covered and what you have not.
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