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July 28, 2010

Six Ways to Customize Displays

Expert tricks to help you set up your chart plotter, fish finder and radar screens

Setup Problem #2
Temperature displayed in a numeric format.
Yes, of course you want to know the surface temperature of the water. Unfortunately, with small numerals sitting in one corner of the screen, you might not notice an abrupt temperature break for several minutes. By the time you remind yourself to eyeball the water temp, that break could be a mile behind you. And let's be real here, guys; it's all too easy to forget what the water temp was just a few minutes ago, so sometimes a change of a degree or two doesn't even register.

The Fix
Ditch numeric temp displays, and use a graph to chart your temperature changes. All fish finders come with this option these days, and many anglers will flip electro pages to look at graphical displays to get a solid read on the history of the temperature changes they've experienced during a trip. What most captains fail to remember (or never figure out in the first place) is that on most modern units, you can create a custom data box. Size it however you like, and place an always-visible temp graph inside that box. You might ask why bother when you could simply keep flipping back to the graph page. Because the physical change in the line graph will catch your eye much quicker than the ever-changing numbers on the screen. And with the graph always visible, you're more likely to notice a break as soon as you hit it - and you won't need to remind yourself to keep an eye on the number or go back to look at a different screen.