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  • Writer's picturekentmitt

The Importance of the Heading Sensor

Updated: Mar 27, 2019

Using the heading sensor feature of my fish finder has been one of the best tools I have used to find fish fast. Dialing in your fish finder using a heading sensor will pay off huge when fishing off shore structure. Follow these easy steps, and you will be "inline" to start catching them better than you ever have before.

Step 1. Install your heading sensor somewhere on your boat away from any magnetic interference. Point the arrow on the reciever to the front of the boat. This will allow your units to always know what direction your boat is pointing, even if you're not moving. Use a magnetic compass around your boat to find any interference. If you're using a lowrance point-1, you'll need to calibrate your sensor out on the water. See links below for all the components you'll need.

Step 2. Once your sensor is installed, go into your chart or navigation settings and turn on the heading sensor function. Once you do , you will see a new line on your chart screen (see blue line below)

Step 3. Set your chart orientation to heading up. This option works excellent once you have a heading sensor installed. Without it, your map will just spin.

Step 4. Turn on your range rings (on Humminbird these are called casting rings.) In the image below you can see the rings are set to 150ft. When you zoom in and out this distance will adjust according to scale.

Step 5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 on your bow unit, and ensure the GPS receiver your bow unit is using is it's own internal receiver. This will make your distances and angles much more accurate vs. using a receiver in the back of the boat.

Step 6. Find some off shore structure you want to fish. Drop a waypoint right on the structure. Back off and line up using your heading sensor and range rings. You'll now be able to make precise casts exactly to your target.

It's all about finding fish fast!


My favorite heading sensor setup:

HDS Live

Point-1 GPS

NMEA Backbone kit

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