Review by Capt. Terry Nugent
When it comes to finding fish it should be no surprise that I utilize my electronics to give me every advantage possible. What might surprise you however, is my primary electronic tool for locating fish in NOT my fish finder. My go to piece of electronics for finding feeding fish is my radar! I use the radar to locate seabirds working over schools of surface feeding fish. My style of run and gun fishing involves finding these large surface feeds and casting topwater lures and soft baits into the melee. It’s an exciting style of fishing but it requires covering a lot of ground to locate the schools of fish. Rather than driving for miles I use my Raymarine Super HD 12KW Color Radar to do the searching for me.
The Raymarine Super HD Radar technology improves target detection by eliminating virtually all noise and clutter, allowing me to pick out small flocks and even single birds at huge distances. The unit has a dedicated “Bird Finder” mode that pushes up the gain settings and turns off many of the filters that might affect the radars ability to pick up small targets like seabirds. Bird Mode also speeds up the rotation of the radars array from 24 rpm to 48 rpm. This added speed refreshes the screen twice as often when trying to locate and track rapidly moving flocks of birds. The added power of the 12 KW array allows me to reach out upwards of 10 miles to search for the feeding schools. This saves me a ton of time and fuel that I would have to expend otherwise.
Besides being used as a bird finding tool, my Raymarine Super HD radar has many other uses. The very accurate target separation is invaluable when navigating in crowded harbors at night or in dense fog. It allows me to see multiple targets as individuals and not one large mass. If I need to track the movement of other boats in my area it allows me to automatically track multiple vessels simultaneously. My radar is also useful for tracking storms. With the long reach of the 12Kw array I can see storms coming from more than 50 miles away, giving me plenty of time to move or head for home.
Over the years I have run many different types of radar on a variety of vessels. The Raymarine Super HD 12Kw Open array is without a doubt the most capable one I’ve ever used. There isn’t a day the boat leaves the dock that I don’t utilize my radar to make my fishing trips safer and more productive.