Fish finder manufacturers claim that their devices operate for years without any maintenance, but you should still care for your depth finder on a regular basis, especially if you often use it in salt water – salt can quickly lead to corrosion of the cables and connections. However, not even freshwater anglers can slack off on the proper care of their devices. After all, we all want to be able to use our depth finders for years to come.
General info on fish finder maintenance and care
To clean your fish finder, use only clear, warm water (in extreme cases, a small amount of dish soap can be used). To wipe the unit down, we recommend against papers towels – a microfiber cloth is usually the best option. Never leave your fish finder exposed to high heat for long periods of time (e.g. in a hot car during the summer). The extreme heat can destroy the electronic components of your depth finder.
Fish finder LCD maintenance
Although the LCD unit on your fish finder is waterproof, you should never clean it directly under running water. If it’s extremely dirty, you can let the unit soak for a while on the surface of a container of water (never forcibly submerge it) – the elevated water pressure can destroy your depth finder. As described above, you should only use soft/microfiber towels to wipe the LCD and avoid scratches. Glass cleaner and other chemical cleaners have no place anywhere near your fish finder. Again: if absolutely necessary, a small amount of dish soap should suffice. We found a useful video on fish finder cleaning at kayakflyguy.com:
Caring for your fish finder transducer
If your boat is in the water permanently or for an extended period of time, algae and other microflora can accumulate on your transducer. It’s important to occasionally clean your fish finder’s transducer with a little dish soap and a microfiber towel. If you haven’t used your fish finder for an extended period of time, it can take a while until the transducer is fully moistened and functional. Small air bubbles can form on the surface of the transducer – these bubbles will dissipate on their own after a while. After the transducer has been placed in the water, you can also wipe the bubbles off its surface with your fingers to make sure it’s ready for immediate duty.
Maintenance and care of plugs and connections
This is especially important for salt water operation of your fish finder, as the ports and cable connectors can corrode very quickly. Regularly spray/wax/grease the connections on your fish finder with anti-corrosives – at least once per season. Avoid all unnecessary disassembly/disconnection of your fish finder cables.