Another-stonker-large-mouth-caught-off-a-Wonky Hole

Getting your fish finder right to find untouched Wonky Holes

Garmin and Ryan Moody Fishing Ambassador Ben “Westo” Weston takes the reins for this week’s blog post. Ben was one of our first “Wonky Holes” online course members and has since gone on to find some fantastic country off the coast of Central Queensland using his trusty Garmin fish finder.

Be sure and read to the bottom as we will will have links to Ryan’s live Wonky Holes presentation, filmed at a BCF club night.

Oh… and if you have any questions about sounders for Westo, be sure and leave a comment below and he will get to them over the next few days.

Take it away Westo…


Wonky holes have been somewhat of a mystery for me for many, many years.

I distinctly remember back in the mid-nineties my old man talking about fishing these small pot holes of gold which lay on the sea floor, but we never actually fished one. Lack of knowledge and a distracted mindset, we never went in search them, preferring to take the easy option.

However that all changed after biting the bullet and doing Ryan's Wonky Holes course. Ryan lays all of his cards on the table, really making sense of the mysterious ‘Wonky Holes’. Without this kind of in depth step by step knowledge and the electronics to aid in the search of these honey holes, they are very difficult to find. In fact, it’s somewhat of a fluke locating one without the two ingredients mentioned above!

 

Red Emperor are frequent residents of Wonky Holes

Red Emperor are frequent residents of Wonky Holes.

 

Since doing the course and achieving some amazing results, I have fielded many personal messages asking for the best sounder setup on the market to make the search easier. I reluctantly say ‘easier’ because I assure you there is a science in finding them, but as the saying ‘goes a tradesman is useless without his tools’ and a fisherman is no different. But there is an answer, to be honest it’s the easiest part of finding wonkies. GARMIN!

As a Garmin Ambassador, it is not through bias that I say this. Well maybe it is, as I only represent products I have full faith in. I also work at a tackle shop and at the moment (October 2017), in my opinion, there is nothing on the marine electronics market in direct competition or even close to what Garmin has to offer to the offshore market, particularly in Side Vu.

The Garmin GT51 transducer is easily unrivaled in its ability to Side Vu at depth out to 150m either side of your boat. The GT51 has a dual frequency capability in Side Vu, the more traditional 455khz and the deeper water frequency of 260khz.

Since Ryan put together his Wonky Holes Course, there have been many Garmin fish finder packages roll out the door, and as a direct result his students are finding Wonky Holes with little fuss on the back of Ryan’s priceless knowledge laid out in the course.

Catching Nannygai Scarlet Sea Perch on Wonky Holes.

Wonky Holes student Ben Gilbertson catching Nannygai Scarlet Sea Perch on Wonky Holes.

Catching Sweetlip on Wonky Holes using a Garmin fish finder

Using your fish finder to find new ground! It's common knowledge that if a spot hasn't been fished, a variety of fish will come off it.

 

I currently run a Garmin Fish Finder GPSMAP 7410xsv and GT51 transducer combo in my 6.15m Yaltacraft. Over the 12 months I have been associated with Garmin Australia I have hosted many mates who swear by other brands and I assure you they leave the boat with a new-found respect for the clarity and capability of this setup in deep water.

Scroll through the screen shots I have attached to the article of the Wonky Holes and isolated structure of have found in recent months. I also encourage you to take note of the depth they are found in. This Garmin Fish Finder combo makes short work of grinding away finding unfished country.

 

 

Fish finder screenshot of a large cluster of Wonky Holes off the Central Queensland Coast.

A large cluster of Wonky Holes off the Central Queensland Coast.

 

Garmin marine fish finder. Sounder shots showing fish

Fish finder screen shot - This rock accounted for several coral trout over a 20 minute period.

 

 

Isolated rocks found in 46.8 m of water.

Isolated rocks found in 46.8 m of water.

 

Whether you have done the Wonky Holes course or not, I believe if you don’t have a Garmin fish finder unit running the GT51 transducer you are well behind the eight ball. Yes, I agree other brands have proved themselves in the past offshore, Furuno being the stand out performer. But in my opinion they come at an inflated price and still run old school sonar technology. Garmin CHIRP gives you superior target separation making painting the picture clear as day, even to the point of counting individual fish through the water column.

If you’re about to search for some illusive Wonky Holes with your fish finder and want to find some untouched new ground, there is an answer to shorten those long days searching the deep blue. Go Garmin, you’d be lost without it!!

Pop your sounder questions in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them.

Cheers Westo.


Want to learn more about Wonky Holes?

Check out Ryan Moody's free presentation on the topic including Fish Finder screen shots of what to look for - filmed to a 700 strong crowd during a BCF club night.

 

Learn More About Wonky Holes

 

 


 

Additional Resources;

How to make Berley Bombs and catch more reef fish

Releasing fish with Barotrauma

Spinning Reel Basics

Traditional vs CHIRP sounders

 

Our online fishing course WONKY HOLES contains step-by-step instructions to find and fish these underwater gems.

Click here to visit our Wonky Holes online fishing course information page.

 

More Great Fishing Tips

 

 

 

And for more great fishing tips [emailed fortnightly] and a chance to win a barra fishing charter with Ryan Moody, enter your name and email below and join our free fishing community.

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About The Author

Ben Weston

Passionate angler, fishing writer and photography enthusiast, Ben writes a under the moniker Westofish and has published articles in several well known fishing publications. Ben loves all things fishing and in recent years has developed a lure flicking addiction for some of Australia's toughest tropical species; mangrove jacks, fingermark, salmon and the iconic barramundi.

Facebook comments

14 Comments

  • Tim

    Reply Reply August 26, 2018

    Hi Westo,
    I have setup my boat with Garmin 7412 & Gt 51.
    Do you run the unit in auto or do you adjust the settings?
    I have been using a Furuno forever and I have to manually tune settings to suit. The Garmin seems to be better in auto, but I feel like I’m not getting the most out of the unit when I leave it in auto.
    Tim

    • Westo

      Reply Reply August 26, 2018

      Hey Timmy,

      Mate, obviously the combo you have is the best in the market for searching for new country.

      Garmins auto setting are great, however as a searching tool for finding new country I tend to wind the brighness up to get a wider spread.

      The main thing to be aware of is that doing so gives you a high feedback and can wash out structure, but you will get a more pronounced shadow if its a prominent, larger find.

      For finding wonkys you are more looking for a shadow of the hole, so it’s not really a big issue.

      Hope that makes sense mate, if you have any more questions feel free to contact me through my facebook ‘public profile’ page.

      Cheers Westo

  • Nick

    Reply Reply June 19, 2018

    Hi Ben,

    Which GT51 transducer do you run with your 7410?

    Thanks in advance

    • Ben Weston

      Reply Reply June 20, 2018

      They are all the same mate. GT51-TM i’s the most popular ad the ‘TM’ drnotes ‘trsndsom mount’.

      Cheers Westo

  • Nathan Pratt

    Reply Reply February 10, 2018

    Hi Ben,

    I have the echomap 95sv with gt52 trans, is this still a good trans for finding wonkies or will I need to get a gt51 as well.

    Cheers mate

    • Ben Weston

      Reply Reply March 31, 2018

      G’day Nathan,

      Mate the GT52 is an inshore marketed transducer, definitely punches above its weight but lacks the power of the GT51 and the 260khz deep water frequency.

      GT51 is where you’ll leave other brands for dead mate. 🤟🤟

      Cheers Westo

  • Chriso

    Reply Reply February 7, 2018

    Westo. Can’t agree more on the Garmin. I’ve jumped ship from lowrance. I’m running a 7408 and a 952 units with gt51 ducers linked all together on my 520 sea jay. I’m sounding bait and new country at 30 knots no problem. Catches improved out of site. Two thumbs up to Garmin. Leading the pack by far.

    • Ben Weston

      Reply Reply March 31, 2018

      Awesome Chriso.. 👍👍

  • Mick

    Reply Reply November 8, 2017

    G’day Ben
    I’m look at the Garmin GPSMAP range in the 7 series as you suggested.
    Can you tell me the difference between the three units – 7407, 7408 and 7410?
    Can I achieve the same results from the base unit if I it with the GT51 transducer?
    Thanks
    Mick

    • Westo

      Reply Reply November 9, 2017

      G’day Mick,

      The difference in all the listed units in screen size, the last number of the model denoting the size in inches. E.g GPSMAP 7410xsv is a 10″ screen.

      All have the same internals show yes you will achieve the same results with the 7407 as the 7408, 7410 and 7412.

      Cheers Westo.. ????????

  • rick

    Reply Reply October 31, 2017

    do you know anything about garmin quickdraw contours? I was wondering how they would show up wonky holes and to what depth they can go cheers ship4brains

    • Westo

      Reply Reply November 9, 2017

      G’day Rick.

      Mate I love using Quickdraw, particularly while searching.

      In my experience the depth of the Wonky hole isn’t enough to show on Quickdraw. However that is referring to Paleo wonkies. Artisans may be a differemt kettle of fish depending on the size of the rubble mount thrown.

      Hope that helps mate..

      Cheers Westo.. ????????

  • Andrew Vella

    Reply Reply October 20, 2017

    Hi Ben
    I have a 6.4m barcrusher reefsport and running two 7″ lowrance hds 7s about 7 years old.One I use on sounder and one on gps and they are linked together.On the gps side it is slow in correcting itself and I have trouble in putting us on the mark.The sounder side it could be much better but it is old.Looking to upgrade to a 12″ hds and keep a 7″ for gps and linked together it supposed to react quicker.WHat do you think or would a Garmin set up be better.
    Andrew

    • Westo

      Reply Reply November 9, 2017

      G’day Andrew…

      Its not uncommon for Lowrance to get a bit jumpy as they get a bit long in the tooth, common fault.

      Mate I believe Garmin is unrivaled offshore, particularly in Side Vu technology at depth. If you where looking at upgrading both to have the benefit of them being networked the GPSMAP 7400 series is what I’d recommend using the GT51 transducer. I currently run 2 x GPSMAP 7410s and love them. The GT51 is a great transducer I am still sounding in Side Vu finding structure in +60m of water, something which no other brand has achieved. If the majority of your fishing is done in less than 150m its perfect for traditional sonar also.

      Mate if you want to PM me via Facebook I’d be more than happy to help you out with more in depth questions.

      Cheers Westo????????

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