What is Chirp on a Fish Finder?

What Is CHIRP On A Fish Finder

What is chirp on a fish finder? This is one of the most frequently asked questions and frustrations from the anglers. Anglers usually complain that traditional sonar project frequencies of very high potential yet for a very brief period.

This type of inconsistency will not be capable of providing you with a good and clear image of the fish or the target. Not only this even when you’re targeting the structures the traditional fish finders won’t be able to deliver the purpose.

But what if I tell you about a game-changer that can totally covert tour fishing game. Modern companies have now introduced CHIRP technology which is a totally game-changer for modern-day anglers.

With CHIRP attached to your finder, you can now send longer pulses of desired frequencies that will provide you with high-quality images of each object present underneath your boat whether it be a fish or other structures, with the additional features.

Fishfinders with CHIRP make you capable of releasing constant and more high-energy frequent pulses into the waterbody, and there are also different options for the anglers to adjust the frequencies so that they can match their fishing requirements.

Now, is not that a game-changer? If this is not that I don’t know what it is. It’s a complete treat for fishermen and anglers. In this article we are going to shed some light on the CHIRP fishfinder capabilities, and what are the factors related to it that can delight your fishing experience.

What Is CHIRP On A Fish Finder?

CHIRP stands for “Compressed High-Intensity Radar pulse”. I know it’s a fancy name but it displays objects underneath the water (fish & structures) in a different and better way, which other traditional sonars are not capable of.

A fish finder with CHIRP sends the signals in the waterbody and detects the structures and fish in it. The phenomenon is very similar to the process of your FM radio, just how it detects the radio waves from the air, the same phenomenon is applicable for the CHIRP too.

As CHIRP can produce pulses of high-frequencies, the returns are much more clear and are of high quality. The returns of fish and seabed are much more accurate and relevant than the traditional fish finders.

What Is CHIRP On A Fish Finder

Fish finders with CHIRP can produce fish and structure-returns at the frequency range of one hundred and seventeen Kilo Hertz (117 kHz). Not only this, with its high-speed bottom technology you can track deep in the ocean, depths where traditional fish finders can’t detect.

The returns are as accurate as up to a hundred percent. The images are crisp, high-quality and you can get an easy estimation of the adjacent structures and objects under the water.

Pulse compression and Correlation:

Pulse compression is the advanced or modern technology of digital structure matching and easy signal processing. With CHIRP on fish finders, your device can in fact obtain and can process drastic information via each pulse.

The technology enables the finder to get remarkable resolution returns and an easy definition of the target.

During the pulse compression process in both radar and sonar fish finders, a long-duration frequency pulse is converted into a frequency of much higher amplitude.

Then the correlation of a narrow range pulse with high peak power is done with a broad range frequency with low peak power. It increases the range of the signal, also improves resolution, and reduces the noise ratio. Hence you can easily locate the targets with diminished background noise.

With CHIRP fish finder the bottom tracking of the sea can be done at much greater speeds without worrying about the deeper depths. It provides you with a great segregation of objects with high resolution with no false objects. The resulting image is spectacular and easy to interpret.

Does CHIRP Scare Fish?

Does your fish finder scare the fish? Well, the answer is yes and no. Because sound waves do not travel well between the water and the air, any motor noise or harsh noise will be unnoticeable to the fish under the water. Don’t worry they won’t be scared or spooked by you either by your fish finder.

But if we talk about under the water, the noise travels swiftly and can spook the fish momentarily. It is recommended to keep your transducer, CHIRP, and the motor on so that it becomes a part of the environment, and the fish won’t be scared after a moment. But, if you on and off the switch frequently then they will be scared.

There are mixed views on the notion that if the fish can hear your fish finder. To get a clear view of this I did a little experiment with my finder. I turned on the finder and dived into the water, at first I hear nothing. But just when I was to come out from the water I heard an almost inaudible click, which was eventually the turning off noise of my motor.

So, according to some anglers sound travels at a much faster speed than the air. Studies also explain that fishes are unable to hear the sounds of your transducer or motor because they are of relatively very high frequency.

Expert anglers say that the myth “CHIRP scares the fish” needs to be busted because the underwater environment is hustling and bustling all the time. Though it is possible that turning on the motor or CHIRP may scare the fish just for a moment.

But keeping it on in the water is much more useful than keeping it off. Fishes are very adaptive and they become habitual of the sound or pulses thinking it to be a waterbody’s natural environment. Remember that in the water you’re not the only one. There are other boats that are traveling, other fishes in the water (large and small), attacking fishes, plantation under the water, all of them creates noise.

How Do You Read A CHIRP Fish Finder?

On a CHIRP, you will acknowledge a fish on your screen either in the form of an arch or a straight line. If the fish finder projects an arch on the screen, that means a fish has come and gone through the finder’s cone. But, on the other hand if you see a straight line on the screen then it means there is a target fish directly under your boat.

If the target fish swims through the fish finder cone, the target will return pulses through the edge of the cone, middle and from the opposite edge. Through the side edges return travel usually more far than the returns from the middle of the cone. Click here to know How to Read Garmin Fish Finder?

While reading CHIRP fish finder keep these things in mind:

  1. Fish arches are formed when the fishes are moving swiftly under the cone or your fish finder is moving over the fish.
  2. A full arch indicates that a fish has travelled completely through your fish finder’s cone.
  3. In the case of midway arches or half arches, it means the fish has not fully travelled through the cone.
  4. If both your CHIRP fish finder, and the fishes are static and not moving, and the target fish is right under the cone then you will acknowledge a straight line.

Due to its high-quality crisp imaged CHIRP is considered as the ideal tool to locate and identify fish, determining underwater structures and the seabed/bottom. Moreover, with CHIRP you can easily differentiate between the target species and objects with precise location.

How To Determine Fish Size On CHIRP Fish Finder?

One of the most common mistakes among anglers is that they assume if they acknowledge a longer arch that means a big size fish. However, that’s completely wrong. A long arch only means that the fish was under you fish finder’s cone for a longer period of time. The best and ideal indicator for fish’s size is the thickness of the arch not it’s size. If the arch you see on the screen is thick and big enough, with high contrasting color hue, then you are witnessing a big fish on the screen.

On the other hands, if the arch width is not so much, and it appears thin and transparent, then you are seeing a small sized fish on the screen. Similarly, a group ot school of fish appears as a dense group of arches or concentrated cluster of bright color on the screen.

Is High CHIRP Good For Shallow Water?

CHIRP operating at higher frequencies is best for freshwater and ideal for the standard depths of six hundred feet. The frequency range for such CHIRP usually ranges from 15-240 kHz. With high CHIRP, you can locate and lure your target like baitfish, and gamefish near the bottom of the sea bed. This frequency is ideal for locating and tracking your target.

On the other hand fish finders with medium frequency ranges like 80-160 kHz is ideal for covering and scanning huge areas in no time, and is also capable of displaying bigger fish arches. However, if you want to view the detailed returns of small objects then you have to move for the high frequency CHIRP, because medium CHIRP are not good at capturing the details.

Is Low CHIRP good for deep water?

Low CHIRP fish finders usually operate at lower frequencies of 50 kHz. Lower frequency ultimately means more power, that is ideal for deep water fish finding. On the other hand, high frequency CHIRP create crisp, and high resolution images that are best for differentiating fish from other structures and from the sea bottom.

What Is Low Q CHIRP?

Low-Q CHIRP is a transducer that provides more coverage in order to easily detect fish, plantations, other structures, and the sea bed. With this tool, you can get those highly defined fish arches with clear target locations and position, and it works great with new Dual spectrum fish finder.

Does CHIRP Work With US2?

With US2 you can only use the sonar option from the unit in the CHIRP. You cannot utilize the down imaging and side imaging options. In order to use these options you will have to install a trolling motor transducer, so that you can use the options from the bow.


All in all “Compressed high-intensity radiated pulse” is technology that projects high energy beams and pulses into the waterbody. With its high frequency range of up to 150 Khz it can produce high-resolution crisp images, that can easily differentiate a fish from other structures like rocks, plantations etc.

Not only this, CHIRP is the best option for you when it comes to scanning and detecting deeper depths with much high speed. It’s a perfect addition for your traditional fish finder and a complete game changer. Investing in CHIRP is surely a step-up for your fishing game, and will also amp up your performance. As it prevents noise, and increase the resolution of the images I would suggest it is worth your money.

If you are someone who take fishing seriously and want to change your fishing game completely, CHIRP will project and receive information in no time with high detail and remarkable vivid images of the targets. Incomparably, CHIRP fish finder is the ultimate need of the modern anglers.

Ricki Cooper

I have been fishing for 11 years. I believe in the famous saying "If fishing is interfering with your business, give up your business".

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