From Bluewater Magazine Issue #97 Published April 2013

MAQ Sonar Equipment - Squid Finder Written by: Bill Boyce

“Have you ever stared out over the ocean on a particularly slow day and wondered how many marlin you’d been passing over unseen, or perhaps, how many tuna schools had gone by less than a mile away that you never knew were there?

If you are anything like me, of course you have had thoughts like these! A few years ago the equipment didn’t exist that could help you find such targets, but with the advent of smaller, highly sophisticated sonar units, those tunas or marlin or bait schools far off in the distance are suddenly deep red marks on a screen that shows you exactly how deep and how far away they are hiding."

"...Recently I experienced a graphic demonstration of just how phenomenally successful they are while fishing aboard the renowned Kiwi sport fisher Ultimate Lady with Capt. Tom Francis in Tahiti. Over the course of four days fishing, 15 of the 17 blue marlin we raised were first seen on Sonar. One blue was 750 metres away and 90 degrees to our starboard. We would have never seen that fish in our spread had we not first found it with the sonar. Tom picked up another marlin at about 550 metres. We got on top of it and found it was cruising 80 metres below. A few circles over the top and up it came..."

Later in the article Bill Boyce wrote...
"Capt. Tom Francis likes the trawl feature on his MAQ as it allows the user to scan two separate ranges and tilt settings on two separate screens (top and bottom). It also allows him to simultaneously search the surface for predatory species and the depths for prey schools. While I fished with him in Tahiti he was consistently spotting 70 to 100kg blue marlin at a range of 600 metres and once he pings a target he sets the adjustable vertical beam width to 5 degrees. His sonar offers transmit beam widths of 5, 10 or 20 degrees – or 'R' which is extremely effective in rough seas as it transmits at 5 degrees but receives back at 20 degrees. If fish are within range Tom just does not miss them.

Many times Tom will locate a marlin out off the bow, then track it around the beam and back into the lure spread –at all times knowing how deep and which direction it is. He can alert the crew and even tell them – before anyone can see anything – which line the fish is approaching and when it is about to become visible. Of course, with his forewarning the hook-up ratios increase."

Sound Investment

"Do the additional results directly attributable to a sonar unit justify their considerable expense? Consider the value of an instrument that could find you the hundreds of fish that you normally pass by. Sure your sounder can spot fish, but only if they pass directly beneath the boat, so imagine the value of being able to spot a marlin 20m down and 200m off one side of your bow. Considering your time, our increased success, and particularly the money you’ve already invested in a boat specifically to go and find game fish, then of course these benefits would more than justify your investment over time. Imagine your advantage in a tournament. And what if you are running a charter boat, where income and reputation depend on results—wouldn’t the increased catch-rate justify further charters, or a higher charter rate?"

From MAQ Sonar Canada

MAQ offers sonar in two frequencies which would be appropriate for a Sportfishing boat—90 KHz and 60 KHz. In the above excerpts, you have just read what a world-class fisherman has said about sonar…we could not say it better.

If you wish to learn more about MAQ Sonar, we can be found on the web at where language translation is available.

Bluewater Magazine article on MAQ Sonar