Fish Finders – The Difference of Structure Scan Vs. Side Imaging

When it comes to purchasing fish finders, there is one main factor to consider, the imaging. There are down imaging, side imaging, 360 imaging etc. In this article, we will discover what are the difference of structure scan vs side imaging. Generally, these two methods are completely different and they offer a completely different experience. Dive in to know more.

Side Imaging

Side imaging devices are better for most users. They will scan the water left and right of the boat and as such, they will cover a bigger area. This area will help you determine the waters better and find the fish quicker than ever before. For shallow waters, they are also a more preferable type of water scanning.

The Benefits

The main advantage is the fact you get more details, so you can make any adjustment you may find necessary immediately. But, these units are more expensive than structure scan models, which may be the biggest drawback for some of you.

The Drawback

Yes, they can scan a bigger area, but they will also have to be used while a boat is travelling at low speeds. They can’t be used when a boat travels fast. They are also more complicated to use than the second type here, which is usually considered as a drawback.

Structure Scan

The Benefits

structure scan vs side imaging

This form of imaging is more appealing for beginners. It looks much simpler and it definitely is, but there are not a lot of data. The biggest advantages can be seen in the fats you can use this method in deep waters. They are the best alternative when you want to fish in the sea and where the depth is massive. 

The images they will provide are much easier to understand. That’s why so many beginners love them. They are also more affordable, so they can be the best alternative for you. In the lack of a better word, they are more suitable for fishermen who want to fish on a budget and who want to get the best value for money fish finders.

The next main advantage is the fact structure finders are capable of operating while a boat travels at a high speed. They will still stay 100% efficient and they will get the best results. This is one of many reasons why so many fishermen choose structure scanning fish finders as their alternative.

The Draw​back

But, these fish finders can’t determine the exact location of the fish. It may be 15 feet on the right or 30 feet on the left or in the middle. It is a drawback that has to be mentioned and it is one of the main reasons why some fishermen prefer the first type.


These are basically two different technologies that offer different results. The side scanning is more appealing when you fish in shallow waters and want more data of the fish.

The structure scanning is better when you move fast over deep waters and you need just basic scanning. When it comes to pricing, side scanning is more expensive than structure scanning.

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