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I am an avid bass fisherman with a boat, but I can't quite afford a fish finder yet. I am needing tips or tricks on how to locate grass lines or beds from the deck of my boat without a sonar. I am hoping to get a fish finder soon so maybe some recommendations on fish finders. Please try and keep it under $200. Thx, JT

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Welcome to the forums!

 

Are the waters you fish clear enough to see

the grass growth? Where I fish, the grasses

grow to the surface and the edges are easy

enough to spot.

 

As for a fish finder under $200, you can pretty

much go with a Garmin, Lowrance, or Humminbird

as they're close (by my reckoning) in terms of what

they offer at that price range.

 

 

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This would most likely work.... http://www.amazon.com/iBobber-Castable-Bluetooth-Smart-Fishfinder/dp/B00LEA2FS0

 

~Kevin

 

P.S. Welcome to the forums!

 

You should run over the the "introductions" forum and introduce yourself! 

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Welcome to the forums!

 

Are the waters you fish clear enough to see

the grass growth? Where I fish, the grasses

grow to the surface and the edges are easy

enough to spot.

 

As for a fish finder under $200, you can pretty

much go with a Garmin, Lowrance, or Humminbird

as they're close (by my reckoning) in terms of what

they offer at that price range.

lol, you beat me:)

 

I thought I would be the first one :)

 

~Kevin

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lol, you beat me:)

 

I thought I would be the first one :)

 

~Kevin

 

:smiley: typing at the same time, I suppose, LOL

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Crankbaits are great for finding weedlines. When you catch grass, keep moving off the bank until you stop catching it, viola! you found your weedline. 

 

Garmin makes the 151dv which is a nice little unit with down view in your price range. For a little more than you said you could get the 301dv, which is a color unit instead of black and white. 

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Hummingbird 561 SwitchFire downlooking sonar, 2,400 watts (PtP), 300 watts (RMS) $154.99

Problem solved ;)

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DarrenM, most waters here in kansas aren't very clear although there are a few exceptions. But one of the lakes that I fish has a visibility of about 7-8 ft.

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DarrenM, most waters here in kansas aren't very clear although there are a few exceptions. But one of the lakes that I fish has a visibility of about 7-8 ft.

Grasslines ya can see aint the outside grassline!

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Can't help with a recommendation, but until you get one, to me the best way to "see" what's under you is to throw a fairly heavy, tungsten weighted Carolina Rig. Drag that thing in around areas where you can't see anything growing and you'll soon learn more than just where the grass starts.

Welcome and good hunting

Mike

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I recently purchased the Lowrance Elite 4x from Academy for $99.  I spent another probably $60 on a battery, box, connectors, and supplies to mount to my kayak.  This model has both regular sonar and downscan.  It does not however have GPS or maps.  I know you can get this same model with those features though and probably still stay under $200, or you can go up to the next model.  

 

I am sure there will be lots of opinions, but this model has some great features while keeping the price low.  The screen might be a bit small for use on a boat, but for the budget minded it is a great value.  It doesn't do great in shallow water (say under 5'), but anything over that it works fine.  I have yet to see much in the way of fish arches, but I have seen schools of baitfish, and knowing the depth, contour, and water temp have been very useful.  I believe the issue with not seeing arches has less to do with the unit and more to do with how I am using it.  As I understand it before an arch can be painted on the screen the fish needs to fully pass through the beam.  Since I am in a kayak, and not moving very fast it gives fish a lot more time to get out of the way before they can be marked by the FF.  This is just a guess, but I expect it is accurate, at least to a degree.  Of course since an arch doesn't actually mean a bass, I am not overly concerned about not seeing them anyway.

 

Since most of the places I fish the bass are still up shallow I don't really need it right now, but once it warms up some more and the bass go deeper I am hoping this will really help me locate if not actual fish, likely spots they might be. Overall, unless you are concerned about screen size this might be a great option for you that stays within your budget.

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I recently purchased the Lowrance Elite 4x from Academy for $99.  I spent another probably $60 on a battery, box, connectors, and supplies to mount to my kayak.  This model has both regular sonar and downscan.  It does not however have GPS or maps.  I know you can get this same model with those features though and probably still stay under $200, or you can go up to the next model.  

 

I am sure there will be lots of opinions, but this model has some great features while keeping the price low.  The screen might be a bit small for use on a boat, but for the budget minded it is a great value.  It doesn't do great in shallow water (say under 5'), but anything over that it works fine.  I have yet to see much in the way of fish arches, but I have seen schools of baitfish, and knowing the depth, contour, and water temp have been very useful.  I believe the issue with not seeing arches has less to do with the unit and more to do with how I am using it.  As I understand it before an arch can be painted on the screen the fish needs to fully pass through the beam.  Since I am in a kayak, and not moving very fast it gives fish a lot more time to get out of the way before they can be marked by the FF.  This is just a guess, but I expect it is accurate, at least to a degree.  Of course since an arch doesn't actually mean a bass, I am not overly concerned about not seeing them anyway.

 

Since most of the places I fish the bass are still up shallow I don't really need it right now, but once it warms up some more and the bass go deeper I am hoping this will really help me locate if not actual fish, likely spots they might be. Overall, unless you are concerned about screen size this might be a great option for you that stays within your budget.

I got the same one, have yet to try it out.

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Crankbaits are great for finding weedlines. When you catch grass, keep moving off the bank until you stop catching it, viola! you found your weedline. 

 

 

Do it all the time.  There can sometimes be a bank side grass line as well.

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Another good tool to help understand the bottom composition is a heavy c-rig with a tungsten weight. A great tool to mentally map the bottom if you don't have a fish finder.

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I learned this one from a friend of my dad's back in the early '60's. Tie a string to a white coffee cup and lower it in the water until you can no longer see it. Mark and measure the string and transfer that measurement to your anchor rope.  Motor slowly toward shore and the anchor will grab at or close to the weed edge, a few casts will pin point it.  You can drop a marker and repeat the process 30 yards down the shore.  After a few markers have been placed, you'll have a visual aid on the surface that you can now cast to.  It's a little time consuming, but worked for my dad and me until we could afford a 'Little Green Box'

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troll perpendicular to shore (toward deep water) while using a jig, shaky head, drop shot etc to find the deepest weeds in the lake.  keep casting/trolling until you only feel sediment and no weeds.  park/position ur boat where you can cast past the deep weeds to sediment and drag ur jig/shaky head back till you feel the first sign of weed growth.  stop ur lure there and wiggle at the edge of the deep weeds. someone should poke their head out to say hello  :eyebrows:

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Grasslines ya can see aint the outside grassline!

In Kansas they often are. The weeds we have here don't grow in water deeper than about 7-8 feet for the most part and will grow to the surface or very near it in most cases. Obviously there's exceptions to every rule, but our dirty water just doesn't allow the light penetration for weeds to grow in very deep water (or at all in a lot of cases). 

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In Kansas they often are. The weeds we have here don't grow in water deeper than about 7-8 feet for the most part and will grow to the surface or very near it in most cases. Obviously there's exceptions to every rule, but our dirty water just doesn't allow the light penetration for weeds to grow in very deep water (or at all in a lot of cases).

So the grasslines in Kansas grow square like a box not tapering down with the bottom contour?

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So the grasslines in Kansas grow square like a box not tapering down with the bottom contour?

They grow with the bottom contour, but rarely in deeper water because our lakes are mostly too turbid for them to grow in deeper water. Most of them have to grow to very near the surface or they won't get the required light penetration to survive. So in most cases, the weedlines that we can see here are often the only weedline in the lake. So all you have to do is get off the bank until you can't see the weeds anymore, and you've found the outside weedline :) I wish we had more lakes with deep weeds, it's too easy when everyone can find the weedlines just by looking for them. 

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They grow with the bottom contour, but rarely in deeper water because our lakes are mostly too turbid for them to grow in deeper water. Most of them have to grow to very near the surface or they won't get the required light penetration to survive. So in most cases, the weedlines that we can see here are often the only weedline in the lake. So all you have to do is get off the bank until you can't see the weeds anymore, and you've found the outside weedline :) I wish we had more lakes with deep weeds, it's too easy when everyone can find the weedlines just by looking for them.

You guys up there must be on top of each other if they're holding in the grass. Yeah, I wouldn't like that either.

But I can see where at times, that type of grwoth pattern would be an advantage.

Mike

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You guys up there must be on top of each other if they're holding in the grass. Yeah, I wouldn't like that either.

But I can see where at times, that type of grwoth pattern would be an advantage.

Mike

It becomes kind of a "take a number and get in line" type deal. That's usually when I'll go do something else and hope I can find 5 bites doing something different while everyone else competes for the same fish. 

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