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I went with the Lowrance I finder pro last summer and am very happy with it. It was only 200.00 and has a built in data base with most major roads and attractions. I did also purchase the Map Create software for it. With this you can load incredibly detailed maps on to mmc cards for use in the unit. It is very easy to do and they work great. The new color units are very nice also but a little pricey for me.

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Even though I have a fixed mount GPS in my boat, I decided to buy a handheld also. The one that I bought was the Garmin Etrex Vista. That thing is pretty nice. I haven't needed to get additional software for it because it is loaded with maps already.

JT Bagwell

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Etrex Vista also great little unit and full of memory.

24mb, i use mine for salt water and fresh. plus you get real time speed for the speed freek in all of us.

good luck with your purchase. oh one more thing--the unit comes with its own software but you can buy the garmin lake map cds for the down loads of a specific lake.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're going to be using your GPS to get back on top of brushpiles (or other pinpoint accurate things), be sure to get a unit that has an electronic compass.  Most units require that you are moving at least 2 mph in order for them to tell which direction is North.  An electronic compass feature allows it to read direction without moving.  Most times when you're trying to find a brushpile with your trolling motor, you'll never move fast enough for the GPS to work without the electronic compass.

The Etrex Vista has that feature (http://www.garmin.com/products/etrexVista/).  Another good one to look at would be the Magellan Meridian Platinum (www.magellangps.com).  I've been using the Magellan model for about 2 years now and couldn't be happier.  Unlike some models that claim they are waterproof, this one really is.  I tested that intentionally the within 6 hours of opening the box.  It floated too.

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  • BassResource.com Administrator
Another great thing about the Vista is you can download Fishing Hot Spots Maps on it. These maps have underwater topography and lots of extras.

Same goes for Lowrance.  You can download any Navionics map to your unit (they have both navigation and topo maps available).

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I currently use the Megellan Platinum.  I do not believe I could be happier with another unit, especially if you have fat fingers.  It gives me all the data I need, including current barometer, most active time of day for fishing hunting, everthing can be uploaded or downloaded.  

I would offer a word of caution though, check Navionics for lake topo's website before you purchase this software.   Seems they are a bit bias against us N.W bass fisherman.  Not all lakes are in this database and you should check before you spend that kind of cash.  

Food for thought.

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