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usmman

Need fish finder advice, please.

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Years ago, I fished all the time, and was knowledgeable on all the latest gear, etc.  Now I'm an old fart, and thinking about doing some bass fishing again.  I would really appreciate some recommendations concerning a fish finder. 

 

Things to consider: 

1. Easy to operate

2. I already have a list of coordinates to enter into the new fish finder, and need an accurate GPS/fish finder to get to these locations

3. A good view of fish, bottom & structure would be nice, but most fishing would be done anchored at the various coordinates I'll be entering into the device, so getting to those exact spots is the most important function

4. Will be used only on one fresh water lake, and max depth is 50 ft.

5. Would like to spend $1000 or less

6. Would be mounted on a pontoon boat (suggestions for transducer mounting would be appreciated also)

 

Thanks a bunch,

 

Jack

 

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I would suggest garmin very easy to use great gps and cheap striker series is ok but spend the extra and get ecomap bass pro spring classic 450$ But got to hurry I just drove 4 hours one way to get one now I'm running the striker and ecomap love them both not sure where you should mount the transducer tho

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Raymarine has some fantastic units.

 

The problem is that each year the companies introduce "new and improved" models, like what Lowrance did this year.

 

As long as the model is easy for you to understand and use you will enjoy the electronics.

 

Good luck and have fun comparing the units and driving your self crazy.

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On the easy to operate thing: Extremely subjective, depends entirely on user preference.

 

Best way to deal with this is go to the store and try out all the different units and see what works best for how you think.  All comments about usability are well meant, but don't address how you look at things.  I am, for instance, a Humminbird guy.  The menus make sense to me.  I can find things quickly, stuff is where I expect it...but that doesn't mean the next guy will have the same experience.  I fish with folks who have Garmin and Lowrance and they love their electronics. 

 

None of them are any better than the others.

 

On 2 through 6: For all general purposes, the major brands are the same, with a tweak here, or a feature there.  None of that stuff makes the tiniest bit of difference if the menue system makes you crazy.

 

It's like a Mac/Windows thing: They both do the same thing, same overall reliability and performance...but one will make more sense to you than the other.  Go with that.

 

Oh yeah: Don't listen to the sales people.  Their goal is to sell you what they have, what the store makes the most profit on, or what they like best.  Many of them have zero real world experience, or very little.  Every now and then you'll find an exception, but you'e best to go with the odds here.

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On 2/11/2018 at 6:18 PM, usmman said:

Years ago, I fished all the time, and was knowledgeable on all the latest gear, etc.  Now I'm an old fart, and thinking about doing some bass fishing again.  I would really appreciate some recommendations concerning a fish finder. 

 

Things to consider: 

1. Easy to operate

2. I already have a list of coordinates to enter into the new fish finder, and need an accurate GPS/fish finder to get to these locations

3. A good view of fish, bottom & structure would be nice, but most fishing would be done anchored at the various coordinates I'll be entering into the device, so getting to those exact spots is the most important function

4. Will be used only on one fresh water lake, and max depth is 50 ft.

5. Would like to spend $1000 or less

6. Would be mounted on a pontoon boat (suggestions for transducer mounting would be appreciated also)

 

Thanks a bunch,

 

Jack

 

Jack,

 

I am an old fart and just getting back to fishing myself.  However before I buy a $$$ fishfinder I do a lot research. That said, I like the Garmin best also.  For the money and the options and mapping and the simple screen menu I like Garmin Echo map model. Specifically the Echomap 73SV chirp.  Personally, I wanted the a model with the sideview feature as it gives one a much bigger view of the underwater landscape and seems especially useful for smaller water.  The Echomap 73SV gives you the sideview, traditional and downview or clearview as garmin calls it. You can also see all 3 views at once if you prefer.  It you decide to check out that model be aware there are presently 3 variations of that model for sale that I am aware of.  The oldest variation is the most basic model Echomap 73SV and does not have the Chirp feature.  Then there is the 73SV with Chirp and the newest version, the 73SV plus.  The difference between them basically is that the Newest model, the Plus, has Chirp and wireless capeability whereas the Chirp model doesn't have the wireless and the oldest model has neither wirelss nor Chirp.  Obviously, the non chrip model is the least expensive followed by the Chirp and the most expensive is the Plus model.  Also be aware that some units do not come with the transducer so be sure you know what you get with the unit before purchasing.  

 

There are also a 72 and 74 (and larger) numbered models  out there.  The 74SV is set up more for Salt water and often comes with coastal maps and a different Transducer with frequiences more compatible with deeper salt water.  As I understand it, it doesn't utilize the higher frequiencies that give finer detail to freshwater views but use lower freqencies that better penterate salt water.  The 72 is more for outside the USA such as Canada.  The 73 gives better views for lakes etc.   

 

If you want a more basic model the Stricker is less expensive and has most of the features of the Echomap even a SV (side View version but only has a basic GPS function which has no actual map or card slot to allow you to install any map but does allow you to save a waypoint that you can get back to.  Now the newest model Striker, the plus model allows you to create your own maps but not sure how well that works.

 

Also if you don't feel the need for Sideview, the Echomap CV OR DV model is less expensive as well and comes in chirp on non-chirp models but I don't think they are compatible with the Panoptix feature. 

 

One plus to getting the SV (sideview) 73 SV model is the fact that it is compatible with the optional Panoptix feature which personally looks to be pretty awesome to me but requires the purchase of an additional transducer at a min cost of 700 dollars.  There is also a 5" SV model but it is not compatible with panoptix as I understand.  Only the 7" models and up are compatible (IE the 7 and 9SV models).

The Panoptix gives you a LIVE view in real time and you can see your lure dropping in real time and the fish moving and doesn't require the boat to be moving to work.  The SV unit has a special port for the Panoptix transducer but also has the normal transducer port as well so you can have both plugged in at the same time.  The Panoptix port uses a Ethernet socket.  I am sure as I put a ethernet cable in it just to see if it fit and it does.  

 

Another postive for SV models is that the electrical part of the unit unplugs and you can take if off to securely store it.  It's waterproof as well.  Oh yea, it won't help me since my finder is going on a Kayak but the SV also supports engine data and chartplotter functions that I can't really utilize but I'm sure many can who have a real boat.   

 

For myself, like I said I wanted the side view but I didn't feel like I needed the wireless but I do feel the Chirp feature is worth the extra bucks as it fires multiple frequiencies at once vs just one frequency permitting a cleaner view of the structure and fish.   So I ended up getting the SV Chirp model as it was a good deal cheaper than the Plus but slightly more expensive than the Non-Chirp.  The Chirp models uses a 12 pin transducer but I think the older basic SV model uses a 8 pin transducer but don't quote me on that.  Again I've been researching and checking prices of these models on a regular basis and if you do the same you will see that the Plus model has not been discounted as yet but the older chirp and non chirp models often are if cost is a concern. 

 

Again, if you figured out what features you want and you go to purchase be sure it includes the transducer and or the maping software you want if any.  I felt my research and all my google searches paid off as I ended up finding a 74SV chirp model with both the blue chart and the Lake Vu maps at a great price. I wanted the 73SV but the deal was so good I couldn't pass it up. Also it came with the CV51M-TM transducer which is a 400 plus dollar ducer if you had to buy it seperately. Hope you do can do as well on whatever you purchase.  Hope this helps you Jack or someone else looking for a mid priced nearly full featured finder.

 

Terry

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Any sonar/GPS will put you within 6' of the way points, better units within 3'.

You don't need scanning sonar to know exactly where you are located and what is under the boat.

You can mount the transducer using a transum skimming TD unit on the end of a aluminum pole with a bracket to raise and lower the TD so it in the water.

Price depends on the size of the screen and traditional color or HDI display, most will do both. Basic Lowrance Elite 7 Ti HDI with skimmer TD is about $700.

Tom

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54 minutes ago, WRB said:

Any sonar/GPS will put you within 6' of the way points, better units within 3'.

You don't need scanning sonar to know exactly where you are located and what is under the boat.

You can mount the transducer using a transum skimming TD unit on the end of a aluminum pole with a bracket to raise and lower the TD so it in the water.

Price depends on the size of the screen and traditional color or HDI display, most will do both. Basic Lowrance Elite 7 Ti HDI with skimmer TD is about $700.

Tom

Wow tom, that is one huge bass!  Maybe I need to go to S Cal and so some bass fishing!

 

I was actually out in that area when I was at MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) in 1970 both at boot camp and back there again in electronics school.  While there, I hiked out into the Elcahone (spelling) area.  It wasn't built up much back then but I bet it is now!  

 

Terry

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