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king fisher

good fish finder, plotter, for $1500 or less

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I'm buying a 18 foot aluminum boat to bass fish a deep canyon lake.  Will want to accurately mark targets as deep as 40 plus' good target separation with bait schools.  Not interested in side scan.  There are no maps of this lake making some form of mapping capabilities a must.  I come from salt water fishing back ground where, the boat I captain has over $35,000 of electronics that read thousands of feet deep.  I wouldn't leave the dock without top of the line sonar. I have no experience with fresh water units.  I am accustom to high end electronics, but do have a budget.  Trying to save money on boat and motor, in order to get a good trolling motor, and electronics.  I see you can get units for 

$500 but assume target ID and separation would be minimal at that price range.  Other issue is the boat is aluminum, I assume the transducer will have to be mounted on the transom.  Is it difficult to mount properly?  Will a transom mount work on plane? Should I buy transducer separate, or is a package deal the way to go? I don't want to break the bank but plan on depending on my electronics more than the average bass fisherman.   I will be willing to spend more if need be.  Is $1500 a reasonable price range?    Thanks in advance.

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That price will get you what your looking for. Install is a breeze and transducer comes with any unit. Just make sure you have a sd card slot so you can save chart data.

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Screen size might be the biggest price driver here. For fresh water bass fishing up to 40 ft you don't need to spend $1,500 to get a high quality unit, but if you're used to a large screen, the additional dollars spent may be well worth it.

 

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Anyone recomend a particular model?  Is there any need to go over 500 W of power?  Offshore I have a 3 KW transducer and black box, but for 100' or less I am assuming 500 W would be more than enough.  I do see all the major brands offer a 1 KW model. Is that much power just a waste of money?  I love Chirp tech. for the increase target separation, but have no experience with down view, or side view.  Are they worth while options?  Is it possibe to spot fish and bait schools in water under 20'?  It seems like the cone would be so small at that depth, that it would be difficult?   

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Lowrance HDS Live 7 or 9 has everything you need plus good product support.

Tom

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On 4/15/2019 at 1:39 PM, king fisher said:

but plan on depending on my electronics more than the average bass fisherman. 

Pretty bold statement! Also, for bass fishing, structure scan is more important that 2d. I know you say you dont want it, but structure scan and mapping are the most important functions for me and most other bass fisherman.

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Just now, Jleebesaw said:

Pretty bold statement! Also, for bass fishing, structure scan is more important that 2d. I know you say you dont want it, but structure scan and mapping are the most important functions for me and most other bass fisherman.

Didn't mean to make a bold statement.  I'm sorry if I offended any one.  I do know lots of fishermen that don't use their electronics as much as I like to.  I like to spend lots of time learning and putting to use my electronics as much as possible.  I know many fishermen that catch way more fish than me that only use their electronics to get bottom depth and location.    Finding the fish with my electronics is all part of the challenge for me. I only meant to say I would prefer to have top of the line equipment because I will rely on my electronics and less on my fishing skill than many anglers. I'm not familiar with structure scan, so I wouldn't be comfortable with it.  If people on this forum think it is important I am all for learning how.  Need all the help I can get.  

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I mentioned Lowrance HDS Lve, the 7" screen model is around $1,100 direct from Lowrance on thier site, you can find it for less money but not sure about shipping to Mexico.

I started using fish finders back in the early 60's with flashers then paper graphs all 2D down looking only. Today's units have excellent target separation with Chirp and high density imaging. Side scanning isn't necessary but can be helpful saving time. 

I fish in deep rock structure lakes with sparse cover and the majority of big bass live on off shore structure. 

For me sonar is more useful to locate what depth is active feeding zones by schools of baitfish, specific isolated structure that hold big bass and finally locating a few bass on that structure or suspended off in deeper water. Suspended bass tells me they are inactive at that time but live there.

Try going to Lowrance site and watch the HDS Live video's to educate yourself. Humminbird is another quality unit, just not familiar with the products.

Tom

PS, don't be intimidated by some anglers, few know how to use or read their sonar units effectively, it takes a lot of dedication and time.

 

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3 hours ago, WRB said:

I mentioned Lowrance HDS Lve, the 7" screen model is around $1,100 direct from Lowrance on thier site, you can find it for less money but not sure about shipping to Mexico.

I started using fish finders back in the early 60's with flashers then paper graphs all 2D down looking only. Today's units have excellent target separation with Chirp and high density imaging. Side scanning isn't necessary but can be helpful saving time. 

I fish in deep rock structure lakes with sparse cover and the majority of big bass live on off shore structure. 

For me sonar is more useful to locate what depth is active feeding zones by schools of baitfish, specific isolated structure that hold big bass and finally locating a few bass on that structure or suspended off in deeper water. Suspended bass tells me they are inactive at that time but live there.

Try going to Lowrance site and watch the HDS Live video's to educate yourself. Humminbird is another quality unit, just not familiar with the products.

Tom

PS, don't be intimidated by some anglers, few know how to use or read their sonar units effectively, it takes a lot of dedication and time.

 

Thanks Tom.  The lake I will be fishing is Aguamilpa.  Steep canyon walls, with little shallow water.  I have fished with guides there, that know the lake well, I have caught many bass with their instruction.  None of the guides use any electronics, and the few anglers that fish the lake on their own, simply fish the bank seldom using their electronics.  I want to try fishing some off shore structure, and find schools of bait with my electronics.  Probably wont catch as many fish, as I could fishing the bank, but fishing isn't just about catching.  That is what I meant when I said I would use my electronics more than most.  Same as in Salt water.  Some people like to chase birds, and crush the tuna.  I like to use my electronics to find the fish.  When I do chase birds I prefer to use my radar to find them instead of the more popular method of using binoculars.  I will have more fun finding an unfished rock pile, with suspended bait, and catching a couple of bass that I located under the bait, than landing 10 bass casting at a popular bank.  I know I will need top of the line electronics as well as many hours on the water learning how to use them.  No experience with fresh water fish finders.  Thanks for stearing me in the right direction. Apprecieate your help.  Glad to find out I can get very good equipment in my price range.  

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I fished Mag bay to Cabo for 35 yyears and fully aware of the importance of frigate birds to locate tuna and Marlin using radar. The banks on the Pacific side are well known but I was always amazed at the skill the locals have with water color and temp breaks without any electronic aide just knowing how these fish relate to currents and incredible eye sight.

The topography of lakes is usually closely reflective of the above terrian in reserviors. My suggestion is watch birds like grebes off shore, they can see baitfish and go check out why they birds are out there. Points often lead to off shore humps so follow them out to determine if the rise back up. Topographical survey maps of the area prior to building a dam are invaluable if available.

A good freind of mine (Iovino) was asked to guide at El Salto about a decade ago. Don is a Lowrance expert and took his sonar unit to Mexico and he discovered a gold mine of off shore DD bass the local guides never fished. Underwater islands or humps that had schools of big bass, hope you can discover a few honey holes.

Good luck,

Tom

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22 hours ago, WRB said:

I fished Mag bay to Cabo for 35 yyears and fully aware of the importance of frigate birds to locate tuna and Marlin using radar. The banks on the Pacific side are well known but I was always amazed at the skill the locals have with water color and temp breaks without any electronic aide just knowing how these fish relate to currents and incredible eye sight.

The topography of lakes is usually closely reflective of the above terrian in reserviors. My suggestion is watch birds like grebes off shore, they can see baitfish and go check out why they birds are out there. Points often lead to off shore humps so follow them out to determine if the rise back up. Topographical survey maps of the area prior to building a dam are invaluable if available.

A good freind of mine (Iovino) was asked to guide at El Salto about a decade ago. Don is a Lowrance expert and took his sonar unit to Mexico and he discovered a gold mine of off shore DD bass the local guides never fished. Underwater islands or humps that had schools of big bass, hope you can discover a few honey holes.

Good luck,

Tom

I realize my deck hands eyes and local knowledge are more important than any electronics ever developed.  I have to depend on technology while he depends on experience and instinct.  Although he is impressed when I can tell if there are tuna or not under a school of dolphin with my search lite sonar.  Same with the fishing for bass on Aguamilpa.  The local guides no where the bass are, when they feed, what lure and presentation to use and can even get a novice to catch an impressive amount of fish. Even with the best equipment it would me years if ever to match their success. I like the challenge of finding my own fish in new places. My past experience has been with Furuno and Garmin products, but will buy the Lorance as recomended.  Thanks for the advice.  Looking forward to learning a new fishery.  Tim   

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I use my traditional sonar more than anything else followed by my mapping.  For this reason I run garmin's currently.  93sv and 2 73 sv and dv. If side and down imaging is important the humminbird mega imaging units have no equal from my experience.  Your price range will allow you any of the above. The birds with mega you may have to sacrifice screen size to keep it under 1500. The garmin's are nice but mine leave a lot to be desired when it comes to down imaging.  All in my humble opinion of course. 

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