Jump to content

What is the best type of fish finder for a tiny boat that trolls slowly (1mph)


Go to solution Solved by WRB,

Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone,

 

I am trying to determine the best fish finder sonar/chrip etc. to use on my tiny boat (Solocraft with a 30lb thrust Minn Kota).

 

Case use: live in MN, fish for Largemouth and Pike near shores/cover, can get very close to cover like a kayak can, so not sure how useful fish finders will be for that scenario.  I am willing to fish deeper if it will help put more fish in the boat. All in all I want to catch more fish and it seems locating them first (maybe by trolling past my spots) is best and then do sight fishing afterward.  I am typically in 3ft - 20ft of water since the lake is shallow (Deepest part 50ft.) average probably 15-18ft deep.,  I really don't care what form factor the fish finder is but I suppose smaller is better.  Would I want side imaging at most?  Are there fish finders that work well when I am just sitting still? obviously not doing any forward facing sonar hehe.  Thanks and I appreciate all of the help!  (I basically want to know how to attack the lake each morning to catch more fish and I want to leverage technology).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

aside from some specialty uses of Chirp 2D imaging, the transducer needs to move to change the image on the screen.  I don't think you're vertical jigging and you've ruled out FFS, so plan that you need to move to use a fish finder.

 

The shallower the water, the less useful down imaging is (including 2D and Di and their equivalents).  The cone angle of the transducer is such that in 4' of water you're covering a bottom width of about 3' I think.  and if you're idling over fish in 3' of water they won't be there when you come back.

 

So with the above in mind, I would recommend side imaging.  Side imaging will give you a good picture at 2.5-3x the depth with the smaller transducer types and 50% more (or more) than that with the more powerful transducers.  That means in the same 4' you'll get a pretty clean image out to almost 15'.  You'll get decent imaging out further depending on the bottom and the thing your beam hits.  Things start to get fuzzy when you approach 8-10x the depth.

 

The good news is that units with side imaging will also have down/2d imaging built in.  So when you find something on Si in deeper water you can go back across it with Di and get a clean picture of what's there.

 

I wouldn't go smaller than 7" on side imaging.  I've fished with a 7" SI and its good and totally functional.  If you're going to split screen with navigation or somethign else, then its not enough screen.  I upgraded from 7" to 9" a year ago and its a massive change.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

90% of the time, I'm using 2D chirp sonar and maps.  So if money is a priority, I'd do some research to figure out which fish finders come with the best maps of the lakes you typically fish.  

 

Down imaging and side scan are nice to have.  But the longer I own them, the less I actually use them.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

On my kayak, I use 7 inch unit that has down, side, gps and maps.  I would not be willing to give up any of those functions.   I find stuff to fish most with side and maps.  I find and mark plenty of brush, trees, rock, stumps, etc with down, also.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User

My first rule of fish finders is not to buy what you need today, but to buy what you will need in two years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User
2 hours ago, Choporoz said:

On my kayak, I use 7 inch unit that has down, side, gps and maps.  I would not be willing to give up any of those functions.   I find stuff to fish most with side and maps.  I find and mark plenty of brush, trees, rock, stumps, etc with down, also.  


this is where I am too. When I’m motoring between spots I have side imaging on for sure. I know my lakes pretty well but you never know when a brush pile is going to wash in or you’re going to take a line across the lake you’ve never done before and find something new. I waypoint those and either keep moving or stop and check it out. I’m aiming for a very specific waypoint in the middle of a lake I will have maps on also so I can hit it on the first shot and not overrun it. If I am exploring something new or a thing I just found, I’ll cross it a couple times with down imaging to know if it’s worth wetting a line now or later. If I’m looking for the thermocline then 2d is super useful. I also like running side, down, and 2d at the same time when I’m going across the lake in 10-25’ of water.  Each shows a little different of a thing and some things show better on one than the other. Then there is FFS which is a whole nother animal.  My three preset buttons are ffs, side plus nav, and side/down/2d. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Super User
  • Solution
8 hours ago, Kastin Kresten said:

Hello Everyone,

 

I am trying to determine the best fish finder sonar/chrip etc. to use on my tiny boat (Solocraft with a 30lb thrust Minn Kota).

 

Case use: live in MN, fish for Largemouth and Pike near shores/cover, can get very close to cover like a kayak can, so not sure how useful fish finders will be for that scenario.  I am willing to fish deeper if it will help put more fish in the boat. All in all I want to catch more fish and it seems locating them first (maybe by trolling past my spots) is best and then do sight fishing afterward.  I am typically in 3ft - 20ft of water since the lake is shallow (Deepest part 50ft.) average probably 15-18ft deep.,  I really don't care what form factor the fish finder is but I suppose smaller is better.  Would I want side imaging at most?  Are there fish finders that work well when I am just sitting still? obviously not doing any forward facing sonar hehe.  Thanks and I appreciate all of the help!  (I basically want to know how to attack the lake each morning to catch more fish and I want to leverage technology).

Natural lake or man made impoundment?

Natural lakes normally have more dermasel meaning shoreline vegetation bass that feed in creatures and fish that live near shore.

Man made reservoirs have lots of off shore structure elements like road beds, bridges, culverts flood farms and fences etc that attract pelagic fish that bass feed on.

My guess is you have a natural lake and need to focus near shore. Most of your bass fishing will be casting to visual targets obvious to you and every other bass angler.

Keep in mind it takes power to run the more higher end sonar units.

Lithium batteries are expensive buy save over 50% of the weight.

2D with side scan is all you need.

Tom

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If budget constrained a used 5" 2d/DI hummingbird (g3 or g4 if you can) used off ebay would be a great way to start. You'll get a feel for how much you use it, when/why/etc. And it'll do the most important things you need, and do them just fine. And the DI is even an optional thing but shouldn't cost much more. You should care more about mapping than DI.

 

Things you might care about in the future:

1) SI so you can find boulders/brushpiles/gill spawn areas/fish that are out away from the bank.

2) custom mapping, if the maps for your waters are poor or low resolution or non existent

 

I have the 7" version of this (+SI) and I like it. I bought it for the SI and the custom mapping. If I could do it again I would have gone 8" or 9" - the SI is hard to see fish when it's that small, and I notice I just don't use it that much because of it. 

 

With all that said, 99% of the time I'm using it for one of a few things 1) how deep is the bait or most of the fish 2) how deep am I right now 3) where am I/what do the contours look like around me. 

 

IMO brand is personal preference, and each of them have different advantages, but it is a very competitive market so none of them are bad. I know a lot of guys running three different brands at once to get the best of each of them. Don't overthink this part of it.

 

I just upgraded to a 9" garmin (for ffs). 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You guys are amazing!!! Thank u so much. And I like the idea of waiting until I know for sure. I have a really crappy down imaging fish finder and I’ve used it long enough to know it’s not right. I’ll start fishing this spring with this in mind and make a decision then!  I love the idea of side imaging but it may cost the same as my tiny boat so logic not quite there. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would suggest a Humminbird Helix 7 MSI G4 With a Lakemaster VX premium Minnesota map chip. 
 

you will have chirp 2d sonar and down imaging while sitting and fishing. When your trolling you’ll have side imaging. If you boat only trolls at 1 mph you will have to turn your screen scroll down to 1 or 2 for the best imaging.  It’s not super cheap but in reality it’s a great unit. It’s what I use on my bass raider 10e

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



  • Outboard Engine

    fishing forum


    Outboard Engine

    Outboard Engine

    fishing tackle

    fishing

    fishing

    fishing

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.