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 Fishfinder Opinions 
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 12:13 am
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Location: Essexville
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I have a 14' aluminum boat that I use for rivers, saginaw bay, and near shore on lake huron. I'm looking for a good fishfinder to get for my boat - I have an Eagle that's quite old that came with the boat, but it's more accurately described as a depth finder and even that's doing it a favor. (It's useless in water 4' or less for depth and doesn't read whenever I'm going over about 8 mph.) When trolling, I see blips on the graph, but I know that they can't all be fish because the graph will go from black with 'fish' to completely clear in just a few feet. I also can see nothing in water under 8-10 feet deep, as the top several feet of the water column is gray (at any depth) and the bottom is 'hazy' in less than 15 fow.

I've been looking at fishfinders and have seen that I could get a big improvement just by buying a $75 unit. However, I do have questions that I would be appreciative of help with - I want to get the most bang for my buck when replacing my current one.

The demo screens I've seen have downward-facing curves instead of blips - how does one read these? What do the curves represent and is it better to get a unit that displays a picture of fish and the depth they're at or one that displays these curves?

Some are in color - is there any significant benefit to having a color screen other than the wow-factor?

I've heard people talk about seeing certain types of fish at certain depths - I take it this feature is only on expensive graphs?

What is a good brand name to get or doesn't it really matter?

How much should I expect to pay for one that will work for both depth and seeing if there are fish down there and where in the water column they're located?

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Sun May 29, 2005 8:23 pm
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:33 pm
Posts: 5017
Location: St. Clair County, Michigan
Gender: Male
Referred by: I own this website!
What Rivers do you fish?: All Michigan Rivers.
What Bodies of Water do you fish?: Lake St. Clair - Stoney Creek - Lake Huron
Hunting Area: Gwinn, Michigan, St. Clair County, MI
Post 
See if this helps ya...

Article on FISH-Finders...
http://www.boatus.com/husick/nd_fishfinder.asp

Depth Finder Article...
http://www.boatus.com/husick/nd_dfinder.asp


Sun May 29, 2005 8:41 pm
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eagle 320 or the 480 black and white is fine and those arches marked are fish i like it much better than the little cartoon fish characters. but most have the option of using the fish icons


Mon May 30, 2005 9:26 am
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 12:13 am
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Thanks for the info - I'm going to read over those articles you posted Don.

I visited the saginaw gander mountain today and the guy I talked to didn't seem to know a whole heck of a lot about them. However, he did tell me that no fish finder works in water 4 foot or less. Is this an accurate statement? (My current one said I was in 14' this past wednesday and my dad poked the planer board mast down - 14 inches would be more accurate!) Also, do modern units work at high speed?

Does the size of the arch denote the relative size of the fish marked?

I also noticed that the bottom looked "3-D", in that there was a lighter line below the dark top line some of the time. The guy said that the bottom line was the bottom and the top was 'structure'. Since the sonar shoots down in a cone, I was wondering if perhaps the boat was passing over the edge of a rock and the display was showing depth to the image.

I did see a Lowrance model that looked really nice. Of course it was $700, which explains *why* it looked so nice... ;)

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I am perfect.

Proof: Nobody is perfect. I am nobody. Therefore I am perfect.

----------------------------

If the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such.
-Homer Simpson

----------------------------

Daily FirePit Chat at 9pm Click here:
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Mon May 30, 2005 5:18 pm
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:33 pm
Posts: 5017
Location: St. Clair County, Michigan
Gender: Male
Referred by: I own this website!
What Rivers do you fish?: All Michigan Rivers.
What Bodies of Water do you fish?: Lake St. Clair - Stoney Creek - Lake Huron
Hunting Area: Gwinn, Michigan, St. Clair County, MI
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I believe that is true...it will show you the water is 4 feet deep but as for finding fish just look over the side of the boat and watch them run away!


Mon May 30, 2005 8:14 pm
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Location: SE Michigan
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Fish can run? :lol: :P

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Tue May 31, 2005 6:23 am
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Some can...have you never heard of a spring "salmon run"?????? :wink:
:shock: :roll: :book: :director: :laughing3: :laughing5: :laughing6: :laughing7: :laughing8:


Tue May 31, 2005 8:39 am
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Location: SE Michigan
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Oh yeah! The spring salmon run! I always thought they called it that because of the way the milt RUNS down ones waders or the way the eggs RUN into my freezer after plucking one of them fine black-n-white beasts from their spawning gravel. :shock: :lol:

From what I understand, a rotting salmon is pretty good in the smoker but I wont mention what RUNS after one eats that... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Tue May 31, 2005 1:47 pm
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I'm far less concerned with the ability to detect fish in shallow water than to accurately measure the depth of the water. It's disconcerting to be able to touch bottom and have between 1 and 2 feet when the graph says it's 12 feet deep. (I almost started running the engine faster - couldn't see bottom because the water was cloudy. It was dark coming back in anyways.)

_________________
I am perfect.

Proof: Nobody is perfect. I am nobody. Therefore I am perfect.

----------------------------

If the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such.
-Homer Simpson

----------------------------

Daily FirePit Chat at 9pm Click here:
Firepit Chat 9PM
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Tue May 31, 2005 1:56 pm
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:33 pm
Posts: 5017
Location: St. Clair County, Michigan
Gender: Male
Referred by: I own this website!
What Rivers do you fish?: All Michigan Rivers.
What Bodies of Water do you fish?: Lake St. Clair - Stoney Creek - Lake Huron
Hunting Area: Gwinn, Michigan, St. Clair County, MI
Post 
Wow...my old eagle still was fine showing bottom in even 3 feet...after that I knew I was too shallow and got the heck out!

Also...if the tranducer isn't mounted correctly you could get cavitation while moving fast. You need the bottom 1/8 of an inch of the transducer below the bottom of the boat and make sure it isn't mounted inline with a strake (the rib step-up on the bottom). It need to be on the flat part...

Quote:
Transom Mount

The transom-mount transducer is the most popular, and it's generally the easiest to install. The Skimmer® transducer design performs best when it is slightly below the boat's hull. A plastic transducer is recommended on aluminum or steel-hulled boats to avoid potential electrolysis problems.

Mounting the transducer on the transom is recommended for outboard and stern-drive (I/O) powered boats only. Transom mounting is ideal for high-speed operation and models with the "kick-up" feature to prevent damage if the transducer strikes an object.

Make certain that the chosen location doesn't interfere with the boat's trailer. DO NOT mount the transducer directly behind the ribs, or thru-hull fittings. Typically, on aluminum boats, mounting the transducer between two ribs works best. On all hulls, mount the transducer at least one foot away from the engine's lower unit. This helps to prevent air bubbles from the transducer interfering with the propeller.

Periodically wash the bottom of the transducer with soap and water to remove any oil film or growth that may collect. Oil and dirt reduce the transducer's sensitivity and can even prevent its operation.



Tue May 31, 2005 4:04 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:00 pm
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Location: WhyTe KloWd , MitchiGuN ~ out in the Sticks. . .
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:shock:
y0!!
N_O , Ruler!!
Wasabi!!!!
It is I!!!
The Jak 0f RAS!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :evil: :evil: :evil:
If you can afford a Lowrance James
DO IT!!!!
... My LMS332C (Sonar/GPS)ROCKS!!!!!!!!

Still got my email addy???
http://www.lowrance.com/Tutorials/Sonar/sonar_tutorial_01.asp

:D Robert :D

P.S. Testing 1,2,3.... hehehe..

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Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:09 pm
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Location: WhyTe KloWd , MitchiGuN ~ out in the Sticks. . .
Post 
What??
No EDIT button??
lmao...
Forgot this :
Image

Wah000!http://www.lowrance.com/Marine/Products/LMS-332C.asp
And YES it holds bottom pretty well , unless the weeds are UNGODLY thick , 2 fow is no problem....
The X102C is the Sonar only model... Fantastic unit.
:D Robert :D

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Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:20 pm
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C'mon Robert, you know he needs a Vexilar! LOL Glad you found us.

Mike


Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:16 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:00 pm
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Location: WhyTe KloWd , MitchiGuN ~ out in the Sticks. . .
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:lol:
:roll:
:twisted:
:evil:
:!:
GeeZuS H. Tap F@c&inG dancin' KeeRhissst!!!!
They'll let ANYONE in here , won't they??
:D
Yaknow Mikey... a Vexilar would probably serve Jim VERY well... BUT they take some time to learn HOW to read as well as adjust...
And it's ONLY 3 colors ... NOT 256!!!
Good to seeya here as well!!.... I think a certain 'other website' is going to see a surge of "defectors" pretty quick!!
:roll:

Robert

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Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:27 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 12:13 am
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Location: Essexville
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Hey Rob - WAAZZZZZZAAAAAPPPPPP!!!!! Nice seein ya - long time no talk. I think I still have your e-mail addy somewhere, but I decided that my internet machine is too ungodly slow even for dial-up. Using my game/video processing machine for internet for right now, but don't have all the settings and everything migrated over yet. Haven't decided what I'm going to do for a permanent fix - probably cobble another box together solely for internet and leave this one for games/video again. HEY! Maybe I can take parts out of each of the pile of computers in my basement and build a fish-finder to end all fishfinders! Yeah... I'll do that - expect pics no later than 2011. ;) (Would still kick some major *** having a fishfinder with a gig of ram and RAID-5 array of drives running linux on my boat... :D I could even integrate various types of radios and have digital music and skyfi internet while boating!)

I've seen those lowrance units and must say that they look as nice as the price tag is ugly. I'm looking for something at most a couple hundred bucks, with less definitely being better for this. As of right now, I'm not even certain I'm going to keep the boat long-term; done really crappy out of it fish-wise so far... (so much so that I may well have done as well off shore/in my canoe)

_________________
I am perfect.

Proof: Nobody is perfect. I am nobody. Therefore I am perfect.

----------------------------

If the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such.
-Homer Simpson

----------------------------

Daily FirePit Chat at 9pm Click here:
Firepit Chat 9PM
Image


Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:13 pm
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