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Cletus

Fish finder recommendations

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Time to replace the 1990 Lowrance.I have some points at Cabelas, so will probably buy there.

I fish lakers and landlocks Cayuga, walleye and bass on Oneida, everything on Otisco and occasionally Ontario.

Thinking about the Lowrance® Hook2 7 SplitShot Sonar/GPS Combo or the Lowrance® Hook2 7 TripleShot™ U.S. Inland Sonar/GPS Combo.

Should I spend the extra $100 on the Side Scan capability?

The input from the members  of this forum has been very useful.

Thank you

 

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Triple shot seems the most versatile for the fishing you do.

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Look at the Hummingbird Helix series. I changed over from Lowrance to Humminbird two years ago and it was the smartest thing I have done in years. My Humminbird Helix 10 sees everything and you will wish you had gotten rid of your Lowrance years ago. Theres no comparison.           And no, I don't work for Humminbird. LOL 

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I put the Helix 7 on my boat this year and very happy. I opted not to get side scan though..

 

 

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Humminbird HELIX. Great value for what you get. Just stick with sonar/GPS. Unless you're looking for structure stay away from the Down and Side imaging.

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Just purchased a Helix 9 with mega and down imaging. I am happy to report that the owners manual is not 150 pages like my Lowrance LCX that it replaced. 

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I have a HB helix with SI/DI, pretty much never use either... if I could do it again I would have passed on the SI/DI and gotten the next size larger unit. I fish same few lakes and have been for years, I know where the structure is and it doesn't change. No real need for the imaging especially if you troll alot imo.

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The above info is all good.

The original question didn't specifically ask "what to get", or I would have said Furuno to guarantee your happiness (despite not owning one yet myself). I have friends with them that I fish with, and have seen them firsthand used in the salt water environment. It was a choice between the two units mentioned, and the fact that he fishes for BASS, Walleyes, and other lakes. For general trolling purposes on Lake O and the Finger Lakes the side scan is not necessary, and perhaps not even desirable. The downscan can sometimes be helpful when fishing for lakers  and trying to separate out fish lying right on the bottom that may be mixed in with other things like bait,and jigging. Most of the current generation high definition CHIRP fishfinders with very good target separation will do the trick. Something to consider with Lowrance ( i have owned them for many years) is that the Tech Suport basically sucks; so unless you are a "techy" yourself or anxious to become one, Lowrance may not be the best choice out there,and a lot of it relates to the arrangement of their nested menu screens, and piss poor manuals. When it comes to accurately marking fish, something that will hold a long time, and for general trolling use - Furuno is top of the line, (or at least close to it) within the general trollers price range; but for the money you may not get as big a display unit as with other units. Nearly everything involved in the decision is a compromise when price of the unit is factored in..

Edited by Sk8man
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Helix...if you troll lakes like Otisco or Oneida I'd have si and di. Buy the biggest screen you can afford and get the imaging! Imaging can help find and follow structure, but it's at its best for finding schools of bait and schools of game fish. Sonar doesn't hold a candle to the details imaging provides.

Sent from my E6810 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I fish Erie and Ontario so the down imaging will be used for ontario spring brown shoreline trolling and erie perch and walleyes on the reefs.  I look forward to having a functioning GPS as my Lowrance GPS puck crapped out after 2 years.  Ten years of fishing without a GPS tells me this is probably the least important feature in the equation but a GPS will certainly help stay on an offshore pod of fish.  Can't wait to play with next years three year olds!

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I have a Humminbird 1198c with SI & DI and a Lowrance HDS 8 with just 2D sonar. Both units have GPS. I use both units on my boat, side by side. The Humminbird is easier to use than the Lowrance, in regards to adjusting the settings. I prefer the menu on the Humminbird as well. It's easier to navigate through all the options and features than the Lowrance.

 

I like to use SI to see structure when I'm fishing/trolling along a wall or drop-off. But SI works best on a bigger screen. My 1198 has a 10" non-wide screen, which I prefer over a wide screen display.

 

Both units have excellent 2D sonar. Sometimes one unit will mark fish when the other unit doesn't, or they will mark the fish a little different, and sometimes they will mark things the same. It's hard to describe, and it's not a bad thing at all because it gives me two different perspectives to look at. It's not one unit showing "better" info than the other, it just shows the difference between the units and the transducers.

 

I like having both units side by side, but if I could only run one unit it would be the Humminbird. Why? It's more user friendly, it's easier to navigate through the menu items, and it's easier to adjust the settings than on the Lowrance. You will spend less time learning how to get the most out of a Humminbird than you will out of the Lowrance. Also, the Humminbird Lakemaster map card is unbeatable in my opinion.

 

There are lots of good fish finder/chart plotters out there. Good luck with your search!

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I will also add that DI can usually help you identify a school of bait or perch verses some suspended weeds or debris. That same image on 2D sonar just looks like a blob of "something". As already noted, DI & SI work best with bigger screens.

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If you buy the hook2, I recommend the C-map Insight Pro over the Navionics + card. My old HDS 8 has the Insight maps installed by the factory (not on an SD card) and the bottom contours are more accurate for Lake Ontario than my Navionics + card.

 

The sidescan is worth the extra $100 in my opinion. If you can afford the 9" screen, it makes a big difference.

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A couple things seem worth mentioning: 1) many newer CHIRP depthfinders have a wide range of features; some of which are highly sophisticated; but the issue of effective use of them is still the same as with the old ones - the person using them has to fully familiarize themselves with those features in order to get the most out of the unit. A lot of people don't take the time,or invest the energy to do so. 2) Larger screens are in general more expensive, but they also better display smaller items and bits of information that may be important to consider while fishing. The TYPE of fishing most frequently done should be factored in to the buying decision. Fishing for bass and walleyes in high structure weedy places is very different than trolling on Lake O or the larger Finger Lakes for trout and salmon. Down and side imaging is most useful in the former environment rather than the latter. Again, if the bulk of your fishing is done for warmwater species, and in waters that you have little familiarity with the SI and DI can be important features and the suggestions regarding screen size are also important. If on the other hand, you do a lot of trolling on Lake O and the larger Fingers, having a solid CHIRP depthfinder with GPS may be all you might need and again, the larger screen will give you enhanced information BUT no matter which unit you decide on the most valuable advice may be to spend the time thoroughly familiarizing yourself with the features you need to use, are able to buy, and have paid for. By the way, one of the most valuable features of GPS may not relate to fishing itself but rather to safety. Some units allow you to initiate a Man Overboard function when you start out from a launch and then the unit tracks your movements during fishing. If fog sets in or you are outside view of land you can return to port by following the arrow on the unit.

Edited by Sk8man
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Years ago I had a Lowrance paper graph that the drive for the paper was worn out from use. Lowrance had some reps at a tournament in Oswego and were repairing units free. The rep took mine apart removed the paper drive then replace it with a new and improved drive and went into the electronics and wired it so I could slow the paper down even slower than before. The paper wasn't cheap so this was great. I wrote Lowrance and said you have a customer for life. No other company that makes anything would do that for free. I wouldn't have anything else in my boat.

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I've had their units since the seventies too, but it isn't the same company any longer and I suspect that your support experience might be quite a bit different these days.

Edited by Sk8man
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