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So given the cost of a new Fish hawk is $700 how necessary is this?   I have been trolling for a few years now and have caught some fish however I regularly return to the dock to hear glorious stories of success on days when I have caught 2 fish.   I think one of my main deficiencies is maintaining proper speed.   Is there a more economical way to do this?   I guess I am asking if everyone basically uses a Fish Hawk or if you can still be successful without one.   I only get to fish maybe 4 times a year so I try to get by on a budget where I can.   If I determine this is crucial I will just have to suck it up and buy one.  Any input would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

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I'd fish without sonar before I fished without a FH.  

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16 minutes ago, JeffM said:

So given the cost of a new Fish hawk is $700 how necessary is this?   I have been trolling for a few years now and have caught some fish however I regularly return to the dock to hear glorious stories of success on days when I have caught 2 fish.   I think one of my main deficiencies is maintaining proper speed.   Is there a more economical way to do this?   I guess I am asking if everyone basically uses a Fish Hawk or if you can still be successful without one.   I only get to fish maybe 4 times a year so I try to get by on a budget where I can.   If I determine this is crucial I will just have to suck it up and buy one.  Any input would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

Its a game changer for sure. Its a huge piece of the puzzle. But its tough to tell you to invest in it when you only use it a few times a year. 

 

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After fishing more than 60 years without one I can tell you that a Fishawk is not essential to catching fish. It is however very desirable to have to be able to more efficiently fish for trout and salmon while trolling. I bought the X4D a couple years ago and it allows you to determine roughly where your lure is running, how fast in comparison with the surface speed of your boat. From a temperature standpoint it is most useful when the thermocline sets up, and when water temperature inversions (e.g. lake flips) take shape. It also helps in the early Spring in seeking out the minor changes in water temperature changes near shoreline. Whether it is worth the money to you in particular depends on what if anything needs to be sacrificed to buy one. It is a quality product with very good technical support from a reputable company. Some of my fishing friends and other LOU members consider it their most valuable tool in their fishing arsenal, but it is just that a fishing tool; and it is most valuable in conjunction with other items such as trolling experience, available set-ups, and attention to detail while fishing. If you have a good fishfinder already it is a valuable addition....some folks feel that they would even give up their fish finder before their Fishawk. I consider them of equal value but both less valuable than intense fishing experience over time while incorporating what has been learned in the process. :smile:

Edited by Sk8man
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It helps catch fish. It gives you temp and downspeed. It makes a difference.

We are here to catch fish, if it helps in a material way (which it does), then it's highly recommended.

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Each fish species has a preferred temperature.  say your targeting King salmon. there preferred temperature is 54 degrees. so this information will eliminate a lot of unproductive water. like anything above 58 degrees. and anything colder that 42 degrees.  so if you concentrate your lures in this temperature zone your eliminating a hell of a lot of water making the hunt for fish easer. I'm not saying that you wont find fish out of their comfort zone but if your looking for fish,  Start in their comfort zone.    

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Thanks for all the great responses.   I think that has a lot to do with why I hook up sometimes and not others.  I think I spend a lot of timing pulling rigs tat the wrong speed and or not at the right temps wasting precious hours.   I think improving on that and tweaking my rigs will be a good step forward.  This is indeed a big constantly changing puzzle.

 

Thanks

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I have been trolling the lake since 1977.  

 

I've pretty much always had surface speed . This is good for fishing less than 50 ft.  Combined with GPS SOG. 

 

For deep water I would watch cable angle ,and got good at it after a lot of years experience. 

 

My son kept bugging me to get a Fish Hawk and I finally did . I really don't fish any different than I did before but I find myself depending on it more and more. I've had it 2 seasons. 

I have the X4 . 

If you are fairly new at this I feel it is a good investment . Maybe spend less on depth finder or lures or whatever. 

 

Fact is , if your lures are not running right , it doesn't matter what you are using . 

 

First piece of the fishing equation is Location .Get over fish 

 

Second is presentation . 

Edited by HB2
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Have any of you guys ever ran your probe at the surface and compared speed with your GPS i've never had a lo of faith in paddle wheels.

 

Edited by horsehunter

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Consider a different brand or a used probe the biggest advantage it gives you is repeatability find the speed that triggers bites and it easier to repeat with a probe this is especially true with changes in direction and moving to new areas with different currents. You can learn to do the same by watching cable angle or reading your dipseys but it takes a lot more practice and experience to do it that way. One alternative is to set up a thumper rod when its running right there is an easy to see pulsing in the rod check out fish doctors website there are some good videos. Overall a probe is a good investment but it doesn’t have to be the newest model of fish hawk especially if it only for a couple trips a year


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Thanks for all the great responses.   I think that has a lot to do with why I hook up sometimes and not others.  I think I spend a lot of timing pulling rigs tat the wrong speed and or not at the right temps wasting precious hours.   I think improving on that and tweaking my rigs will be a good step forward.  This is indeed a big constantly changing puzzle.

 

Thanks

The quick answer... yes, it’s worth it. I think you kinda said it here. The large investment would allow you to place your gear in the right area for all of the precious hours you get to fish.

 

I have a X4D. I had my aunts boyfriend on the boat from AZ and we only had a few hours to fish. It was rough and we could only fish down wave. With deep currents and swell, my kicker could get no more than a 1.9-2.0 down speed, so I dropped the rigs a little lower and banged some lakers for him. I wanted to get him a king, but conditions weren’t going to allow it. Yes I could’ve started the big engine, but we were comfortable after banging out through the waves and I knew within 10 minutes to change tactics. He was actually surprised how quickly we got on fish. He was pleased to get into some fish and had a blast.

 

 

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For me its a gotta have. 

Typically I can tell if my speed is good by diver rod action & blowback on rigger cables. However repeating an exact speed after a bite or two the fish hawk will help you dial it in better.

 The down temp is only achievable with a probe. As mentioned earlier its a good way to get your baits in the preferred temp target zone and eliminate less productive water. That being said everyone does catch fish out of temp but during the warm summer months most are caught in the zone.

$700 could be tough pill to swallow for only a few trips a year but it will put more fish in the boat.

Edited by rookie fisherman

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16 hours ago, horsehunter said:

Have any of you guys ever ran your probe at the surface and compared speed with your GPS i've never had a lo of faith in paddle wheels.

 


They won't read the same. It's the reason that knowing downspeed is so important. GPS measures speed over ground with no thought to lake currents. I've seen 2.5mph on my FH while my gps is reading anything between 1.5-3.5mph. A paddlewheel will give you your speed through the water which is what the fish will see.

Edited by FishingFool34
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I would want at least surface temp and speed . 

 

You can get an add on for most depth finders for  like $75 . 

 

 I used this for a lot of years and did quite well with this  . 

 

I looked at cables , turned a lot , dragged 1 ,2  or no buckets which were in and out of the water all day . 

 

Noted direction of troll and surface speed on the strike .

 

So there are ways without . 

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I remember the old days when people caught fish because they were good fishermen.

A down speed and temp unit is just another tool. Does it help, yes. It is essential, absolutely not.

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I'd fish without sonar before I fished without a FH.  
I hear this sentiment a lot.. But I'd say it's overzealous.. I want to know depth and what depth fish are hanging out at. I can't tell that from the deck but I can tell you from the deck roughly what speed my lures are running. I promise with a sonar that I can out fish someone who only has a fish hawk because I'm not wasting time where the fish are not at. To the OP, it's not essential equipment.. Sonar with a gps is a far better investment if you don't have a good one imo

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40 minutes ago, sjhags said:
I hear this sentiment a lot.. But I'd say it's overzealous.. I want to know depth and what depth fish are hanging out at. I can't tell that from the deck but I can tell you from the deck roughly what speed my lures are running. I promise with a sonar that I can out fish someone who only has a fish hawk because I'm not wasting time where the fish are not at. To the OP, it's not essential equipment.. Sonar with a gps is a far better investment if you don't have a good one imo

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I would say its highly situational. I fish out if mexico. Deep water off of mexico bay (around the point) can have wicked currents deep and very scattered marks. FH over fish finder here. Inside the bay fishing < 100 ft sure I would want the fish finder over the FH.  With the lake clearer than the old days you really need to have things firing on all cylinders at times to get bites.  As a weekend guy my data is limited coming into a Saturday am compared to those who fish daily or at least more frequently than me.   I fished a lot of lean years where bites were hard to come by.  For that reason I won't live without my FH.  Last year was easy compared to past years.   Some people know what its like to fish in tough currents down 120+ all summer, some aren't use to it.  Relying on cable angle just doesn't cut it (IMO)
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Edited by Fat Trout
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I would say its highly situational. I fish out if mexico. Deep water off of mexico bay (around the point) can have wicked currents deep and very scattered marks. FH over fish finder here. Inside the bay fishing Sent from my Pixel 2 using Lake Ontario United mobile app
All good if kings are in the temp you expect.

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14 minutes ago, Fat Trout said:

I would say its highly situational. I fish out if mexico. Deep water off of mexico bay (around the point) can have wicked currents deep and very scattered marks. FH over fish finder here. Inside the bay fishing < 100 ft sure I would want the fish finder over the FH.  With the lake clearer than the old days you really need to have things firing on all cylinders at times to get bites.  As a weekend guy my data is limited coming into a Saturday am compared to those who fish daily or at least more frequently than me.   I fished a lot of lean years where bites were hard to come by.  For that reason I won't live without my FH.  Last year was easy compared to past years.   Some people know what its like to fish in tough currents down 120+ all summer, some aren't use to it.  Relying on cable angle just doesn't cut it (IMO)
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I agree, maybe because I fish out of Mexico as well. It's a 3hr round trip drive for me and I also usually only get one weekend day to fish. Throw in the wind, current, weather and a week of time... it's basically like starting over every single time I go out. Something like a FH that can tell me that where I caught fish last week is no longer a good spot, saves me a lot of frustration trolling in bad water. Fishing marks is a good way to catch fish so sonar is important, but I have gone out and had good days fishing and not marked a fish all day. I wouldn't give up either my sonar or my Fishawk.

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All good if kings are in the temp you expect.

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I dont necessarily fish temp but i like to know where it is. Realistically there is no way im going without fish finder anyway, i was just playing along with the prior commentary

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I dont necessarily fish temp but i like to know where it is. Realistically there is no way im going without fish finder anyway, i was just playing along with the prior commentary

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I get it. I get why they are handy but I'm going to tell a newbie to spend 700 on gas and charters. No better way to learn how to increase your success rate.

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With the amount of money time and effort that goes into this style of fishing, putting less fish in the boat because you don’t want to spend $700.00 is nuts! A speed and temp until WILL put more fish on the deck. Using a speed and temp unit will take the guess work out of it and allow you to figure out what speed and temp the fish prefer that day. Then you can repeat it over and over again with out guessing.

 

 

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