NC Angler Forums banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking (again) about buying a fish finder. Would love to keep the cost around $200 ( less is better), but willing to listen to what others think. I mostly fish in eastern NC, and mostly freshwater fish, but will do a little lake fishing also. I fish inshore salt, some lake fishing, mostly river and creek fly fishing for bream, etc. Not sure about DSI, or SI, or GPS. I know this has been hashed over many times. I just got done looking through some past threads on this. Most likely I'll mount this one on my 14 ft jon boat. I also have a kayak, but don't fish on it very often now.
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
16,054 Posts
Seems like the under $200 units are all pretty basic and you don't see a lot of difference between brands. I would say a Lowrance Mark5x or a Humminbird 561 both around $150. A lot of guys upgrade often so don't be afraid of a used unit form someone you trust, one of us. LOL.. The cheap $79 units are tempting and compact but go ahead and get the larger screen and better resolution. Our eyes aren't what they used to be!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,217 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Dave, This could be the way for me. I have read a little on down imaging, and side imaging. Tell me a little about each, and what you feel would be best for me. I would think down imaging, but not sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How much extra does it cost to get GPS on any unit? Any hand held GPS s be a good answer to not having one on the FF unit, or is getting GPS on a FF a lot less expensive than getting a seperate one?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anyone remember going into an old country general store, and having one choice on cereal and such? Times were much easier with selection then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,217 Posts
The Side Imaging units allow you to look 100'+ to either side of the transducer as well as directly under the boat. You can see structure & fish which aren't directly under the boat. In theory, considering your normal haunts, SI would be the best for you. You can see a lot of water even when shallow. You can see under docks and around bridge pilings. You could see a little of what was against the banks. In practice, except in ideal conditions, you don't get much target separation in very shallow water and it would be very difficult to pick out fish against a bank or under a dock in 3' of water. Biggest issue is you won't get one for under $500 that I know of(more like $800 or $900 for a good unit). While it might be the best, it's probably way overkill for what you do.
*Side Imaging is the same technology as Down Imaging it just "looks" out in 2 directions instead of just straight down.

Down imaging, just like traditional sonar only "looks" directly under the boat so you'll be getting a very narrow picture of that unless you're in deeper water. The thing I like about DI is that it draws a pretty good picture of what is directly under the boat. I cut my teeth on the old flasher units and have slowly, sort of, kept up with the technology. I could pick out fish on the flashers, the graph type units made it easier, but the DI makes it a no brainer. What I like best though is the ability to make a good judgement on the type structure I'm passing over. Trees are obvious, there's no guessing. Rocks and oyster beds show up pretty clearly, and it's fairly straight forward to pick out individual fish, even small ones. (They don't look like fish of course, just blobs.)

In shallow areas no unit is going to give you much of a picture and a lot of times all you can hope for is a good depth reading. For your kind of fishing I think you've got your budget set about right ..... prolly $250 is all you need to spend unless you want to add GPS. The HB 346 will give you a good(not GREAT but good) DI unit, a traditional 2d color picture and accurate depth readings in shallow water. It's compact but the screen is large enough to see pretty well. I like the HB 561 but IMO trading the slightly larger screen for color on a little smaller screen is worth it. Color readings are much easier to interpret.

The one thing I will say is if you're willing to bump up to $300 - $350 you can add GPS to the mix and it's a good addition. You can mark specific spots, get a general map of the body of water you're on and gauge your speed very accurately(important for trolling). I feel much more confident leaving the ramp before daylight and have at least one time used it to find my way through the fog. I like being able to mark the ramp and wander new waters all day knowing it will be easy to retrace my steps when it's time to go home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,217 Posts
How much extra does it cost to get GPS on any unit? Any hand held GPS s be a good answer to not having one on the FF unit, or is getting GPS on a FF a lot less expensive than getting a seperate one?
Prolly easier to keep up with and cheaper to get both in one .......... unless you plan to fish with Uncle Curtis and steal his spots. You could slip the little hand held in your pocket and mark the location of all them ole biguns!
 
  • Like
Reactions: gambusia and RouseD

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Sundrop...Your comment..."Our eyes aren't what they used to be!!" You aren't kidding. I'm thinking about getting one of those lighted magnifying lenses that a dentist uses and put clips on the end of the electric cord and hook it to a battery just to tie knots on my hooks. I sure wish I still had the eyes of a twelve year old!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would NEVER do that to Uncle Curtis.



Prolly easier to keep up with and cheaper to get both in one .......... unless you plan to fish with Uncle Curtis and steal his spots. You could slip the little hand held in your pocket and mark the location of all them ole biguns!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,996 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Add arthritis to "Our eyes aren't what they used to be', and you have some real fun there. Very challenging at times, but love to fish too much to worry about it.


Sundrop...Your comment..."Our eyes aren't what they used to be!!" You aren't kidding. I'm thinking about getting one of those lighted magnifying lenses that a dentist uses and put clips on the end of the electric cord and hook it to a battery just to tie knots on my hooks. I sure wish I still had the eyes of a twelve year old!!!
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
8,985 Posts
Old geezer like you can smell fish. You don't need it.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
16,054 Posts
I think you will be very happy with that unit..
 
  • Like
Reactions: RouseD

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
8,985 Posts
Heading out to Southport next weekend with the Mrs. I hope I can smell a few in the surf. Hope to get a little time on the backwaters too.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

·
Red X Angler
Joined
·
1,060 Posts
Heading out to Southport next weekend with the Mrs. I hope I can smell a few in the surf. Hope to get a little time on the backwaters too.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
Will be there as well with the Misses
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top