Susquehanna River, Questions & Comments > Susquehanna River Boater

Buying fish finder

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Phil Sweeney:
I'm looking to buy a new fish finder. I figured there must be plenty of fisherman who could help based on units they own. I have decided to limit myself to $1000 and a 9" screen. I would go larger but the market has not been good to me this year and I am not betting on improvement.

Let me list my requirements

1. GPS with maps. If I could buy an older unit I would not even need the sounder abilities. So this is a big "1"
I am not seeing a used market except for ebay crap. Otherwise I would by a used unit for GPS only.

2. Looks like anything with maps is going to have down, side etc. I do want down and side. No liveview etc.

3. 9" screen

As an example of one that will not work is the Garmin Striker plus 9SV. GPS but no maps. To me the map is a visual reference that is essential. I would think the sounder features would work. I would like to see a map showing the river just to get an idea what is happening. It is hard for me to believe a map of shallow areas would be of great value, however, I would have my reference and resolution. If someone could post an image of an area that would be great.

For Raystown I already use maps and can locate areas. Example of raw map dated 1982 showing existing river prior to dam and projected levels. I will note and mark these and then laminate.

GPS I use now lacks resolution needed.

Any recommendations or advice appreciated!
Phil

zelmo:
Phil, my bassboat has Lowrance HDS Gen 3 units.  The new boat is going to Humminbird Solix units.  I can't give a complete comparison until I get the Birds out on the water but here are some things I learned from when I upgraded 3 years ago and shopping now.

I like the Lowrance.  It has built in maps but you only get outlines on many bodies of water.  You can use a map card but even with those details are limited unless on a bigger body of water.  The Conowingo Pool and Raystown are good.  GPS is good, although I also added the Point 1 for stability.

Why did I choose Humminbird for the new boat?  Because it will interface with the Ultrex.  My research seems to indicate that the built in maps are better and if so I won't need a map card.

Are you putting this on your bassboat?  Do you have any interest in moving between the two boats?  Just because a unit can display DI and SI doesn't mean it will.  You need to have the proper transducer for that.  You could easily move the head unit from boat to boat but the transducer is another story.  You could mount transducers on both boats.

I got lucky when I bought the Lowrance.  Then Gen 3 was at end of life and they were rolling out the Carbon, so the Gen 3 units were discounted.  I waited for Black Friday and got another 20% off at TW.  That saved a pile of money from list price.  I am not paying attention to product rollouts but that is worth checking out.  I was content to get the older model new.  I do that often with reels.

Good luck.  If there is anything specific you want to know ask.

zelmo:
If you don't know about this website check it out:

https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=en#boating@6&key=sa%7CtFvn%7BsM

This is basically what you get when using the Navionics map card.  Zoom into the area of interest and you can see how much detail there is.

Phil Sweeney:

--- Quote from: zelmo on September 29, 2020, 07:45:24 AM ---Phil, my bassboat has Lowrance HDS Gen 3 units.  The new boat is going to Humminbird Solix units.  I can't give a complete comparison until I get the Birds out on the water but here are some things I learned from when I upgraded 3 years ago and shopping now.

I like the Lowrance.  It has built in maps but you only get outlines on many bodies of water.  You can use a map card but even with those details are limited unless on a bigger body of water.  The Conowingo Pool and Raystown are good.  GPS is good, although I also added the Point 1 for stability.

Why did I choose Humminbird for the new boat?  Because it will interface with the Ultrex.  My research seems to indicate that the built in maps are better and if so I won't need a map card.

Are you putting this on your bassboat?  Do you have any interest in moving between the two boats?  Just because a unit can display DI and SI doesn't mean it will.  You need to have the proper transducer for that.  You could easily move the head unit from boat to boat but the transducer is another story.  You could mount transducers on both boats.

I got lucky when I bought the Lowrance.  Then Gen 3 was at end of life and they were rolling out the Carbon, so the Gen 3 units were discounted.  I waited for Black Friday and got another 20% off at TW.  That saved a pile of money from list price.  I am not paying attention to product rollouts but that is worth checking out.  I was content to get the older model new.  I do that often with reels.

Good luck.  If there is anything specific you want to know ask.

--- End quote ---
Thanks for all the input. Since GPS can work without a transducer I would think about using it on both boats but would definitely install a transducer on the Champion. Although it does not seem to make sense to not use all the features on the jon. I really like the spot lock concept but at this point is not in my pocket book. I use marker buoys and I already have a ton of waypoints. What I may do is mark new points close to my targets (new points marked as casting waypoints). That way I can buoy the casting locations without disturbing my targets. And then I will have a easy visual to relate to.
I was willing to bet some of the maps were not that great.
I'll have to check out what Point 1 is!
I would not be surprised if many of the maps are created using previous maps. And as an example there are no USGS maps (that I am aware of) that show Susquehanna under water topography. Even a current USGS map of Raystown only shows the water edge as it is now. One has to obtain an older map to see the topography.
Phil

zelmo:

--- Quote from: Phil Sweeney on September 29, 2020, 02:25:40 PM ---
I'll have to check out what Point 1 is!
I would not be surprised if many of the maps are created using previous maps. And as an example there are no USGS maps (that I am aware of) that show Susquehanna under water topography. Even a current USGS map of Raystown only shows the water edge as it is now. One has to obtain an older map to see the topography.
Phil

--- End quote ---

Point one is a heading sensor with a built in compass.  That means the boat on the map always points in the correct direction.  I like it much better than running without it.

Look at Raystown on the Navionics page.  Tons of detail.

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