Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • Announcements

    • Rick

      1st Please Post Your Fishing Report - Then Join the NEW - Private Fishing Report Clubs   01/24/2018

      Private Fishing Report Clubs - Click Here - Post Your Fishing Report Before Joining
      1st, be sure you post a fishing report in the forums, then ask to join after you post a fishing report in your area forum. The Private Fishing Report Clubs are where folks can share private fishing information with club members who have proven they know what's going on. Fishing Report Clubs Link also in Menu above. Apply to become a member today, while it's still easy. 
  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
Badger_55

Going to buy a new sonar/gps combo, any tips?

Question

Badger_55

I plan to buy a a sonar/gps unit for my boat. I plan to move my vexilar up front to the bow and mounting the new locator in the back. I just don't know what I really want right now, I know I don't want to spend a grand on one but more like $500-$600 is more realistic. I have been looking at Lowrance quite a bit. I currently have a H2OC with a lakemaster chip in it. Does lowrance units accept Lakemaster or would I have to pick up the Navionics for it. I figured it would be nice to have the combo in the boat and have the handheld for ice fishing.

Also whats the difference between the external gps and the internal gps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

12 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
walleyewild

All Lowrance units will take the Lakemaster chip, so you don't have to buy the nav chip unless you want to. I have both a 337 and 25c with external antenna's they lock on fast and are very accurate on the structure. When Lowrance came out with the internal antenna there were some bugs but I believe they have worked out the issue's. Go with the largest display you can afford you won't be disapointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
PerchJerker

I think the 500 series from Lowrance would be a good way for you to go. As walleyewild said you can use a LakeMaster (or Nav) chip in the lowrance units.

I have external antenna units. Advantages are that you can mount the antenna in the best spot to get a clear, unobstructed view of the sky - downside is you have more mounting, wiring, holes to put in the boat, etc. Internal antenna units are quicker and easier to mount, although you may have issues getting a good signal, due either to the unit itself or your mounting location. If it's out in the open on a console you should be fine, if it's under a windshield you may have some issues, if it's inside an electronic compartment you probably won't get a signal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
mr walleye

Lowrance is the way to go. you can use the chip you have in it.

also the units with the internal antenna are a lot better than the first ones that came out.

Like walleyewild said go with the largest unit you can afford.

you already have a chip so that saves you $100 bucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Dale Rueber

I have a Lowrance 522C (internal antenna) and I love it. If you get one with the internal antenna you can get an ice pack for it and use it ice fishing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
PerchJerker

fyi for those who aren't aware of this already .......

........ getting the largest screen is not always the best way to go.

It may be the best for you, but some things to consider that might help prevent buyer's remorse ......

1. Vertical resolution is important, you probably want the most vertical resolution (highest number of pixels) you can get. I'm not talking about horizontal pixels, I'm talking about vertical pixels. You may be looking at larger units that don't have as many vertical pixels (but of course have more horizontal pixels), this is probably not a good thing.

2. Consider where and how you're mounting the unit. Multiple units can be a problem with larger units, in-dash can be a problem with larger units, even tight consoles and windshields and enclosed electronics compartments can be problems with bigger units.

3. Bigger units are heavier and result in more stress, and mounting systems like RAMS can slip down or even break under the stress of large units bouncing in big water.

4. If you're looking at combo units, consider getting two smaller units instead of 1 larger unit. Depending on what you're looking at, you may be better off regarding pricing and/or total screen area by going with 2 smaller units (one for sonar, one for gps) instead of 1 larger combo unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
harvey lee

I also have a 522c with an internal antenna and have not had one issue with it. Its a very good unit and looks to be within your budget.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
LMITOUT

For the price range you mentioned, a 520c would be right up your alley. I run the MN Lakemaster chip in a H20 in the winter and move it over to the 520c in the summer. Works great. I have been impressed with the 520. The clarity and brightness is very good. It's a 5" screen so using split screen for GPS/Sonar can get a little crowded but it's doable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
walleyewild

I believe the vertical resolution on my LCX 25c is 640 pixels.

For me mounting side by side wasn't an option, but when Cabela's had the 25c on sale last fall for 699.00 I couldn't pass it up.

Vertical Pixels are where it is at for resolution and if I could afford a 113c hd, I would have it in my boat.

The option is still there to mount the handheld next to the 500 series locator as well.

I was just saying that the larger display is much easier to see when moving at faster speeds then the smaller 5" displays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
mamohr686

Perchjerker makes a lot of good points. The more vertical pixels, the better the screen resolution. What's the point of having a 50" plasma tv if your just going to use it for an atari? I really like the big screen on a gps with mapping software, thay way you can see lots of detail even when your zoomed up. I don't really care about a huge sonar screen, I would rather concentrate on what's going on now, rather than seeing some fish or structure that I've already gone over a long time ago. Lots of pro fisherman use seperate gps and sonar units, or they will use the same unit on both the bow and stern so if one goes down they can move it to either location. You also may want to check out ebay, you can find used large screen depthfinder for a good deal or new ones for about $100 less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Chode2235

If you are interested in the 522, be sure to check out Reeds sale on the 334. Practically the same thing, only you cant hook up weather radar, for a lot less money.

I went this route and got the 334, it is a wonderful unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
delcecchi

different screen also. The 5xx series has a newer "solarmax" screen. That said, I like my 334 pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
snapjigger

I just bought the 500C by Eagle. It is the color unit with external gps and sonar. It also takes the lakemaster chips.I seen Cabelas had it on sale for $449.00 but did a little looking and Reeds had it for $419.00 so printed the ad and Cabelas matched the price.. Only been down to redwing 1 time so far but it works awsome. The only diffrence I could see in the Lowrance was the power 2400 vs 1500 and $200.00 more...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  



  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Naturboy
      Those were caught from a shallow lake (17’) in 9 feet of water at the bottom of the first shoreline break. I was using a UV buckshot and minnow head since the water was murky. The crappie is still swimming the walleye not so much. I didn’t get the exact location. Sorry  
    • Sunset Lodge
      Hello from the NW Angle!

      Minnesota fishing has been most productive in 20-24 feet of water.  Guests are bringing home their limits of Walleye and Sauger with the occasional Perch and Northern mixed in. Fish have been most active early and late in the day and the bite has been terrific. The use of electronics continues to be very beneficial with fish taking jigging spoons, jigg’n raps or rattle baits.  Snowmobile ttrails on the Minnesota side continue to be maintained and are in great shape. We are still making ice, with most spots at over 30 inches. 

      North and East of us in Canada, big Crappies are coming in on light tackle setups out of 30 feet. If you are looking for walleye, they are everywhere!

      Until next week, 

      Sunset Lodge
    • JBMasterAngler
      On the Bayfield side of the bay, the target depth is typically 10 to 40 ft. The basswood island area is where they go after lakers. There’s a plowed road that goes out there. As of last week the ice was about 20 inches in that area, might be thicker now. Check out the Bayfield webcam, you can see what kind of activity is going on.
    • Jarrid Houston
      Wanderer, stop in at the River Rock bait shop in Ashland and they will get you pointed in the right direction.  They are always pretty cool about that.  Fishing near Ashland off of 2nd landing can be good.  Don't need nothing more than regular walleye gear, and some tip-ups and really there is no rhyme or reason where a guy should set up shop. Its a pretty wide open water and the fish that live there are always on the move. For us, most often, the sit and wait pays off.  It has been slower as of late, but still some fish..  Good luck, JH
    • cat44
      Anybody know if there is a pressure ridge/ice heave out in front of the Warroad Access? I know ice conditions will change throughout the coming weeks. Looking forward to getting after some pike.  The last few years there has been a pressure ridge there, last year it went from Springsteel over to Swift. And we've been up there plenty of times when there hasn't been one at all. Just curious to find out what conditions are like in that bay. Thanks!
    • Hoyt4
      Most likely our last trip up this year unless we go up for crappies but i'm running out of weekends. We had another great trip this weekend the fish are so fat this year more than I remember in the past.  Got my old man out for a good walleye bite he had a blast and caught a ton of fish. One day they just attached the bait as it was coming down they would come up and smash. Next day you put in the bottom and not even see the lure on the vex bring up a tad and they would smack it. Fun and a lot of snow hitting yesterday when we left.
    • PRO-V
      Agreed!!
    • SaintPaulPaul
      Switch to regular Budweiser and they seem to just jump out of the hole. No, seriously the way I improved my landing success through the ice was to go to small treble hooks. One small one on a 6' leader, a weight and Colorado blade above the leader seems to work for me. If you are on the flag right away, you don't risk gut-hooking them. I also recycle my Power Pro musky line and put it on tip ups. Also, I should add that I always  have a jaw-spreader and 8" forceps for quick and easy hook removal.
    • Iowabrewcrew
      Funny...seems like when the Emerald run slowed down up there 4-5 years ago, the fishing followed suit!
    • anyfishwilldo
      they only ran for a couple days.  They have them on the canadian side but its illegal to transport live bait across the border
  • Share & Have Fun