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Captain Bob

Lowrance - Navionics ?

6 posts in this topic

I recently purchased a Lowrance I-finder H20. My questions are:

Does LakeMaster actually make the maps sold as Navionics Premium on their (LM) website? Is the quality comprable to their CD-ROM offerings?

Also, I believe one can download routes and waypoints from the software to one's GPS. Anyone done this with the I-Finder?

Anyone run the Navionics Premium Region 10 MMC chip on a Lowrance handheld? Is it worth purchasing, or would downloading waypoints be more efficient?

Thanks in advance,

Bob

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I have an i-Finder Pro, and I have the Navionics HotMaps chip (Region 10). Not bad, but it lacks some detail on some lakes. It will, however, get you close enough to structure that you can find it easily with your depthfinder. I like it because it has a number of lakes...if you fish a particular lake a lot, you may be able to get a chip with a more detailed map of the particular lake.

You can download waypoints from your computer, as well...you need to use an MMC or SD memory card, and have a 'cradle' to connect to the computer. You save the waypoints to the card, then you insert the card into the i-Finder, and download the waypoints into the unit (off the card). Seems like an extra step in there, but once you get the process figured out it is not too bad.

Hope that helped...

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Thanks, Jarrod. The guys at LakeMaster got back to me too and said they (or/with Lowrance) will be releasing a "Minnesota MMC card (All MN ProMap Lakes except LOW and 200 DNR Lakes) in February or March."

This sounds good. Should be the 50 so lakes with 1-3' countours I would think. I'll probably pick up the Lakemaster CD-ROM for now and hope that chip will come out in the spring.

Thanks,

Bob

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I currently have the region 10 fishing hot spots mmc in my lowrance I-finder pro. I have not been overly impressed with the maps so far, as I have found that they are typically anywhere from 10 to over 100 yards off. Obviously 10 yards or even 25 yards off is nothing to complain about, but searching for a spot somewhere within a 100+ yard radius can be frustrating after spending the $$ for technology that should nearly eliminate or drastically reduce time spent searching for spots.

I spoke with a customer service rep at navionics today, and was told that upgrades for region 10 will be released January 3rd. Current customers can trade in their old fishing hot spots mmc's for $65 credit toward the purchase of a new mmc.

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Something to remember is that the technology is limited by the information available. Many of the maps are based on DNR maps that are very old and were made without the advantage of high tech tools. For instance, the DNR map for the lake where I have my cabin is from the 1930s and the information was compiled by the Civilian Conservation Corps. While the map is generally accurate, there are some specific areas where the map is way off.

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Many of us have used the Hot Spot maps over the years, and they were very helpful when GPSs first came out, to get you on the major structures on the big lakes. They were always inaccurate, though. On Winni, Mille Lacs, and other lakes, you could not use them to find structure edges. Many humps and dropoffs were missing or mis-sized by many hundreds of feet.

I was told that these maps were created pre-GPS, done on drafting tables from spot checks and information from local guides. The supposed contours were drawn freehand based on the spot checks and local knowledge.

I believe the Hot Spot days are over, better maps are now available, created using GPS and sonar systems in systematic lake sweeps. These include LakeMaster, Whiffer, ReelBottom.

I would hold out for the LakeMaster maps Lowrance will ship in the spring. You can call LakeMaster about what is on the chips, they told me the present LakeMaster Lowrance chip has a mix of LakeMaster maps and other peoples maps. In particular, the LakeMaster Winni map is not on the present Lowrance chip, but will be on the new one. The LakeMaster Winni map is very good.

The DNR maps would be fun to have available, though there accuracy is minimal, of course. They give a general look a the lake structure. I believe most were made in the 50s by flying over the lakes on sunny summer days and drawing a picture. Still, for the occasional sidetrip to a small lake they can be useful.

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