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Handheld GPS for fishing


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I'm thinking about getting a Handheld GPS to use both soft and hard seasons for all the lakes I like to fish in Mn. Anyone know what's a good model and about how much I should spend? I'm not cheap but will only spend the money when justifiable. I'm getting lost in all the different handhelds out there.

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Call Marine General in Duluth and ask for Russ. Ask him about whats the best out there right now. I would stay away from the Lowrance models. Garmins are probably where its at but Russ will give you much better info than I can. He really knows hiselectronics.

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I have a Garmin handheld that I've had for years and like it. For the price it'll do what you need and you can buy maps for it. The bigger the screen the better.

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I am very happy with my Garmin 62st and LakeMaster MN chip (those chips are getting scarce out there). Search on this site for garmin. You'll have plenty to read.

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Good advice on calling Russ at Marine General. I'm another Garmin fan here. Have a GPSMap 78 for a handheld as well as a combo unit in my boat. Am very happy with both. Very positive news that Garmin has started releasing lake maps for thier own units. I knew they had something lined up long before LakeMaster stopped making maps for Garmin units.

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So pretty much any garmin would do and where do the lake chips come from?

Pretty much any of the newer Garmins that display mapping and accept a microchip would suit a person quite well. To get a LakeMaster chip that works in a Garmin, you need to head to a brick-and-mortar store to try to find one before they run out. I got mine at Cabela's in Rogers. Or, you might do a search and get lucky finding one still being sold online, at sites like Amazon. They aren't being sold through LakeMaster's site any longer. Also: new this winter is Garmin's Upper Midwest Fishing Guide, available directly from the company. Maybe out in stores by now, too, I'm not sure. A huge area of coverage -- 7 states plus Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake -- but I believe you can only use it in one Garmin unit that you pair with the chip.

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I just read about the single unit compatibility on Garmin's website and I think that stinks. If I were looking for cards right now I would be looking for the LakeMaster brand. They are still out there. One of the things I like about these chips is that I can switch them between the combo unit in my boat and my handheld. I'll probably wait for a year or two and pick up one of Garmins cards just to see what they are all about. Who knows, lots can change by then.

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I have the Garmin Oregon 450. I have the lakemaster micro SD and love the unit. It is entirely touchscreen but operates much like an ipod touch or iphone. This unit replaced my H2O color and it does much more than I could have ever imagined. Let my know if you have any specific questions.

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bobr,

How's the battery life in that Oregon 450 unit? I own a Lowrance iFinder HuntC and it chews throught the batteries.

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The battery life is at least twice as good as the H2O color. The other stuff I like about it: way points are super easy to add and edit, you can customized the main screen to have the features you use most right at your fingertips, satellites are acquired very fast and stay connected. You can literally create profiles and switch between them for hunting/fishing/hiking...etc.

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dfeste: A good discussion going on in the Lake of the Woods forum on the Garmin Upper Midwest Fishing Guide card, including some real user testing of the 'single gps' limitation claim.

LakeMaster???

Also: The lakes mapped on the LakeMaster MN chip for Garmin (if you can still find one) and the Minnesota lakes mapped on Garmin's Upper Midwest Fishing Guide chip are 100% identical. I already have the LM MN Garmin chip but I'm thinking I'll get the UMFG chip, too, just for Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake, and the off chance I fish with my nephew in WI on lake Winnebago or Lake Michigan. I was hoping that the UMFC chip would go further north and include Lac Seul, but no luck. Also no improvement over my existing LM MN chip in the Namakan area, and can't understand why it wouldn't include Lake Superior detail in Michigan waters...

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So much for not being in the market for a new chip. I just ordered it from Reeds for $90. Officially the least exspensive chip I have purchased, and more coverage. Very excited to see what it has to offer. I've got big bucks into multiple LM chips that have less coverage. Thanks for the heads up schweady.

Dave

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Great minds think alike. I just ordered mine from Reed's, too. Guess I'm just a map junkie. One chip can ride in my Nuvi 255W, too, so it's certainly not money wasted.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just got a Garmin 78s and the Upper Midwest Map downloaded. It has no contour lines and is useless for fishing.

Need great software or a chip to put in the 78s for Moose Lake up to and in Basswood and perhaps Lake Vermilion.

Any suggestions?

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Something does not sound right Uncle Boney. I'm sitting here with my 78 in hand with the Midwest Fishing Guide chip and I've looked at Fish Lake, Island Lake, and Boulder Lake. Contours on all three. Are you zoomed in? Maybee a bad download. Not sure.

Dave

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Fixed it. Had the menu/Marine set up to "fishing" which took all of the detail away. Moved it to Nautical or Off and everything came back.

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