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Jaron_K

Sonar suggestions?

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Jaron_K

Just looking for a good priced all around fish finder. There are a ton of options and size and price but just looking for suggestions on what to buy. Right now i am using a cheap $200 hummingbird and doesnt do what i need it to do. All it is basically being used for is a depth reading. As for finding fish i dont have much faith in it when all it does is put a symbol of a fish on the screen. No arcs nothing. Also when i get out to 30' or deeper it doesnt mark fish towards the bottom all it shows is a thick faded black line. I guess my point is i am looking for a fairly inexpensive sonar preferably colored. I am thinking around $500 of spending money hopefully will do the trick. I looked at a hummingbird 597 and wasnt quite sure if it would have the bang for the buck. I fish walleyes and with the fall coming here I need to be able to locate fish over deeper water. Last couple of years i have been limited to my vexilar over the side of the boat but have done suprisingly well yet. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

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TruthWalleyes

First off, this could very easily be an indication of thermocline. Didn't look to see where you're from, but the thermocline is set in pretty heavy right now.

Also when i get out to 30' or deeper it doesnt mark fish towards the bottom all it shows is a thick faded black line.

Less than $500 your best options are probably:

Elite 4 or 5 with chart/ hds 5x gen 2 no chart

Or

596 no chart/597 with chart

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bassfshin24

I would check out bass boat central classifieds and texas fishing forum classifieds. I have seen some great used units go for a great price on both. Might even be able to get a combo together for a little over what you looking to spend. Otherwise if looking for new truthwalleyes suggested the best ones for ya.

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CaptainMusky

One thing you could do immediately to possibly get more out of your current unit is to turn your fish id OFF. Then go in and adjust your sensitivity settings to get the display how you like it. I think you will be amazed just how effective even your cheaper unit could be. Not trying to talk a guy out of spending money, but before you do that, or even after you buy something else, try messing with the settings and I think you will find you can get good use out of it.

Regarding not seeing anything in deeper water I am certain the unit you have doesnt have a ton of power. You can probably zoom in on the bottom 10 feet or something to get some target separation.

The one thing to consider though is knowing the structure you are fishing. If you are fishing a flat (sand or mud) and there is any bump on the bottom that is likely a fish.

As far as units for the $500 price point the lowrance elites referenced are good units as well as the humminbirds referenced too. Either or would do that job.

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WEB 78

I have an lowrance Elite 5 sonar/GPS for about a year now that I am happy with. This can be had with a lake chip for what your looking to spend. Have the Lowrance ice kit for winter fishing which I really like also. you can check out You Tube under "elite 5" and watch video on some of the different models to see if there is something on there you would like.

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Jaron_K

Thanks fellas i will have to check some of these out. As for the bird i have now i have tried everything i could think of to get the settings to my liking but its not the most advanced piece of technology. Might be a dumb question but do all these suggestions have Navionics capability? I have it on my I-phone as am wondering can i hook it up through that or are they already built in to the system? I'm not in much need of the structure scan although i have gazed at them for hours in stores cuz they are pretty sweet. Basically just GPS and sonar i think would be best but i still want to be able to read soft/hard bottom without having to put my line down to feel for it. And of course arcs of fish just to get a better idea on what fish are holding on what structure. In the fall i usually have best luck in 30-40' when rock transitions to mud right on that edge. Would be nice to see it before i fish rather than just stumble upon it.

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amateurfishing

I have the HB 597 and believe it is a very decent machine, I also immediately bought the portable ice kit to go with it on south American river site but highly recommend checking all internet places as some also sell used versions with decent discounts. I do have a 3 yr old navionics chip in my HB & like it even though it is not the most recent or best version out there. I have learned a lot in the last 2 years regarding this unit & even though it is not the best or greatest out there it (kinda) fit my budget even though I had to do some sweet talkin with the wife, then I took her out night trolling on mille lacs last fall and she admitted it was $$ well spent & liked it a lot and now my 7 year old is even learning with it.

If you are ever in the area, I would be more than happy to show you mine. also, a certain outdoor store in rogers/Owatonna has had very good sales on them the last 2 years in late fall (sept/oct) $150 off

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KirtH

I have the HB 597 and believe it is a very decent machine, I also immediately bought the portable ice kit to go with it on south American river site but highly recommend checking all internet places as some also sell used versions with decent discounts. I do have a 3 yr old navionics chip in my HB & like it even though it is not the most recent or best version out there. I have learned a lot in the last 2 years regarding this unit & even though it is not the best or greatest out there it (kinda) fit my budget even though I had to do some sweet talkin with the wife, then I took her out night trolling on mille lacs last fall and she admitted it was $$ well spent & liked it a lot and now my 7 year old is even learning with it.

If you are ever in the area, I would be more than happy to show you mine. also, a certain outdoor store in rogers/Owatonna has had very good sales on them the last 2 years in late fall (sept/oct) $150 off

What Navionics chip do you have?

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amateurfishing

Hotmaps North

full-37274-36578-img_68331.jpg

full-37274-36579-img_68321.jpg

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fishhound2013

That price range is a bit tough but certainly not impossible. You could also try finding someone with a HDS 5 or 7 gen 1 that they are looking to sell. They might be in your range.

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