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Thread: Time for a new Fish finder on 21 ft pontoon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Boise/Enterprise
    Posts
    119

    Default Time for a new Fish finder on 21 ft pontoon

    So, I've been using the same $50 fish finder on my boat for 10 years. Mainly for a depth finder, since the only time I'm catching kokanee are when I'm not seeing them on the finder. 90% of the time... would like to mark more kokanee when they are under the boat.
    Works fine for perch and crappie but not kokes.

    What should I buy that will not break the bank account?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Meridian, Idaho
    Posts
    25

    Default New fishfinder

    I'd say you have to define the bank when starting the search. Prices definitely vary a lot with features. Side scan starts addding up quick and you have to decide if you want that option. Than there are electric motor links as well. There are some fine fish finders out there for good prices nowadays.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    718

    Default Spoons

    All I can add that's your eyes, It will tell you what your water temp is, speed,how deep am I fishing, I feel it extremely important I have my electronic fail a few times completely lost. Today I have up graduated to a 7" color unit (garmin) has chirp,and bottom view,I wanted for walleye. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Boise/Enterprise
    Posts
    119

    Default

    So it sounds the chirp technology is beneficial. I just need to decide about the side view.
    If I get something new with the chirp technology and side view, it looks like I can find something in the $300 to $500 range. Both Garmin and Hummingbird seem to have Santee sand products in that price range. Also, it seems like these are a lot less expensive than they were a few years ago.
    If I am off base, let me know.

    I appreciate the input.

    Also, as for the fish finder I've been using... is actually 20 years old. Purchased in the 90s...
    I think anything I buy will be better than what I've been using.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    221

    Default

    I would encourage you to actually get your hands on what you're looking at getting, as opposed to just online type research (maybe you are?) I think a lot of people, myself included, buy units that we are only able to use about 10% - 50% of the units capabilities That being said, if what is really important to you is in that 10% - 50% and you're happy - go for it! I'm just saying it's easy to over spend and after actually handling a certain unit, you may find it's perfect for your needs.

    Good luck.

  6. #6

    Default fish finder info

    Last season I got a 20ft pontoon and set it up with a Lowrance Hook7. Bought it at Cabela's for about $500ish. Just a heads up on your pontoon setup. I had to order in a transducer extension to because it was too far from the proper rear mounting location on the end of the left toon up to the pilot console. Factor that in as it's about a $40-$60 ad. I really can't say whether it is the best for the buck or even really offer you any advise on quality comparisons. It seems to work great and it is doing exactly what I want it to do and the simple fact of the matter is we catch a lot of kokes so something is going right.

    I use my sonar to see the mass of fish as a holding depth ID for kokanee. I also want to know the bottom depth so I don't loose my DR equipment when we work across a shallow spot.

    We like to set ours up to see our route track on one half the screen and the below the boat fish activity on the other half. The GPS route deal is key for speed but most importantly for kokanee fishing when you really want to have success is that once you find a biter you will most likely get another hit plus each time you pass over that same spot. The route tracker guides you right back to the hot spot and we will mark an X on a hit and inevitably we get action again on another pass. We found some spots at LP where we caught fish every single time and all year long. I personally don't see a huge value in side finder info for koke fishing. I see the value for bass but for kokes I just need to know there are a mass of fish below my boat and get a decent idea of what depth they are hanging out at so that I can drag my presentation in that neighborhood. When things are going correctly for us I can pretty much tell you to get ready on a certain setup and it will get contact.

    FYI the water temp sensor/deal is at the transducer and has nothing to do with the actual water temp at most kokanee fishing depths. The temp changes radically after the first 4 to 5 ft of depth. The smarties say 58* is the magic plankton number the fish are eating the plankton so you would therefore want to hunt around for 58*. The only way you will really know the temp at fishing depth is to drop a sensor to a known and defined depth. That is a pIA so we deduce from the pings of our fish finder that when you see a mass of kokes you can assume it's about 58* in that area. You see a mass of fish and you can't get any action off of them then you can assume they are camping but not active on that particular depth and spot. Move on and find action elsewhere. Assumptions made that your offering is on their hit list!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Harrisville, Utah
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    I've come to enjoy the Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Pro. It has the chirp technology and also has downvision but no side vision. Its one of the simplest operating systems I've become to like where I don't have to spend time going into a menu to figure out what I want to change. The latest update allows for a menu setting to turn off downvision if you don't want to use this feature. This unit is under $500.
    2000 F250 7.3L Diesel
    2007 Columbia 2018 Fisherman XL Yamaha F150 Yamaha 9.9 kicker 4 Walker Electric Downriggers Raymarine Element HV 9

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    718

    Default Fish finder

    Quote Originally Posted by spoons View Post
    So, I've been using the same $50 fish finder on my boat for 10 years. Mainly for a depth finder, since the only time I'm catching kokanee are when I'm not seeing them on the finder. 90% of the time... would like to mark more kokanee when they are under the boat.
    Works fine for perch and crappie but not kokes.

    What should I buy that will not break the bank account?
    The most important peace of equipment on your boat is/are your electronic. Thats your eyes,My personnel choice is a Garmin unit. For what you can afford that you will have to decide. Go to your local shop check them out whats in your budget then I go on ebay etc and check pricing. I like a 7inch screen my unit cost me over $2000.00 has chirp etc. You need to get a hands on look and go from there hole this helps

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Helena, MT
    Posts
    174

    Default

    I picked up a Garmin Echomap plus 93SV on line for $765. Going from a 5" to a 9" is a big upgrade. I've only been out with it for a couple of hours so I haven't figured out the many features yet. I was able to see pods of fish suspended to the side of my boat with the side view and the chirp traditional sonar seems to pick up a lot more than my old non-chirp sonar did. The touch screen is a nice feature. My local kokanee lake isn't in the mapping database so I am in the process of creating my own map on a micro sd card with 1 foot contours and custom shading with the QuickDraw feature. A lot to learn, but very happy so far. Once you narrow your choices down, go on YouTube and look for instructional/rating videos for the models you are interested in - gives you a pretty good idea what the capabilities are.

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