The best rated fish finder, Lowrance Elite-7X, features one of the biggest screens among the models that have made it to our list of 12 top fish finders. The 7 inch widescreen offers excellent brightness, contrast and resolution. This allows viewing details even in bright sunlight and at a wider angle. The screen and keypad have an adjustable backlight for better viewing and usability at night and daylight.
2-4 PERSON CAPACITY: Comfortably sized 2-4 people capacity including set-up dimensions of 81" x 71" and 71" high with plenty of room to fish and even stand up inside of.|POP-UP STYLE SETUP: Sets up super quick and tears down just as easily by simply pulling up on the roof and then on all four sides so youÆll be good to go in minutes.|FULLY INSULATED FABRIC: Features 300 denier insulated oxford fabric with frost-resistance up to 22 degrees Fahrenheit to keep you warm no matter the weather.|DURABLY DESIGNED: Includes solid fiberglass poles, diecast hubs, and heavy duty zippers designed for repeated use plus 4 strong ground stakes and 4 pull ropes.|WELL-VENTILATED ACCESS: Two zippered doors on opposite ends and hook and loop fastened windows allow for easy access and provide a well-ventilated.
It is without a doubt that Lowrance has once again raised the bar for current technology. With their newly refined interface, their loyal customers will find the flow of operation to be much smoother than ever before. Don’t let the simple user operation fool you; Lowrance has built a technologically advanced unit with all the features you would expect.
Points are more gradual than drop offs, but spotting them is just as easy (see the screen shot below). Make sure you maintain a steady speed when trolling or reeling so you get an accurate reading on how steep the incline is. You should scan with a narrow sonar beam to get the clearest reading, and to ensure you see any shelfs or humps which wider beam scanning might not pick up (our page onhow sonars workexplains why this is).
CHIRP devices can transmit simultaneously on high and low frequencies. The lower frequency gives greater depth penetration, and it requires less power than a higher frequency signal so it generates less noise. The result is a “whisper into the water” that locates the fish without disturbing them. The higher frequency signal gives even finer detail at shallow to mid-water depths.
Commercial and naval fathometers of yesteryear used a strip chart recorder where an advancing roll of paper was marked by a stylus to make a permanent copy of the depth, usually with some means of also recording time (Each mark or time 'tic' is proportional to distance traveled) so that the strip charts could be readily compared to navigation charts and maneuvering logs (speed changes). Much of the world's ocean depths have been mapped using such recording strips. Fathometers of this type usually offered multiple (chart advance) speed settings, and sometimes, multiple frequencies as well. (Deep Ocean—Low Frequency carries better, Shallows—high frequency shows smaller structures (like fish, submerged reefs, wrecks, or other bottom composition features of interest.) At high frequency settings, high chart speeds, such fathometers give a picture of the bottom and any intervening large or schooling fish that can be related to position. Fathometers of the constant recording type are still mandated for all large vessels (100+ tons displacement) in restricted waters (i.e. generally, within 15 miles (24 km) of land).
It terms of the functionality, the HDS-7 is able to connect to the internet to broadcast data, update to new software, upload information such as marked coordinates and more. This Lowrance model uses the latest of advanced technologies such as CHIRP sonar, Broadband sounder, StructureScan HD, DownScan imaging and Trackback view for the ultimate fish finding experience.
Screen Color & Resolution is an essential factor in your selection. Color screens are the new norm on today’s fish finders. A color screen enables you to more easily decipher objects in the water, giving you valuable insight into your game fish. Also consider the amount of pixels on your screen—the more pixels, the greater level of detail you can see. LED backlit screens provide brilliant visual display, particularly for fishing in low-light conditions.
Simrad’s GO9 XSE Combination GPS/ Fishfinder offers a networkable 9” Touchscreen unit at an affordable price point. An Internal 10Hz GPS Receiver quickly and accurately locates position on the included C-Map Pro Charting while the included TotalScan Transom Mount Transducer provides detailed underwater images. Compatible with detailed mapping from C-MAP MAX-N, Navionics, Insight, Insight Genesis, and NV Digital Charts.
A fishfinder or sounder (Australia) is an instrument used to locate fish underwater by detecting reflected pulses of sound energy, as in sonar. A modern fishfinder displays measurements of reflected sound on a graphical display, allowing an operator to interpret information to locate schools of fish, underwater debris, and the bottom of body of water. Fishfinder instruments are used both by sport and commercial fishermen. Modern electronics allows a high degree of integration between the fishfinder system, marine radar, compass and GPS navigation systems.

Fishing with a hook and line is called angling. In addition to the use of the hook and line used to catch a fish, a heavy fish may be landed by using a landing net or a hooked pole called a gaff. Trolling is a technique in which a fishing lure on a line is drawn through the water. Snagging is a technique where the object is to hook the fish in the body.
The intensity of the sonar return from a hard bottom will be different to one from a hard bottom. Your fish finder uses colour to show this difference. In the standard colour palette of the Deeper display, the colour varies from dull brown (softest) to intense orange (hardest). In the day mode colour palette (see screen shot), the difference is even easier to see, with the colour ranging from purple (softest) to red to orange to yellow (hardest).
Having a GPS onboard is something I've wanted for a while, so that makes the Humminbird 385CI a powerful combo to me. I love "jungle fishing", getting back in mangroves and other areas that are loaded with structure. It's also easy to get turned around in those areas because if you're concentrating on fishing it's easy to lose track of where you are, where you've been, and how to get back to the launch. Obviously, this will help. Between having built in navigational charts and doing your own recon concerning tides for the day, you can make better choices as to where you want to fish.
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Power output is measure in watts, often represented by the “W” symbol. With more power you’ll get clearer, more-accurate readings, and you’ll be able to find fish in deeper water. Units with limited power won’t always send the signal out far enough and you can get poor quality images. Look closely for a good power output and frequency options. The right combination can help you choose the right unit, based on overall ability. You’re looking for balance of depth, power and clarity of image.
Fishfinders operate using a single frequency transducer, dual frequencies, multiple frequencies or a broadband CHIRP system. In general, higher frequencies give the finest detail resolution, the least background noise on your screen and the best view from a fast-moving boat, but don’t penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Shallow-water inland anglers generally choose higher frequencies of 200kHz, 400kHz or 800kHz. For maximum depth, use lower frequencies. We recommend 200kHz or higher (up to 800kHz) for water depths up to 200' and 80kHz or 50kHz for deeper waters.
The last model we would like to mention in our top 12 list is a model also from the Humminbird brand. It’s also one of the best inexpensive fish finder models. It comes with a black and white display. The sonar is dual beam and its frequency (200/455 kHz) allows viewing readings of depths of up to 600 feet. It’s also a small fish finder with the display being just 4 inches. The clear edge grayscale display clearly shows everything even in direct sunlight.
These units are battery operated and the signal is transmitted back to the receiver. So, don't expect a lot of range or HD resolution. But, if you simply want to know how deep the water is ahead of you so that you can make better choices, this is it. For me, I would need to cast it with a rod/reel loaded with heavy braid. The areas I'd likely cast to would hopefully hold big snook and in the spring they love this color. I don't want the "dog ate my homework" story to become the "snook ate my transducer" story.
Winter weather may run us inside, but that doesn't mean the sport sleeps. Those "other things" I mentioned will be covered when I write my book, but for now they will have to wait. In the mean time, let's discuss some other "deep thoughts". Or should that be "thoughts about the deep"? Or maybe it would be "I thought this water was deeper". This article is about depth finders, or more commonly called "fish finders". In this issue, we'll discuss your options when it comes to selecting one of these gadgets, along with tips for temporary or permanent installation.

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