Transmit Power: Transmit power is expressed in watts RMS (root mean squared) and is related to how well you see in silt-laden water, view down to greater depths and successfully resolve separate targets and bottom structure. A 500-watt (RMS) fishfinder should have plenty of power for most coastal applications. Serious bluewater anglers should look for 1,000 watts or more. Inland lake fishermen can see the shallow bottom with only 200 watts.
In summer and winter, water temperature is very important - these units will help you discover areas that should be comfortable for your target species. Safety is found in structure, for prey and predator alike. The illusion of safety for baitfish equates to food for prey. So locating proper structure is certainly important. It's been said that 90% of the fish can be found in 10% of the water. Believe it. If you're fishing structure in the middle of a lake or a man-made reef, knowing what's below you is important. Now you know.
As you look for a GPS/fishfinder combo, keep in mind that the best power and frequency won’t mean much if you can’t use the information. Think in terms of a computer. You can have the most-powerful and efficient computing capability, but without a high-quality monitor, the data does you little good. That’s why it’s always a good idea to spend a bit more to get a top-shelf screen.
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.
The depth scale on the right of the screen enables you to identify the depth of any features you find. The depth reading in the top right of the screen shows you the bottom depth under your fish finder right now – bear in mind this is not necessarily the same depth as the features you have just scanned, especially if you are scanning drop offs or points.
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