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Thread: Inexpensive fish/depth finder

  1. #1

    Default Inexpensive fish/depth finder

    Hi, I've addressed this issue in one of my past posts, but want to get into it a little more.
    We have a 16' Alumacraft Xpress jonboat for the Kenai river. It has an electric start 25 4stroke Yamaha (the battery is pretty small, the only functions it performs is starting the motor and powering the boat's running lights; no bilge pump; yet).
    The boat has sponsons on both sides of the outboard, mounted/welded to the transom.

    1. Will an inexpensive finder perform okay on the river (in the 100.00 or under range)?
    2. Where would be the best place for the transducer mount? I'm not sure if there's too much water bubbling/turbulence right next to the lower unit in the space between the lower unit/sponsons.
    3. Mounting the transducer out on the back of one of the sponsons is a possibility, thinking it would get away from water turbulence.
    4. Not wanting to drill holes in the transom or sponsons, can I get mount the transducer with some type of adhesive (maybe 5200)?
    5. I just saw some portable fish/depth finders in Cabela's; complete with unit, suction cup mount transducer, battery & charger. Does anyone have experience with these, comments?
    6. Will the small battery (with the motor running & charging the battery) power the finder and a small bilge pump (maybe a rule model drawing 2-3 amps max)?
    Thanks,
    Jim

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    Hi, I've addressed this issue in one of my past posts, but want to get into it a little more.
    We have a 16' Alumacraft Xpress jonboat for the Kenai river. It has an electric start 25 4stroke Yamaha (the battery is pretty small, the only functions it performs is starting the motor and powering the boat's running lights; no bilge pump; yet).
    The boat has sponsons on both sides of the outboard, mounted/welded to the transom.

    1. Will an inexpensive finder perform okay on the river (in the 100.00 or under range)?
    2. Where would be the best place for the transducer mount? I'm not sure if there's too much water bubbling/turbulence right next to the lower unit in the space between the lower unit/sponsons.
    3. Mounting the transducer out on the back of one of the sponsons is a possibility, thinking it would get away from water turbulence.
    4. Not wanting to drill holes in the transom or sponsons, can I get mount the transducer with some type of adhesive (maybe 5200)?
    5. I just saw some portable fish/depth finders in Cabela's; complete with unit, suction cup mount transducer, battery & charger. Does anyone have experience with these, comments?
    6. Will the small battery (with the motor running & charging the battery) power the finder and a small bilge pump (maybe a rule model drawing 2-3 amps max)?
    Thanks,
    Jim
    You could get a Lorance X97 for $200. It should cover anything your boat will handle. I`ve found the anything less is a waste.

  3. #3

    Default

    I've had one of those portable units (Hummingbird) for several years now with the suction cup application and it has worked very well for me. Never lost the transducer due to the suction cup letting go. I never go more then 20 mph with it in the water though. Only takes a second to pull it off and another second to stick it back on once we slow down and start looking at the bottom.

  4. #4

    Default

    What model of Humminbird are you using?
    Thanks,
    Jim

  5. #5
    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    Alaska
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    Default

    I have a garmin 160c they run about $200.00 and works like a champ. The only problem i have is marking fish in deep 300' water. I run it in the Talkeetna mostly for depth there but it marks fish well in Clear Creek and other drainage water. The color display is a must

  6. #6

    Default

    Big Jim-
    I'll try to dig it out and check the model... But it might be a couple days. It's deep! It is a older one. At least 15 years.

  7. #7

    Default

    If your using it for the river, it will work good as long as you use it for shallow water (less than 100'). Fish finding in 10' of water is useless, as a 11 degree transducer beam will cover the size of a softball on the bottom, this is why you may see people catching fish, yet see none on your finder, so just use it as a depth finder in the river.
    Battery charge will be plenty to run both and your lights too.
    Frank
    Alaska Wildrose Charters and Cabins
    www.wildroselodge.com

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for the tips guys. Alaskan, you don't have to dig that unit out on my account! It's enough to hear you approve of such a unit.
    Pro, I shoul've clarified myself early on, I'm not a big believer in those units actually seeing/not seeing, fish. I'd use it to know the depth and try to find likely spots to hold fish.
    Thanks again,
    Jim

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