choosing a chartplotter/fishfinder
Help! I'm looking at chartplotter fish finders and there are so many with lots of options that it is hard to figure out which one. I would like to spend in the $500 to $700 range. Mostly I'm looking for fish and structure in less than 1000 feet, most real fishing in less than 300' feet. I will be looking for halibut and salmon mostly, but will also be after rockfish. Basic gps and general charts are great, but I don't think I can afford the really detailed electronic charting but that is okay. Ease of use is important, I have a handheld Garmin 60csx gps and find it to be user friendly. I am looking at a Garmin 440s, and a 540s. I am also looking at some Lowrance units, but have heard they are more complicated to use. 3D would be a bonus, mostly want to see the fish and the bottom in as much detail as I can afford, and have enough of a chart/gps to tell where I am, how fast I'm going, and find my way back when it gets foggy or I'm fishing an area I'm not real familiar with. I appreciate your thoughts. Any background information is appreciated related to making a good decision. Thank You
I'm a huge Lowrance fan.
If you can afford $799 Cabelas has a heck of a deal on right now on the LCX-26c.
They also have the LMS 522c on for $499
I have a garmin 545 and I really like it! I have the g2 card in it and it's handy to have. The only complaint I have is the screen is a wee bit small. But that being said I use it just fine and it's small compared to the new 10 or 12 inch models. Very user friendly in my opinion. If you go to the power boating section there is a few threads on this same thing. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
I have a garmin 440s and as this is my first chartplotter/fishfinder I have nothing to compare it to BUT it is extremly simple to use and I did not need any additional cards to use this in seward valdez whitter cook inlet . Seems to be s great value as well.
In your range
Lowrance is the ticket for AK saltwater fishing. You can mark kings/coho's really well with a $500 Lowrance unit once you get it dialed in.
Picture of what kings look like, in deep water. I think I took this pic in April. Coho's are the same, just smaller. If you troll, the 50/200 is a must. Crank up the sensitivity to 100% on the 50 side and run the 200 side at whatevers needed to get rid of most of the clutter.
To mark halibut, you'll need to upgrade to a high end FF with a good bottom lock.. Even then you gotta know what you're looking at.
Last edited by 270ti; 01-12-2009 at 17:22.
Reason: added picture
How big is your boat? If you can keep a laptop dry hook it to your gps and use it for a plotter. Charts are free and plotting programs are cheap or free as well. This will free up money to use on the FF.
Nice. I have a good Lowrance duel frequenty sonar and have never been able to get good shows like that, especially that deep. I'm sure it's operator error.
Originally Posted by 270ti