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Thread: Fishfinders?

  1. #1
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    Default Fishfinders?

    I am looking to purchase a fishfinder/chartplotter for my inflatable. I am trying to keep it under $500. My only requirement is that it shows bottom structure fairly well, and has the Alaskan coastline preloaded. Does anyone have any suggestions? I was looking at the lowrance M68.

  2. #2

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    I'm not sure about price without GPS, but I just picked up the Lowrance Elite 5 this spring, and I use it in an open skiff. Unbelievable and tough as nails.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I'm not sure about price without GPS, but I just picked up the Lowrance Elite 5 this spring, and I use it in an open skiff. Unbelievable and tough as nails.
    I second this opinion...best in it`s price range.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I'm not sure about price without GPS, but I just picked up the Lowrance Elite 5 this spring, and I use it in an open skiff. Unbelievable and tough as nails.

    Brownbear,

    I'm thinking of getting one of those.. How is the gps reception? Internal or external gps antenna? I have an older Lowrance (6 years old) and the gps is giving me fits.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Brownbear,

    I'm thinking of getting one of those.. How is the gps reception? Internal or external gps antenna? I have an older Lowrance (6 years old) and the gps is giving me fits.
    Since I'm in an open skiff I just go with the stock internal antenna. It's noticeably better than those I've seen on other boats and on my handhelds. Less signal loss, and it doesn't seem to get "confused" about direction while motoring at low speeds, whether dodging rock piles in small places or trolling. That's good, because my wife flips out if she's running the boat and the GPS suddenly goes nuts. She's running the boat a lot more these days and a whole lot happier. How can I beat that!

    BTW- You have your choice of two transducer frequencies. I went with the 83/200 "shallow water" version since I don't give a hoot about really deep stuff in open ocean. Glad I did! It's spooky and not "supposed" to happen, but you can actually watch your jigs and mooching rigs right on the screen. What an incredible edge for hitting the same depth as the fish!

  6. #6

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    I use mine w/the just the internal as well. Takes just a second to refresh pages when you move the cursor off the screen but not a problem. The transducer on my Achilles will track bottom at full speed (37) without a hiccup...that`s saying alot for a soft bottom ride. Also love having all the bottom contour lines/depth on screen all the time...never looked at paper the whole last trip. BTW, you can select 83/200hz in the menu for closer views or water types.

  7. #7
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    I read some reviews, and I am going to order one tonight. Hopefully it will be here by the 2nd.

    How did you guys rig yours up? Just hook it up to a battery in a dry box??

    Thanks for the help!

  8. #8
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    Default

    one other question....

    Did you have to buy or download charts for the elite 5, or did it come preloaded?

  9. #9
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default brwn br

    Whats the learing curve, or how user friendly is it. I would like one but dont' know if its worth the $ for my zodiac. Can you spot rockfish & lings on it & decifer them?

  10. #10

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    How did you guys rig yours up? Just hook it up to a battery in a dry box??
    That's what I did since my outboard is an older hand-crank tiller model. Here's a great thing- I ran it two full days before recharging the battery, and my 10 amp charger did the job in under an hour. Looks like I can go a long time between charges, but I'm in test phase. I've run it three days this time around, and am headed for a week just to see how much it drags down.

    Did you have to buy or download charts for the elite 5, or did it come preloaded?
    I bought mine without the charts and bought the chip separately.

    Whats the learing curve, or how user friendly is it. I would like one but dont' know if its worth the $ for my zodiac. Can you spot rockfish & lings on it & decifer them?
    The learning curve was almost instantaneous- one quick pass through the manual and about two minutes pushing buttons on screen, but I've used others.

    As for clarity, holy cow. I haven't gone looking for lings yet, but if any machine can pick them up sitting right on bottom, this one can. It's without a doubt the clearest machine, large or small, I've ever used.

  11. #11

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    Same situation as you. Looking for a combo (I think) chartplotter/fishfinder. Was happy with the eagle combo I bought 4 years ago for another boat. Did everyone order online? I've noticed most local prices on electronics are high.

  12. #12
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    I ordered the Lowrance Elite 5 83/200 for just under $600 delivered. Shipping up to AK is a killer.... I should get it next friday. Can't wait to start tinkering with it. Does anyone know if the preloaded maps for the GPS include the AK coastline? I've been looking at sd card maps, and am having trouble finding one for AK that doesn't cost less than $150.

  13. #13

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    The preloaded ones a found on amazon said it included Alaskan coastal waters. As soon as I can sell my aluminum floorboards I think I'm gonna get the same one.

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    I just double checked on mine, and it does have the US Maps feature or whatever it is. Whew

  15. #15

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    Let me know when you get it and we`ll see if you have the maps needed in the menu...can use mine to verify for you.

    BTW, I`m ready for the flotilla thing whenever a group wants to get together for a day/overnight out of Seward in late July or early August.

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    Sounds great! Just let me know when! I have from this friday until the 18th off, and then weekends after that off. If you find some free time, drop me a PM. I'm always ready to get out and fish.

    As soon as my fishfinder gets here, I'll drop you a line and maybe you can show me how to work this sucker.

    Thanks

  17. #17

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    I`m thinking the 31st. Waiting for a couple guys to get their boats finished...AKBroncoII and a co-worker are doing their finishing touches and would like to get all together for some inside the bay stuff...mine will work good outside but I don`t want anyone to feel out of their element in the gulf waters. Besides I know where to get the fish inside most days so it would be a great time especially if we overnight in Thumb Cove or at the Narrows.


  18. #18
    Member AKMarmot's Avatar
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    Default up for it

    Sounds like a good plan.
    We usually get down there twice a month & the end of July would be perfect for silvers. Thumb Cove is a good place to base out of for the weekend. I have never gone out to Day Harbor, but I would like to some weekend, & camp in Driftwood bay SMP or another of the beaches there. Its nice to be able to fish when ever you like all day / eve & then just run to shore if want to get out for awhile & take a break.
    I heard there are some decent lings over there & silvers usually there as well.

  19. #19

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    Charlie, I am very close to finishing my boat. I just got permission to buy a new boat next spring by the warden. Thinking of picking up a naiad if I can swing the money.

    Definitely down for the trip. I may try to drag the old man along in another boat identical to mine or a 16' Achilles with a 35 horse tiller.

  20. #20

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    The more the merrier!

    sthrcave,
    That unit show up yet??

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