6 months with a Humminbird 997 SI

Discussion in 'Fish Finder Review and Study' started by cheapNdisgusting, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. cheapNdisgusting

    cheapNdisgusting Well-Known Member Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,905
    State:
    Yonder in Mo.
    Name:
    Russ
    I'm probably not the average Humminbird 997 SI owner but I am probably the happiest. I don't own a big fancy boat but rather have several "fishing" boats. The largest motor I have is a Chrysler 10hp. So - that having been said - I adapted mine to a portable unit and have had it in the water from the 12' deep Caster river to the 210' deep Bull Shoals lake, and mosy places in between. I've owned it for six months and have approx. 300 hours on it. I got the Navionics maps option and the temp/speed accessory. Seperately I purchased 2 SD cards, a 1 gig. and a 3 gig, and a USB port adapter so I could download all my info and screen shots to my computer. Total cost for the cards and adapter was less than $50.
    First, I took the motor off an old trolling motor and installed the transducer in it's place. I added the Temp/speed wheel 4" above the transducer, and the GPS puck to the top of it. This allows me to mount the unit on any boat that I choose to fish from. It became extremely adjustable in almost any situation. I've had it on a 14' canoe all the way up to a 50' houseboat. I bought a medium size plastic tool box that I mounted the head on, and store the head and accessories IN the box when not in use. Works great.
    I admit that it was/is a little intimidating at first (it comes with a 143 page instruction book) but I learned ONE THING AT A TIME. Learn one well, and go to the next, ect. Eventually I learned to use it in two modes at once (split screen) and now enjoy the boat ride to and from fishing spots as much as fishing.
    When on a body of water that the nav. charts cover, I can follow a contour line perfectly for miles, no matter how deep the contour line is. When in uncharted water I can still see exactly where I am and where I've been. The speed sensor is so sensitive that I can troll at any speed and maintain it in 1/10 mph incriments. Walleye at .4 to 1.3, stripers faster, ect.
    I've found so many "bait balls" and bait balls with fish hanging underneath that I am still amazed.
    Using the side scan, I can follow submerged roads and see old fields, house foundations, virtually everything on the bottom. I actually found the old road going past Jones school (Bull Shoals lake) and the school foundation. My mother went to school there back in the late 30's. I sorta had an idea where it was and found it in about 1/2 an hour.
    I could go on and on for a couple hours on the 997's neat things, but the bottom line is "If you can afford one of them - DO IT!". The 997 brought a whole new dimension into fishing for me and wish that I had gotten one sooner.
    I'm retired and fish as often as you change you're socks, (except MrT, I think he changes them a couple times a day) and this is the greatest thing I have come across so far. I'm in town and out a whole lot but I will answer any questions any of you may have when at home EXCEPT "can you identify a catfish" - NO, but you can identify "A" fish and whether it is large or small and exactly "where and at what depth" and whether it is a single or a school. Experience and habitat knowledge are the only way to do that. This thing does everything else.
     
  2. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Sounds like a great piece of equipment, thanks for the report!
     

  3. cheapNdisgusting

    cheapNdisgusting Well-Known Member Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,905
    State:
    Yonder in Mo.
    Name:
    Russ
    The first picture is a split screen showing normal downlooking sonar on the left, and the right is the same time frame using side scan. The content is baitballs and trees/brush on the bottom.

    The second picture is "sidescan", taken in 175' deep water, with baitballs and trees on the bottom.

    The third picture is "sidescan" looking to the right of the boat, showing a road, fields, and the foundation of "Jones school" which is under 114' of water since 1949.

    Click on the thumbnails to enlarge them.
     
  4. harley5247

    harley5247 New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    oklahoma
    I just bought and installed a 997c and have been to the lake one time, already I am amazed at what I have seen. I saw a large light blue fish arch on the screen and stoped to fish and caught a 12 pound channel cat also found some old culverts and road beds and stuff like that. This is a great tool.
     
  5. riverbud55

    riverbud55 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,948
    State:
    AZ Topock-/CA Riverside
    Name:
    Dale Miller
    Russell how well would you think it would work in a river that's 4' to a max of about 20' it averages out to about7' in 90% of the river,, just kinda wondering how far to the side can it reach and what you would see in shallow water
     
  6. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Russell thanks for a great report and pics. Appreciated. Your going to make me break my piggy bank. Thinking strongly about one for the spring.
     
  7. cheapNdisgusting

    cheapNdisgusting Well-Known Member Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,905
    State:
    Yonder in Mo.
    Name:
    Russ
    Sounds exactly like my home river, the Caster. Here are a couple shots from it. The sidescan distance is in the top corners of the blue part.
     
  8. RIVER-RAT

    RIVER-RAT New Member

    Messages:
    3,128
    State:
    MO / MT
    Thanks for the sweet report and pics Russell. I currently have the 917c, but wish I had the 997 or the 1197, just can't justify the expense to the wife yet! :wink:

    It really is a neat piece of equipment. I do have the quadrabeam transducer for the 917, and I find that it does help out quite a bit as well, just not nearly as detailed as the SI. Thanks again!
     
  9. cheapNdisgusting

    cheapNdisgusting Well-Known Member Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,905
    State:
    Yonder in Mo.
    Name:
    Russ
    It's killing me that the Miss. river is (and has been for a long while) still too high because I'm looking forward to see'ing what is really down there.
     
  10. hunted

    hunted New Member

    Messages:
    1,943
    State:
    washington court house,oh
    those things are nice,its amazing what they are coming up with these days
     
  11. catman4926

    catman4926 New Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    State:
    Texas
    Russell,
    thanks for all the info and the pic's
     
  12. JAYNC

    JAYNC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    State:
    Newport N.C.
    i've always been a little sceptical of those units. I was in a bass pro looking at them when they came out. Good to see an actual review by an unbiased source. Thanks for the review.
     
  13. Iablue

    Iablue New Member

    Messages:
    91
    State:
    IOWA
    Wow! That is great! It makes my Humminbird 2000 and Matrix 10 look like two tin cans on a string!!!!:eek:oooh:
     
  14. cheapNdisgusting

    cheapNdisgusting Well-Known Member Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,905
    State:
    Yonder in Mo.
    Name:
    Russ
    I bought it as a retirement present to myself. I fished one time with a guy that had one and he was one of those "Run & gun" bass fishermen and he really didn't use it as a complete tool. It was a "locator" to him. I finally bought mine and since then, I outfish him 500%. His fish all have a line on it's side, and mine are all different colors and shapes.

    What I am trying to say here is it is a complete fishing tool and is for almost any kind of fishing. I'm not saying anything about any other brand or style of locator, just my experience with the 997. Riding between fishing spots is as much fun, exploring the lake or river bottom, taking "screen shots" of interesting places (a screen shot, no matter what mode you are in) is recorded on the SD chip and also on the "topo GPS map". When I get home I put the chip in my computer and can view everywhere I was on the GPS map and every screen shot. I have a record that I can then sit and plan (drool over) where to fish tomorrow. I'll get some more shots ready to explain and will post them later.
     
  15. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    Thanks for the review and great info! I would like to get one but can't justify the cost. The 797si is an option possibly for me.

    If you are able, could you explain where the boat is in position to what I'm seeing in the split screen side image shots. Trying to figure out l/r/t/b.
     
  16. cheapNdisgusting

    cheapNdisgusting Well-Known Member Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,905
    State:
    Yonder in Mo.
    Name:
    Russ
    This is screen shot 00026, 00027, and 00028 of that particular trip. I was following a contour line at 160' deep on the map. This is a split screen view with the normal sonar on the left and the Navionics GPS on the right. I was following a tree line on the old riverbed. The fish were walleye and I went back and caught 4 of them in less than an hour.

    On the map you see "cameras" this is where a screen shot was taken and what # it was. The red boat symbol is where I am Now.

    Neat huh?
     
  17. cheapNdisgusting

    cheapNdisgusting Well-Known Member Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,905
    State:
    Yonder in Mo.
    Name:
    Russ
    In the side image views, the boat is at the top of the screen and the screen scrolls down. Meaning, you are at the top and the other part below is where you were a few seconds ago. The little blue boat symbol is in the center of the top when looking both ways. The little blue boat in in the top right corner when looking left and vice versa. Thanks for asking.

    When in the Navionics GPS view, the boat is displayed as a red outlined boat when you are moving. The boat is displayed as a red circle when sitting still.

    When in the normal downlooking sonar mode (like a normal locator, the boat is on the far right of the screen and the screen scrolls to the left.
     
  18. screamnclickersc

    screamnclickersc New Member

    Messages:
    755
    State:
    S.C.
    I recently sent my 797c2 in for repairs/upgrade-They recieved it on a Friday & I had it back on the boat the next Wed.The Humminbird service dept. are top notch.
     
  19. cheapNdisgusting

    cheapNdisgusting Well-Known Member Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    17,905
    State:
    Yonder in Mo.
    Name:
    Russ
    This past week, I fished with a friend that has a new 1197. It's screen is larger and I couldn't see enough difference to justify the extra $500 for the unit.
    On the other hand, he has the "thru hull" accessory transducer and the switch to choose between the two (which is also avail. on the 997). This I need, and would recommend it to anyone that is going to install either unit permantly.
     
  20. gonefishing

    gonefishing New Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    Near Monroe LA
    I have a 997 too and like you said its a great tool the lake i fish in most of the time is under 6' deep with a some water being 10-12' deep and it works great for me. I am starting to fish the mississippi river some and learn more about the water i fish every time out.

    Sam W