The best fishfinder for out type of fishing?

Discussion in 'Fishing Electronics Review' started by KansasKatter, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Wichita Kansas
    Hey guys, I have finally purchased my first boat. What is the BEST depth/fish finder out there for catfishermen? I would like to have the following features/capabilities.

    A. Price - Under $200 if possible

    B. GPS - Not necessary, but would be nice. Maybe capable of adding at later date?

    C. Water Temp, Fish and Depth alarms a must.

    D. Are there models that will ID cats on the bottom (not ID type of fish, just fish rather than structure)? Would like to have fish ID, and size ID.

    E. Must be lighted, and rugged, of course.

    Most of the use will be on the river, with a little bit of lake worked in here and there. The boat is a 16' aluminum flat bottom, if that matters?

    Thanks guys and gals!
  2. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    i have a hummingbird 535 , it has always marked good fish and structure it has a back light for night fishing , and several alarm features i spent the extra money for speed and temp but the temp doesnt read right , i like the fish id feature they show up as fish not archs in various sizes , it also shows the thermacline with zoom capability for a close up of the bottom . the view screen is 6x6 . i like it but wish i had looked around or spent more money on a high doller one with the gps system but for less than 250 the one i have will suffice .

  3. KansasKatter

    KansasKatter New Member

    Wichita Kansas
    Yeah, I have heard this is one area you do not want to skimp on. But I can't spend $500 on a fish finder right now, the wife would have my you know what! I was thinking of getting one that is available that you can add the GPS to later. They are around $250-$300, and you can add the GPS at a later date, perhaps around February (my birthday). Hopefully the fish finder itself will be a Christmas present......

    I put that there in case my wife comes on here and lurks around while I am not home!:big_smile:
  4. jim

    jim New Member

    Jacksonville NC
    We are coming up on the end of model year and Cabelas and BASSPRO will be having sales.Send for their sales catalogs and you will be able to get good savings.The fish ID feature is highly over rated and I suspect that most really good finder readers don't even turn it on.The finder will give you an echo off of anything in the water column.This could be a Turtle,trotline,beer can anything.It will show up as a fish symbol leading YOU to think a fish is there.Much better to interpret arches in my opinion.As for brand you cant beat Lowrance for sales and service.You can go to their website and download an emulator for the model you want to look at and play with all the features.Many of the Lowrance models are coming with GPS antenaes built right in to the unit which is nice.:smile2:
  5. center12

    center12 New Member

    What you want for under 200$ will be hard. Personally I make your brother chip in and buy a nice Lowrance or Eagle:lol:

    While all those peak to peak numbers are nice, the fact remains that in KS we fish very little water over 40' deep.........go for pixel count. The Fish Eagle 420(or 320 for that matter) will do you well. I don't know exactly what you want out of a GPS but you can get a simply hand-held unit for under 100$.

    Oh yeah, don't play the wife card..........camper, new boat, what's a little depthfinder in the mix:tounge_out: .
  6. Mark R.

    Mark R. New Member

    Rush Springs, OK
    I to am looking for a fish finder, You might look on e-bay, there are some good units there and since it is getting out of sesaon the prices have been down over just a couple weeks ago.
    I was going to go for a $200 unit but the more I read about them I will save up and get a little more expensive unit.
    I have handheld GPS but am wondering if it wouldn't be a nice feature to have that up on the screen along with the depth.
  7. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    If you purchase a Lowrance or Eagle depth finder you want be sorry down the road. I have used them for years, without any major problems. Any major sporting goods store has a good selection. Hope you find the one you are looking for.
  8. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I'd say to find an elderly gentleman or woman who has lived and fished a particular river/lake all their lives. They can tell you and show you everything you have ever wanted to know about a body of water. The only problem is in finding that person.
  9. snooker_hooker

    snooker_hooker New Member

  10. rcneman

    rcneman New Member

    From a bit of a novice fish-finder user...depth is important...more importantly depth changes, drop-offs, humps, etc. Next is seein fish and what depth they are holdin at.

  11. Billy Jo

    Billy Jo New Member

    Peoria , Arizona
    I got a Eagle Cuda 240 fish-finder and GPS . have been useing it for about 3 years now. I payed $219.00 when they first came out. This unit will do everything that you will ever need. I thank the new ones model# 250 and around $200.00.
  12. bigtimeblues

    bigtimeblues New Member

    missouri, macon
    I think Jim is right on with his post. I think it was on lowrances web site that they even said with the fish id feature it doesn't pick up fish right on the bottom as well... it picks it up just won't show it as a fish. Which is what we're looking for most of the time.
    I really like the lowrances myself. And the online emulator is a great tool. I'd check ebay for one as well. Lots of times you can find close out models on there at a much better price than the store. But the great thing about the internet is you can check ebay, cabelas and bass pro all at the same time and figure out what's the best deal.
    Good luck on your purchase.
  13. Flintman

    Flintman New Member

    OKC, OKLA.
    I have 2 humminbirds, been using them for 4 years, no problems yet
    for the money they have done me a good job.
    I would like the GPS next go round

  14. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    South Carolina
    I have a lowrance X 85 and a lowrance I finder hand held gps i am selling if anyone is interested. The x-85 has speed and temp sensor but not sure if the speed is correct because the bracket got bent but temp still works great. new sensor runs about 39.00 here.
  15. catfishbills

    catfishbills New Member

    I have a Hummingbird 565. I like it so far, but I am still learning how to set it up properly. It seems to read the bottom well(even in water that is Very muddy, and a lot of current)
  16. CatHound

    CatHound New Member

    I have several fishfinders. A Bottom line, and 2 Humminbirds. On my 16 foot aluminum boat, I use a Humminbird matrix 37. Since I fish pretty shallow waters quite often, I went with one that has a large foot print on the bottom(translate as large cone angle) and it has the option to add a GPS for about $100 (it also is compatible with the Smartcast system - you can hook it up and use the great screen size on the main unit while flipping back and forth to the main transducer to watch under the boat at the same time). I have it mounted so I can take it off and use that fishfinder on my float tube, pontoon boat, or while bank fishing or ice fishing too. For bank fishing or ice fishing, I just have a small lunch cooler that holds a 12v SLA battery and the main unit is mounted on the cooler lid.

    If I could figure how to, I would post up a photo of it.
  17. Shanadoia

    Shanadoia New Member

    Walmart has really good prices on fishfinders..The one i have is the Eagle 320 and the newest one now is the Eagle 420 and it as the 320 has all the features but at the same price almost it has even more pixles and signal strength..The super twist of the bottom contour is a must to seperate fish from structure..This unit also come with Temp and alarms and split screen and 6 different grayline levels.. You can even download a practice simulater for you PC to practice at home to be ready on the water..What more could a Cat fisher-man or fisher-woman want..If you need the simulator send a message to me and i can email it to anyone..PS: On sunny days be sure to have those glasses on, it's a must, not a question!!:cool2:
  18. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    I have had several eagle DF ers, and have stepped up to Lowrance 105c and along side of this I have a 3500 GPS. I believe that moisture got into the eagles via the buttons..... I have a "Garmin" 160c that I use at the front mounted on a fiberglass wand to give me depth reading from the front of the boat for shallow running.... and fish of coarse. Garmin is good and great price.... check em out

    bayrunner ray