Pontoon Fish Finder

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species Fishing' started by Wannabe Angler, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. Wannabe Angler

    Wannabe Angler

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    Looking for some technical recommendations. Background: I have a pontoon (24 ft) at our cottage on a small 150 acre lake in Mid Michigan. The pontoon has always had a "Fish Finder" on it...that basically tells me water depth only (It is old and fairly worthless). I'm thinking about upgrading to get "smarter" when fishing the lake. I really don't know much about fish finder electronics or how to use them (yet). Any good recommendations for a pontoon? Lake max depth is 30ft. Typical species (Bass, Gills, Pike, Perch, occasional eye). Probably in the $200-300 range is where I'm looking. TIA!
     
  2. murdermittenkid

    murdermittenkid

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    I’ve been happy with my hummingbird helix 5 di gps g2. Pretty user friendly and comes “tuned” for n out of the box. Can find them for around $300
     

  3. jimbo

    jimbo

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    I’m thinking they all do the same thing for the same price. More money = better unit. One thing I wish I would have looked at was ease of plugging in.
    I had an old hummingbird that the whole unit just plugged into a frame and it was ready to go.
    My new unit (10 yr) I have to fumble around plugging the power cord, then the transducer cord, then slide it into the mount and 2 thumb screws to hold it in place. I seldom use it anymore


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  4. murdermittenkid

    murdermittenkid

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    I bought the ram mount for $40 and it makes things so much easier. I can move it if I switch seats or if sun glare is a problem. Easier to take off when not in use also, Definitely worth the money.
     
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  5. Wannabe Angler

    Wannabe Angler

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    MMK, so the unit's wired in but can still move it within the boat?
     
  6. murdermittenkid

    murdermittenkid

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    No I can turn it around if I’m on the bow of the boat or I can tilt it to reduce glare. Moving to a different location on the boat would take a different set of cords wherever you move it to.
     
  7. Wannabe Angler

    Wannabe Angler

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    Ahh...gotcha thx..makes sense
     
  8. gundogguy

    gundogguy

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    $200-300 will get you about what you have now depth temp time. 2500 will get you latest and greatest. I would give you a Helix 5 and after you had it while you would think well even at free its not much of an up grade.
    And I do have a Huminbird Helix 5 available!

    Hal
     
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  9. Wannabe Angler

    Wannabe Angler

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    GDG, fair point. To really notice a difference in tech I would have to upgrade significantly.
     
  10. murdermittenkid

    murdermittenkid

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    GPS mapping and down imaging are a big upgrade from old style sonar but if you wanna spend $1500+...go right ahead
     
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  11. Wannabe Angler

    Wannabe Angler

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  12. Shlack

    Shlack

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    I had a Helix 7 and a Helix 5 on my last boat. I currently have two Helix 10s.

    Small fish finders are limited in what they can do. The sonar is good but I found that I was limited by the screen size. It really makes seeing detail more difficult. Smaller finders are really best to find depth and occasionally mark fish. They are also good for GPS, but it is difficult to display GPS and sonar at the same time on a small display.

    If you are hoping to use any more advanced sonar techniques like side imaging or plan on using GPS with sonar at the same time, bigger is better. Any way way bigger is going to be significantly better. Even on my current boat I wish I had bigger finders. I used to think it was crazy to have multiple displays on the console, but now I am debating putting another display on so I can run GPS separate from sonar.

    I am not sure what I would do in your situation. It really depends on what you hope to get out of a new fish finder. I find that typically having GPS and an accurate depth is more important than marking a bunch of fish. I am guessing that the dominant structure in your lake is weeds and most fish probably relate to them. In this setting I am not sure how much you will get out of having an advanced fish finder. If you are hoping to find additional deep water structure, or key on potentially suspended fish, a quality fish finder may help.
     
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  13. Wannabe Angler

    Wannabe Angler

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    Thanks for reply. Ya on our lake probably dont need anything too fancy as I know the lake well (been on it since born) and hardly any structure..just weed lines that i know well. I am in the market for a boat (not pontoon, actual fishing boat) so I will keep that in mind for better electronics there to fish new lakes! Thx

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  14. shoprat51

    shoprat51

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    Garmin striker 4 would be perfect for your pontoon tons of features in a small package what lake is your cottage on I live in Harrison just curious

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  15. piketroller

    piketroller

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    If you troll outside weed edges, there is no better tool for your boat than side scanning sonar. When the weeds aren’t all the way to the surface where they are easy to see, you can look out to the side of the boat to maintain your position just outside of them instead of getting too close and burying your lures into the weeds. The best you can do without side scan is to mark a ton of waypoints in the outside edge with the GPS and play connect the dots with the boat. That takes more work on your part, but can work.
     
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