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Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

Old 10-23-2008, 05:08 PM
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Default Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

Looking to pick up a good bottom machine to search for "Hard Bottom" over here in Panama City...I guess the detail has to be pretty good to paint the hard bottom areas;however, does this come from the machine or the transducer or both??? In other words could I have just a so so machine and buy a $700.00 transducer and get the job done??? And, does the in hull transducer work better if you want to look for bottom while running to your spot??? Trying to do some research now to out fit my boat in the spring with good equipment...I just don't know enough people who have a vast experience in finding good bottom with good equipment...I've heard good things about ALL the new equipment out...Appreciate any comments......John
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:15 PM
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Default RE: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

John,

You're right, there is a lot of good stuff out there these days. The type of setup you want depends on the different conditions you fish in. Generally speaking, the deeper the water you fish in, the more power you will need. Here off the west central coast of FL (Tampa) the GOM is shallow and a 300w FF with a 200khz transducer works okay -- but I'm rarely in water over 100' deep; usually 40-80'. I have since upgraded my FF from a Si-Tex CVS-106C to a Furuno machine with 1K of power and a flush-mounted thru-hull and the signal improvement is tremendous (it was a great deal).

These days, 600w of RMS (not peak) power is fine -- If your going to "deep-drop", go with a 1kw unit. You will want a "dual frequency" machine with 50/200kHz capability. The wide and narrow transmission beam that the dual freq gives you makes it easier to find good bottom and get good definition.

Transducers are hugely impacted by how well they're mounted/installed on your boat. As a rule, thru-hull transducers are more effective than transom-mount. That's because there is less turbulence under the rear 1/3rd of the hull than there is at the transom. If you're going to make the investment in a new FF, go with the thru-hull transducer -- it should work just fine picking up bottom while underway.

Get the best machine you can afford and pair it with a good thru-hull. While most companies are going to the integrated "systems" approach to electronics, there are some companies still making excellent stand-alone FF.

PB


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Old 10-24-2008, 04:13 AM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

What are you running now?

2 suggestions for you.

1] Furuno 620 w/ Airmar B-60 X-ducer.
2] Furuno 585 w/ Airmar B-164 X-ducer

You will see hard bottom as a Brown color.
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

I second the machines warthog recommends. They work incredible for detail.
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

Here is a good example of a Furuno 585 w/ Airmar B-164

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Old 10-25-2008, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

Thanks guy for your responses...that helps me alot...Warthog, that's awesome detail...John
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

Warthog, I have the 620 and it's a huge improvement over what I had before but I can't get it to show arcs like in your pic. I get the blobs of different colors but no arcs. Any suggestions.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

Typically, the two main ingredients for getting "arches" on any sonar are proper transducer installation(needs to be shooting straight down) and the most overlooked is scroll speed, refresh, chart speed, whatever its called depending on the manufacturer. If the "advance" of the screen is too fast for your given speed then all it will "draw" is blobs, find the right "advance" rate of the screen matched up with your relative speed and you'll get arches. The faster the boat is moving the faster the "advance" rate on the screen, the slower the boat speed...you get the picture.

Its also important to have enough resolution on the screen, sometimes you have to use the zoom functions or manual depth range settings depending on the depth.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

Why is everyone so intent on seeing "arches" on their screens?? The so called "arch" is actually a bad thing if you ask me. That does not properly depict the item being seen. Are there boomerangs in the water, hanging upside down suspended in the water? No, so why would you want to see a fish, bait, seaweed as a boomerang? Don't you want to see the item as it really is?


ATCER,
Are you looking for oil or something? Why are you looking for "hard" bottom, just curious?
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

Birdie-
Actually those arches next to the "christmas tree" is a pretty good indication of large fish (maybe grouper) feeding on a school of bait.

And you might want to speak to some professionals about the value of bottom hardness.
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

Here's are somevideos ofthe Furuno 620 in action. My 620 is connected to an Airmar P66 transom transducer. I fish in depths to 2000 ft and hold bottom to 800 ft using the P66. Great machine.

http://albums.phanfare.com/4892322/2...ageID=31024928

Numerous shots of the 620 in action in this video ...

http://albums.phanfare.com/4892322/2...ageID=30997263



More 620 deeper water action27 miles SE of Cape Hatteras .....

http://albums.phanfare.com/4892322/2...ageID=30997513

http://albums.phanfare.com/4892322/2...ageID=30997494

With a great FF you get this ........

http://albums.phanfare.com/4892322/2...ageID=30997477

This is the area we fished so you can get an idea of the 620 performance characteristics ....



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Old 10-27-2008, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

Birdman:
The hard bottom areas over here in PC is great for finding grouper hinding in "holes"....whenever you see lots of baitfish about 10 feet above the hard bottom areas you know there is usually big grouper waiting for your bait...John
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

cravenMH - 10/27/2008 3:53 PM Birdie- Actually those arches next to the "christmas tree" is a pretty good indication of large fish (maybe grouper) feeding on a school of bait. And you might want to speak to some professionals about the value of bottom hardness.
Ditto that! The larger model fish show as arches as you pass over themdue to the fact that they are further away from the xducer as they enter the cone, get closer to it when directly underneath the xducer and get further away again as they get to the other edge of the cone.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Bottom Machines looking for Hard Bottom

ATCER - 10/27/2008 8:20 PM

Birdman:
The hard bottom areas over here in PC is great for finding grouper hinding in "holes"....whenever you see lots of baitfish about 10 feet above the hard bottom areas you know there is usually big grouper waiting for your bait...John
Gotcha, thanks. no "grouper" up here, that I know of anyway. Thought I had a new use for my Sounder!! They are talking about drilling up here soon, would love to be the first one to find the oil!!!

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