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Are any depth finders really better for shallow waters?

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Are any depth finders really better for shallow waters?

Old 12-19-2003, 02:43 PM
  #1  
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Default Are any depth finders really better for shallow waters?

I am shopping electronics for a new 20-foot modified-V center console. Already have an ICOM 402 VHF and intend to get a Garmin 182 GPS (may go for the 182C, if I see a good deal) with internal antenna, after seeing one in action all summer on Steve Murphy’s Eastern in the same waters I’ll be fishing (Merrimack River and Plum Island Sound on Mass north shore). Only item I’m not set on is a fish finder and would appreciate any advice on brands and models. From most of what I read on fish finder searches here, I assume there are more boaters looking for excellent deep water performance vs. shallow. I want the opposite to fish mostly inshore so would appreciate advice on the best sounder for shallow flats and for channels and cuts down to 20+ feet or so. Looking over my notes from discussions with others the past few months it looks like:

1) The Furuno LS6100 is a great inexpensive unit for deep water but gets very mixed reviews in shallows with complaints about noise and losing bottom.
2) The Eagle Fishmark 320 has terrific resolution at a great price and several were bought and installed by local (North Shore) anglers in Spring of 2003 but at least one is displeased enough with clutter issues to be replacing it in 2004.
3) The comparable Lowrance model, X87 I believe, was also mentioned positively by some but does it have clutter issues as well.
4) The Garmin 240 was spoken of very highly by jeff on this board and on FFSW board for comparable waters (Boston) and also my friend Steve has this unit on his Eastern and it seemed good in shallow work.
5) I also see several post from Florida flats guides saying the Lowrance X 47 and X67 models perform well in really shallow water?

Other factors about my specific set up if needed: I will go with a transom mount transducer; I’m not too affected (within reason) by price since most of those I’m looking at are within a hundred or so of each other and good shallow performance is far more important to me than saving a hundred dollars; the boat the unit will go on is a Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman 2000 LT.

Greatly appreciate any help anyone can pass along.
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Old 12-19-2003, 06:29 PM
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AC
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Default Are any depth finders really better for shallow waters?

I have owned a few bottom machines and for shallow water I like the low power inexpensive units.The Lowrance has worked the best,right down to the $100 dollar Eagles.I have not had luck with Garmin or Hummin Bird.I love the Furuno for deep water,but not familiar with the models for shallow water.I know my 582L is useless in the shallows.
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Old 12-22-2003, 06:13 PM
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Default Are any depth finders really better for shallow waters?

I for one have the Lowrance X-47 unit and I'll tell you it will work great in shallow water. I fish the flats 3ft down to 1 ft and that little unit never lies........It will give you a good reading at 42 mph and it has never missed a beat..The main reason I bought it was for the shallow / deep water alarms. When on plane going to the flats it is nice to have someone / something tell you when the H2O is getting real shallow, and while drifting out of the flats with the wind it is nice to know when you reach the ridge line going to deeper water. I will buy another if I need to in the future. $119.00 is a normal price and I have seen them for under a $100.00.......

TB Hawks
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Old 12-23-2003, 06:33 AM
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Default Are any depth finders really better for shallow waters?

I am a fan of Lowrance products. I have an older unit and it works well in the shallows.
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Old 12-23-2003, 10:25 AM
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Default Are any depth finders really better for shallow waters?

Thanks AC, TB HAWKS, soltydog. Are all three of you running transom mounts? And are you reading primarily bottom and structure with these low end Lowrances or fish and bait as well?

AC under what conditions do you switch off the Lowrance and onto the Furuno 582L.

Thank you all for the help.
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Old 12-23-2003, 02:01 PM
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Default Are any depth finders really better for shallow waters?

Yep, reading the bottom and any type of structure.........plus I get a little pic of any fish.........fine tuning and getting used to it is the key.........and yep, I have a Transom mounted transducer.......like others will tell you.......it's not the machine but the ducer that needs to be located in the right spot on the transom, mine is located on the starboard side, five inches downfrom the water line, I get very little if any cavitation from the eng. and alot of guys will tell you that there units shut down, no pic or nothing but cavitation when they are going at high speed or just tooling around.......not mine... fast, slow or in-between, I have never lost the pic. or the bottom.

TB Hawks
SMC(SW)(AW)USN, Ret.
NAHC - L/M
NRA
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