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Watching water depth via gps/fish finder

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Watching water depth via gps/fish finder

Old 11-12-2016, 06:27 PM
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Default Watching water depth via gps/fish finder

I am wanting to buy a gps/fish finder mainly to watch the water depth as I am cruising in my boat. I get scared for the shallow parts of the lake and nearly hit bottom one time while cruising near a piece of land that came out approx 30 yards, I'd like to see these dangers while cruising so I can avoid them. I do have a depth meter on my boat but it only tells me the depth below me, I'd like to be able to see it on a map, whats ahead and around me to better avoid dangers. Maybe even a product that makes noise once I am below or around a certain water depth.

Can you guys recommend me a good depth/fish finder, I do fish occasionally but I usually wake board, and do other water sports.

Willing to spend up to around $500, portable, handheld, mounted, which ever will work.

Thanks!
Old 11-12-2016, 07:30 PM
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There are many different choices out there that will get you what you want. I think the most important thing you need is a quality mapping card that can show you where you can, and cannot, go.

Navionics maps are offered in bundle packages for many models that meet your needs. Follow the link to see what units offer a Navionics bundle:

http://www.navionics.com/en/navionics-bundles
Old 11-12-2016, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptainSolo View Post
There are many different choices out there that will get you what you want. I think the most important thing you need is a quality mapping card that can show you where you can, and cannot, go.

Navionics maps are offered in bundle packages for many models that meet your needs. Follow the link to see what units offer a Navionics bundle:

http://www.navionics.com/en/navionics-bundles

Navionics is not going to work for most shallow areas less than 4' deep. Boaters who run navionics in rigs that draft 3' or more and head in and out via main marked channels have no idea how bad it is for boaters running around in smaller boats in shallow water. You cant navigate well with Navionics in shore in any challenging areas that are void of plenty of marked channels. That is just the sad truth.

If you are running in a lake that is not mapped well you are better off making your own depth contour map with the software available from all of the manufacturers today. You can't trust the depth indications on contours on any map that you did not create that are 4' and less as the way the data are collected,vetted, and disseminated are subject to errors of up to a couple of feet. In deeper water it makes no difference but for your purpose it is key.
Old 11-12-2016, 09:30 PM
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OK, so theres no fish finders/gps/chartplotters that show the depth of the water on the map, say a certain radius around the boat?
Old 11-12-2016, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Meltdownblitz View Post
OK, so theres no fish finders/gps/chartplotters that show the depth of the water on the map, say a certain radius around the boat?
There are a few but they are waaaaaay out of your budget range. You will need to spend closer to $2000 for a Garmin package that will let you look as far as 200 feet in front of the boat.

Something like an Echomap 93/94 series with a Panoptix PS21 forward looking transducer. The transducer alone retails for $1000 but you can find them discounted in the $700-$800 range. Then add in a $900-$1200 MFD with built in mapping and a traditional transducer.
Old 11-12-2016, 09:42 PM
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Garmin and other brands have some pretty good lake charts - for some lakes - but as has been mentioned above, shallow waters are risky even with a hi level of detail.
Old 11-12-2016, 09:52 PM
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Ok, I guess that idea is out then. What is a good portable gps fish finder that I can use a suction cup to attach onto the windshield on my boat?

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