Fishfinders...who uses them?

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by JMitchell, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. JMitchell Active Member

    Posts: 185
    Selah, wa
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    I have been thinking about getting the Hummingbird 140 for my toon, but figured I would throw the question out. Who uses these? Are you using them mostly for depth/contour or actually to locate fish as well? Is the side finder option worth it? The few guys I have talked to seem to mostly use these to fish chiros deep for finding exact depth and stick it 6-12 inches off the bottom. Any ideas/thoughts are greatly appreciated.

  2. Plecoptera Active Member

    Posts: 622
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    I mainly use mine on new lakes that don't have a topo map, so I can have an idea of the bottom structure & depth. Sometimes I have used it to locate fish, but aside from a few occasions I have never noticed it getting me onto more fish. It does mark suspended objects, but whether these are fish or not is questionable. Some of the better finders are pretty accurate and are better at distinguishing fish.

    For getting chironomids on the bottom, the best method is to use a pair of hemostats. I've found depth readings from most fish finders are off by as much as 5', so if your looking to be 6-12" from the bottom I wouldn't put much faith in one.
  3. Lakebuzzer I like to rip lips,,

    I use a humminbird 140C fishing buddy. I use it to locate shoals, drop offs , depth, surface temp, thermocline and structure. I will not go on a lake without this tool on my boat.
    As far as plecoptera stating that depth finders are not accurate hasn't really ever used a quality depth finder or knows how to properly adjust one. I use mind to determine if the bottom is mud, rock or weeds, what the tops of the weeds are to make sure my fly is above the weeds not in the weeds snagging up. I set my buzzers and my bung by the depth and its so much quicker to set up then using a hemostat or the tip of my fly rod.
    Buy one, you wont regret it.

  4. Jerry Metcalf FishyJere

    Posts: 335
    Enumclaw, WA
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    I found that in a pontoon, the hummingbird type finders are a real pain. They are awkward, hard to place and get in the way. On a pram, they are great. For my pontoon, I bought a handheld depth finder about the size of a flashlight. I get good depths but no fish indications. It stores in a pocket and the batteries last a summer. It is a Vexilar LPS1.

  5. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,834
    Ratings: +1,101 / 4
    Hand held depth finder; what does on of those babies go for?

  6. Trout Master Active Member

    I have used eagle and now have a hummingbird. I dont see what Jerry is saying about being a pain in the ass, set up with quick brackets for transducer and unit display and have a small 12v motorcylce battery to power it. I use it for depth /contours etc. Works great.
  7. IveofIone Active Member

    Posts: 3,040
    Ratings: +1,033 / 0
    I wouldn't be without one but I use it only to determine depth. Finding fish or side finding has been of very little use to me over the years. But for determining if you are in 23' of water and should be using a Type VI line or 8' of water and should have on an intermediate they just can't be beat.

    Shown are 3 different ways I have mounted them. The Fishin' Buddy on the 'toon is a new one, an entry level model that is very lightweight. I have it mounted on the footrest with an adjustable clutch for raising and lowering it. Very handy and very visible and not at all in the way.

    Previously I had my Eagle finder mounted on the South Fork in the manner shown and again it was completely out of the way but very handy and quite visible. The box contains a small gel cell battery that seems to last indefinitely.

    Now I have tucked the Eagle into the rear corner of my pram where it is a perfect fit and the cabling runs down the transom to the transducer.

    If you fish the same lake or lakes over and over a finder may not be so important once you learn the water. But if you fish all over hell's half acre like I do they sure can save a lot of time getting dialed in.

  8. Bob Jones Still truckless now farther away

    I like it Ive. I've never used one but that would be the way that you are doing. I probably won't ever do it now, too late in the game. but good thinkiing.
  9. ral Rich Layendecker

    Posts: 199
    .Redmond WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    I just got a Fishing Buddy and like the way you mounted it to your toon. Thanks for the idea.
  10. Blue Active Member

    Posts: 1,134
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    First off, HUMMINBIRD is the best I have ever used. I have been using one for years. Mounted it to four different Pontoons and 2 float tubes. Piece of cake.
    Newest boat, however, Ram Mounts and Aluminum tube for Transducer. Works on my X5 and my H3.
    Definitely makes deep nymphing much easier. great for finding fish too, but the sad thing is, you can be looking at tons of fish on the sonar but can't BUY a bite LOL
    My hubby had the old Fishing buddy and it was total crap, but Humminbird is building the new ones and the cone on them is awesome!
    I like my 300 though old, totally reliable.
    Power, I use the small rechargeables. They are great and last a long time. Can't spill. Plus you can get really small 12V at Security Systems stores.



  11. barbless Member

    Posts: 313
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  12. Trout Master Active Member

    Ram mounts are the ticket, can be a little pricey but very functional
  13. Jerry Metcalf FishyJere

    Posts: 335
    Enumclaw, WA
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    I have something similar, in price and size, to what Barbless gave us the link to. Nothing hanging off the boat, nothing.

  14. FLYRODR Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Get one... you'll use it alot. I use the Fishing Buddy and I always have other guys asking for the water depth. Plus they're great for locating structure.
  15. JMitchell Active Member

    Posts: 185
    Selah, wa
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    Some really good ideas and pictures of mounted hardware. I have usually used the hemo trick or just dropped anchor to figure out depth. Obviously I am missing out on the structure/contour and possible fish marking.

    I think what Ive said is a good point, if you fish a lot of the same lakes over and over, not so important. I am starting to expand my horizons and fish all different lakes, so I think this would be a healthy investment.

    Does the fishing buddy come with the mounting hardware, or is that a seperate purchase? I like the look of mounting off the left footrest. What is the life of the batteries like on the lightweight models? Thanks again for the pointers/opinions.

  16. yellowlab Active Member

    Posts: 2,605
    In a van... down by the river, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 8
    I use it for depth and temp. and its useful for finding the drop offs. It will great help your fishing... 110 non side finder, B and W around $120? Get the Hummingbird, not the original, it has a better waterproofed seal to keep it from shorting out in a downpour or if you drop it into the lake. Somes with the C clamp for mount. Guess if you're going to use it on a toon, you'll have to figure that one out.
  17. Tracy Lauricella Active Member

    Posts: 318
    Lakewood, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    I've been thinking of getting a depth finder for a while now. A lot of the fishing I enjoy is taking my canoe out on lakes; I go to a lot of different lakes though, and on many of them I don't know the depths or underwater structure.

    I've seen a few come across Craigslist for reasonable prices, but wasn't sure if it was worth the gamble to buy used on these.

    Cabela's has the Humminbird Fishin Buddy models- was thinking about maybe the 120 (

    Would you recommend this model, or is there a better one for the price? It should be worth noting that I'll almost always have a 12v deep cycle battery in the canoe, since I use it for my trolling motor. Would I be better off getting a model that runs off that?
  18. IveofIone Active Member

    Posts: 3,040
    Ratings: +1,033 / 0
    Tracy, I think in a canoe there would be some issues with a finder that ran off of the deep cycle battery. Cabling couldn't help but get in the way and mounting the transducer would certainly be an issue in itself. The 120 model you are looking at will attach directly to the gunnel and can easily be removed or lifted while you are paddling.

    Like all other products these days you can spend far more than necessary on useless bells and whistles when what you really need to know is the depth of the water. That is the single snippet of information that I am looking for-how far above the bottom am I?

    Color screens, side finders, compass, water temp(only given for the top 1' or so of the water), alarms, I-pod hook ups and GPS co-ordinates to the nearest Starbucks are all useless fluff to me. If there is anything I don't want to do when I am on the water is punch a bunch of damned buttons or scroll through a succession of screens. Like the speedometer in a car that gives just one bit of useful information-how fast am I going-just tell me how deep the water is and I can handle the rest by myself. :thumb:

  19. Lakebuzzer I like to rip lips,,

    I have noticed I am the only one that has mentioned about using the depth finder for finding the thermocline. The fishing buddy 140C with color and it's own attachment clearly shows the thermocline in the lake where the the fish will find their optimum water temp and oxygen level they like for that given day. Don't use the depth finder with fish ID on, because that will provide a lot of errors,you want that turned off. You will mark fish by getting used to reading the arches the fish actually produce. A color graph will help out there much greater then grayscale because of how the color intensity is.

  20. Lakebuzzer I like to rip lips,,