Fishfinders...who uses them?

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

  1. yellowlab

    yellowlab Active Member

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    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.
     
  2. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    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 (http://tinyurl.com/yf722gs)

    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?
     
  3. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    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:

    Ive
     
  4. Lakebuzzer

    Lakebuzzer I like to rip lips,,

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    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.

    Kevin
     
  5. Lakebuzzer

    Lakebuzzer I like to rip lips,,

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  6. Starman77

    Starman77 Active Member

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    I have used the older Bottom Line Fishin' Buddies and they are not very reliable; I've had to send several of them back for repairs. I now have the Humminbird 140c and it is a far superior product, even though it looks very similar. As already mentioned, the electronics are sealed from moisture, which was a design defect in the Bottom Line models. The SideFinder feature is very, very useful and well worth the extra cost, in my opinion. The only problem is that when the SideFinder view says that there is a fish out there in front of you, maybe 38 feet out, you don't know how far below the water surface that fish is, but at least you have some confidence that there is a fish out there. However, it may mark a fish, when what it is spotting is actually a floating weed clump or a floating piece of reed or your fly line, so don't take it as gospel. Also, there are many, many times when you'll hook a fish that never showed up on the SideFinder view or straight down view. As others have mentioned, this unit is very useful for determining depth, especially when exploring a new lake. Even though the 140c has the color screen, I'm not sure that it is worth paying extra for the color screen, which uses more battery power, but it looks nice. I've never used the unit for determining the thermocline, as Kevin has done, but maybe I should look into that. When I fish lakes where the thermocline has set in, I can usually determine where the thermocline is located because all the fish are located at that depth, which is usually in the 18 to 24 depth range. I have had no problems using the Fishin' Buddies on either float tubes or my pontoon boat. For the pontoon boat, I attached the included C-clamp to my seat frame, on my left side next to my left knee and that seems to work out well, although my seat frame has square tubing so if you have round tubing it might be a problem. Some fly fishermen will accuse you of cheating if you use a fish finder, so be prepared for that. I have a friend who thinks using a sinking line, sink tips or weight on a fly are all cheating, so there are all levels of cheating in this sport. :)
     
  7. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Tracy, Ive makes a good point. Sounds like those Humminbird Fishing Buddies are the way to go if you don't want to rig up a custom transducer mount and deal with running battery cables from the stern to bow (I had my battery in the bow of my 13' sq stern canoe, and ran the cables along the inside of one rail, attached with zip ties). A deep cycle battery in the bow really helps to balance the canoe, if you are sitting in the back operating a trolling motor.
    My unit is a portable Humminbird Piranha 4, and still works well. The transducer had a large suction cup on it, which held the transducer well on the square stern of my canoe. The suction cup mount seems to work best on the stern of a boat. I don't think they make this model any more,though. It has been replaced by a younger, er...I mean newer model, and probably upgraded in the process (mine is about 7 years old). It gets the job done: shows trout beneath my boat, and gives a good reading of the bottom structure.

    My portable unit runs on 8 AA batteries that are in a sealed housing built into the base. If you ran your sonar off the deep cycle battery, maybe you'd want to put a fuse in between. I wouldn't know. I'd probably do that just to be safe.

    I now shoot right through my hulls on my fiberglass mini-drifter and tupperware fishing canoe. I glued a foam "donut" (closed cell foam that is a little thicker than the transducer) down to the bottom of the hull. I fill it with water, and press the transducer down into it firmly. No air bubbles...I still get a clean and accurate reading.
    I also fabbed up some custom transducer mounts for my SOT yak and my aluminum john boat. I move the one sonar unit from boat to boat.

    I'm probably going to get a new one that also has gps, one of these days.

    By the way, thanks for the great photos in your first post, Ive. Thats a cool looking battery box and mounting base .You do clean work! Ditto for Blue's pics.
     
  8. Robert Engleheart

    Robert Engleheart Robert

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    I have the Humminbird 120; greyscale w/sidescan. Find it invaluable for scouting new waters. Like the sidescan. Graphics are excellent in bright sun, don't think I miss the color, but I've not had it, so I cant say. Mounts on my Scadden 'toon on the front edge of my rear deck, right next to my seat (with the stock C-clamp arrangement). Battery life is great with 6 AA (or AAA), I like that set up as if I'm not using the trolling motor, it's self contained and I don't need a 12 volt supply like some of the other units. Cabelas had one of the Humminbird models on sale in the last Bargain Cave flyer I got about 2 weeks ago. Very rare to see them discounted.
     
  9. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    There are electronic devices that help you find fish, depth and temperatures? I've been using flies, lead weights on alligator clips and a thermometer. You all are awesome! I've got to look into these fish finders.
     
  10. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    Yep, that's how I do it when I'm fishing alone. The deep cycle battery goes in the bow, and I run a set of jumper cables from it back to where I sit. They clamp on part of the wood seat, and I just pinch the wires from the trolling motor between the clamps and the wood seat.

    This morning, I bought the Fishing Buddy model that I linked to above. (the 120). I used it out on Offut Lake this morning. It worked well, and I was glad to know the electronics were sealed, as it was pouring rain at times.

    Kind of handy to spot where the dropoffs and shallows are. I still got skunked, but oh well.
     
  11. JMitchell

    JMitchell Active Member

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    I don't really want to mess with the battery box/tranducer ext. I am leaning towards the fishing buddy. I have seen the little side holders from Cabelas to mount it, but doesn't look that sturdy. Will have to figure out where to mount, I like the idea Ive had of the left foot rest with pic. Thanks again for info, will let you know on it's maiden voyage.

    Jarron
     
  12. Michael Nelson

    Michael Nelson Old And In The Way

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    I have a Humminbird 565 portable on my pram. Nice unit, has its own soft carry case that holds the finder, the bracket, and the 12v battery. You can operate the finder while still in the case, the front panel rolls up like a curtain and even has a keeper to keep it rolled up. The transducer is a suction cup type and I stick that on the transom.

    All that said, I am not convinced it helps me catch more fish. I mark fish with it I don't catch and I catch fish I don't mark. I have been fishing primarily in relatively shallow lakes (mostly 3-10 feet). When I see a fish on the 565, it is pretty much directly under the boat. But I am not fishing directly under the boat, I am generally casting to surface action or casting to fish a sinking line along the edge of weed beds. The finder doesn't really help me with either of those.

    I personally find the constant readout of water temperature more useful. After using the 565 a lot on my pram, I have no intention of getting a finder for my Outlaw Rampage 'toon. For my particular type of fishing, the finder doesn't gain me anything. If I was fishing gear with downriggers on a lake I wouldn't be without one.
     
  13. Steve Birrer

    Steve Birrer Active Member

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    Lots of interesting view points and suggestions....here's my two cents.

    I have an original fishin buddy and about the only thing its any good for is determining depth. Two years ago I added a Humminbird finder to my toon. Yes it takes some effort to mount the transducer and the unit but I haven't looked back since.

    Here are what I see as the advantages:

    1. I can determine the edges of drop offs and contours and stay on the edge much much easier than with the old fishin buddy.
    2. I really like color for bright sunny days. Just easier for me to see. But a GOOD quality B/W with high resolution is close to as good.
    3. Success rate has gone up mostly I believe from #1 above. Knowing the depth is great but being able to follow an edge is much more productive.
     
  14. Tracy Lauricella

    Tracy Lauricella Active Member

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    Here's a pic of the display on the new unit I bought. I snapped this pic this morning on Offut Lake:

    [​IMG]

    This shows a depth of 13 feet, but there's a nice dropoff just out a bit further, and I was frequently casting over the dropoff , letting my fly sink and then retreiving it back. I would never have known the dropoff was there if it wasn't for the depth finder.

    It was marking fish right below me (you can see them at 11/12 feet in the display) as well as some blips in front of me at 42 and 23 feet with the sidefinder.

    I still got skunked unfortunately, but at least I think I was fishing in a decent spot.
     
  15. Lakebuzzer

    Lakebuzzer I like to rip lips,,

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    Tracey, turn off auto, and learn how to read the fish arches and the intensity of the grayscale to let you know if you see a mud bottom, grass or rock. Go to washingtonlakes.com and read some of the articles.
    You will learn to use your depth finder for locating the height of weeds to fish your fly at the right depth. you will locate humps, creek channels, etc: you wont be able to get along without it.