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Thread: Help with choosing a HB unit for bow.

  1. #1
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    Default Help with choosing a HB unit for bow.

    Howdy !

    I need help with choosing a Humminbird unit for the front of the boat. I have a 3 year old HB 900 series, that I switch from bow to stern as needed, (same transducer mounted on transom) and I would like to mount a smaller system dedicated for bow use, and leave the 900 in the back. I would like to spend around $500 ish, or less if possible.

    The main use of the new unit would primarily for fishing brush piles, and structure, as right now everything I see is 16 feet behind me because of the transducer position.

    My home lake is about 140 acres, fairly clear, with a max depth of around 40 feet.

    My questions are as follows :

    Does SI and DI work (well) on a trolling motor ?

    What about a Da Ducer or other mounting systems ?

    Do I really need CHIRP, MEGA, or LIVE Scope ? (I really don't even know anything about these setups)

    Thank you in advance for your replies.

    Steve

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    Hi Steve. I have had an 899 side imaging machine for a few years. I recent bought a helix 9 side imaging mega and a helix 7 side imaging mega. Mega imaging hands down shows more detail than the 899. I can tell you, after using the 9" screen, I dont want to even look at the 7. I mean on the 9, I frequently see the fish shadows on the bottom plain as day. As in i can see its tail fins and direction its facing, look that's a carp, look a catfish. I haven't with the 7 but I've used it once.
    That being said, I would recommend saving a tad more and getting at least the same size screen of the 899 (helix7).
    And YES, the mega imaging is worth it to me.
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  3. #3
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    Cray is offline Crappie.com Legend and Moderator of the Mechanics Forum * Crappie.com Supporter
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    I have a helix 7 Si gen 1 on my trolling motor. Only because I got a real deal on it. Si works good on it but rarely go to that. I use the Di and map for way points most of the time. For your budget your looking at a Di gps non mega unit. I can see the benefit of the mega, is it really worth it, not in my opinion. I’m like Bill, take your time save your penny’s and get a 9 unit even if it’s a older generation. Watch on here and bassboatcentral for deals on used units. Lots of good units out there worth the money.
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  4. #4
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    Do you have good topo maps of your lake? Being a small 140 acre lake, you might benefit from the AutoChart feature that actually creates a topo map of your lake for the areas you've idled over. It's really a neat feature for small lakes with very little available mapping info.

    I've found that I use side imagining at the rear, mainly when I'm running the big motor and idling around looking for brush and stuff on the bottom. When I'm up front, the down imaging is pretty much all I need.

    I have a Helix 8 G3N with Mega SI+, I'm currently swapping it back and forth from the front to the rear, etc. depending on how I'm fishing. Eventually I'll get a Helix 9 or 10 for the front with just the Mega DI+, by going with just Mega DI+ I save enough money for a bigger screen up front.
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    I moved my 700 series unit up front. I use 2d sonar to mark fish and the DI to confirm whether what I am seeing is a fish or not. I have the "hot buttons" set for GPS, 2D Sonar and Split 2D/DI. I can move the cursor and mark fish on the screen. When you drag the cursor around it pauses the sonar picture on the screen and you can click and create a waypoint.

    Just how I do it. There is probably a better way.

    In the past it was not recommended to put the SI up front on the trolling motor. Moving the TM and thus the transducer screwed up the picture. They make a thing similar to a TM mount that you can drop an SI transducer on but you still need to go fairly straight.

    I run a bigger unit on the console so I can see it when I am putting around looking for fish and structure.
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    Thank you all for the replies.

    @BamaBill … The unit I have is a 999 with SI and DI, and will leave that one for when the big motor (10 horse, lol) is being used. As you advised, I'll pinch my pennies, and get the bigger screen, and possibly the MEGA

    @Cray … I've decided to not eat for a month or two, and come up with the $$ for a better unit. Thanks for info on bassboatcentral … I'll check that out.

    @artcarney_agr … Thank you for that info on the auto chart, that will definitely be on my next unit ! I've fished this lake for over 20 years, and have repeatedly searched for topo, or even old maps from before it was flooded, with VERY little success.

    I use the same routine with the front and back, and I also need to move the unit back and forth, and that's a PITA. I like your thinking about just the DI on your eventual new bow unit.

    @smashdn … Your way of marking fish is very similar to way I do as well. I wonder, does the waypoint register where the cursor is, or where the GPS receiver is ???

    I see how the TM movement would screw up the SI, (I can see that with my SI mounted on the transom when turning the boat) but what about the DI ???

    I would love a bigger screen up front as well for these aging eyes !

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    X2 on autochart. Making my own bottom maps while I fish has been valuable. Seeing 1' changes and being able to locate humps, holes and ledges in my best spots has made them even better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by svh View Post
    @artcarney_agr … I use the same routine with the front and back, and I also need to move the unit back and forth, and that's a PITA.
    With RAM mounts and the Humminbird HCCT (Helix Cable Connector Tray) it's really quite simple now. I can swap locations in less than 30 seconds, WAY faster than when I had the Lowrance units with multiple plugs to screw and unscrew.
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    Quote Originally Posted by svh View Post
    @smashdn … Your way of marking fish is very similar to way I do as well. I wonder, does the waypoint register where the cursor is, or where the GPS receiver is ???

    I see how the TM movement would screw up the SI, (I can see that with my SI mounted on the transom when turning the boat) but what about the DI ???

    I would love a bigger screen up front as well for these aging eyes !
    Supposedly when you move the cursor down into the screen it stores that exact gps location where the boat was when that shot on the screen was created. In other words, when you freeze the screen and the boat keeps drifting or you keep trolling, if you mark the spot where your cursor is it marks where you were when that shot was created not where your boat is at that exact moment you hit mark. If you drifted off that spot 200 yards it would tell you to go back to that spot to find that fish or stump or whatever it was you marked.

    I haven't had problems with the DI on the TM. It is a "blade" of sonar not a cone. If I see what I suspect to be a fish on 2D, an arc or lighter color up in the water column or laying on bottom, I can switch to DI and it will show up much whiter than the structure. You can see limbs on trees with DI and if there is a fish in there it shows as a brighter white spot in DI. You can pick apart the 2D mess and determine what is fish and what might just be limbs or rocks poking up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smashdn View Post
    Supposedly when you move the cursor down into the screen it stores that exact gps location where the boat was when that shot on the screen was created. In other words, when you freeze the screen and the boat keeps drifting or you keep trolling, if you mark the spot where your cursor is it marks where you were when that shot was created not where your boat is at that exact moment you hit mark. If you drifted off that spot 200 yards it would tell you to go back to that spot to find that fish or stump or whatever it was you marked.
    Creating a Waypoint with the cursor active creates a Waypoint at the cursor position ...

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