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  1. Please Note: We asked Thomas M. to tell us what he thought about his Garmin and we wanted to share his thoughts. (w/ his permission) If you have bought a Fishfinder unit from us, please send us your feedback. We would love to know how it is working out for you. We would love pictures too.

    Thanks,
    Carol

    Here is the review of the Garmin GPSMAP541S Color Combo Fishfinder 
     
    In my honest opinion, fishing is definitely one of the most exhilarating outdoor recreational sports. When it’s fishing season, you can easily get to meet anglers looking to get a piece of the action. Given the competitive nature of the sport, it can also be a cause for frustration. Bad days when the fish are hardly biting can be extremely frustrating. In order to avoid this and to perform well during competitions, the accuracy of your location and your capability to get from one point to another in the least amount of time is of utmost importance. Nothing sours the mood like running into unforeseen obstacles and missing shorter routes out in the water. This is why a lot of chart plotting and fish finding technology were developed to help anglers tip the scales in their favor. When I’m fishing around the coastal waters of the United States or around the world, there is no supplier for GPS technology that I’d trust more than Garmin Fishfinders.

    In particular, the Garmin GPSMAP541S Color Combo Fishfinder US Coastal Charts with transducer is the most effective piece of equipment, which helps maximize my catch during fishing trips.  Compared to other products on the market, this particular piece of sonar equipment has unparalleled sensitivity and detail. Pre-loaded maps of the United States’ coastal areas are exceedingly accurate and detailed; and maps of coastal areas outside the US are easily made available through Garmin’s support service, which you can reach through the internet or phone. The display is also sharp and smooth even as you plod along your intended course. Satellite images allow you to explore unfamiliar areas without much concern because of the amount of information that the unit makes accessible.

    What’s great about the Garmin GPSMAP541S Color Combo Fishfinder in particular is actually an optional attachment, the Blue Chart g2 vision. It is a huge value addition to an already highly useful chart plotter. Among the most useful is the 3D view of map information above and below the waterline.
    Coastal fishing with my brother and cousin is something that we’ve been doing every summer for about five years now. And ever since, we’ve always been using Garmin Fishfinders. It’s compact, easy to use and easy to install onto our boat. When we recently decided to go with the GPSMAP541S Color Combo Fishfinder, (that I bought from Fishfinders and GPS) we’ve been able to venture out farther into unfamiliar waters for a lot more adventure. We’ve also been able to avoid a lot of shallow inlets, and obstacles that might have given us trouble had we not used our current chart plotter.
    One time, a bunch of college buddies and I decided to go on a fishing trip. They were no strangers to boats and deep-sea fishing, but our Garmin chart plotter took them by surprise. They’d never used a piece of hardware with that much utility. I’m quite certain that one or two decided to purchase similar units for their boats soon afterwards.

    The one problem with this version of Garmin Fishfinders’ chart plotters is that for a lot of users, you probably need to read the manual before taking it for a spin. Very simple albeit necessary information can no longer be accessed on a single screen, requiring users to press more buttons than on previous versions. But if you are the sort of person who wants a large amount of information at your fingertips, then the Garmin GPSMAP541S Color Combo Fishfinder will definitely be a good piece of equipment for you.

    I also loved the fact that getting my fishfinder from the people at Fishfinders and GPS got me free shipping. (I am pretty sure Free Shipping goes for any item on their website!!) In my opinion, there isn’t a chart plotter out there that gives you more features for your money than my Garmin. Don’t bother looking elsewhere, go with GPSMAP541S Color Combo Fishfinder for your fishing and boating needs. 

    Sincerely,
    Thomas
  2.  Garmin is a worldwide leader in GPS-related technologies. A Garmin fishfinder is guaranteed to produce the same great results that many of the company’s other GPS related technologies can offer. These fishfinders are designed to make finding out what is going on in the underwater world of both saltwater and freshwater fish easier than ever before. Garmin’s purpose in their fishfinder products is to produce high-quality fishfinding devices that are as easy to use as they are effective. While many professional and amateur fishermen still rely on better-known models of fishfinders like those produced by Humminbird and Lowrance, more and more fishermen are discovering the benefits of Garmin fishfinders. This company is quickly gaining popularity as the alternative choice for high quality fishfinding equipment.
    Garmin’s name of the game is simplicity. Their products are designed to be sophisticated and complex, yet extremely easy to use. A Garmin fishfinder is supposed to allow the fishermen to spend more time on the water catching fish and less time worrying about their fishfinding technologies. Their newest lineup for 2013 features an impressive array of features and functions.

    New Features

    Garmin’s newest chartplotters and fishfinders feature a 10Hz GPS update. This feature allows the fisherman to update his or her position and heading 10 times per second. This is a considerable upgrade when you consider the fact that a common 1 Hz GPS can only update its position 1 time per second. Garmin’s new HD-ID Sonar uses HD-ID target tracking technology to provide better separation and definition of screen images. This offers one of the clearest underwater images available. All of Garmin’s fishfinders provide wireless connectivity, which can allow the fisherman to transfer their charting and mapping data to their wireless devices.

    Other exciting features that can be found on a brand new 2013 Garmin fishfinder includes a pinch-to-zoom touchscreen that is a full 7 inches in size. This WVGA display also features auto-dimming to enhance the screen’s views and to provide amazing underwater viewing. All of the new models feature various mounting units, including those for bail mounting, flush mounting and flat mounting. This allows fishermen to apply their Garmin fishfinder to wherever it fits best on their boat. More features of Garmin fishfinders includes Sonar Recording, which coordinates the timing of the sonar’s return with the boats position, all while saving the water depth and position information. CHIRP technology finds the perfect frequency on its own in order to better focus on fish located at various water depths.

    Garmin Fishfinder Models

    Garmin’s GPSMAP models are made up of a series of combination chartplotter sounder units and regular chartplotters. These units have 60% more processing power to make them faster than ever before. These models have been upgraded to the 10Hz GPS system for quicker GPS fixes on location and the ability to save up to 5000 different waypoints for easier return navigation. The GPSMAP models also feature advanced HD-ID sonar complete with CHIRP technology. Screen sizes in this model range include 5 inch models and 7 inch models. The 7 inch models are touchscreens and offer pinch-to-zoom options. Media integration and wireless connectivity are also offered.
    Two good examples of Garmin fishfinders from the GPSMAP model series are the GPSMAP441S Color Combo US Coastal with Transducer and the GPSMAP546S Color Combo fishfinder US Coastal with Transducer. The GPSMAP 441S comes with a very bright QVGA color screen and a better design for increased panning speeds and map drawing capabilities. It comes with preloaded US coastal maps and the model accepts vision cards for more functions and features. The 441S comes with a powerful dual frequency transducer that clearly shows underwater features like fish, structure and bottom features. GPSMAP546S Color Combo fishfinder US Coastal with Transducer is a chartplotter/fishfinder combination device. It features a 5 inch super bright Vga color screen and an interface that includes a built in basemap system that is satellite enhanced. The GPSMAP 546S also accepts vision cards.

    Garmin’s echoMAP models also offer HD-ID target tracking technology and a 10Hz GPS signal. The echo series is designed for a great combination of features, performance and power, without the high price tag of the GPSMAP model series. These fishfinders offer improved structure detail, better separation of images and crisper fish arches. The echo series also feature quick release swivel mounts and versatile trolling or transom motor mounts, so installing these fishfinders is quick and easy. Garmin’s line of fishfinders is quickly becoming the go-to choice for fishermen of all skill levels. 

    If you have any questions on which Garmin Fishfinder is best for you, please contact us at support@fishfindersandGPS.com. We are happy to help. 

    You can view our great selection of all Garmin Fishfinders here.
  3. A fishfinder is a wonderful tool that helps you locate more fish. These sonar devices produce an accurate view of the water under your boat, so that you can find habitat that is likely to hold fish and to actually see fish themselves. This type of device can significantly increase your chances of catching more fish and more impressive fish, if it is used properly. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to make sure that you are getting the most out of your fishfinder.

    How a Fishfinder Works

    A fishfinder operates using sonar. This is the same type of sonar technology that was developed in WWII. Sonar technology uses sound waves to penetrate deep into the water and locate solid objects. When the sound wave leaves the fishfinder it is very narrow, but its gets wider as the beam travels through the water. This produces a cone of sonar waves. Once this beam strikes something, say an underwater log or a fish, the sound wave bounces off of the object and is recaptured by the fishfinder. The device then uses calculations to determine the size and distance of the object and displays it on the screen for the fisherman to see. If the sound wave doesn’t strike an object it will eventually hit the water’s bottom. The type of substrate and the density of the bottom will be reflected in how the waves are sent back to the device. Softer bottoms tend to absorb the signal while hard bottoms reflect it quickly. The device is able to read these subtle signals and reflect the type of bottom it sees on the display screen.

    Fishfinder Cone Angles

    The accuracy of a fishfinder is related to its cone angle. A wider cone angle is broader and covers more terrain than a smaller beam will. Fishfinder cone angles are measured in -10db. Some fishfinder models use a single sonar beam to listen for underwater objects while other, more advanced models use several sonar beams at the same time. The area that is covered or seen by the sound beams will be determined by the cone’s angle. A wider angle will help you to see more of what is going on under your boat. More expensive models of fishfinders generally have wider ranges of view. If you want to get the most out of your fishfinder it is important that you understand your cone angle of your sonar waves.

    Choose the Right Transducer

    The transducer is what takes the electrical signal out of the fishfinder’s transmitter and what turns in into sonar waves. It is also responsible for capturing the return waves. It should be mounted in a place on the boat where it will not be interfered with. You also have to match your transducer’s frequency with the sonar unit. So a 193 kHz transducer has to be used with a 192 kHz sonar unit. To pick the right transducer you must consider its operating frequency, the fishfinder’s cone angle and the way the transducer is installed on the boat. You also have to choose the best place to mount your transducer. Outboard motor boats and stern driven boats should have their transducer mounted on the boat’s transom. To get the best sonar signals it is recommended that you mount the transducer slightly below the boat’s hull and away from the motor. You also need to avoid radio interference and turbulence that could damage the transom or interfere with its ability to pick up signals.

    Learn to Read Your Display Properly

    If you learn how to read your fishfinder’s display you can learn a lot about the underwater environment around you. You can use it to figure out if the bottom is hard or soft, which can help you to locate pre-spawn Smallmouth or hidden catfish. It is true that you will be able to see actual fish on your screen, but the best images a fishfinder can give you have to do with underwater structure. Make sure that you read your fishfinder’s instruction manual before you take it out onto the water so you can understand what all of the colors and signals mean. Start with the basics and learn the really detailed stuff later on. Learn to use your fishfinder’s sensitivity setting as well. Some settings should be more sensitive in order to see certain things such as a thermocline. A thermocline is a line in the water where warmer water meets colder water. It is often a spot that will hold fish, but you need to adjust your fishfinder’s sensitivity settings if you want to see it. 

    If you have any questions on which Fishfinder is best for you, please contact us at support@fishfindersandGPS.com. We are happy to help. 

    You can view our great selection of all Fishfinders here.

  4. Humminbird Fishfinders have been the favorite choice of fishermen for more than 30 years now. They offer some of the most innovating and captivating technology in the market. These fishfinders are used by both recreational fishermen who just want to increase the amount of fish they catch each time they venture out and professional fishermen, whose livelihoods count on how many fish they can catch. Including a Hummingbird Fishfinder into a fisherman’s arsenal of tactics and techniques can produce amazing fishing days again and again.

    Innovative Technology

    Humminbird makes more than just fishfinders. The company also makes some of the best marine radios, GPS systems and depth sounders on the market today. However, it is their fishfinders that have gained the love and affection of so many fishermen. Humminbird is one of those rare companies that develops its own forms of smart technology to create cutting edge products. Since the company created the first waterproof depth sounder in 1975 it has quickly become one of the most respected fishfinder companies in the world. From these humble beginnings Humminbird has grown into a powerhouse of the fishfinding, GPS, Depth sounder and chartplotter market.

    While the majority of Humminbird fans over the last 30 years have been professional bass fishermen and freshwater amateurs of all kinds, the company has recently expanded into the saltwater market, where it is quickly gaining a whole new level of appreciation from its customers. With the innovative and just plain interesting features and components available on their many models, it’s no wonder the company has such a loyal band of followers. Humminbird fishfinders are manufactured in Eufaula Alabama and are sold at retail through the USA and Canada. There is also a large international demand for these products, which includes distribution to more than 100 different countries.

    Unique User Friendly Technology

    Humminbird is responsible for some of the coolest technology to ever be found in a fishfinder. This kind of technology has enhanced the way fishermen can read the water, which results in a better understanding of how to increase the chances of catching fish. Examples of their awesome technology includes the Dualbeam PLUS sonar, which expands the coverage of the fisherman’s underwater view, the SwitchFire system, which allows the fisherman to see two completely different screens in order to create a customized underwater view and the 360 Imaging system, which offers an unprecedented coverage area under the fisherman’s boat.

    Various Models

    Humminbird makes a wide array of fishfinders to suit the needs of every type of fisherman. Their lowest and least expensive series of fishfinders are known as the 300 series. These are considered to be entry level fishfinders, but you couldn’t tell that by looking at them. Fishfinders from the 300 series come in the standard arrangement as well as in portable units and other special configurations. Even these so-called entry level fishfinders feature color screens and monochrome screens.

    The next step up the Humminbird ladder includes models from the 500 series. Models in this series can vary in price so just about every fisherman will find what he (or she) needs, whether it is a standalone monochrome screen fishfinder or a full color mapping chartplotter. The 700 series is made of two monochrome standalone units and several high resolution screen chartplotter-style combination fishfinders. A great example of a model from the 700 series is the 778c HD Humminbird Fishfinder. The 778c has an ultra-high resolution back lit LCD screen with Dual Beam PLUS Sonar and a 4000 watt PTP power outlet. The unit offers several advanced Fishing System capabilities. The 3 programmable buttons offer present access to the fisherman’s favorite viewpoints.

    Fisherfinders from Humminbird’s 800 and 900 series come with high resolution screens and large 7 to 8 inch screens with landscape layouts. The 1100 series is the best of the best. These fishfinders represent the most exclusive innovations the company has come up with as of yet. These fishfinders are truly some of the best in the business. For example, the 1198cSI Combo Humminbird fishfinder has an enormous 10.4 inch display and Side Imaging, DualBeam PLUS sonar, GPS Chartplotting capabilities and a built in ContourXD Mapping system. This unit also features an 8000 watt PTP power output and advanced Fishing System capabilities. It truly is one of the best fishfinder combination systems available on the market today.

    Fishermen who are truly serious about their fishing equipment have been turning to Humminbird for more than 30 years now. The company has earned the trust and respect of their clients because they make high-tech and high-quality fishfinding equipment. You simply cannot go wrong with a Humminbird Fishfinder. 

    If you have any questions on which Humminbird Fishfinder is best for you, please contact us at support@fishfindersandGPS.com. We are happy to help. 

    You can view our great selection of all Humminbird Fishfinders here.

  5. Lowrance is credited with creating the world’s first sonar device for the consumer market in 1957. That little piece of sonar was affectionately called “the Little Green Box”. Since that time the company has grown into one of the industry’s leaders in fishfinding equipment and sonar technology. Over the last 50 years or so, this company has strived to produce some of the most innovative and creative products. Their fishfinding products contain the coolest features and offer fantastic performance. A Lowrance fishfinder is a fisherman’s best friend.

    New Innovations

    Since Lowrance introduced the world’s first high definition system, which is known all over the world as HDS in 2008, the company has been on quite a roll when it comes to developing new technologies that allow fishermen to access the underwater world of their quarry like never before. The amazing numbers of new products that have been shelled out of Lowrance include StructureScan technology, SideScan and DownScan Imaging devices, Trackback review options and Broadband sonar systems. These features make it easy to determine what is going on under the water and to see where the fish are hiding out. Hybrid Dual Imaging combines Lowrance’s award-winning technologies of Broadband Sounder PLUS and DownScan Imaging to provide a dual-purpose view of what is going on directly under the fisherman’s boat.

    Their navigation capabilities allow the fisherman to use accurate GPS fixes and various charting options to plan and chart maps. Navionics and other optional navigation upgrades like HotMaps Premium and Fishing HotSpots make it easy to upload maps for additional charting options.  Their high-def Broadband 4G Radar is perfect for navigating in various weather conditions and the company offers fishfinding and sonar mapping applications and products for both fresh and saltwater anglers.

    Lowrance is an award winning company that strives to produce products that will simply help fishermen catch more fish. Their technology helps both amateur and professional fishermen alike eliminate unproductive stretches of water, find and point out possible fish habitat and locate water transition zones. These products are not only designed to help fishermen find more fish, but they also include a number of attractive and customizable features that allow them to find that same fish-producing spot again the next time they are out. Few other products can back up this claim as much as a Lowrance fishfinder can.

    Additional Benefits to Products

    In addition to high quality fishfinding products, Lowrance also offers enhanced capabilities and features that can be added to their many products after they have been purchased. Examples of these additional benefits include free upgrades of software and one of the best product satisfaction support systems in the industry. Many of this company’s products come with a 1 or 2 year warranty, depending on the model. A Lowrance fishfinder also comes with an Advantage Program, which offers the customer a chance to receive low cost upgrades to the latest technology in the event that the product falters or fails in anyway.

    Quality Products

    Lowrance products are offered as both freestanding fishfinders and as boat dashboard mounted fishfinding screens. Their products are known to be functional and offer a very high level of performance. Their product range features a wide array of styles and features, so that every fisherman will find a product that suits their needs. Their HDS or high definition fishfinder series is a broadband radar system which is quieter and more accurate than many of its competitors. It provides chart overlays and displays finely detailed images in both shallow and deep water.

    A great example of one of Lowrance’s HDS series fishfinders is the HDS-10 Gen 2 fishfinder/chartplotter. This product offers lighting fast operation and a super large 10.4 inch screen with high definition resolution. It features some of the best of Lowrance’s new technology, including real-time StructureMap capabilities, built in Broadband Sounder technology, TrackBack sonar history features, LED backlighting, and NMEA 2000 and high speed Ethernet options for networking.

    The Elite Series Lowrance fishfinder is ideal for the value minded fisherman. These fishfinders feature 7 different models and are all 5 inches in size. These models feature brighter displays, the TrackBack feature, smart menu options, easy installation components, navigation capabilities and advanced signal processing for extremely detailed images of underwater structure. A classic example of the Elite series is the Elite-5M Gold chartplotter. This Lowrance fishfinder offers a color screen, high navigation performance and is extremely functional in various water conditions. It features easy to use menu buttons, an adjustable screen and custom Navionics GOLD details. It also includes a 16 channel GPS receiver and a media port.

    Many experienced fishermen will agree that you just can’t do any better than a Lowrance fishfinder. 

    If you have any questions on which Lowrance Fishfinder is best for you, please contact us at support@fishfindersandGPS.com. We are happy to help.

    You can view our great selection of all Lowrance Fishfinders here.

  6. Raymarine specializes in a large variety of marine electronics, including fishfinders. The company focuses on providing technology that leads the marine electronics industry. A Raymarine fishfinder is designed to be robust, durable and tougher than other marine devices. When the other guy’s fishfinder and sonar fails due to the rough conditions at sea, a Raymarine fishfinder will still be operational.

    In addition to their durable tough fishfinder designs, Raymarine also utilizes its world class testing faculties to make sure their products stand up to their label. All of Raymarine’s products undergo serious tests for product life, durability, ease of handling and functionality, even under the harshest sea conditions. A Raymarine fishfinder can be used for both saltwater sea excursions and freshwater adventures.

    Innovative Features

    Raymarine launched their first depth sounder in 1923. Since then they have created a wide range of effective fishfinder products. They offer their customers a selection of fishfinder and sonar combinations. Each combination comes complete with a Multifunction Display or MFD, a Fishfinder Sonar Module, a GPS Sensor and Antenna and the ClearPulse CHIRP Technology system. These systems are all designed to flawlessly complement one another to create a fishfinding and sonar system that is second to none. The ClearPulse CHIRP technology is a patented sonar technology that creates well defined and sharper echo images. This display creates no noise but features inter-ping processing and comparison data. This results in clearer images of the water’s bottom, enhanced thermocline recognition and better shallow water images. This sonar is way better than conventional sonar and can read depths of up to 10,000 feet.

    One of the major reasons why CHIRP transmissions are so powerful is because they allow 10 times more power to be transmitted into the water. This type of technology uses a wide spectrum of sonar signals to create detailed and accurate sonar images. All Raymarine fishfinders also feature Digital Fishfinding Technologies and patented HD Digital Sonar Technology. This allows the fishfinder to automatically adjust to seafloor conditions and changing water conditions in order to provide a very clear picture. More features unique to Raymarine fishfinders include the HybridTouch Displays, various networking options, downloadable Smartphone apps and LightHouse User Interface systems.

    Raymarine Fishfinder Models

    The Raymarine fisherfinder e Series offers an unobtrusive display to make the helm of the boat look nicer. Fishfinders in this series feature a new fancy shape, maximum display sizes and hidden memory card slots. These models come with the largest and brightest MFD screens available. They are also upgradable to LightHouse software products. Other new features to the e Series includes 3 processors for 3D graphic displays, instant chart redraws, great video and WiFi streaming functions to WiFi-enabled devices like Smartphones. A good example of a Raymarine fishfinder from the e Series is the e127 12” Hybridtouch Multifunction Display with Sonar and USA Charts. This combination device comes with a 12 inch super bright color display, which can be operated through either a keypad or through a touchscreen. It comes pre-loaded with a large number of USA Coastal charts and features a 600 watt fishfinder built in. The Hybridtouch screen is easy to operate and the device also features WiFi connectivity. Its GPS antenna is built in and is highly sensitive for accurate GPS readings.

    The A series offers serious powerful chartplotting models with 3D and 2D high resolution displays, access to aerial photo charts and HD Digital sonar technology. The c Series fishfinders and chartplotters come with a 9 inch high resolution screen or a 12.1 inch high resolution screen with LED backlights. These screens are both super bright and energy efficient. In fact, these screens use up to 40% less energy than previous models. Thermal management properties prevent these screens from blacking out at high temperatures or darkening from extended use. No contamination or condensation can get into these screens either, due to the bonded LCD screen. This bonded screen also maximizes the screen color and contrast by preventing reflections.

    A great example of a Raymarine fishfinder from the c Series is the c95 Multifuction Display w/US Coastal Charts. This fishfinder comes with a MFD display and 9 inch screen. It offers superior networking performance and a great user experience. It can be applied to any type of boat. The LCD screen is bright and features LED backlights. It also includes a WiFi stream so its video display can be transferred to the fisherman’s Smartphone. The c95’s built in GPS receiver is extremely sensitive and has dual charter reader slots for microSD card Navionics charts. This allows it to synchronize waypoints wirelessly.

    A Raymarine fishfinder is a high quality and sophisticated piece of machinery that can be used to find fish and chart plots in all water conditions. 

    If you have any questions on which Raymarine Fishfinder is best for you, please contact us at support@fishfindersandGPS.com. We are happy to help. 

    You can view our great selection of all Raymarine Fishfinders here.

  7. So you have yourself a brand new GPS fishfinder. Congratulations, you now own a tool that can vastly increase your chances of catching more fish. You can use your new GPS fishfinder to find out information about the water you are fishing, including its temperature, its depth, what the sea floor is made of and what types of underwater vegetation may be present. You can also use it to locate potential fish habitats and even see actual schools of fish swimming around. Depending on your model, you may also be able to chart course plots, find your GPS location and remember waypoints so you can find that perfect fishing spot again the next time you go out. In order to take full advantage of your new GPS fishfinder it is highly recommended that you carefully review the instruction manual. There may be a lot of dials to turn and buttons to push in order to discover all of the possible features of your GPS fishfinder. Here are the top 5 tricks to learning how to use your new fishfinder.

    1. Properly Mount your Fishfinder

    If your new GPS fishfinder is not properly mounted then it will not work to its best potential. The best place to mount most types of fishfinder transducers is either in the transom motor or alongside the transom motor. You will want to make sure that the wiring harness can easily reach your device and the power source. You also want to make sure that the wires to your transducer won’t get tangled in the motor or damaged by it. The best place to mount your transducer sensor is where its sensor will be a few inches to a foot below the boat’s hull. This will ensure an accurate reading and will prevent the motor or anything else from blocking the signal. Another thing to watch out for is that your boat’s trailer doesn’t get in the way of the transducer or that the turbulence caused by the boat doesn’t damage the sensor. When in doubt, follow the user’s manual.

    2. Use the Simulation Mode

    Many GPS fishfinders have a simulation mode. This mode automatically turns on if the device’s power button is pushed but there is not transducer connected to the device. The simulation mode will provide a fake image of a fake underwater scene. The fishfinder will allow you use all of the buttons and settings while in simulation mode and this is great way to practice what all of your icons, buttons and features do. Practice with your simulation mode as much as you can, as it is an easy way to learn how to operate your new fishfinder.

    3. Learn to Read the Display

    How the information is displayed on the screen may be a little different based on what type of fishfinder you purchased, but most have a clear listing of the following items in the top left hand corner of the screen. Find and read the information on the screen that tells you the water’s depth, the water’s temperature, the speed at which you are traveling (if your model does this), the current battery voltage and your current GPS location. If you can’t find each one of these things either experiment with the buttons until you do find them or read the manual. These are some of the basic things you will use your fishfinder to find out about the water you are fishing.

    4. Use the Keypad

    Your new GPS fishfinder probably came with either a touchscreen or a keypad. Only the really expensive models come with touchscreens. Take a few moments to learn the buttons.  It may take a few minutes for you to read the instructions and figure out what all of the buttons do, but this is an important step if you want to learn how to operate your fishfinder to its full potential. Start by finding the power button, and then learn how to scroll through the various screens. Find out how to activate and deactivate the backlight and to find and scroll through the menu button. This is great place to use the device’s simulation mode, as you won’t have to worry about accidently saving a plotted course or accidently altering your settings.

    5. Get Out and Have Fun with Your New GPS Fishfinder

    This is the absolute best thing you can do to learn how to operate your new fishfinder. Get out on the water and have some fun with it. Mess around and find some fish. You will be happy playing with your new toy and you will be learning how to operate it at the same time. 

    If you have any questions on which Fishfinder is best for you, please contact us at support@fishfindersandGPS.com. We are happy to help. 

    You can view our great selection of all Fishfinders here.

  8. If you have just purchased a brand new Lowrance fishfinder then you are probably a happy fisherman and are looking forward to getting out onto the water with your new toy.  The Lowrance series of fishfinders are some of the best in the industry. You can use a Lowrance fishfinder to chart fishing courses and plots, find your exact GPS location, mark waypoints for future use and determine your water depth readings. You can also use this device to find out about underwater structure that is likely to be holding fish, what the sea floor looks like, to see any underwater vegetation and structure and even to see fish swimming by. Most of the time your fishfinder will work spot on; however, there are few things you will want to avoid doing to help prevent problems from occurring.

    Don’t Connect Your Fishfinder to a Weak Power Source

    Your new Lowrance fishfinder will require a power source. It will either be connected to your boat’s battery or to the boat’s electrical system. Running a GPS fishfinder when its power source is very low is not very good for the device and it will probably negatively impact the fishfinder’s ability to function properly. Always make sure your battery or electrical system is fully operational if you want to get the most of out your fishfinder. You will also want to double check all of your connection points and wires to make sure they are fully functional. Replace any damaged wires or connectors right away. Don’t risk powering your device on a damaged wire or connector, as it could end up damaging the entire unit.

    Don’t Mount Your Transducer Improperly

    In order for your fishfinder’s sonar system to work properly its transducer sensor needs to be in the proper position. It needs to have a clear view of the surrounding water and if it is
    blocked or impeded in any way you will not get a clear picture of what is going on under the boat. The proper place to put your transducer sensor is several inches to 1 foot under the boat’s hull. This means mounting the actual transducer to the transom or the transom motor. If you attach your transducer any other way, such as by pushing it through the hull, make sure you follow the instructions to help prevent damage to the device and to your boat. Also, if you use a transom mount make sure that the wires and device are not going to be damaged by the motor or by the turbulence created by the motor. Don’t allow your boat’s trailer to damage your transducer either. Be especially careful while you are driving your boat to prevent hitting your transducer on anything, such as a submerged log.

    Don’t Attempt to Format your Pre-loaded Mapping Software

    If you are experiencing a problem with your preloaded mapping software on your Lowrance fishfinder, resist the urge to attempt to re-format or fix the card in anyway. Either take the card back to your dealer for a replacement or contact the mapping software company for instructions. If you attempt to reformat the card you will probably end up deleting all of the information on it. This could cost you a lot of money if you paid for your pre-loaded maps.

    Don’t Let Your Boat’s Electrical System Create Interference

    If you begin experiencing a problem with your Lowrance fishfinder there may be electrical interference from your boat’s equipment. To test for electrical interference try running your device while it is still and while all of the electrical components, including the motor, are turned off. If the fishfinder works fine then you have interference somewhere. To find out which piece of equipment is causing the problem try turning on each piece individually and testing out the device until you discover the culprit. Use in-line fuses and always directly connect your fishfinder to your boat’s battery to help prevent electrical interference from occurring.

    Don’t Just Start Pushing Buttons

    The best thing you can do for your new Lowrance fishfinder is to take a few minutes to sit down and read the manual before you start pushing a lot of buttons. These are sophisticated machines and simply pressing every button you can think of may set up some weird preferences or damage the machine. Reading the manual will also help you to figure out what other things you should avoid doing to your specific Lowrance fishfinder. It will also be able to instruct you on how to properly maintain your fishfinder to prevent future problems from developing.

    If you have any questions on which Lowrance Fishfinder is best for you, please contact us at support@fishfindersandGPS.com. We are happy to help. 

    You can view our great selection of all Lowrance Fishfinders here.

  9. A fishfinder is a miraculous tool. Many fishermen will simply not bother taking their boat out onto the water if they cannot bring their fishfinder along. These devices are really that useful. A fishfinder uses sonar waves to listen for objects in the water. Once the waves hit an object they are bounced back off it and returned to the device. The device’s computer then analyses the size and distance of the object and displays it as an icon on the screen. A fisherman can use his sonar screen to find fish habitat, to check what the bottom of the seafloor looks like and to actually see schools of fish swimming around. There are many different types of GPS fishfinders out there. Some are more expensive than others and their features can vary widely. So how can you determine what the best GPS fishfinder is for the money?

    The Price Depends on the Features

    When you are looking for a fishfinder you will find a wide array of differently priced choices. Some fishfinders are a few hundred bucks while others cost several thousands of dollars. The first step to finding the perfect fishfinder for you is to determine your maximum spending budget. Remember that with fishfinders the price will depend on the features. More features mean a higher price tag. You may want to decide what features you want and which you can live without. The very best features are quite amazing however, so if you can afford a better and more sophisticated GPS fishfinder it is highly recommended that you buy it.

    Look at the Features

    There are many different features to consider when choosing a GPS fishfinder. These features include but are not limited to the size of the display screen, the display physical type (LCD or CRT), whether the device uses a single or double transducer, the display format type (color or monochrome), the output power, the transducer frequency and the temperature probe. Many of these features do amazing things. Again, the more features your fishfinder has the better it will work and the easier it will be to use (in most cases).

    The Best Fishfinder for the Money

    Which specific fishfinder you choose will be based on what type of boat you have, what type of water you will fish the most, what kind of features you want and what you can afford. Here are a few of the top choices for GPS fishfinders.

    One of the best saltwater fishfinder/chartplotter combinations is the Lowrance HDS-5 Fishfinder/GPS Chartplotter. This fishfinder is a little expensive at just under $600, but it is a value for the money. This deep water sonar system can go as deep as 5000 feet and has a high resolution 5 inch screen display for easy viewing. The display is very detailed, making it easy to determine the difference between fish, structure and the seafloor. Its transducer mounts on the boat’s hull and it has both zooming and wide angle features.

    For boaters who specialize in freshwater and want to save a few bucks a great choice may be the Garmin 300C Series fishfinder. These small GPS fishfinders can be mounted to small boats like kayaks. Its dual beam transducer is perfect for shallower freshwater and the 3.5 inch screen is fully colored. The user interface is intuitive, which makes it a great choice for beginners. Its $220 price tag is quite nice as well.

    In the mid-range price category one of the best fishfinders for the money is the Humminbird 597CI Combo GPS Fishfinder and Chartplotter. This device is sleek and powerful, which makes it good choice for all boats. Its screen is high resolution and is a good 5 inches in size. Its color images are easy to see and it features a built-in UniMaps system. The Humminbird 597CI Combo comes with a dual beam transducer that has a power output of 4000 Watts PtP. It has all of the features a beginner would need to find fish and their habitat. This model costs around $500.

    One of the best and most expensive GPS fishfinders available on the market today is the Humminbird 1198c SI Combination chartplotter/GPS fishfinder. With an estimated cost of $2800 this model is not for the beginner. What you get in exchange for your money is a whole lot of features. This particular model comes with a huge 10.4 inch display screen complete with LED backlights, Side Imaging and DualBeam PLUS Sonar technology and GPS chartplotting capabilities.

    Choosing the right GPS fishfinder takes time. You should carefully consider all of the features, not just the price, when you are searching for the perfect GPS fishfinder. 

    If you have any questions on which Fishfinder is best for you, please contact us at support@fishfindersandGPS.com. We are happy to help. 

    You can view our great selection of all Fishfinders here.

  10. In this day and age, you would be hard pressed to find a fishing boat without some sort of fish finding device. GPS devices have become the latest in technology and water safety when it comes to fishing. They are used as a means of navigation and a way to mark your spot so that you can find it again in the future.

    A GPS is a Global Positioning System that is made primarily for navigational purposes. They work off a network of satellites that are placed into orbit by the United States Government. The best part about a GPS system is that because they operate off satellite, they can be used in any weather conditions at any hour of the day.

    The satellites will circle the earth twice during the day and transmit signal information to Earth. The signals can then be used to calculate the user’s exact location by implementing triangulation and pinpointing exact spots. Triangulation means that the GPS receiver must be locked into three spots before a calculation of longitude and latitude can be displayed. After the satellites have mapped the location, the GPS can narrow in on other satellites for useful information such as speed, track, trip distance, destination distance and sunrise or sunset times.

    The accuracy of the GPS system is very acute because of the multi-channel designs that are available. A GPS will lock onto a satellite and maintain that lock through one of their channels. A GPS fish finder is accurate up to fifteen meters while the newer models increase in accuracy up to three meters.

    There are many benefits to investing in a GPS and people are using GPS more regularly and relying on them more than the more traditional ways of navigation such as maps and charts. If you have plot points that you have saved on a GPS, you may be able to save time and frustration on the open seas by going directly to the location that had the fish the last time you went out.  Another advantage to the GPS is that it can detect hot fishing spots that may not be detected by older maps or charts. In addition, if you find a perfect fishing spot, you can share it with a friend when you go fishing on another boat.

    GPS systems are also a great safety tool when you are out on the water. Many times, especially if there are many people socializing on a boat, it can be easy to lose concentration. People will easily be turned around or lost and a GPS is an easy tool to use to find your way back home. You can also use a GPS system if there is unexpected bad weather such as fog or heavy rain. GPS systems are also equipped with mapping software that makes it easier to find a dock. The GPS is so accurate that it is able to communicate exact positions to the Coast Guard or rescue crew if an emergency arises.

    You can purchase a handheld GPS on our online store. See descriptions to help explain the different features and costs for the varying models. You should never rely on just one navigation tool when you are fishing. A GPS seems to cover all of the bases, but it is still a computerized tool. You should always be proactive about your safety and always have marine maps and charts onboard at all times. You should also have a handheld radio handy in case of emergencies.

    Please contact us at (903) 532-6181 if you have any questions or would like more information on all of our GPS products.

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