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I want to update my bow/trolling motor mounted locator. My plan for useage is to see structure directly under the bow of the boat and jig directly under the bow. What fits my needs best "SIDE IMAGING" or "DOWN IMAGING" ?

While the 12" etch-o-sketch size locators are nice- I have budgeted $450 for a new unit.

Any experience apprecheiated.... Thanks.

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As far as I know you can't buy just side imaging. You can buy down imaging. Side imaging is good for scouting and finding various bottom structures and cover. It is not easy to use unless you have the big tv screen.

Down imaging is what I run most of the time. I like it better than 2d sonar because it is easier for me to interpret.

If you are not in a hurry, go to bassboatcentral and look at the Lowrance and Humminbird screen shots. In some of them you can actually see the fish among tree limbs that you can actually count.

I'd go over to Council Bluffs and have a look at Bass Pro if it were me.

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For your need down imaging works best, no reason for sidescann if your going to be jigging under the boat. I would probably go with a model that is color, no lake insight no sidescan, that should bring it down to the price range you want.

Lawrance and Hummingbird have units that will do what you want no problem.

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dblades is right. You want regular 2D sonar.

Both side imaging and down imaging require constant boat movement in order to get a true reading. By nature, they are "scan" units that operate not unlike a CT scanner used for medical purposes. Besides, you won't purchase a side-scan or down-scan unit for $450.

I won't go so far as to recommend a certain model because there are folks here who know far more than I about such things.


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What you see on DI is more likely to be under the boat than 2d sonar. All 2d sonar actually gives you is how far from the transducer an object happens to be, not the direction. It might look like it is on the bottom but could be anywhere within the cone.

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Thanks for the good replies & suggestions. I will go with Down Imaging.. As suggested, Im looking at the color Lowrance 5 Elite DSI, and also the B&W Hummingbird 581i HD..

Most likely will get one of the other...Thanks again.

*Leaning this way...

Voted Best of Show in Electronics at the 2010 ICAST Show - the Lowrance Elite-5 DSI Color Fishfinder-Chartplotter and the Lowrance Elite 5X DSI Color Fishfinder deliver Lowrance's innovative and exclusive DownScan Imaging for crystal-clear, photo-like views of the underwater world. Thermoclines are exposed, fish are truly revealed, hard and soft bottoms are easily distinguished, and structure is clearly defined - all in brilliant color.

A higher resolution 5-in/12.7-cm 480x480 pixel SolarMAX 256-color TFT Display furnishes unmatched viewing brightness and target detail at wider angles and bright sunlight. An adjustable fluorescent cold-cathode backlit screen and keypad make viewing in low-light and nighttime conditions easier, and expanded sonar imaging display color choices also allow you to customize your favorite colors to your personal preference and water/light conditions.

The Lowrance Elite-5 & Elite-5X DSI's 500W RMS Sounder (4,000W peak-to-peak) reaches recently tested depths of up to 200ft, and its exclusive dedicated Skimmer DSI Dual Frequency 455/800kHz Transducer (transom-mount) delivers selectable 455 kHz sounding for wider and deeper sonar imaging, as well as, 800 kHz for enhanced, down-looking, crystal-clear images of targeted locations. The Elite-5 & Elite 5X DSI even deliver impressive bottom readings at boat speeds up to 40mph. Optimum imaging speed of 8mph and under.

For the Elite-5 DSI Fishfinder/Chartplotter Only - An internal, front-mounted, ultra-precise 16-channel GPS Antenna offers superior navigation guidance, even when mounted in-dash, and also has the benefit of built-in Lowrance Cartography. Multiple map & chart options are available (not included). A waterproof microSD media card slot accepts the most up-to-date mapcard options including Fishing Hot Spots Pro USA and LakeMaster in the US, and Navionics Gold worldwide.

So advanced, it’s easy-to-use, the Lowrance Elite-5 & Elite 5X DSI also feature automatic fine-tuning for the best sonar imaging picture possible after power-up, and the Advanced User Mode offers full manual control of settings. A convenient TrackBack feature also allows you to immediately scroll-back through sonar imaging history to review covered water and pinpoint spots.

Easy to Install and Use - the Lowrance Elite-5 DSI Fishfinder/Chartplotter and the Elite-5X DSI Fishfinder's unique new keypad and quick-release bracket design offers easy installation, plus one-hand viewing adjustment, and operation at-speed.

Dimensions: 6.9" x 5.4" x 2.5"

Gimble Bracket Mounting included with unit - In-dash installation will require additional hardware not included.

Skimmer DSI Transducer - transom-mount

Power supply: 10-17 vDC

Sonar Alarms: Fish, Max and Min Depth

Depth Alarm

Shallow Alarm

Temperature Display

Built-in Backup Memory

Sealed and waterproof - suitable for saltwater use

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