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bigcreekdad

Looking for new graph...how important is side imaging

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I've settled on the Hummingbird Helix 7 series, and am down to choosing the model. Anyone who has side imaging...is it worth the extra money?

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I use it ALL the time.  Rock humps, weed edges, whatever.  It's worth the $$$$.  

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https://www.bassmaster.com/tips/fishing-electronics-part-1-basic-sonar

"  if you’re over 12 feet of water, your most detailed screen information comes from an area about 4 feet across directly below your transducer. "

I have never used one with side imaging, but it seems to me that having the ability  to see a wider area could be golden?

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What kind of fishing are you doing.

If lake trolling not that important.

It's important to know that you either side image or fish. Trying to do both a cluster .....!

 

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I like having the option.  I troll a lot, but a lot of it is in water 30 foot and under so I sit in the drivers chair and mark rocks and other underwater features as they come up.  Then I can turn around on them and make a pass.  When I'm on the Great Lakes I don't use it at all but I've heard some guys use it to find bait balls. I may try it sometime.  It's sure not mandatory, but worth the few extra bucks if your upgrading anyway in my opinion.

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Incredibly useful when going after bass around docks, for example. 

Useless when fishing deep water. 

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I think it’s worth the extra money, it can be useful for trolling in my experience. I use side imaging in addition to the other views on the graph. I use it to mark structure and bait when trolling for musky. It only reads until about 20’ or so. 

Edited by Musky Plug

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I have a Helix 5 Si, I don't find side imaging useful. My buddies $1400 Lowrance (not sure what model) did have better SI but it still wasn't revolutionary.

That said, I am not the best with tech stuff.

The built in GPS I really like.

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5 hours ago, Sterling said:

Incredibly useful when going after bass around docks, for example. 

Useless when fishing deep water. 

Huh??? 

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I watched the 2018 BassMaster Classic, props to Jordan Lee for the back to back wins. There was some discussion  from the commentators during the event on the number young guys in the field and their ability to grasp the technology that they have grown up with.

The ability to see 240 feet or so off to either side gives you a huge advantage if you are able to decipher what you are seeing. These kids are fishing in high school clubs and college clubs, they are learning the technology early.

You're in 30 feet of water and seeing a 10 foot circle, that guy that can see 240 feet off to either side has an advantage, how many fish do you miss, or how much more time do you have to spend locating them?

 

 

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42 minutes ago, OhioFisherman said:

 

The ability to see 240 feet or so off to either side gives you a huge advantage if you are able to decipher what you are seeing. 

 

I agree the younger generation is better with the tech stuff. I still don't think having SI is a totally clear picture of everything going on 240' to either side of the boat, even for the young guys. It doesn't really work like that.

In the ads they have for SI they show images of standing trees and sunken bridges. That stuff rarely exists (at least where I fish). I can see logs or boulders on my SI but they aren't anything special that would hold fish.

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It's my opinion that it is a very good tool but it's not a replacement for 2D sonar. There are so many variables on individual lakes, depths, and fishing techniques that side scan is just another tool in the box. If I'm fishing up shallow(<10), I never turn it on. On Lake Erie I use it all the time! Just a couple of boulders in the middle of nowhere can hold 2-3 big fish. There's just so much water that having the ability to scan a wide swath of water can mean a world of difference. I use a good map, 2D and side/down scanning together to find fish holding structure, not fish. 

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23 minutes ago, chris.brock said:

I agree the younger generation is better with the tech stuff. I still don't think having SI is a totally clear picture of everything going on 240' to either side of the boat, even for the young guys. It doesn't really work like that.

In the ads they have for SI they show images of standing trees and sunken bridges. That stuff rarely exists (at least where I fish). I can see logs or boulders on my SI but they aren't anything special that would hold fish.

chris I have no experience at all with them, and even the two I had on my boat were old technology. The ability though to see anything that might hold fish farther off to the side of the boat just seems to be a plus to me, a rock pile, change in bottom contour could be a difference.

I think that they use the standing trees and sunken bridges as examples? but weeds and weed beds? Schools of baitfish or larger fish off to one side? Just getting a hint that there might be something on the side to checkout saves time and gas?

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What unit do you have GBL? 

My Helix 5 SI is only good to about 30 FOW max. 

I don't like DI either. I get way more definition and information on regular sonar. Maybe it's the Helix 5, maybe it's me, lol.

 

 

 

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There’s a place and time for everything and having used Si with a buddy a few times was enough to convince me to get it on the new boat. Unlike 2d, you have to be moving at a slower rate to take advantage of si but the imaging it can produce can quickly cut down the time of searching for structure. You can find bait apps and structure as well as fish but finding fish isn’t what most use it for. The fish holding structure is what you are looking for. Find it, and you’ll find the fish. 

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3 hours ago, OhioFisherman said:

The ability to see 240 feet or so off to either side gives you a huge advantage if you are able to decipher what you are seeing. These kids are fishing in high school clubs and college clubs, they are learning the technology early.

You're in 30 feet of water and seeing a 10 foot circle, that guy that can see 240 feet off to either side has an advantage, how many fish do you miss, or how much more time do you have to spend locating them?

I think you may be confusing side imaging with the old side view transducers.  I doubt that you are going to see 240' off to the side with side imaging.

Years ago, many of the sonars had a transducers pointing horizontally to side.  They may have give a view 240' to the side.  I don't think any of the manufacturers even make those anymore; so it probably wasn't that useful.

The new side imaging technology shows a lot of detail down and to the side of your boat; not 240' off to the side.

 

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https://www.humminbird.com/Category/Technology/Side-Imaging/

I am certainly not up to date on all the technology John, but they seem to claim that?

"

Welcome to Side Imaging

It’s all in the details. Gain a 180 degree side-to-side perspective on the world below the surface with remarkable Humminbird® Side Imaging®. In an instant, the ultra-thin beam scans the area up to 240 feet to the left and right of your boat location—for total coverage of up to 480 feet. The return image for each slice is then added to the images taken immediately before and after to build an incredible view of the lake bottom. You can then magnify the detail of the image with the zoom feature or mark the GPS location of promising cover or structure directly on the screen. 

Side Imaging's high-frequency beams reveal structure, cover, and contour changes with crystal clarity. The images are so real you might think it’s a camera, but it’s not, so it doesn’t matter how murky the water is. "

Edited by OhioFisherman

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It isn't necessary for the fishing we do here for deep suspended Walleye. However I can see me getting back to Bass fishing in shallow water sometime in the future, and unless the unit with side imaging is much more than standard down imaging I would go with it. I have a question for all. What is the difference in price? 

Edited by Old Ironmaker

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Thanks Ohio, I'll be sticking with what I have for the price difference. I only was on a boat that had it once here on Erie and past 30 feet I couldn't see much, again I am a rookie at it. Same as the Capt. new to him too. Once we get past 5 mile reef at the east corner of the Long Point Elbow the bottom is flat, flat as the Salt Flats on all sides. If there is a bump on the bottom at 80 feet most likely a body with Woodbridge loafers.

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Watching them guys fish the classic was sort of an eye opener to me, they probably have more cash tied up in their electronics than I did for my last boat new. 15 inch displays and such? I didn't see any budget electronics and there was references made about video game fishing.

Just from my smallie days on Lake Erie? finding them when you are seeing a 6 to 8 foot wide piece of the bottom at a time was time consuming, especially when the area with the rocky bottom was  a few miles long.

It's a lot easier to justify the expense if need it for your job?

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Still waiting for the day for a side imaging unit with no gps.. should help the price. 

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That kind of defeats the purpose.  I don't know what the hummingbird units are like, but I know that on my lowrance I can locate some rocks to the side of my boat, and immediately press my finger down on the screen over the rockpile.  This stops the screen and let's me put a waypoint down immediately so I can swing around on it and do my next pass either right beside it or right over it.  I would find it far less useful without GPS.

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Si on a trolling motor is mostly useless. Every time you turn the screen blurs.

Si you sit at console and drop way points on rock piles weed edges  , ledges so trolling with rods in holds

would work, you need to stay at 2 mph and drive strait or it blurs. Lake Ont useless.

Bacon has a pic of 360 much different than SI. It's like a radar circling your boat and takes some practise to intrepid.

Works well on trolling motor when fishing. Price $1500 for transducer , a 9-10 inch  dictate unit  to 360 and then you can network with other units. Price 4k.

Then we could talk about Garmin Panotics wick expensive.

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