Lowrance or Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter?

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Lowrance or Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter?

Postby kneighbour » Wed May 03, 2017 3:42 pm

I started out looking at the Garmin Striker 4DV, and this is still on my short list. Then someone said the Lowrance Hook 4 units were better. Then I saw the chart options. I am fishing the lakes and rivers around Brisbane, so do not really need mapping, but it would be a nice feature. I have also been out a bit around Jacobs Well area - but always in sight of the boat ramp (pretty much).

One of the issues with the maps these things come with is that they are made for off shore - not inland waterways, so these areas are non existent or poor. The Lowrance series comes with the Navionics Gold pack included, which I think will be ok for the inland waterways I want to navigate around. It is hard to say, though. I downloaded the Navionics android app to my tablet, and if that map is the same, it is good enough. As long as it shows the Logan River, and the various dams (Wyaralong, Somerset, etc) then I will be happy.

Garmin comes with Bluecharts, I think, and I have no idea what area these maps cover.

Anyway, my current research is working out if I need the mapping at all. I can afford a few hundred bucks more for the maps, so that is not a problem. But if the maps are not much good for inland waterways, then it will be a wasted few hundred bucks and I don't want that!

Is there a strong preference to either Garmin or Lowrance units? Or even another brand, I don't care, as long as it works well.

BTW - even though I am kitting out my kayak for fishing, and spending a small fortune, I am not a keen fisherman. But I like the gadgets, and fishing is ok. It gives you something to do while kayaking, which I like more.
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Re: Lowrance or Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter?

Postby unsinkable 2 » Wed May 03, 2017 5:52 pm

Garmin all the way for me now. I have had lowrances die on me rather quickly (and to be honest, I don't blame them. Offshore kayaking including surf transits is a rough environment.) but my current garmin striker has lasted for 6 or so months and is showing no signs of slowing down. Beautiful clear picture too- it's really not hard to tell what's under me.
As for the maps, I suppose it depends on your fishing style. I personally don't think they're needed at all- so long as you can put a GPS point down on interesting things and/or lay a trail you won't have any trouble finding your way around and there's not enough detail in them to show less obvious spots anyway. Also there's an online version of navionics which you can use to look for spots anyway (or get the mobile app and you can get exact coordinates too).
Lowrances do come with an extended warranty option now I believe, so that could be worth looking into, but for me the striker has excelled with what I need and is well priced.
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I caught a cobia which could eat the rest except for the mackerel which could also probably eat a lot of the things
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Re: Lowrance or Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter?

Postby kneighbour » Wed May 03, 2017 6:18 pm

Good feedback - thanks. I have had 3 or 4 Garmins now, over the years, and they have been ok. I still have a Garmin on my road bike and that has been flawless. So I tend to lean in your direction as well.
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Re: Lowrance or Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter?

Postby kneighbour » Wed May 03, 2017 6:22 pm

On a slightly different topic - do you find the fishfinder of much use in rivers (ie Logan River) due to their rather shallow depth? I have also been trying to catch flathead at Cabbage Tree Point, and that is also very shallow water as the tide drops. 2+m at high tide down to ankle depth at low tide. I have been wondering if a fishfinder would be any use in that situation.
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Re: Lowrance or Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter?

Postby Plasman » Wed May 03, 2017 9:34 pm

kneighbour wrote:On a slightly different topic - do you find the fishfinder of much use in rivers (ie Logan River) due to their rather shallow depth? I have also been trying to catch flathead at Cabbage Tree Point, and that is also very shallow water as the tide drops. 2+m at high tide down to ankle depth at low tide. I have been wondering if a fishfinder would be any use in that situation.

Side scan is awesome in shallow water situations. I can spot fish, different types of weed, sand contours and drop offs accurately out to 30m each side of me and the range does extend out to 100m each side.
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Re: Lowrance or Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter?

Postby unsinkable 2 » Wed May 03, 2017 10:45 pm

I certainly use mine in shallow water. As plasman says, sidescan rules here, but it's still helpful to get an idea of the depth layout of where you're fishing. Can spot the odd fish or patch of bait in 2m+ water for sure too, but I don't rely on them as much in the shallow stuff as I do in deeper water.
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I caught a cobia which could eat the rest except for the mackerel which could also probably eat a lot of the things
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Re: Lowrance or Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter?

Postby Ads22 » Wed May 03, 2017 11:35 pm

Hey kneighbour,

I use a Lowrance Elite 4x and 5x on my yaks. I like to see the bottom for differentiating better sand/mud and rubble or weed. Also good to see drop offs for casting or trolling or picking up drains at creek mouths, even in shallow water.

I can't help with comparing the two brands but either would be useful in shallow water. They provide another piece of info to help your decisions.

On Sunday I picked up a school of fish move under me as I drifted in 3m'ish of water, quickly change rod/lure combo and snag a fish first cast after fishing had been pretty tough.

Given I fish creeks and rivers with barra in mind, I am toying with the idea of sidescan. That day will come I'm sure.
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Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; Flathead - dusky 62cm; Flathead - bartail 51cm; Flounder 28cm; Forktail Catfish 60cm; Bream 32cm, Sand whiting 30cm; Striped Butterfish/Scat 20cm; Barred Javelin 47cm; Bull Shark 80cm; Queenfish 45cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.
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Re: Lowrance or Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter?

Postby avayak » Thu May 04, 2017 10:22 am

If you buy a Lowrance hook, elite or HDS you can use the sonar logs to create custom maps with Reefmaster software. In a few trips you will have a map that is based on real data wherever you fish.
The maps are fully contoured and you can customise the colour bands showing various depths.
If you like gadgets then this is for you!
Cheers
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Re: Lowrance or Garmin fishfinder/chartplotter?

Postby kneighbour » Thu May 04, 2017 11:31 am

I have seen a few videos of side scans, but they made little sense to me. I also suspect that going to side scan unit is going to cost me a lot more.
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