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BayouCajun

Side Imaging on the cheap, and a few years behind the curve

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There is a cute commercial on TV about a guy who says never to a lot of things….getting married, having kids, having more kids, moving the suburbs, owning a minivan….I bet he would like fishing….

 

I remember a short while back, I had never owned a fish finder, except my certified addled neurons…then after looking at paper maps with all the obstacles under the water in the lakes that I was going to fish for the first time….I knew I needed some insight to what was under the waves for a safety factor, forget about seeing any fish….so I went fishing at the spring sale at bps and left with little Lowrance Elite 4, sonar, chart combo, with an included ram mount and Lake Insight Pro map card….at a sale price that gave me just what I needed to get started…..and my world of relying on making a guess of where to throw line that would be in the same lake as a fish….changed forever

 

​now….I had the minimum of what I figured I needed….for safety and fish finding….but….as I fished in a few other boats and started reading fishing forums….and looking at pretty pictures….there was still a lot I wanted….

 

So, to ease my pain….I started my mantra….

 

​I will never have an i-Pilot….I will be stuck with my old underpowered, clunky operating foot control trolling motor…they are too expensive...

 

​I will never have down imaging…..I will never see those crisp, clear images of what is actually in the water….

 

​I will never have side imaging…..I will never be able to hang a right to go after that school of spaghetti striped fish on the screen, or a halting left to attack that Christmas tree of delectable little spotted slabs….way too expensive….

 

​I will never….became my mantra….and that was okay….I still caught fish…..but, I still wanted….

 

​Well….watching classifieds paid off….when another fisherman decided to upgrade his i-Pilot….I had to say….I have an i-Pilot….

 

​And then…..

 

watching in excruiating pain at side imaging prices….and figuring that even sales, closeouts….classifieds (get real on the second hand prices)….my mantra kept kicking in…..I will never...

 

​and then…..side imaging at $399……plus a $50 rebate….$349…..online at a local retail store…..still $699 on the shelf….store honors the web price….of course it is a closeout and technology that is more than a couple of years old….a very small screen…..no 800khz beam….but….it is side imaging…..it has a little bird on the case…698ci HD SI with a transom transducer, (can upgrade to 800khz ducer, for $89, but 800 still won't work, the bird says 455 might work a little better)….you can swap for nothing for the other types of mount by mail.  Found where the goose is on the mountain.

 

​Will have to bury my head in the unit to see it….resolution is less than the 598….640x480…..but, hey….my head has been up my Lowrance for the last 3 years...

 

Don't know what it actually will do, as it is still at this moment….in the box…at least some of it….after being handled a bit….soon to go on boat…and a little less soon on and in the water….

 

​So…..if you are looking for side imaging at a price that I don't think will likely be seen on another unit……the goose on the mountain has some.

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Congratulations Cajun,

I hope you get it mounted soon and have some calm spring days to cruise and look.

 

Get an SD card so you can capture routes (tracks) and waypoints to the card. Turn on screen

Shot capture (when active, it will save a screenshot every time you mark a waypoint.

 

Download free Humviewer onto your computer. You can then view your tracks and waypoints later, from the SD card, on the larger computer screen, with some image enhancement views Humviewer provides, including separating the display into different windows with different colors, different mode views (SI, DI, 2D) and even compare some views of same spot with 80 vs 200 or 455 sounding. You will see things that you just can't see on the small screen, in the sun, with some glare, moving around, holding a rod, eating a sandwich, running the boat, netting fish for Charger or Cannonball, adjusting your bifocals. Believe me, it is amazing. You'll be happy with the 698 and even happier when you use Humviewer to study what it sees. There are other viewers but I can't advise about them.

 

Here are some interesting views from my 598. Good luck and enjoy your new toy!post-196-0-23501700-1457034851.png

post-196-0-42144500-1457034900.png

 

Shallow water dock showing verticals and cross structures:

post-196-0-78080600-1457034943.png

 

Big school of fish show 50-75' left on side imaging:

post-196-0-11782800-1457035097.png

 

Submerged road and bridge:

post-196-0-33557100-1457035316_thumb.jpeg

 

Other views of that bridge:

post-196-0-80398800-1457035418_thumb.jpeg

 

Caught lots of crappie here.

post-196-0-91239400-1457035581_thumb.jpeg

 

Winter crappie bunched up in the creek bottom. Compare 2D vs Down Image:

post-196-0-66297300-1457035788.jpeg

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I know the pain my friend, fishing started very simple and cheap then got expensive as I seen shinny things. Then got very expensive as I upgraded from small boat with foot controlled trolling motor and home made bait tank. Then to to larger boat with co-pilot and gently used vest bait tank. Then come the iPilot, its expensive and us Men enjoy our fishing. I'm still using my Humminbird 598ci HD SI, talk about a small screen? I find it very difficult to really use the side imaging with such a small screen and only able to travel 5-6mph to get a decent resolution and it only has the 455khz. I wish I had the 800khz, however I do have the Down Imaging which can come in handy to see what is sitting on the bottom for me.

 

I guess all things come in due season and good things come to those who wait!

 

 

Also on a side note it doesn't help seeing all the latest fishing toys on Ezell's boat, lol.

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Congratulations on the new FF. When you register it on the Humminbird website be sure to check to see that you have all the updates installed on it. When those units came out a lot of updates were done that really improved and enhanced the performance of the unit.

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Frank, 

 

Love the screenshots, can't wait too long to make some of my own.  

 

Just not moving too fast lately, the harder I try to speed things up….the slower I get.  I managed to hold the unit yesterday….

 

Charger1 stopped by the house yesterday and between his stash of stuff and mine we put together a single Ram mount for the bird, and then a double location ram mount for my little lowrance.

 

Think I am going to remove the lowrance transducer from the transom and modify to put of trolling motor or get a trolling motor transducer (have to look up how much $)  and then more time consuming rigging to get whichever to work with my minkota v2 with its inherent problems with not being designed to accommodate the sonar cord during stowing and spinning around a couple or three times…..and here is where I don't shine anymore…..anything that isn't out of the box is tough….executive function….covering new information……design of something new….comes at a real high price for me in factors of time….and recovery time….I am usually extremely proud of my extremely simple accomplishments….but….just loading the boat is a planning nightmare with an extreme cost….this is why I have been trying to get everything built in on the boat, so all I have to do is put the boat in the water with me in it.  Catching fish is so second nature…there is no problem there.

 

Anyway, I have a bunch of SD cards laying around, and planning my day out, think I will register the bird, get the updates, get the Humviewer, register online for the rebate…..so I guess by that time I won't have the bird on the boat at the end of another day.

 

I guess I am lucky to not have seen all the toys on Ezell's boat….that much pain might push me over the edge.

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Questions on new install.  

 

Any tips?

 

Updates -

? -

 

What about a visor? For shading the screen from the sun? I know this will narrow the view….but, its not like I will have any usable view except with my head up in it anyway.  Thinking about making some type of shroud or visor for it…..Probably use some cardboard or poster board for the first trip and see if it makes any difference….thinking about sheet plastic or rubber….maybe those 99cents placemats.

 

Transducer? should be the same as the one I will be removing from the transom?

 

Anything else?

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On the updates you can just download to one of your SD cards and then pop the card in to the FF to update the unit. Anytime you do an update it resets the unit back to the original factory settings so you'll want to have it updated before you start fine tuning your settings. I believe your unit came out around the same time as mine and I don't think there will be anymore new updates coming out for them after you update what is available at this time.

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I took a transducer for my lowrance elite 4x and moved it from the transom to the trolling motor. Academy sells a thing that will clamp it to the trolling motor for 12.99 but I have accidently pinched the cord a time or two when deploying the trolling motor. Just got to make sure not to spin it 360 degrees and watch when you are dropping it. I used to deploy the trolling motor without even thinkin about it but now I watch that wire everytime

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I had a similar problem with a flasher unit in the direct sunlight so I used a plastic flower pot that fit over the unit screen and cut the bottom to shade the screen spray painted the inside black and worked great

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Congratulations Cajun,

I hope you get it mounted soon and have some calm spring days to cruise and look.

 

Get an SD card so you can capture routes (tracks) and waypoints to the card. Turn on screen

Shot capture (when active, it will save a screenshot every time you mark a waypoint.

 

Download free Humviewer onto your computer. You can then view your tracks and waypoints later, from the SD card, on the larger computer screen, with some image enhancement views Humviewer provides, including separating the display into different windows with different colors, different mode views (SI, DI, 2D) and even compare some views of same spot with 80 vs 200 or 455 sounding. You will see things that you just can't see on the small screen, in the sun, with some glare, moving around, holding a rod, eating a sandwich, running the boat, netting fish for Charger or Cannonball, adjusting your bifocals. Believe me, it is amazing. You'll be happy with the 698 and even happier when you use Humviewer to study what it sees. There are other viewers but I can't advise about them.

 

Here are some interesting views from my 598. Good luck and enjoy your new toy! image.png

image.png

 

Shallow water dock showing verticals and cross structures:

image.png

 

Big school of fish show 50-75' left on side imaging:

image.png

 

Submerged road and bridge:

image.jpeg

 

Other views of that bridge:

image.jpeg

 

Caught lots of crappie here.

image.jpeg

 

Winter crappie bunched up in the creek bottom. Compare 2D vs Down Image:

image.jpeg

 

That blue line could be the thermocline... :)

 

What time of year was it?

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Opry, that's what was odd. It was late winter, like Feb, so was not thermocline. And I did not have anything in the water except my 1/8 oz jig, which showed. Still puzzles me...

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Cajun, you may not need a sunshield. These displays are great so you might it out first. I don't use anything except my cap sometimes. Enjoy that new toy. Be advised that you'll likely be so intrigued by studying it and trying different settings that you'll probably catch fewer fish for a while. Who cares? We go fishing to enjoy it and part of the intrigue has always been trying to figure out creatures that live in a totally different world than we do. This is just another view into that world and a chance to see views into that world that will fascinate you.

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I notice when I have my sensitivity turned up too high I also get a blue line near the bottom some times.

Thanks.

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dave, 

 

headed to the garden center…I can picture black plastic flower pots surrounding both of my units….will measure units first, might cut out a cardboard shadow for size to carry with me.  Those square or rectangle flower pots seem made to order as I sit here drinking another cup of coffee.  Matching the bottom of the pot to the back of the unit….they even flare out….now if I had a harbor freight plastic welder….

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