Fish finder on a pontoon

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Santo Roman, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. I always made fun of guys on the lakes with their fish finders until I had 7 straight outing without getting a nibble. I did have a few carp look at me and laugh so that was no fun either. Wanted to know if there was a particular fish finder that most use and if they are really worth it. Been looking at some hummingbirds but if it were up to my bro inlaw, I'd have the 6" all color one that sinks up with my tv and cooks me dinner.

    I'm looking for a basic, there is the fish stupid, put chrono's there kind of thing.
  2. Fish finders are IMO, misnamed. They are really depth finders and that is their most useful function. You can see fish at times, and if they are holding in a specific depth zone, you can set your chironomid indicator at that depth or use the appropriate sink rate line. I have a Fishing Buddy, a Hummingbird and a Garmin. They all work fine. One around $100 will work fine. Fishing Buddy is a self contained unit and easier to more from boat to boat, etc. The others require a way to set up the transducer and get power. Rick
    GAT and Blue like this.
  3. rick-

    true, they are misnamed! I'm having a hell of a time just trying to find spot where fish should be, around the stumps and downed trees. Being that I cannot see any of that...kinda just casting to the wind. I have been looking at the fish buddy as it was a complete unit, but I kinda wanted a dual beam. thanks for the info

  4. Humminbird max175 has a dual beam and they sell it at Mall Wart for $100. or the same unit (portable) for $140.
  5. I like using a fish finder on my Scadden Renegade. I agree that they are mostly for depth and bottom contour, but some parts of lakes show many more fish than other parts...and that's useful to me. I use an old Eagle 320*320 that is no longer made. I like it. It's similar to the Lowrance Mark 5X Pro. This is a black and white unit and sells for $159. You can buy a cheaper fish finder, but this is in the low end price range...and still a good product.

  6. damn walmart trying to outdo everyone. Thanks everyone. I like the idea of being portable being that I have a float tube as well, but i'll look at them all.

  8. I'm thinking of putting the Humminbird 110 fishing buddy to use on my Wilderness 12 pontoon boat on my Christmas list. The Humminbird catalog says it can be mounted on the outboard mount on a pontoon boat, which the wilderness 12 has, but I supect that means I have to give up my electric outboard to use the Humminbird. I'm trying to figure out how to catch trout Sammamish in my pontoon, so I'd like to be able to use the the Humminbird and the electric moter at the same time.

    Thanks for the help.

    Denis Ransmeier
  9. Get the 120 if you need a dual beam. It comes with a hard mount for a boat gunnel and if you buy the holster you can easily mount it on a 'toon or tube. They are good entry level units that will tell you everything you need to know to up your catch rate.
  10. I made my own mount that can be used on any pontoon or tube. I have an older Humminbird sonar. Most expensive part of my mount is I chose RAM. I use a 2" nylon strap with adjuster and quick clip, a flexible cutting board, a 14" piece of PVC for transducer, and small bolt with acorn nuts.

    When using a motor I run the power off the motor battery. When not using a motor I use one of the small rechargeable batteries used for Home Security Systems.
    KerryS likes this.
  11. I fish chironomids under an indicator, and knowing the depth is critical. I bought the cheapest one I could find--a Lowrance X-4--at $80 because the depth was all I really cared about. It works fine for that, but my buddy has a better unit (don't recall which one) which does a better job of distinguishing the weed tops from the bottom. And he can actually see his flies, so he can see exactly where they are relative to the weeds or bottom.

    I mount the transducer to my trolling motor which also works fine, but means I have to use the trolling motor to use the fish finder in cases where I'm not going far and might otherwise just row. I plan to rerig the transducer mount for this spring.
  12. Nice work Blue! I love well done DIY projects and yours looks well done.

  13. Here is another solution to the depth finder on a pontoon question. This is two mods back and the latest depth finders are Garmin' IMG_0995.JPG IMG_0996.JPG IMG_0999-001.JPG IMG_1000.JPG IMG_1002.JPG s which are larger and more capable but the installation is the same. The transducer is mounted on a Baltic birch stalk that is installed with a spring loaded slip clutch made out of plastic cutting board stock. The battery box holds a small gel cell and provides a mount for the depth finder head unit. Pretty simple stuff that has worked for years without a hitch.

  14. Thanks Ive. Mine works same as yours. I used a wing nut so easy to tighten or loosen on the transducer plus a spring for tension.
    Do you use gel cell or closed cell battery? The small ones I use and ones at Cabelas are closed.
  15. I also put the PVC and transducer on the outside away from my feet. I am limited as to how I mount things as I have frameless models. The frame model is much easier. Plus I have to be able to row with nothing in the way.
  16. I use the Hummingbird Smartcast RF35 (wristwatch type) wireless fishfinder. It is by no means detailed, but it gives accurate depth readings and it does mark fish. I like it because there is nothing to mount or have to wire. I just let the receiver hang in the water alongside my pontoon on some heavy fishing line. Works good.

  17. My brother has one of those, but said it doesn't work if water is cooler. Have you had any problem with early Spring, late Fall?

  18. No, mine has worked in pretty much all temperatures. However, it does not like to read over 100 ft deep. Also, I had to get a replacement wireless transducer because the first one I had was working intermittently. Maybe tell your buddy to contact Humminbird for a replacement.
  19. Thanks, I will pass that along. But, it sounds like everyone has to return the first transducer on the reviews. what's up with that?

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