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Do i really need side imaging

4/5/17 @ 8:39 AM
User since 9/22/01

Hi all, looking at buying a Humminbird Helix 7 or 9 with down imaging.  It's a bit of a price bump for side imaging.  The question is for the people out there that have side imaging, do you regularly use it  and does it help you catch more fish? Any comments are greatly appreciated.  I fish Lake Geneva a decent amount and also several of the deeper lakes in Northern WI.  Tight lines all.

3/8/18 @ 8:29 AM
User since 5/21/03

You are already spending money, so get the best that you can realistically afford.  Down imaging, side imaging with MEGA...etc.

Like anything else in the boat, it is a tool that you can use to get on fish.

Personally, I've seen the sidescan be unbelievably effective when you are working relatively shallow water and trolling.  You can see the structure and you can see the fish.  

The deeper the water, or the weedier the lake, the less helpful sidescan is for me. gotta learn how to use it.  Learn how far out it is looking, equate it to a cast, or to where you are running boards.  It can keep you on structure, which will keep you on fish.

Heck, I've got a Hummingbird unit sitting unused in my basement.  I believe it is a 500 series.  GPS, sonar, down imaging, side imaging.  I'm willing to part with it for a sweet deal.  $100.  Try out a unit like this and if you like it, upgrade it.  Only reason I don't use it is because the transducer I run in the front is on my terrova and it isn't compatible with sidescan and down imaging, so the unit simply didn't work.  Ranger set the boat up that way and I just simply took it out and put in a lesser unit that gives me depth and GPS.

3/8/18 @ 6:40 AM
Timmothy A
MEMBER since 5/17/09

Doesn't the engine block the sidescan view of 1 side?

3/8/18 @ 3:43 AM
ice captain
User since 2/22/11

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the lowrance hook series with the tripleshot transducer and the elite ti series with the total scan transducer?  

3/7/18 @ 3:31 PM
User since 6/12/10

I really got some good benefits from the side imaging when we found the old marina pilings and structure from an abandoned marina on a lake down south.  Killed the crappie nonstop after that.  Too bad it was the last day when we found it.  Works great for finding brush piles as well.

Having said all of that, it's not needed but certainly useful.  I'd personally go sonar, gps mapping, side imaging. 

3/6/18 @ 9:44 PM
User since 9/16/01

4) boat landing

5) even at 30mph(best image at 2-5mph)

3/6/18 @ 9:35 PM
User since 9/16/01

Like others have said,"Do I need side imaging?" No.

I on the other hand,I couldn't imagine not having side imaging.

1) Midlake structure

2) fish

3) transitions

3/6/18 @ 9:22 PM
User since 12/9/08

The way I do most of my fishing I do not need it. 

However, I have seen great application if you want to find key structural elements without having to pass directly over them; ie cribs, sunken brush piles, submerged trees extended out from shore, etc.  I have also been in friends boats where we have been fishing relatively shallow flats and have picked up large muskies laying on the bottom with the side imager - at least confirming we were in the right spot on that particular body of water.

3/6/18 @ 8:41 PM
User since 12/22/04

I have not figured out a practical application yet.   I have tried scanning spots I know hold fish and look for similar structures, but no dice.  I have watched tons of videos and talked to others.  Yes have not given up yet, probably just need to be more dedicated in spring before weeds come in. 

3/6/18 @ 7:09 PM
User since 5/17/15

I added an elite 9ti with side imaging to my boat last year. It was then my most successful fishing season so far... So, although it may not be necessary, I'm sure glad I have it.

3/5/18 @ 6:32 AM
Timmothy A
MEMBER since 5/17/09

From what I've been reading, it can be difficult to figure out the distance from the boat of the schools of fish you see on the side imaging.  I'm specifically looking for open water suspended panfish in lakes not more than 25ish feet deep.  Any thoughts on this? 

Also also, is the MEGA worth it?

I have Birds right now, but I am open to other brands so I can get the most effective sidescan for the $, if I get one.  Right now the Helix 7 SI with CHIRP is the leader in the clubhouse, based on features and $$.

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