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Mistermojo

Bow mounted depth finder

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I have come to the realization I need a depth finder at the front of the boat, mainly so I don't have to keep asking my wife how deep it is, but it would be nice for jigging and slow trolling also.  I don't use my bow mount trolling motor all of the time, so I'd rather not mount a transducer to it.  My boat is a 16.5' Alumacraft so there's not a ton of room for extra stuff on the floor of the boat.

My Dilemma is:

a. do I get the open water transducer for my LX-6 I use for ice fishing and mount that ~ $150, plus the cost of the battery wires and a mount - say $200

b. do I spend that $200 and get something designed for open water and permanently mount it.  The question is where do I mount it?  The cover is tight there so it may get damaged or wires pulled, so I'd probably want to be able to remove it quickly when putting on the cover.

c. do I use my LX-6 and rig up something to just use the ice transducer and deal with hauling it in and out, charging, etc.

I'm open to ideas and suggestions.  This picture shows the bow of the same boat as mine for reference.  My trolling motor is farther forward on the bow.

540x405_lodz-aluminiowa-domi-179822.jpg

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I would put a 4 or 5 inch type unit on a ram mount, either on the bow plate or the gunwale near there.  Get the adapter to mount the transducer to the trolling motor (I know lowrance makes them and bird probably does too)   

When covering the boat, just take the finder off, and stow it. 

For example, you can get a $50 rebate on Lowrance Elite 4x, chirp bringing cost down to 150.

The transducer mount for the trolling motor and the RAM will be close to $50.

The corresponding Bird looks like the Piranha 197c type

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A cheap option while you are deciding what to do would be use the swivel base on your main depth finder at the console and spin it towards the front of the boat so you can glance over your right shoulder and see the display.  Downside is turning around to see the display when your fishing off the left side of the boat and that the transducer is mounted on the back of the boat not showing what is directly below you but if your looking just for general depth the spin in place option will work untill you get a front mounted unit.

Tunrevir~

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Mrmojo- I would for sure get a transducer for your LX6. Pick up a Ram mount, a power lead for your locator, an inline fuese for your locator- flat fuse type is best.

Currently I have my FL 8 on the bow of my boat hooked up to my Minkota PD AP.  It really helps to have the transducer on the trolling motor- it shows how deep you are right now at the front of the boat. No crashing up on to the structure you are trying to work around.

Once you put one up there you will never want fish without a front locater again.

Good Luck

Steve

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I have come to the realization I need a depth finder at the front of the boat, mainly so I don't have to keep asking my wife how deep it is, but it would be nice for jigging and slow trolling also.  I don't use my bow mount trolling motor all of the time, so I'd rather not mount a transducer to it. 

Why not? Where else would you mount the transducer? Certainly not at the stern, 16-1/2 feet away from where you're fishing.

 

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For you I would just get a swivel base like tunrevir said for the unit you have mounted at the dash. I did that for years and it worked just fine. Ideally you would mount a transducer to the trolling motor and have a unit up front, but you don't seem to fond of that idea. I think you would really appreciate having one up there if you did. Otherwise you are reading depth from the back of the boat which could be way off. If you are controlling the boat from the front and do not have a transducer located there you will have a very hard time following structure because you will always be reacting way later than you should.

Aside from getting a swivel base, just using your LX6 with its puck transducer would be just fine. You might want to mount the cable to some sort of support though so the transducer doesn't swing when you move so you get more accurate readings.

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Thanks for the feedback so far, keep the ideas coming...

Turning the current display is not really a great option because as you can kind of see in this picture, my boat also has a tinted, pretty scuffed up windshield so it would be hard to read and the unit is mounted pretty far back so physically there just isn't much clearance.

It sounds like I should bite the bullet and go trolling motor mount whichever direction I go, and maybe I'd use the trolling motor more if i had the 'ducer mounted.

So now it comes down to LX6 conversion kit or dedicated unit... 

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My older alumacraft had the same style windshield as well and when I turned the depth finder I would just pop the windshield off. You just twist those 1/4 turn fasteners and it comes right off.

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Easier said than done when you have a dog, wife, tackle bag, cooler, net, minnow bucket, etc. in the boat with you... floor space disappears pretty quick.

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I hear ya. I had wife, 2 boys, musky tackle boxes, musky net, cooler etc as well. I usually just tucked it right under the console. The dog definitely changes things though. :-)

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Get some extensions for your power and transducer cables for your existing unit.  Mount one ram base on the bow and one just forward of the throttle.  Bundle all of the wires very neatly inside of some of that flexible corrugated conduit and wrap it tight with electrical tape.  You are then free to move the graph from the dash area to the bow as you please in about 10 seconds time.  Have the wires surface just ahead of the console somewhere so that they are not in the way.  You can even put a few plastic clips along gunnel to keep the cord where you want it.

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It's OK guys, I'm OK with spending a bit of money :)  I just am looking for ideas on whether to add a permanent (non-portable) unit like the Lowrance Elite 4x CHIRP mentioned above, or to plumb in a power cable and transducer for the LX6 I already own.  Either way looking about $150-180 with RAM Mount.

Plus if I spin the humminbird on the dash, my wife won't have anything to look at when she's not looking at her phone or magazines :P

 

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In that case I think you'd be a lot happier with something like the Lowrance unit you mentioned vs the flasher.

Another idea, if you already have a tablet, would be the Vexilar sonar phone.  I have no personal experience with one but was fishing with my cousin this past weekend who uses his with an iPad and loves it.  It might be worth looking into.

Good luck!

Edited by NoWiser

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We just put an Elite 5 on the bow,our old 1 quit working, & if you do the TM mount for the transducer make sure you get the right bracket.We have a slightly older PD TM so we had a little trouble getting the right 1.The one on our dash is cramped for space so we went to a Ram mount & it works great.

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In that case I think you'd be a lot happier with something like the Lowrance unit you mentioned vs the flasher.

​I agree a lowrance unit would be a better choice, but the LX6 has a graphing mode so I think it would work quite well in open water.

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Update - I went with the Lowrance Elite 4X Chirp - they were on sale plus the rebate made it a pretty easy decision.  Now to figure out where and how to mount the 'ducer.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the RAM mount since they make one specifically for the Lowrance and I really have not seen any bad reviews of them anywhere.  We use some of their products in our warehouse and they are very nice.

Transducer mounting:

So, If I mount the transducer to the trolling motor, which is on a quick release and needs to be removed for the cover to be put on, then I need to have slack cable which will allow this to happen.  Pro: This method provides a more accurate representation of what is under me at the front of the boat.  Con is having a big loop of cable to deal with, both when the motor is stowed, removed, or in use.

If I permanent mount the transducer to the transom, then I can permanently run the cables and only need to remove the RAM when I put the cover on.  Pro:  Less hassle with removing trolling motor or risk of damaging transducer cable.  Con: Less accurate information on what is happening under me.

 

Which way to go?

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We just went thru this & decided to put it on the bow.We used cable ties on the TM itself,1 just above the motor housing & the other just under the head housing,After taking it out on the lake a few times, we found the top tie was interfering with the collar that turns the TM so we took the top tie off.We then ran the cable under our quick release bracket so for now we are dealing with the big loop of cable when it's stowed.I'm looking for a way to put a spring or bungee cord on it so it won't be on the floor of the boat.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Thank you for the responses. I do know it’s a right of wayband not blockable...except...I seen one coming and did park in the area after work this week.  In a split second she/he turned around and went the other way. My truck would fill the approach but I only had the car that day.—this response is what I’m trying to avoid. knoppers-there was no bank there...there were little dots through the snow that was pulled back onto the driveway. Heck, he was up near the tree line. Wanderer-it’s a small rural area, I’ll be the ... The snow and ice is melting down to the tar today, they drove in it anyway. It’s 130 am and ya...time for jumping. Thanks for all the answers. I don’t feel alone in feeling it’s rude. That helps. 
    • I would think so, it would be no different than parking on the shoulder of the road. my commit was more related to people that put up barriers, to keep others from crossing there approach.
    •   Sounds plausible to me.  Is the thickened footing in your mind the same as pouring the perimeter of the slab thicker?  We did an 8 inch perimeter around the 4 inch slab.
    • Yes. But on a post framed building the only think I ever see is a thickened footing and not a foundation to the frost line. A major benefit of post framing is that you install the posts below the frost line so the need for a concrete foundation below the frost line is not needed. If I am understanding the question correctly. 
    • FYI driveway approaches are on the public right of way, you may not block them, or place anything that can injure someone.   May a person park their own vehicle in their own driveway approach?
    • I think they’re more looking at the footings requirement, aren’t they?  Thus the reason for getting the poles below the frost line?   Its the township’s responsibility to figure this out and you have the right to ask them to cite the code they’re following.   I used to live in Isanti County and dealt with a building inspector from my township on the construction of my detached garage.  Things weren’t very strict to say the least.     We built everything by the current UBC code, so I’d suggest first getting a copy of the current version of that since this building will actually be your home.  Don’t take unnecessary shortcuts to save a few bucks up front.  You’ll eventually regret it.   Reading your plans for the slab, it sounds pretty good.  There are plenty of slab homes out there built the way you describe.  What you don’t want is movement.     I’m not an expert by any means but I think footings on your slab wouldn’t be a bad idea and sinking your poles that deep should be a requirement.  If you don’t do footings, at least pour your slab thicker on the perimeter to hold it better.    Your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) can be more restrictive than code, but not less.  So if it’s defined in the UBC, you have to do at least that much.
    • I’ve personally been on both sides of this.   Used to love getting as much air as possible over driveways but I never understood gunning it on the other side after crossing.  I guess some are just mild adrenaline junkies.    I quit doing that for one, because it’s illegal, and two, not safe if the homeowner happens to be leaving or getting the mail at the time.   Now that I have a posted trail going over my driveway, I find it just rude, obnoxious and irritating to deal with 4 wheelers and sleds gunning it over the gravel and making ruts and eroding my base to the point of it being an expense to either plow and pack the class 5 back in place or spend the money to pave it.  I hate having to bounce over two ruts with my trailers and whatever I’m hauling in them too.   I think that’s the worst part for me.  Either jump it or be mellow on the throttle the entire way over.   I’ve seen trail groomers go around driveways before, making me wonder if that truly is a requirement or they were simply being courteous.  But I agree with knoppers, they should not drag over the driveway.  Maybe they think they’re taking the snow off for ya.  Call the people responsible for the trail and ask them for suggestions.  
    • If you want to get through ice fast and are going to re-tool for it completely, look at a Nils before making your final decision. 
    • I am fully aware of this as are most people.
    • some people are bad apples that give the sport a bad name, I as a snowmobiler have respect for driveways. FYI driveway approaches are on the public right of way, you may not block them, or place anything that can injure someone. trail groomers actually do you a favor by knocking down the bank, to keep it level. unless your groomer was not well trained, they will not groom over your driveway.
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