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Mistermojo

Bow mounted depth finder

17 posts in this topic

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

gunner55 likes this

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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~

CaptainMusky likes this

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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

 

CaptainMusky likes this

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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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