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axel grease

double duty sonar

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I am just about sold on the marcum lx3,but will a flasher type unit be as good for me on open water as a LCD unit. My ice fishing season is not that long so I will use my fishfinder more on open water. Buying a fish finder that doesn't show a picture of a fish seem to be a step backward in technology,but then again I'm fairly ignorant on the subject. Will the Marcum read fish in 5 to 10 feet of water or will the trancsducer noise disturb the fish.

Thanks for any input.

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I couldn't tell you about the Marcum itself, but I use a vexilar and fish regularly in 5-10 feet of water and it doesn't disturb fish. As a matter of fact I fished 6 feet of water today, and came out with some nice sunnies. I know vexilar has different pieces and what not to pick up for open water fishing as far as mounting it on your boat. Although it doesn't show a "picture" of fish, you can watch the fish come up on your jig, its just a matter of getting it to bite and not just look!

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The Marcum works fine in shallow water, I was just working some eight foot stuff for big perch and it worked perfectly. There are those that believe a transducer will spook fish but I haven't found it to be true. The flahser will work well in open water, you just need a differnet transducer.

Ron Anlauf

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I don't want my fishing buddies to laugh me out of the boat this spring because my new toy work as well as their LCD.

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axel,

All I use is flashers. Open Water, hard water, river, toilet, anyplace.

I've owned my share of graphs, but flashers really give me all the data I need. If I fished more big-lake walleyes, I'd consider a graph-gps map combo unit. I'll admit the scrolling picture is kind of nice when trying to figure out a piece of struture. But, I can accomplish that with a marker bouy and a flasher just the same.

Once you know the capabilities of your flasher depth, bottom content, vegetation presence, and fish presence are just a glance away. Plus my boat can only be in one spot. So, I really only care about the depth under me at any one point in time. I'm not trying to say I don't care about the depth over there or over here, but I already know that because I idled over it while watching my flasher.

I do a sizeable amount of river fishing as well. It's not a good idea to take your eyes off the road on a river while at full throtle. That is, unless you're interested in losing a lower unit. I can glance at a flasher to obtain all the information I need. It's that simple.

Plus, the Marcum flashers do it better than anyone else's right now.

Go with the flasher!

------------------
Ray Esboldt
MarCum
Stone Legacy

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Would there be any unit better equipped to locate fish in the weeds? A lot of my open water fishing is vertical jigging anyhow. I am not much of a bass fsherman. Mostly crappies, bluegill, and catfish are the game.

I wish I had ice.

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Have you checked the Lowrance x67c Ice Machine? I have had one for a month and I love it, I needed a flasher for winter and a graph for the boat and the x67c fits the bill. It is the same price as the Marcum with about the same features but also has two graph screens, regular and split screen with movable zoom. It also has a flasher screen wich has split zoom also. The thing I really like is it has a number of color sceams (sp) so you can taylor it for different situations.
I would strongly suggest you check it out. If you get it thrue Thorne Bros. you get a free high speed scimmer transducer for the boat wich is a $60 value.

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axel,

That's a tough nut to crack regarding finding fish in weeds. A flasher will certainly display them, but you'd have a tough time dicerning a fish from a thick clump of weeds. A graph generally won't register them either if they're down in the weeds. A fish ID model can show you the fish on the weedtops. That might be good enough for your application. However, I have found graphs to become cluttered when in shallow weeds.

I still think the best multi-purpose depthfinder is a flasher. I would suggest you might want to hold off on purchasing one until you can get out with someone that has one or the other, or, better yet, both. Fish your style and see which one serves your purpose better.

------------------
Ray Esboldt
MarCum
Stone Legacy

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The ice machine seems to be the ultimate for both applications, but I have a feeling it will be improved upon very quickly. I don't want to buy this model because a bigger screen is probably around the corner. The color on ice machine unit looks great. It is a tough descision to make.

Ray, seeing the units in use sounds like the practical thing to do, but the people I fish with don't really have extra stuff like sonar units. The ones that do have LCD units,that is why I am triing to make my decision with the input from this site.

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If I were buying only one locator for both seasons I would definitly buy a flasher.Hands down the flasher is the way to go on ice but I perfer a LCD in open water although I run a flasher off my bow mount.I like an LCD in open water because you dont have to be looking at it all the time as the picture stays on the screen for a little while.

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Forgive me on my open water questions, but this is the only fishing forum that people use.

Congrats. on a wonderful site.

I really wish I had ice.

Somebody please sell me on the ice machine besides Chad. The marcum is mine to buy, but the lowrance seems like the better unit for my needs. How portable is the 67c from boat to boat or from ice to the truck.Portability under all situations is key.

Thanks again on any input.

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Ray, those fish that you are marking with your fish ID over weeds are weeds. I recomend that you never run your unit with fish id on. It is useless. It doesn't distingwiss fish from anything else in the water. Grease, I have a X67 is a great versital unit great for open and hard water. Goood luck AJ

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andyj,

I don't mark any fish over weeds with Fish ID. I don't use a graph anymore.

I was going to say Fish ID is marginal at best, but I didn't want to ruffle any graph user's feathers. I typically don't use a depthfinder in the open water to locate fish, and wouldn't advocate anyone else do that. A depthfinder can help solve the equation of fish or no fish, but don't hold it's display as the gospel.

A depthfinder is an essential tool in fishing success, no doubt. But, remember, it's a depth finder, not a fish locator.

------------------
Ray Esboldt
MarCum
Stone Legacy

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Ray

How can you say they are not fish locaters. With zoom this and lock that and beep here, those items are designed to locate fish aren't they.

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axel,

I'm not saying you can't use a depth finder to find fish. I do it all the time in the winter. But, I prefer to rely on cumulative experience and instinct to tell me where fish are and are not, not because my depthfinder told me there are not fish here. I'm not always right, but I would be incorrect far more times if I relied solely on what the depth finder told me about fish presence.

Do you see what I'm trying to explain here? I hope I'm not sounding snotty. But, a depth finder is just a tool in the toolbox. It has no inherent intelligence, zippo. It cannot tell me if fish are present or not. I can however apply it's capabilities to help me with that discovery. But, never would I say, "Man, I'm not even gonna try this. I didn't see a fish on the depth finder."

Maybe they should be called "Condition Scopes" or "Water Column Radars". "Depth Finder" is a good name. "Fish Locator" is not.

Can someone try to explain what I'm trying to point out here?

------------------
Ray Esboldt
MarCum
Stone Legacy

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axel,

Yes. I often use my depth finder in the winter to locate fish. However, I don't eliminate a hole or area because I don't see fish on the finder. It really depends on the lake you're fishing. Are the fish cruisers? Did they scatter after I drilled a hole? Are they pinned to the bottom where I can't readily identify them? Are they indistiguishable because they're buried in the weeds? Sometimes they're as plain as day.

Have I ever cruised open water looking for blips that I suspect might be suspended crappies? You bet. Have I ever been vertically jigging a point and spotted a fish that I caught seconds later? Absolutely. Do I eliminate a high percentage area because I didn't see what I thought was a fish? No.

I'm more concerned with the "other" information a depth finder provides me. Depth and depth transitions, bottom content and bottom content trasitions, the presence of vegetation or lack-there-of, and, yes, spotting a fish or two is a confidence boost.

That's why I refer to it as depth finder, not a fish locator. It's a tool for the toolbox. But, it's not the only tool. Flat out, a depth finder does not make you a competent fisherman. Years of concerted effort can. But, there's no shortcuts.

Sorry, I'm not trying to look down my nose at anyone. And, I'm not saying I'm good or better than the next guy, because I know I'm not. I'm just trying to point out what it takes to get to a high level. But, like I've always said, it is just fishing. Make it what you need to to enjoy it.

------------------
Ray Esboldt
MarCum
Stone Legacy

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Hey axelgrease fo what it's worth Ray is on the money, a flasher will teach you more.

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Is it very difficult to determine bottom composition and structure with a flasher? Would a graph make it be easier?

Ray, tell me if I'm reading you correctly. From your experiences with fishing sonar you say they will miss fish. You use yours to find a likely spot in regards to depth, structure and bottom composition. Then set up and fish with the possibility of catching some fish activity on the sonar device to determine their depth and mood for lack of a better word.

This is the longest I've ever held off on buying something. Kind of an impulse buyer. Buyer's remorse is a bad thing.

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Ray, would you say this scenerio here would be an impracticle use of a fishing sonar. When ice fishing it wouldn't make sense to go around an unfamiliar lake searching for schools of fish with sonar by either reading through the ice or by drilling holes. Another situation I run into is on open water before and after the spawning times when the fish are in deeper water making it hard for me to locate them. The sonar would surely assist me in locating fish more quickly than fishing aimlessly. Just because you caught them in one spot yesterday doesn't mean your going to do it in the same place tomorrow. So that makes it hard to rely on experience even though it also helps.

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axel,

Yes. Buyer's remorse is a bad thing to have to live with.

Bottom content (in my opinion, the most crucial feedback from my depth finder) is much easier to identify with a flasher than a graph. For sure, not a doubt. If you'd like, I can explain how to do it. But, I'm going to let you buy a flasher first.

Will a flasher miss fish in the winter? No. And, it usually will not miss fish in the summer. However, consider the fact you have a 9, 12, or 19 degree cone angle on a flasher. The narrow cone angle increases the accuracy of a readout, but a fish could be 5 feet to your left and you don't see him on the depth finder. Just keep that in mind before declaring an area void of fish.

Agreed, a depth finder is very useful in determining the mood of fish. A flasher does a much better job at aiding in this determination. A flasher can identify small or rapid movements far better than a graph. Not a big deal in open water, a big plus, in my opinion, through the ice. I can theorize answers to questions like, are they stopping short of my bait, are they right on it and not eating it, do I suspect they're eating the bait and I'm just flat out missing the bite (big gills can be light biters).

Axel, from what you have told us thus far, a flasher sounds like a better option for you. You ice fish some, plus for the flasher. You often fish shallow with weeds a factor, plus for the flasher. You often cruise open water looking for possible schools of roamers, flasher or graph work. You are reassured by accurate fish identification, plus for the flasher. What did I miss?

I really think, once you gain experience with a flasher, you will be pleased with your decision. However, like I said it does not make you a 100% better or 50% better, or 10% better fisherman. It is a tool at your disposal. It's up to you to put it to use in improving your abilities.

If you buy a flasher (I'd recommend a MarCum) and can make it to Minnesota, we'll spend a day on the water together. That's a promise.

------------------
Ray Esboldt
MarCum
Stone Legacy

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Thanks for all the help and the invite Ray, but I don't think I can make it. Even though I would like to.

I'm going to see if the LX3 is in that Gander had to get from another store.

With the LX3 is the 20 degree trans. a good all around transducer,or is a narrower cone better? How often do you run into dead spots with your sonar?

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axel,

I would choose the 20 degree cone angle. Should be perfect for the type of fishing you do.

I've never experience dead zones with a flasher.

If Gander can't find a MarCum LX-3 for you, we have some folks here that might be able to work things out for you. Shoot me an email if needed. [email protected]

------------------
Ray Esboldt
MarCum
Stone Legacy

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Gander didn't have it in yet after a week. Some song and dance about store inventory. I may have enough ice again to fish on wed. Maybe it will be in by then.

Thanks for all the responses.

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I did it. I bought the ultimate in fishing video games. A flasher.

A couple of ? in regards to the lx3. I was fishing in 7 1/2" of water using a two spot. I assume it would be tough to pick that up. In order to have my jig register constantly, the gain had to be turned up high enough the screen didn't look like the picture on the box. I had yellow flashes on the 11 o'clock position and many behind the depth. Are there any helpful hints?

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In 7.5 feet I'd say the gain would be set at 2-3 depending on weed density. You should easily distinguish targets at that level. Does this help?

[This message has been edited by wgmsa (edited 01-22-2004).]

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