If you’re purchasing a fish finder, it’s probably worth investing in a decent GPS device at the same time. There are some really amazing fish finders on the market that include GPS and chartplotting functionality. Some GPS units just show your position on a detailed map but some Garmin models can also help you plot a route.
The good news is that the more you explore the sea, the more stuff you find. The disadvantage of this is that it combines chartplotting functions with fish locating.
One disadvantage is that if you’re only reliant on one unit for fish finding and chartplotting, you don’t have any redundancy. You’ll be without a chartplotter and a fish finder until you can fix everything if the device breaks down.
That being said, don’t expect these devices to last a lifetime. I’ve seen units that have been in use for over five years – so your money is safe.
Here are a few of our favorite fish finder gps combinations:
Garmin echoMAP 73dv
The Garmin echoMap 73dv is a dependable and powerful fish finder/GPS unit. You’ll get dual SONAR, which you can watch side-by-side. DownVu technology from Garmin will allow you to view a photograph of up to 750 feet in fresh water.
The Garmin GPS is the finest on the market, and the echoMAP 73dv is no exception. It updates its location every second and shows you where you are on highly detailed LakeVu HD maps. These maps feature data for 17,000 US lakes, reservoirs, and water bodies with over 6,000 of them having contour details accurate to just one foot deep near the coast, as well as road signs and markers for significant roads, marinas, and safety information.
You may also enhance the EchoMap’s chartplotting abilities by adding BlueChart g2 maps, which will cost you $19.95 for a lifetime license.
Raymarine Dragonfly 7 Sonar GPS
The Raymarine Dragonfly 7 is on the top 10 list because of its big 7-inch display, strong CHIRP SONAR, and compatibility with Navionics+. Garmin can’t compete in the charts market; only Navionics beats it. The charts from the US version of the Dragonfly include Hawaii, the Bahamas, Canada’s 2XG coast, all of the Great Lakes, as well as 18,000 US Inland Lakes. Most of these bodies have contour data up to 14 feet deep!
The GPS receiver has 50 channels for a more precise reading and quick detection of satellites, allowing you to view your position swiftly.
The Dragonfly is also simple to operate, with a user-friendly menu system and SONAR returns that are crystal clear – and it only uses one transducer to display regular SONAR as well as high-resolution DownVision SONAR.
Lowrance Elite-7 Gold
The Lowrance Elite-7 Gold is a fantastic fish finder for the money. You receive a traditional SONAR/DownScan SONAR fishfinder as well as a chartplotter with Navionics Gold maps preinstalled. The Navionics Gold maps contain over 3,000 lakes and rivers as well as coastal contours up to 1000 feet in length. If the Navionics maps aren’t sufficient, you can add more chartplotting capabilities to your boat using the SD card reader – there are a variety of additional mapping software available, such as Lake Insight and Nautic Insight HD and Pro cartography, as well as Navionics HotMaps Premium, Fishing Hotspots® PRO, and Jeppesen C-Map Max-N charts.
The most outstanding feature of Lowrance is its Insight Genesis program. You may overlay your SONAR data onto charts and produce your own custom charts with SONAR readings, allowing you to plan the structure of any lake or water body one day and just concentrate on fishing and going to targeted locations the next.
Humminbird 959ci HD DI
The Humminbird 959ci HD DI boasts a stunning 8-inch, sunlight-readable display. The huge screen allows you to clearly see SONAR returns, and if you want to view SONAR and maps side by side, the displays will be big enough for you to easily comprehend.
Even though the 959ci HD D features a side-scanning SONAR, it has both traditional and high-resolution Down Imaging SONAR. This fishfinder/chartplotter will display a near 3D image of the bottom and structure for you. It also includes ethernet connection capabilities so you can connect additional modules and receivers to your boat as well.
Humminbird ContourXD charts, which are highly detailed, contoured charts of over 3,000 US lakes, are included with this unit. The main benefit of these contoured maps is that they allow you to quickly find drops and channels where many species of fish hang out. Then it’s just a question of traveling there, viewing SONAR returns, and casting.