Best Humminbird Fish Finders in 2015

The Best Hummingbird Fish Finders

Are you looking for a quality fish finder? In that case, you’ve come to the right place. In here, I will present the top 5 Humminbird Fish Finders which will take your fishing experience to maximum! Using one of the top-quality, professional Hummingbird fish finders, you will get a hold of a wide range of fishfinding options. You will get crystal-clear imaging, laser-targeted tracking results, even in the murkiest waters, or where the bottom of the sea, lake or river has the most irregularities. With a super tracker like a Humminbird Fish Finder 1199ci HD SI Combo or the Humminbird ONIX10ci SI Combo, fish will literally have no place to hide! So, without wasting anymore of your time, here are the most effective Humminbird Fish Finders out there.

Humminbird Helix 5 SI GPS

Humminbird HELIX 5 SI GPS

 

The Humminbird HELIX series brings a fresh line of fish finders at the beginning of 2015. They all feature a new layout, but the best part about these new units is their price. They all come for substantially lower prices than the HD ones in the 600 series.

This being said, the Humminbird HELIX 5 SI GPS, is the most affordable Side Imaging / Down Imaging fish finder that you can have. That’s why it currently occupies the 1st position in our classification. Although similar in features to the 698ci HD SI Combo, it has a different screen layout, with a pixel matrix of 480V x 800H, which gives much more space to the Side Imaging and Down Imaging views. This allows a better reading and interpretation of the underwater area you’re scanning. The screen is 256 Color TFT, 5-inch in diagonal, with backlight, for easy reading in the dark or in direct sunlight.

The HELIX 5 SI GPS fish finder comes with a standard Transom XNT 9 SI 180 T transducer. Its sonar technology is DualBeam Plus, with SwitchFire, Side Imaging and Down Imaging. It can be operated at 3 frequencies: 200 kHz / 20°, 83 kHz / 60° and 455 kHz for SI and DI. Its power output is 500 Watts (RMS) / 4000 Watts PTP, and has a depth capability of 1500 ft. for 2D views, and 100 ft. for Side Imaging. Does not support 360 Imaging, so if you would like the possibility of such an upgrade, you’ll have to opt for a 999ci HD SI Combo.

The navigational capabilities of this HELIX unit include Precision GPS, and the UniMap cartography pack, which covers the continental U.S. coastline, inland lakes and rivers at 30 meters per pixel resolution. It’s also Navionics Gold / HotMaps capable and Humminbird Mapping capable, so you can opt for one of these upgrades if you’d like. It can hold up to 2,500 waypoints, 45 routes and 50 tracks (20,000 points each).

Other features that you’ll get with this fish finder and chartplotter are: the Selective Fish ID+, Sonar Recording, Screen Snap Shot, Wide/Narrow Cone Split Screen, Upgradable Internal Software, Temperature Alarm, X-Press Menu System, 3D Chart View and many others.


Hummingbird Fish Finders - 698ci HD SI Combo

Humminbird 698ci HD SI Combo

 

A few new series of fish finders were released by Humminbird by the end of 2013, the Onix, ION and 600 series. And regarding the 600 series, it pretty much came to replace the 500 and 700 series which were discontinued.

These being said, one of the best (if not the best) Side Imaging fish finders from Humminbird at the moment, in terms of quality / price ratio, is the Humminbird 698ci HD SI Combo. What makes it so great? Let’s have a look at its features.

First of all, it has a big enough screen for both fish tracking and chartplotting, 5-inch in diagonal, with a pixel resolution of 480 x 640. Evidently, it has a brilliant 256 color TFT display, LCD backlit screen, making all the sonar returns much easier to interpret and understand.

The sonar capabilities of this unit are quite generous. As its name suggests, it has High-Definition Side Imaging and Down Imaging, the two options which take the sonar reading to a superior level, offering a crystal clear view of what’s directly under the boat, and side to side. The depth capability of the 698ci HD SI Combo is 100ft. for SI and DI, and up to 1500ft. for the down beam, traditional sonar view. The unit also features the Fish ID+ view.

This fish finder is equipped with Dual Beam Plus sonar, including SwitchFire. In other words, you will be able to scan the water under your boat in two modes: a 60° / 83 kHz view for a wider coverage, or a 20° / 200 kHz view, with a narrower, but more accurate coverage. Or, you can operate both views simultaneously, in split screen. The frequency of the sonar for SI and DI is 455 kHz with a total coverage of 180°. The power output of this unit is 500 Watts (RMS) and 4000 (PTP). The transducer of the 698ci HD SI Combo is the standard Transom XNT 9 SI 180 T.

Regarding the navigational capabilities of the Humminbird 698ci HD SI Combo, precision GPS, chartplotting and trackplotting are on the list, the unit being capable to store up to 2,500 waypoints, 45 routes and 50/20,000 tracks/points. It has built-in UniMap cartography package, and it’s also upgradable with an SD card for Navionics Gold / HotMaps, or Lakemaster. Unfortunately it does not support 360 Imaging.

In conclusion, the Humminbird 698ci HD SI Combo is number one in our top 5, because it basically has all the navigational and fish finding options required by any angler, recreational or pro, to take their fishing to a superior level, available for quite an excellent price, compared with other Hummingbird fish finders.


Hummingbird Fish Finders - 999ci High Definition Side Imaging Combo

Humminbird 999ci HD SI Combo

humminbird 999ci hd si combo fish finder

The 999ci HD SI Combo is one of the most complete fish finders from Humminbird, with an excellent price / quality ratio. However, it’s only on the 3rd place in this top 5 because it’s price still goes over $1,000. Other than that, it’s a great unit, and here’s what it can do.

The Humminbird 999ci HD SI Combo features an 8-inch diagonal screen, full color LCD, with backlight, and a pixel matrix of 800H x 480V. Its standard sonar covers HD Side Imaging, Down Imaging and Dual Beam Plus, having a standard coverage of 20° / 60° / 180°. Side Imaging and Down Imaging are reliable for depths up to 150 ft., while the standard 2D imaging, goes up to 1,500 ft. The Side Imaging covers a surface of 240 ft. on each side of the boat. Like most fish finders within the 900 series, it can support a QuadraBeam Plus sonar. Also, this unit is 360 Imaging capable.

The standard transducer of the 999ci HD SI Combo is a Transom XHS 9 HDSI 180 T. The standard power output of this unit is 500 Watts RMS / 4000 Watts PTP, but it has up to 1,000 Watts RMS / 8,000 Watts PTP capability, if equipped with a deep water transducer.

The navigational capabilities of this unit include Precision GPS antenna, and the ContourXD cartography pack, which covers over 3,000 U.S. lake maps, featuring depth contour lines of each one of them, so you’ll be able to know exactly how the bottom of your lake looks like. This unit can store up to 2,750 waypoints, 45 routes and 50 tracks (20,000 points each track). Regarding the optional upgrades and improvements that can be brought to this fishfinder, Navionics Platinum, Gold and HotMaps, as well as Lakemaster map package, NMEA2000, Radar2 and iPilotLink.

Other features that you will benefit from with the 999ci HD SI Combo are: Ethernet, Selective Fish ID+, Temperature Graph and Alarm, Sonar Recording, Split Screen Zoom and Snap Shot, Instant Image Update, Triplog, 3D Chart View and many others.


Hummingbird Fish Finders - ONIX10ci SI Combo

Humminbird ONIX10ci SI Combo

Humminbird ONIX10ci Side Imaging Combo Fish Finder

 

The Humminbird ONIX10ci SI Combo is one of the Humminbird models released last year. It features new TouchScreen Multi-Touch technology which, along with a very wide array of other options, places it above most other fish finder models. It is currently the most complete fish finder and navigational tool from Humminbird. The reason it occupies only the 4th position in our classification, is that its price simply doesn’t fit to just any pocket. Other than that, this fish finder and chartplotter is simply an outstanding piece of technology.

It has an outstanding range of sonar capabilities. It offers High Definition Side Imaging and Down Imaging, DualBeam Plus sonar and Digital Signal Processing, with a standard coverage of 20° (200 kHz), 60° (83kHz) for DualBeam Plus standard. Side Imaging beams can be operated at two frequencies: 455 kHz for a coverage of 86° (x2), or 800 kHz for a coverage of 55° (x2) and a much sharper image. Down Imaging can also use two frequencies: 455 kHz / 75°, or 800 kHz / 45°.

Standard mode is reliable for depths up to 1,500 ft, Side Imaging – 150 ft. and Down Imaging – 350 ft. If you opt for a deep water transducer, this unit can increase in power up to 1000 Watts (RMS), and become capable of scanning depths of 5,000 ft. Its standard power is 500 Watts (RMS) / 4,000 Watts (PTP). Also, this unit is 360 Imaging and CHIRP technology capable, but these options are not included.

This unit has a 10.4-inch diagonal screen, backlit, full color, with a pixel resolution of 1024H x 768V. The screen features Cross Touch technology and can be operated via direct touch like most smartphones, which simplifies the navigation through the menus by a lot.

In terms of GPS and navigational capabilities, the ONIX10ci SI Combo also offers a consistent palette of features. GPS Speed, and Precision GPS built in, chartplotting and trackplotting are on the list. The data storage goes up to 3,000 waypoints, 200 routes, and 50 / 20,000 tracks / points. Comes with the built in TriFuel cartography pack – which provides a database of maps from LakeMaster, Navionics and C-Map. There’s also a 3D chart view option included. However, the unit does not come with full Navionics Platinum, Navionics Gold HotMaps or Lakemaster, these being only optional. Last but not least, this unit has NMEA2000, an excellent communications standard option, used to connect marine sensors and display units within ships and boats.

Along with the capabilities of this fish finder presented here, there’s quite a bunch remaining, including: Temperature Graph and Alarm, Selective Fish ID+, Custom View, Digital Readout, Sonar Recording, Freeze Frame, Ethernet and many others.


Hummingbirds Fish Finders - ION 12

Humminbird ION 12

Hummingbird Fish Finder ION 12

 

 

At the moment the ION 12 is the most advanced navigational and fish finding tool provided by Humminbird. The only reason it’s not number one in this top 5, is that its price is quite a little bit high, and many of its features are optional, and you’ll have to pay extra for them. Anyway, let’s see what this fish finder can do.

Maybe the most important feature to be mentioned about the Humminbird ION 12 is the TouchScreen (Cross-Touch) technology, and can easily be operated like a tablet or smartphone, undrestanding commands like tapping or swiping the screen. Needless to say, this adds a lot of ease to its use. The unit comes with a huge, 12.1-inch diagonal screen, with a 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, brilliant color (TFT, 16.7 mm colors), with backlight.

When it comes to it’s sonar capabilities, it’s very important to know that the unit does not come with a sonar module and a transducer. But it can be equipped with an SM1000, SM2000, or SM3000 sonar module and various types of transducers. The ION 12 supports Side Imaging, Down Imaging and 360 Imaging, but they depend on the transducer you equip it with, along with other options such as CHIRP technology, 3D Chart View, Selective Fish ID+, SwitchFire, Real Time Sonar RTS Window. The unit has a power output of 2000 Watts (RMS) / 16000 Watts (PTP).

The ION 12 has a GPS receiver, but other GPS and navigational features, such as trackplotting, chartplotting, GPS speed and precision GPS are all optional as well. It supports all the cartography packages though, so you can equip it with a Lakemaster, Navionics Platinum+, Gold or HotMaps card, or TriFuel Cartography. Its memory can store up to 3,000 waypoints, 50 tracks (20,000 points each) and up to 200 routes, like the majority of the Hummingbird fish finders.

So, basically the Hummingbird ION 12 is just an advanced fish finder head unit, but in order to turn it into an advanced fish finding, radar and navigational tool, you will have to make quite some additions to it.


The Hummingbird Fish Finders presented here are the most complete of each series. They are all indeed elite fish finding tools. They all come with various System Network options like CannonLink, but only the 800,900, 1100, ONIX and ION series are Ethernet compatible.

Ethernet is a connectivity solution to other Humminbird units, allowing your to share waypoints, routes, tracks, GPS position and even Sonar information. However, you won’t be able to get SI Sonar information on a Humminbird unit that’s not compatible with SI.

All in all these are all top-shelf Hummingbird fish finders and which will maximize your fishing experience. They all have 1 year warranty. As far as it concerns me, I don’t think you’ll ever regret of purchasing any of the Hummingbird Fish Finders reviewed here.

Humminbird Fish Finder PiranhaMax 197c DI Review

PiranhaMax 197c DI

PiranhaMax 197c DI

If you’re looking for the cheapest color fish finder with Down Imaging technology, the PiranhaMax 197c DI from Humminbird, IS IT! Believe it or not, this small unit excels in performance, and is one of the best choices that you can make in terms of fish finders for a small boat or kayak.

The unit has a small screen, 3.5-inch in diagonal, with a pixel resolution of 320V X 240H, full color and backlit. It comes with two types of sonar: Dual Beam and Down Imaging. The Dual Beam sonar can operate at two frequencies: 200 kHz, with a beam of 28°, and 455 kHz with a narrower, 16° beam, for more accurate results. The Down Imaging sonar only has one frequency: 455 kHz, and its coverage is 74°.

Even though it’s a small unit, it has a depth capability of 320 feet for Down Imaging, and 600 ft. for broadband Dual Beam. This is more than enough for fishing on canals, lakes and rivers, or in general, on in-land waters.

The unit comes with the Down Imaging transducer, XNT 9 DI T, which is transom type. In case you would like a through hull one, or a transducer for trolling, you can ask for a free replacement, though. The standard transducer also has temperature sensor built in. However, the unit does not support temperature alarm or temperature graph, but it does indicate water temperature.

There is no split screen function. You can only observe one sonar return at the time. But since it has Down Imaging, you will probably be using that all the time, since it’s capable of detecting much more fish than broadband sonar. The unit also has the Selective FishID+ function, which uses a different type of sonar processing, indicating fish with a fish symbol, if the sonar return meets a specific range of requirements.

The PiranhaMax 197c DI does not have any navigational features. In case you would like a more affordable fish finder with GPS and mapping, the HELIX 5 DI GPS might be a better choice for you.

Humminbird Fish Finder HELIX 5 SONAR GPS PT Review

Humminbird HELIX 5 Sonar GPS PT

The HELIX 5 Sonar GPS PT is one of the newest portable fish finders from Humminbird, for 2015. Although it does not support Side Imaging or Down Imaging, it’s still an excellent unit to have, as it offers other advantages. For example, it makes a great choice for a kayak angler, or in case you have to rent a boat.

The specs are similar to the HELIX 5 SI GPS, only without the SI. This unit has a 5-inch diagonal display, with an 800H X 480V pixel matrix, TFT 256 colors. The screen is LED backlit, which offers superior readability during bright, sunny weather, or during night time fishing sessions.

In terms of sonar capabilities, this unit comes with DualBeam Plus sonar, with SwitchFire. In other words, you will benefit from two sonar frequencies, 200 kHz, with a coverage of 20° for a more focused and detailed view, and 83 kHz, with a coverage of 60°, for a broader view. SwitchFire mode allows a better control of the sonar returns display.

The standard transducer it comes with is the XPT 9 20 T. Its depth capability goes up to 1,500 ft., while its power output is 500 Watts (RMS).

The GPS and chartplotting specifications are the same for the entire Humminbird HELIX series. Therefore, this model comes with internal Precision GPS, and the UniMap mapping package. It can store up to 2,500 waypoints, 45 routes, and 50 tracks (20,000 points each). This model also supports Navionics Gold and HotMaps, and LakeMaster charts, upgrade which can be done via an additional SD card. This model features only on SD card slot.

Last but not least, since it’s a portable model, you’ll also get a soft-sided carrying case and a 7 Amp Hour AGM Battery and charger.

Humminbird Fish Finder HELIX 5 DI GPS Review

Humminbird HELIX 5 DI GPS

If you’re looking for the most affordable and the most performant fish finder with Down Imaging, the HELIX 5 DI GPS has got to be IT. It’s one of the brand new units released by Humminbird for 2015, and has just about all the features of the 688ci HD DI Combo, only it’s less expensive. Let’s see what it can do.

First of all, it has a 5-inch diagonal display, just like the fish finders in the 600 series. However, the pixel matrix has a different layout, which gives you a better view of the sonar readings and maps. It has a LED backlit, 256 Color TFT screen, with a pixel resolution of 480V x 800H.

The sonar capabilities of this Humminbird HELIX unit include Down Imaging and DualBeam Plus sonar. The DI sonar can offer crystal clear views at depths up to 350 ft., which makes it a great choice for down dropping with various jigs, or when looking for bottom feeding fish. It allows you to select from two sonar beams, 75° / 455 kHz for a wider but less accurate view, or 45° / 800 kHz for a sharper image. The DualBeam Plus sonar, offers traditional sonar views, with a depth capability of 600 ft., and also two sonar beams: 28° / 200 kHz and 16° / 455 kHz. Although various sites list that the depth capability of the traditional sonar of this fish finder is up 1500 ft., that is not correct. As I mentioned here, it’s 350 ft. for Down Imaging and 600 ft. for DualBeam Plus, traditional imaging.

This unit has a power out put of 500 Watts RMS (4000 Watts PTP), and comes with a standard Transom Transducer, XNT 9 DI T.

The GPS and chartplotting capabilities of the Humminbird HELIX 5 DI GPS, include internal Speed GPS, and the UniMap cartography pack. However, the unit features micro SD card slot for various other mapping packs, such as Navionics Gold or Humminbird Mapping. Does not support Navionics Platinum or C-Map 4D. The unit can store up to 2500 waypoints, 45 routes and 50 tracks (20,000 points each).

Other features worth to be mentioned, regarding this HELIX fish finder and chartplotter, are the Selective Fish ID+, Water Temperature Alarm, Snap Shot and Freeze Frame function, Sonar Recording, and quite a few others.

5 Best Lures For Spring Bass

The best bass fishing is and will always be done with artificial baits. But when it comes to lures for bass, there are so many choices to make. Even more, largemouth bass fishing during spring calls for a few specific lures. Therefore, if you want to have excellent results on spring bass, the following lures shouldn’t be missing from your tacklebox.

1. Straight and curly tail plastic worms. The plastic worm is one of the essential lures for bass. They come in many shapes, sizes and colors, and even though they don’t particularly resemble any of the typical aquatic life forms that bass feed on, these plastics are hardly turned down by bass. Some of the best choices to go with during spring are Yamamoto Pro Senko Straight Tail Worms, Zoom Bait Curly Tail Worms, or Berkley Gulp! Turtle Back Worms. Colors should be dictated by the water conditions. In general, it’s best to opt for natural, or darker colors, such as black or brown, which make the worm resemble a small eel or a leech. On the other hand if the water is murky, it’s best to opt for lighter and brighter colors, such as white, chartreuse, yellow, orange or red, as they catch the eye of predatory fish much better. The best sizes to go with for spring fishing are between 5 and 7 inches. But as the water gets warmer, longer worms, up to 12 inches become more productive. The best hooks for these worms are Gamakatsu EWGs 5/0. Also, depending on the structure of the bottom, the use of a Carolina rig, just to keep the worm a bit above the bottom might be a great improvement.

Plastic Worms for Spring Bass

2. Plastic lizards. These are pretty much similar to the curly tailed plastic worms, but sometimes can be superior to those, for some reason. One of the most productive plastic lizards that has brought me some of the best results so far is the Trigger X Lizard, 6-inch Dark Green. Have tried other colors, but this particular one (at least in clear water) seems to top them all.

Plastic Lizards for Spring Bass

3. Soft plastic frogs. Although these aren’t exactly my cup o’ tea, they are very productive lures as well for spring bass fishing. Stanley SRF or Big Bite Rojas Fighting Frogs are some of the best.

Plastic Frogs for Largemouth Bass

4. Spinners. Spinner baits are in general less favorite among anglers because they are typically snaggy, especially when fishing in waters with a lot of vegetation. Plus, these lures are highly effective in clear water, and also when it’s sunny, as light makes them glimmer, resulting in a very attractive presentation. During cloudy weather and muddy waters, their effect is considerably reduced. But since during winter some of the vegetation dies, spring waters become less snaggy, therefore, spinners become and excellent choice for mid-water or close to bottom fishing, especially in clear water conditions. Beetlespins and Mepps spinners are excellent choices for spring bass.

Spinners for Spring Largemouth Bass

5. Crankbaits. These are great for medium depth fishing. For grassy beds, the fast diving Lucky Crafts in a silver-blue hue are excellent, along with Rat-L-Traps, just to tick the top edge of the grass. For wood covers, Luhr-Jensen Speed Traps are maybe the most appropriate choice, while for gravel and rock bottoms, Strike King Shads in silver or white work best.

Crankbaits for Spring Largemouth Bass

Now, these lures are some of the most basic choices for spring bass fishing. But as you can see, most of them are for mid water and bottom fishing. You can, of course, get excellent results with topwater lures such as poppers, walking baits, or propellers. Some of the best choices in this case would be floating minnows, Rebel Pop-R’s or Heddon Zara Spooks. However, you’ll only get satisfying results as water temperature rises over 60°F (15°C), and in calm weather conditions. Bass are still sluggish in spring, and as topwater feeding requires a lot of energy which they’re still trying to conserve. Therefore, you should get better results with other than topwater lures.

Humminbird Fish Finder PiranhaMax 197c Portable Review

Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c Portable Fish Finder

PiranhaMax 197c PT

Portable fish finders are great for kayak fishing, small boats, or simply “to have” in case you’re not going to use your own boat. Humminbird offers quite a few models of portable fish finders, but one of the most basic and affordable ones is the PiranhaMax 197c Portable.

It’s a standalone fish finder, and focuses only on basic sonar features, without any GPS, charts or any other navigational features. However, for a rather small unit, its depth capability is actually not bad. This unit is capable of scanning waters up to 600 ft. deep. It offers Dual Beam sonar, meaning that it can be operated at two frequencies: 200 kHz and 455 kHz, with a coverage of 28° and respectively 16°. Since it’s a small unit, it doesn’t offer any split screen functions.

Although it does not have a wide array of sonar functions like the units of the Humminbird 900 series for example, the 197c PiranhaMax portable does include the Selective FishID+ function. This is a great sonar function for anglers who aren’t very familiar with sonar returns. SelectiveFish ID+ interprets the sonar returns slightly differently. If a specific return is considered a fish, by meeting a set of paramaters, it will be marked on screen with a fish symbol, bigger or smaller, depending on its size. There’s also a fish alarm which notifies you when you pass over a fish.

The fish finder is not too big, a little smaller than your average smartphone actually, with a 3.5-inch diagonal display, 256 color TFT, backlit, with a pixel matrix of 320V X 240H. The box includes the transducer, which is actually an XPT 9 28 T model, portable type, with a suction cup as mounting system, which is actually quite convenient as you don’t have to drill any holes into the hull of your boat. The transducer has a temperature sensor built in, which enables the unit to also indicate water temperature.

Last but not least, the package also includes a 12v battery for the fish finder, a 110v -> 12V battery charger, and the soft portable case. All in all it’s a great, basic fish finder unit, that gets the job done, which comes for an excellent price.

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