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Just a follow on from Andy's post on side imagining (don't seem able to post comments on his post). There is a heap of things you are missing out on in regards to that topic, some might greatly influence the way people purchase transducers for range and fish finding capabilities. Andy only mentions the 455-800 but there are also 1200 and 260 frequencies that are far more capable in both fish finding and structure finding, with the 260 scanning right out to 200m each side with good results on structure finding.

After buying a Garmin 8410 simply because of the far higher res screen in comparison to my last 12 hds carbon Lowrance, which I was initially quite disappointed with. I watched all the Garmin free online seminars but still felt I was not getting the most out of this unit. I came across an online course and decided to to take a gamble and pay the coin to see if I couldn't fast track the knowledge base to getting more from my sounder and especially the sidescan side of things. 

The course had a fathers day special and my wife bought me the online training. I found it very worthwhile and can reference back over any parts at any time. The training is broken into modules and any response to questions has been very prompt. I looked at it in a couple of ways, firstly getting value out of the expensive electronics on my boat. Second fisheless trips still cost money, so being able to use the electronics to their best to find fish should soon offset the cost of the course.

Anyway here's the link, part one might actually be free https://www.fishsmarter.com.au/courses/sounder-skills-1/

I found it worthwhile and its saved lots of wasted hours experimenting with settings, hours that I can now spend searching down my target species. I fast tracked and problem solved initial and now have an increased confidence on the water. From memory there are around 40 modules.

Edited by JDP
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Thanks Jon. That post on side-scan imaging was a first attempt at an Article. Comments should be enabled but I'll double-check.

It's also intended to be a simple intro to how to get the best out of side-scan kit, not the last word in configuring high-end gear. Less is more, right.

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1 hour ago, Andy135 said:

Thanks Jon. That post on side-scan imaging was a first attempt at an Article. Comments should be enabled but I'll double-check.

It's also intended to be a simple intro to how to get the best out of side-scan kit, not the last word in configuring high-end gear. Less is more, right.

Yes no worries Andy, I did realise that. Brightness and contrast are key tools with side imaging and the 260khz is amazing even when I'm in water over 100m deep, the downside is that frequency is not great at detailing fish. The 1200khz on the 54 allows you to actually see exactly what species of fish are to your sides but doesn't have great range. You can end up with several transducers if you cover different depths. Ive seen a few people fall into the trap of buying the wrong transducers because they are part of a package deal, especially your side of the pond. Since my recent move over to the 260 it's like fishing new virgin ground, Im literally finding incredible amounts of new reef I didn't know existed.

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34 minutes ago, JDP said:

Yes no worries Andy, I did realise that. Brightness and contrast are key tools with side imaging and the 260khz is amazing even when I'm in water over 100m deep, the downside is that frequency is not great at detailing fish. The 1200khz on the 54 allows you to actually see exactly what species of fish are to your sides but doesn't have great range. You can end up with several transducers if you cover different depths. Ive seen a few people fall into the trap of buying the wrong transducers because they are part of a package deal, especially your side of the pond. Since my recent move over to the 260 it's like fishing new virgin ground, Im literally finding incredible amounts of new reef I didn't know existed.

Fancy making a post on that? 👍

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2 hours ago, Andy135 said:

Fancy making a post on that? 👍

Maybe when I next get a calm day to grab a few screen shots from deep water. I don't have the GT54 455 x 1200 ultra high as I don't tend to hit the sallow water that much but I do have the Gt51 260 X 455 and a Panoptix transducer. I am finding the 8410 screen pretty small and need to really watch the screen closely. The wide scan is more for finding structure that I then pinpoint and check out using the traditional sonar. 

In the past I would go out to all my old marks one by one searching for fish, most of these marks soon got poached and overfished. Now I search areas where I hadn't fished before which involves lots of slow scanning at around 4kt. On one recent trip I discovered a yacht of around 14m in 45m of water, which may be a vessel we were searching for with marine rescue 6 months ago.

Another find was of a wreck called the Lady Darling which had been buried under sand for quite a few years, which I recently found is partly exposed again. This wreck has an interesting history, which Im trying to find if the 7,600 oz of gold was still onboard!! https://www.michaelmcfadyenscuba.info/viewpage.php?page_id=95

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10 hours ago, JDP said:

I don't have the GT54 455 x 1200 ultra high as I don't tend to hit the sallow water that much but I do have the Gt51 260 X 455 and a Panoptix transducer.

Damn, I posted this just now, but it went AWOL, so lets try again .............

For those with Garmin gear you can select the transducer frequency with ................... From the sonar screen >Menu > Frequency, It will only show which frequencies are supported by your transducer .............

Looking at structure is great, but often you will need to select a frequency that is a balance between structure and fish detail ........ CHIRP was invented for that very reason, but CHIRP can often make the screen cluttered as the gain is increased, which is why selecting a dedicated frequency can give better results.

However, like Jon, I also like to select a suitable frequency for what I want to see, which is why I have 2 transducers and 2 plotters ........... often I will have one set for structure detail and another set for fish detail ...........

Also with Garmin ........... to dump the screen as a bitmap image to the SD card, then tap and hold the Home button for 6 seconds ..................

Edited by GPSguru
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@JDP, how do you find the Panoptix ducer? Given that the US Lake fishing market tends to dominate product direction for the recreational sonar manufacturers I wonder how it works in the deeper waters we all fish in i.e. greater than your average lake depth. Does it offer better fish-finding ability? Would you say it's a game changer for you?

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On 11/6/2020 at 8:47 PM, Andy135 said:

@JDP, how do you find the Panoptix ducer? Given that the US Lake fishing market tends to dominate product direction for the recreational sonar manufacturers I wonder how it works in the deeper waters we all fish in i.e. greater than your average lake depth. Does it offer better fish-finding ability? Would you say it's a game changer for you?

Heres a little saltwater video from Bay marine who ran the panoptic's and sidescan in some deeper water, the same transducers Im using. Depth and width in metres, where the 260khz shows really good bottom but at the the loss of fish finding simply because of the great range. The 1120 kHz on one of Garmins other transducers shows very good fish detail but not so good in terms of range. 

I used Lowrance for about 20 years but found reliability and capabilities in deep water lagging well behind Garmin, hence the move.

The video that follows this shows the low power 600w gt51 clearly showing good returns in 400m+. Ive seen 1kw transducers showing clear bottom in 1500m. 

 

Edited by JDP
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