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Question: Many Standard Fish Finder Features

I'm considering a fairly top of the line fish finder/GPS unit for my bass boat. I currently have a Humminbird side shooting unit for my trolling motor and am looking for a unit to tell me speed, water temp, and record waypoints.

I understand color is easier to see and price is not really an object except I can't see spending more than
800 or 900 bucks for a fishfinder so that is my top limit.
I would prefer not to mount a transducer on the transom, thru hull only. I have a Nitro NX882 with a
150hp mercury on it.
I was looking at a just an arrow Humminbird Matrix 97 or a just an arrowHumminbird 700 series but am open to suggestions.
Tom N

Hi Tom,
Here is some information you may or may not know.
Humminbird Matrix 97 GPS Humminbird has an exclusive Service Policy (free of charge one year and extendable)

200/83 Dual beam sonar 60 degree. Pretty well standard for most high end fish finder GPS devices.

Sonar capabilities are affected by boat speed, wave action, bottom hardness, water conditions and the transducer location. (Standard for fish finders).

You will also lose the reading if the water is too deep, meaning you will have to go back and reset it.
If the transducer is out of the water (planing). Going to fast (more than 70 mph) and if you have cavitation, (air bubbles caused by turbulence) all related to transducer location.

There are lots of options for the Matrix 97, such as Quadra Beam transducers and WideSide Sonar so if you want to improve on what you purchase, plan to spend some money.
You will need Quadra Beam for Side Beam View and Wideside View.

Humminbird ships their fish finder/gps with a standard transom mount transducer (equipped with water temp sensor) which you can exchange for a puck style for the difference in price.

Supports only Navionics Gold Charts and Hotmaps 2004 Gold charts
Installed MMC slot (multi media card). Unimap does not contain Port, Tide or Current info
(optional purchase MMC cards)

PC connect cable is an additional purchase used for updating the software.

The whole point is that if you want to do any further upgrades outside of out of the box installation it is going to cost you money and lots of it. My advice is to focus your attention on exactly what you want to be able to accomplish.

  • Some features are not customizable in certain views.
    (Split/Sonar Zoom View: water temp and voltage are unavailable)
  • Some features can only be set in Manual mode
  • Make sure your boat engine is regulated or the head will shut down at high speeds.
  • Remember as your boat planes it changes the angle of the transducer so you will get and inaccurate reading. Hull thickness may affect it and if the bond between the hull and transducer is not airtight may cause signal loss problems.
  • Low battery voltage and electrical noise can also cause problems.

Overall Rating:

  • Depth: Excellent, Power: Good
  • Coverage: Good
  • Target Separation: Good
  • LCD: Fair (bigger screen would be nice)
  • GPS: Good (pretty standard)
  • Service: Good

Make sure you have someone else drive the boat while you get the feel for your new toy. There are a lot of features to get use to and your attention needs to be on the fish finder.