Factors to Consider Before Buying Fishfinder GPS Combo


Today it is getting crowded out on the lakes today. People are enjoying the water more and more. The water teams with jet skis, speedboats, and other watercraft. They edge out the angler with noise and crowding. This means you have to strike out into new venues. You need to go to places where you can fish in peace. However, where do you go? That is where a fishfinder GPS combo comes into play. It can navigate you to new waters. It then finds the fish that lurk beneath. You are now equipped fish any body of water. They are your new domain. Know where the fish that are worth catching are. Today, we are going to look at the factors to consider before buying fishfinder GPS combo. 

Once you finish reading this article. You will have a better handle on the subject. You will know where to start looking. Most importantly, it is what to start looking for. Fishing is all about the challenge, catching that big fish or something for dinner. However, it is also about excitement and fun.

Understanding your Needs

The first thing you have to decide is your fishing needs and goals. If your weekend angler or newbie. You may need a basic unit that has a GPS to help you find your way around on the water. Getting a display screen that is large enough so that you can look at, and understand easily. It all must be easy to use and show the fish too.

A veteran fisherman who has spent years fishing has different needs. You are a person that fishes throughout most of the fishing season. You may want to go with a more advanced unit. One that includes chart packs that show the various waters and venues. Places where you intend to drop your line.

For the Pro, whose livelihood depends on beating the competition you will want to go with the best technology on the market today. However, this can run into the thousands of dollars. This is usually out of the reach of the average fisherman.

Fishfinding Processes

Use the GPS to get where you want to go. The charts show you likely locations. Next set waypoints that lead you there. Once there you use the fishfinder and search for the fish. Once you find what you want you drop a hook and see what bites. In order for you to find fish and navigate successfully. You need to learn the controls and options of your particular Fishfinder GPS combo. Learn how to vary the depth and zoom. Look at the unprocessed sound converted into pixels for your eyes. You will start to recognize a fish on your screen. What you are looking for is a return or spike. This in the parlance of fish finders is the arch.

Not every arch is a fish. It may be a floating object or a change in the temperature. Water layers form with different temperatures. The sound beam will reflect off these layers. Once you have identified a potential fish. Then you can zoom in locate the depth and sink your line to try your luck.

Benefits of Fish Finder GPS Combos

You can get to where the fish are following charts and maps and set waypoints that help you navigate around obstacles. The fishfinder itself allows you to identify schools of fish and the particular ones that you are looking for. This saves you a great deal of time wasting and lets you focus on the sport itself.

GPS Navigation: Getting to the exact spot where the fish are biting and be able to navigate and unfamiliar piece of water are two of the main features of a fishfinder GPS combo. The GPS features often include waypoints and digital charts all combined together to help you choose your course, pick your spots, and get There unerringly.

Saving Waypoints: Along with the GPS and charting capabilities, the ability to save a particularly successful run and be able to duplicate following day is one of the great features is merely have to press the save option and the particular outing is stored.

Thermal Images: Some of the midrange Fishfinder GPS combos also sport thermal imaging. This helps you differentiate thermal layers in the water. Fish can hide beneath them. It also helps identify whether what you are looking at is a fish or a submerged stump.

Depth Finder Feature: Being able to tell the water depth under your keel is a very important navigational aid. Current weather conditions on the water move sand, which can create sandbars. Charts do not always show them. You can also choose the areas where the fish along contours and at varying depths.

Charting Packages for Fish Finders

There are various charting packages available. Some are proprietary. Navionics, Humminbird’s LakeMaster, Unimap as well as others provide the charts on SD cards. With a complete set of the maps of the water around the area, you can fish and navigate easily. The chart packs contain geographical area selections.

Course charting

Using waypoints and the GPS combined with the charts. You are able to navigate even in low visibility conditions and at night. This allows you to night fish as well.

Tips for Choosing the Best Fishfinder GPS Combo

Getting the best fishfinder means, you have to look for certain features:

  • A large screen that is easy to read
  • CHIRP pulse technology gets you better depth and resolution
  • Multiple beam capabilities that help differentiate fish from inanimate objects
  • Buy only from a brand you trust
  • Quality built-in GPS
  • SD card to add and save your information
  • The ability to set waypoints
  • Depth Finder option

Factors to Consider before Buying

Factors to Consider

Screen Size: Anything fewer than 5 inches is difficult to read especially on a moving boat. Lower-cost units are not worth the price if you cannot make out what is on the screen. So go with the biggest screen you can afford and you will get more enjoyment and use.

Screen Resolution: You want a minimum 640x480 resolution and of course the more the better.

Depth finder feature: As mentioned earlier having a depth finder is a plus and can let you navigate safely and help you find where the fish are hiding. Locating layers are one of the features that depth finders do very well.Tips for Using a Fishfinder GPS Combo

Contour lines: Use the depth finder along with your charts to follow the contour lines beneath you. That helps you locate fish feeding grounds and places where they congregate.

Zooming: The zoom feature let you narrow in on a particular depth when you see an object that strikes your interest. If your fishfinder has a multibeam transducer, you can have a 3D picture of what is down there. The zoom lets you focus the sonar energy and identify things better. Fish or submerged objects stand out clearly

Wrecks: Mapping wrecks and marking them on your charts is a way to find places where fish hide and lurk. Many chart packages include wrecks. Depending on the depth, they lie. However, you may want to avoid these areas. Use your waypoints to navigate around them.

Save locations: If you have a successful day, the fish are biting. Make sure you save the waypoints and the locations where you got the biggest catch. Saving the info lets you try your luck again on another day.

Portability, size, and weight

This all depends of course on the size of your fishing boat the larger the boat the larger the fishfinder GPS combo you can carry. However, most units are lightweight and fit comfortably even on a kayak or a small inflatable bass boat with a trolling motor, you might have to be creative with the battery, however.

Repair and Maintenance: Check the reviews and make sure you buy a brand that has a reputable service record of accomplishment. Conversely, check out your local sporting goods store and see if they offer repair services.

Which Unit Should You Buy?

This can also be one of the most difficult things to do when trying to find a fishfinder and GPS combo. There are large numbers of manufacturers on the market. The number is growing with every year. However, sticking with the brand name is always your best bet. Humminbird, Lowrance, and Garmin are three you should start with.

This writer prefers the Helix 5 system as it includes all the features in this article. Garmin’s Stryker 7 rates as the best by many magazines and anglers. However, recently they violated intellectual property rights and face lawsuits. This might dampen your spirit on purchasing one.

Which Is the Best fishfinder GPS Brand?

As we mentioned earlier most of the reviewers pick the Stryker 7. However, for features, versatility, and economics the Humminbird Company and the Helix 5 series cover an angler’s needs. Most can afford one easily.

A few last things to keep in mind

Remember what you have learned and you cannot go wrong:

  • Brand
  • Screen Size
  • Features
  • Zoom
  • Depth Finder
  • GPS
  • Chart Packs
  • Waypoints
  • Offline storage
  • Ease of operation


These have been the factors to consider before buying fishfinder GPS combo. You are now ready to go out, pick the right one, and get it at a price that your better half will like as well.

You bring home fish for the dinner table and have something to mount on the wall. You will get around better and go right to where the fish are and know how far down they are. These are all win-wins and let you enjoy your fishing more and have excitement and more fun.

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