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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got it all mounted up and headed to the lake. Mounted the transducer a hair deep and have to raise that - throws a roostertail but reads fine at my top speed - mid 40's. First pass with the side finder was in a river 28 ft deep - saw plenty of structure but it did not really show up like it did on down imaging at that depth. The river bottom went from 28 ft deep to zero feet deep in the stretch of about 5 feet. Didn't really show the definition I had dreamed about. Down imaging showed much more detail. Even lowered the SI distance down to 50 feet and selected one side of the boat - towards the river bank - and even when I went by a downed tree laying in the water - didn't show detail I was expecting. Moved to a creek channel about 12 feet deep and discrimination was much better - could see logs and stumps etc on the bottom. Regular sonar worked very well in all applications. DI better in the 28 ft water than sonar. SI pretty decent in the 12 ft and less water. Problem is, there is so much cover where I am at - sloughs and creek channels in Millwood - that finding cover is not a problem - even with your eyes. Never saw a thing I was sure was a fish.

Now, let me qualify this statement - this is my first time in the water with it and I know next to nothing about it. There is cover EVERYWHERE down here - I am not so much looking for cover as I was fish. At this point - I am a hair disappointed - but I also realize I have a large learning curve. I could see it working great in a lake like Ouachita, Hamilton etc - where there was not cover EVERYWHERE. I have a long way to go - will probably update this thread in another couple of weeks after I have a little more time under my belt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
And chart speed
I am not near about to give up. I need to get somewhere there aren't 20 cypress trees within 25 feet of the boat and coontail growing everywhere - somewhere there isn't structure in every cubic yard of the water column.

Impressed with the sonar and down imaging. Just not sure the side imaging will be an asset most of the time. Not necessarily looking for cover - I can see cover with the naked eye - just need to know if fish are on some of the 20 pieces of cover within casting distance of the boat that I can see with my naked eye.
 

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I can't figure mine out really either. But I've not done enough. I wish I could afford the new CHIRP units, especially the touch screen ones. Cost what a good used car does.
 

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I use down imaging on mine the most. I'm not too savvy with mine yet either, but the only time I use side imaging is to find brush and rock piles. I've found it works better on a flat. I can't get mine to show fish either really
 

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Swampcat, I am in the same boat as you as far as being new. I've learned to play with the SI Enhance while actually motoring around. Adjusting sensitivity and contract. Chart speed is a big factor. I couldn't see jack with the blue, so I put it on the orange/yellow, and turned contrast up and could really tell a difference. It's going to be one of those trial and error type deals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One trip is not enough,Took me six months going 3 to 4 times a week to master the DI.Now i can tell you whether there is a fish or not in that tree top!
Oh no, I ain't giving up. I actually expected these results. I knew there was going to be a learning curve. I just have to get in somewhere there is more water than cover - instead of the other way around. The DI is going to be great - just not sure about he SI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One of the main places I thought I was going to use SI was in a river, looking for crappie around sunken treetops. This river is 28 ft deep in the middle. It is 28 ft twenty ft from the bank. Then it comes up quickly to dry land so you always have a back wall behind what you are side imaging. Would be the same as on a 28 ft deep lake with a vertical bluff dropping into the water. If you made a pass forty feet out from that vertical bluff in 28 ft of water - will SI show you what you want to see? It did show much better detail when I got up in ten or twelve ft of water - probably in an area similar to a lot of lake Conway - cypress and cover everywhere. Has anyone used theirs in a lake like Conway. Not so much looking for cover as I am fish with the side imaging.
 

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Couple things for what it's worth;

First, even if you don't find yourself totally satisfied with the SI the DI alone makes the unit with it. I actually use the DI far more than the SI on mine now.

Try setting the chart speed to 1 number above your boat speed. 3 MPH = 4 chart speed. Also make sure you are looking at least 4× as far out as the water is deep.

Just play with it and have fun, don't get overwhelmed with all the features. I crappie fish 3-4 days a week year round and I still don't know or even need to know how to do everything with it.
 

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Just got a helix7 all worked great but in down in mag it's got lines running through screen from surface to 20 feet in 40 feet of water not sure the prob can't see anything in the lines
 
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