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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The budget is beginning to loosen up a little around here and a boat is in my near future. Looking at many of the newer generation fish finders and WOW... Tons of pretty incredible features.

The one that looks like it will fit the budget is the Lowrance HDS 5 (Gen 2). Found a few used ones for around 400-450. Anyone have one of these? Like it? Worth the money? Recommend?

I'll be using my current Lowrance as my real-time grapher, but would LOVE to have that navigation system and plotter on the HDS... Would be pretty wicked with all the big waters around here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks fellas. Seems like the 5 is within the budget... But when you jump to the larger screens like the 7-9-10-12 units the price doubles a couple times. :)

The fellas on the TN forum who have HDS units all tell me to save up and get the larger screen unit. 5" does seem a bit small if you're splitting the screen in 3 or even 4 to utilize all the features, but its bigger than my x67c which works in split screen mode just fine while cruising on a Jon boat.

I'll have to shop carefully and spend wisely. I don't want to get something I'll be unhappy with. The HDS 12 "Touch" is like the Mercedes... I can afford a used Honda. LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
True. I'm looking at a boat right now. Guy from the forum is selling it.

17' Aluminum, 40 HP Johnson, newly tuned up, trailer, 2 live wells, 2 main seats, two deck seats, a foot-controlled bow mounted trolling motor, and he said he would throw in a skimmer transducer for my Lowrance ice unit. No electronics, but a good solid boat. $900.

I'm inclined to take the deal. The seller is a very active contributor, solid guy... Upgraded to a bigger boat last year.

Seems like a good deal to me. It's not a pretty boat... but it looks to be a work horse. What you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looking at the options available to me, it looks like the Elite 7-HDI is probably going to be the better option. Not as feature-rich, no side scan and no touch screen, but it has Insight lake mapper and intuitive waypoint control, a down scan feature, and a very nice 2D sonar on a 7 inch screen. The 7" HDI is less money than the 5" HDS model.

Seems like this would be a better unit for what I need... The GPS with Insight is the main feature I want, and while sidescan would be nice, a larger screen at lower cost is probably a better choice for me personally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
LOL! You'd be most welcome here. Bring my boat and I'll take you out to all the boat waypoints I've been researching. People out here are fairly free with their GPS cords... Just have to be hyper-observant on YouTube videos and such. I've seen guys catching big fish from boats out of casting range and I've printed out maps of the area and marked the locations.

Bring me that boat, Tony. :)

If he would take 2,500 for it, I would somehow find $2,500. Might have to beg borrow and steal, but I would find it. :)

And it doesn't have to be a delivery. Any time you want to cone out here, you've got a spot to stay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
These are all from Watts Bar Lake and the surrounding river system. Top two are from the point at Kingston City Park, the last two are right off the Concord boat dock at Ft. Loudon. These are members of the Tennessee fishing forum.














 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks fellas. Yea-- it is a nice boat. Not pretty, not flashy... But 17' is alot of boat. And I had mixed up two boats I was looking at. This boat has no live well, but I plan on making one out of an over-sized "5-day" Coleman cooler. Small water pump and a PVC pipe with holes drilled in it to aerate the water. Mainly it will be for bait...

Anyway, the boat seems like a good investment and one I can work on and even re-paint this winter if I get bored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I sent two of my buddies from work out to my spot in Kingston.... the spot I can't get to from shore. Not enough room for 4 on the boat, and I wanted to fish with my son, so they went out there and did pretty well. Here are a couple pix.

My buddy Rick:




Other buddy William:



They'd never been to this spot before... It's the one I'd been researching and caught turtles at. Just couldn't get the rods out far enough. Gave Rick a marked map and he went and caught some fish yesterday. *******. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Exact same location. F***, I even suggested the baits to use. They were fishing the sandbar that rolls up by the main channel. I saw it while researching, couldn't get my rods out far enough.

As to the other places I have found, slow controlled suspended drift is going to be crucial... The open water flats and the shelf dropoffs around the Clinch and Tennessee Rivers are mostly only accessible by boat because of the limited shore access.

I know where the fish are---they're not hard to pattern. I just don't have the means to access them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Another thing... With colder water temps, I should be able to get to the big cats as they move to shallower tributaries that feed the main big waters. There are a couple creeks that feed the big river I can get to from the bank.
 
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