For many recreational fisherman, $1,000 dollars for a fish finder, is a very significant amount of money. If you want to make sure you purchase a fish finder that performs at high levels and gives you a professional approach, these fish finders will give you a great deal at $1,000 or less.
Coming in around $700, the Garmin GPSMap 531 offers a quality sonar with GPS and thousands of lake and river charts. Garmin is a popular brand with good customer service and a reputation of quality products.
- 5″ QVGA display
- Internal GPS antenna
- 3,200 watts peak-to-peak power reaching depths of 900 ft.
- Dual-beam transducer 80kHz/45°, 200kHz/14°
- AutoGain for enhanced target visibility
This finder comes with the basic GPS/sonar capabilites you might expect. It also has a 3D option for map viewing. This fish finder is primarily for freshwater fisherman and can help you decipher strong versus weak ‘marks’ in the sonar. This will help you find the fish of your size that you are looking for. The GPS gives very accurate returns to help you navigate your waters, getting you on the fishing hot spots.
$800-$900 – Furuno FCV620
Furuno is an established brand with fisherman all over the world. The FCV620 lists under the $1,000 dollar mark, coming in around $900. The deep water capabilites of this powerful sonar makes it a favorite for fisherman fishing in deep water scenarios.
- 5.6″ color LCD display
- Waterproof construction
- User-programmable analog and digital navigation data
- Dual-frequency 50/200kHz transducer
- Hands-free adjusts of gain, STC and output power
- Eight range scales to 2,500 ft.
- 600-watt output power
The FCV620 has many great features including, but not limited to: audio/visual alarms for depth, fish, and temperature. You can select an automatic cruising or fishing mode, as well as an automatic function for detecting fish and bottom. The white line feature also helps display fish that are lying near bottom. Arguably the best feature of this fish finder is it’s ability to filter out noise and clearly show you returns on the sonar.
For an in depth look at all of the features of the Lowrance HDS-5, click here. Below you will see some of the main features the HDS-5 provides. This is a fish finder that gives great options and top quality sonar and mapping capabilities. With the addition of the LSS StructureScan module, you can add imaging to this fish finder.
- 5″ display with different color palettes
- Broadband sounder with different transducer frequencies available
- SideScan, DownScan, StructureScan additions available
- GPS, lake maps available
- Optional extensions for Radar, Sirius Radio, Engine Gauges, networking between HDS units
The Lowrance HDS-5 is the smallest of the HDS fish finder products provided by Lowrance. Even though it is the smallest screen size, it delivers the same quality sonar and mapping capabilities. This is a great unit to get into the world of fish finder imaging to explore the water below. Many professional fisherman use this unit on their boats and use it with great success. You can find the HDS-5 under $1,000, but to add on the imaging options, you will need to spend a few more bucks on the transducer needed.
You can find an extensive review of features for the Humminbird 798c on Sonarfish.com here. But I would like to share with you some of the main features so you can compare them next to the other fish finders included on this page.
- 5”, 640×640 pixel, 256-color TFT screen
- Sonar Coverage: 20/60/180 degrees
- Peak-to-peak power output: 4,000 watts
- Depth: 1500 2 Dimensional, 480’ Side Imaging width, 150? Side Imaging depth
- Navionics & Lakemaster compatible
- High-definition Side Imaging and Down Imaging
- SwitchFire downlooking sonar
- 50-channel external GPS+WAAS with chartplotting
- Dual SD Card Slot
- Video-out and Ethernet port on back of unit head – allow for future expandability
You can find the Humminbird 798c around $1,000 at most fishing retail outlets. For this price, you will be able to utilize the power of Side and Down Imaging to give you an actual image of the water below you and what lies beneath. Use the imaging to pick out fish laying in structure, or find that new crib you never knew about. The GPS and lake map capabilities will help to make sure you are navigating and fishing at the depths you want to be at. You will no longer have issues of finding mid-lake structure where the big fish often lay.
These fish finders are a step above ‘middle of the road’. You can expect quality equipment that will perform at high levels to help you locate fish and navigate your waters with confidence. If you are interested in larger screen sizes, you will need to look into your wallet for a few more bucks, but these fish finders give you everything you will need at around $1,000 and under. If you are a few years away from stepping up to these fish finders, click here for recommendations on some recommended fish finders under $200.