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benharty81
member (6)member
 
06/01/2020 06:26PM
Hello everyone -

I am new to this site and have checked a few posts about fish finders, but a lot of them seem to revolve around personal canoes that can be modified.

I am going to be going through an outfitter for my FIRST trip to the BWCA and will be using ALL of their equipment. That being said, I am reading that most people bring a depth finder for electronics with them.

Is there a depth finder that would work that doesn't need to be mounted and I would have to worry about sending overboard?

Also - if anyone has recommendations on any other gear of my own that I should get before I leave, it would be greatly appreciated.

Like I said, first time for me so I know nothing. I hope I don't get myself hurt (or the girlfriend).

Thanks everyone!
 
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thegildedgopher
distinguished member(657)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/01/2020 07:31PM
Have you asked your outfitter what they recommend? You are surely not the first person who has wanted to use a fish finder in one of their rental canoes.

I think your best bet is going to be a "flasher bag" type of thing that's usually thought of for ice fishing. For example, search the Garmin Striker 4 portable bundle -- that comes in a kit with the bag and mount. The bag itself has a flat bottom so it can just sit in your canoe between your legs by your feet. I know that Lowrance and Humminbird make bags and bundles like that as well, but be careful not to buy the bundle that comes with the ice fishing transducer.

Also do some searching here on how to mount the transducer for "through-hull" operation in a canoe. This avoids mounting to the boat with brackets, etc. You could also do a suction-cup arm mount for the transducer, but I find this to be cheaper, less "in the way" and fully functional. Bear with me, this will get a little long, but it's the best way I've found:

How to create a hockey puck-shaped doohickey out of several layers of closed cell foam that have been glued together.

1. Cut a bunch several pieces of closed-cell foam (if you have an unwanted PFD these are perfect donors for the foam) into the same sized circle and stack them up.

2. Then set the ducer on the top of the stack and trace its outline. Now take an exacto knife and cut out the shape of the ducer out of each piece, creating a little hollow-ed out nook for the ducer.

3. Next, glue the separate pieces of foam into a single "puck" -- make it at least 1/4 to 1/2 as tall as the transducer itself.

4. Now's the tricky part -- you need to find an easily removable, safe, water-proof sealant/adhesive/putty that you can use to affix your puck to the floor at the stern of the rental canoe. It needs to be able to hold some water in the little "hollow" for the ducer. It doesn't need to be perfect, you can always splash a bit more in later, but it does need to be able to hold water reasonably well. It also needs to be able to be removed without damaging the rental.

5. Once the hollow is filled with water, you just squeeze the transducer into the hollow in the foam and you're set. Your ducer is now immersed in water, sitting flat, and will securely stay in that position.

 
06/01/2020 07:55PM
You can bring something like this. It works on Winonas and Souris Rivers. Add a suction cup transducer mount and you are set.
 
benharty81
member (6)member
 
06/01/2020 09:09PM
It DOES seem a bit complicated but i think i get the idea. So - this is being glued to the bottom of the hull (just the ducer) with some easily removable glue to be taken off later. And that little puck is filled with water then then ducer is placed into the puck?
 
benharty81
member (6)member
 
06/01/2020 09:12PM
WABLES: Where do you put the ducer?
 
schweady
distinguished member(6906)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
06/01/2020 09:20PM
Keep it simple. Set the unit on the floor of the canoe or devise a simple way to clamp it to a thwart, like Warbles did. The transducer can sit in a puddle of water in the bottom of the canoe and shoot through the hull, even without bothering with any fancy build-ups. just set it forward, toward the bow, to display what's ahead rather than right below you. If you're looking to fish on multiple lakes and transport over portages while set up, well, then that's a different story.
 
06/01/2020 09:28PM
benharty81: "WABLES: Where do you put the ducer? " I glue mine in with silicone and shoot through the hull, but I’ve also used a suction cup mount on the side of the canoe.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(657)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/01/2020 09:36PM
While I do subscribe to the KISS method typically, I was unable to get my ducer to stay seated upright without something to sit it into. That was just my experience, so I tried the foam puck and it worked great! Took about 15 mins to complete.

And yes, benharty81, it sounds like you understand the setup I was describing. Create foam puck with hollow space for ducer, adhere puck to boat floor, add water to hollow and squeeze ducer into the hollow.

Also glue might not be the best option. Maybe an all weather double sided tape would work as well?
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(2306)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/01/2020 10:05PM
If you think you need one, go ahead. But I don't think I'd agree with saying "most people take one" on a trip. I know a ton of people that don't and do just fine.
 
Aries
member (28)member
 
06/02/2020 11:01AM
I'm a big fan of the Marcum Showdown Troller 2.0, it doesn't need to be mounted and can read through the bottom of most canoes and kayaks, or you can just set the transducer in the water next to you. I use mine in my kayak going down the river and in canoes/boats up north without having to mount anything.
 
Aries
member (28)member
 
06/02/2020 11:06AM
Opps, I forgot the best part it runs quite a long time using 6 AA batteries and can also be ran off a 12V battery just like a normal Marcum or Vexilar flasher.
 
thistlekicker
distinguished member (360)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/02/2020 11:34AM
cyclones30: "If you think you need one, go ahead. But I don't think I'd agree with saying "most people take one" on a trip. I know a ton of people that don't and do just fine. "

This.

If it's your first trip I don't think a sonar unit is essential UNLESS you are convinced you need it and are committed to using it.

Print a bathymetric map off the DNR Lake Finder (even though they're not totally accurate) and try to figure things out on your own. Sometimes you can use satellite imagery (Google Earth) to look for reefs, drop-offs, inside turns, etc that might not be indicated on the bathymetric maps. Depends on the quality of the imagery, water clarity, etc.

Also your outfitter can probably suggest some specific locations to target.

 
06/02/2020 11:47AM
thistlekicker: "cyclones30: "If you think you need one, go ahead. But I don't think I'd agree with saying "most people take one" on a trip. I know a ton of people that don't and do just fine. "


This.


If it's your first trip I don't think a sonar unit is essential UNLESS you are convinced you need it and are committed to using it.


Print a bathymetric map off the DNR Lake Finder (even though they're not totally accurate) and try to figure things out on your own. Sometimes you can use satellite imagery (Google Earth) to look for reefs, drop-offs, inside turns, etc that might not be indicated on the bathymetric maps. Depends on the quality of the imagery, water clarity, etc.


Also your outfitter can probably suggest some specific locations to target.


"


Or buy the Navionics app for your phone.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(657)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/02/2020 12:57PM
Of course no technology is necessary. You can catch a mess of fish without one, you can spend thousands on electronics and still get skunked. But for the average angler, sonar can be a game changer. maps and phone apps can put you on or near good structure but they can't show you if fish are using that structure. The biggest thing my sonar does is eliminate dead sections of a lake and tells me "it's time to move, you're wasting your time here"-- which is incredibly valuable.

If you don't have electronics, then definitely dig into the maps and mark a series of spots that you want to try. Create a route. Work through those spots methodically, don't stay in a non-productive location for more than 30 minutes. And always troll between spots. Great search tactic. When you get a hit trolling, hey you have a new spot to add to your route.
 
benharty81
member (6)member
 
06/02/2020 08:00PM
Thanks for all the info everyone!

I am not even sure i will get one - but i do want to fish while i'm there; thats our purpose for going. And getting away from our kids. I may just get the maps and guess on depths. I really seldom use my finder on my boat but then again its a dinky boat with a Lawrance Hook 4.

I do have Navionics which i use alot with my boat. A question though, how do you keep that phone charged while you're out? A really big power bank?

i'll definitely check with the outfitter and see what they think.

Thanks again everyone; i have more questions but i'll keep searching for previous posts before i ask.
 
06/02/2020 09:51PM
Your phone will last for days on airplane mode. You can buy a small power bank for around $15 that will charge you 5-6 times. On a 9 day trip I rarely charge more than once.
 
lundojam
distinguished member(2498)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/03/2020 07:41AM

I mount a unit on a clamp like the one pictured and run it on 8 AA batteries. Suction cup for the ducer. (can't shoot thru hull on a royalex boat) For 80 bucks or so and a half hour in modifications you are good to go.
I'm tellin' ya folks, this clamp idea is terrific.
 
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