I hit the Willamette on Sunday in my kayak with my new depthfinder (HB 597ci HD DI Combo). I had hurriedly installed it the night before. Everything seemed to be working fine. When I got to the river I hooked up the power to make sure it was still OK. Nothing. After about a half hour of sitting on the shore jiggling the wires I finally was able to get repeatable power. I will need to re-solder one of the connections
So I finally head out and start fishing for bass while watching the beautiful display. I am quite impressed with the screen and the detail. However since I was moving along and casting I did not have an opportunity to play with the sonar. However, I was planning on splitting the day between bass and sturgeon so I could monkey with the sonar while I was anchored up. I fished for bass from 9:30 to 1:00 and caught 6 smallmouths. The two biggest were 15" twins, the others not so monstrous
Around 1:00 or so I pull up on shore to swap my bass rods for my sturgeon rod. I headed back out, just chomping at the bit to get a peak at some of the sturgeon areas where I have been doing well. All of a sudden my sonar starts giving bizarre readings for depth (like one foot deep). I later traced the problem to the fact that the little well I made to hold the transducer inside my hull had a developed a leak (probably did it when I pulled onto shore) and the water in the well had all leaked out. However at the moment I thought the finder had a problem. Thus, I went sturgeon fishing "blind" and deeply disappointed. I fished for a couple of hours, had a few bites, but did not hook anything (mostly sitting on the river rebooting my sonar again and again and not watching my rod). When I got to shore to leave I discovered the leaking well. I put some water in it and pulled my kayak out into a couple of feet of water and all was fine for the minute or so the well was full.
Thus, overall I had a frustrating day even though I did catch some bass. It was not the intro trip with the new sonar I was hoping for. I can not wait until I can get out again to give it a proper maiden voyage. However, overall I would have to say the my preliminary opinion of the unit is extremely positive - my opinion of my rush job installation is very negative While bass fishing the down imaging gave nice pics of the boulders and rocks I was fishing around. I used the split screen sonar/down imaging most of the time. It was cool to be able go forward or back one view to have a full screen sonar or DI view to zoom into details. The GPS feature looks good and seems to work but I did not test out its accuracy. I will give the unit a much better tire kicking next time out and write up a better report.
Overall I would recommend the unit, but not recommend that I install it If anyone has any questions on the unit feel free to ask them here or PM me.
Fish tremble when they hear my name
A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are built for.
--John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic, 1928