Hummingbird side imaging

Anyone got one or heard of anyone using the new hummingbird side imaging sounders , was thinking of installing one of these on the fish finger aswell as my lowrance color sounder and color chartplotter to give me a better idea whats going on down there and  mainly for offshore work , can get a smaller screen for $1000 and is gps compatible but the bigger unit is $1999 and has same functions , all comments would be welcomed , cheers feral

Tim's picture

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Not Positive

Mon, 2007-12-10 20:10

Not Positive but I think they are only good to 30 mtrs or so after that its just a normal sounder. If thats the case it probably wont suit what your after if offshore is your thing.

They look good for shallow stuff tho.

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i just used mine for the

Sun, 2010-08-08 16:34

i just used mine for the first time with the down imaging upgrade and it is awsome

with more time on it it will be a very powerfull tool on my boat



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Mon, 2007-12-10 20:50

I've heard they are only good for shallow work. not worth the money

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Only that...

Tue, 2007-12-11 06:15

G'Day Feral

I haven't had any personal experience with them. Only thing I can contribute is the general consensus across many forum posts I've read is that they need a LOT of grunt to effect the 'side scan' - hence probably the comment about depth.

Also that, apparently, they aren't that effective at other than very slow speeds, so the technique would be to use your 'normal' scanner first, then slow right down and use the 'side' scanner.


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Tue, 2007-12-11 06:39

running 2 together will most of the time give you false readings and show fish where they aren't, they pick up alot if interferrance from each other, some of the newer one's arent so bad but most will

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So Then

Tue, 2007-12-11 06:48

So then guys, may be a case of running only one unit at a time.


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depth of hummingbird

Tue, 2007-12-11 18:06

apparantly the hummingbird depth ranges are 1000ft for 2d and 240ft for 3d and u can get hi speed transducers

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thanks guys i was thinking

Tue, 2007-12-11 19:33

thanks guys i was thinking about the ghosting from two transducers , had a look at the power outputs awell its going to be a hard choice , im running a lowrance color sounder at the moment and might just fine tune that cheers

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We had one when in Darwin. 

Sun, 2010-08-08 17:11

We had one when in Darwin.  It did pick up a lot of structure to the side of the boat while trolling, but never saw any fish.

We stopped in a creek mouth to do some flicking, and the side image showed a lot of fish (real fish shapes) and we caught a few.

So my experience was not too good whilst moving, but when we stopped where the fish were, they were very distinguishable on the side scan.

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humminbird side skan kiks

Sun, 2010-08-08 17:20

humminbird side skan kiks ass saw it in action on hloks boat and the stuff it show is incredable.

crasny1's picture

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I just got mine

Mon, 2010-08-09 10:49

about 3 months ago, and have found a lot of structure to the side. Mostly use it this way, then check the structure with the Normal sounder. Better low speed but works also with higher speeds. havent realy used it for fish more structure ID.

Love it to try and figure out where you are when you have set the pick but missed the bommy, "ah 10 m that way", because up here in Dampier it can be a bitch to get the current and wind drift right at times correct the first time.



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hlokk's picture

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I thought you would be able

Mon, 2010-08-09 13:47

I thought you would be able to put two transducers on a boat, but only if they're running diff frequencies? I know on the humminbird you can set 83/200 or 83 or 200.

I think as a sounder for a tinny or shallow water they are great. For what I want, its perfect (scan rivers, inshore areas, etc. i doubt i'll fish deeper than 30m anyways). For deeper stuff i'd be inclined to go something like a 585. Just personal preference based on what sounders i've been impressed with on other peoples boats.

I was out on the weekend and was quite impressed with the SI. Still very new to it so still learning how to use (and to place the transducer properly). Wasnt the calmest day out and I had the transducer up too high and at the wrong angle, and the motor leg was slightly in the way for the left scan and the boat was rocking a bit, but still made it really easy to make stuff out.


What I really liked about the unit was just how easy it was to find fish. So i'm motoring along, i see a bombie on the 2d/chart combo view. I press one of the three customisable preset buttons and check the 2d/DI view and the full SI view. Hmmm, that looks good. Now i'm way past it, and i've changed course, but I scroll the cursor to the point I want, press mark. Press one button to get back to chart/2d, turn around, follow same line, going a little slower, alternate between the views. Find one i like (2d or SI), mark the coordinate, set up drift or anchor and bang i'm on the spot. On the SI, i can tell if i should re-drive it off to one side to get the main lump or not too. Also makes it easy to find where the weed/sand dropoffs are (should come in handy whiting/squid fishing)

Quite cool being able to drive along, spot a feature on the SI that i was 30m+ off and didnt see on the 2D, then mark it, and drift over it (without ever actually motoring over it).

Once i get the transducer mounted properly, it should be even better/more accurate (atm, its level, but wrong angle left/right, up/down and too high, so bit of tweaking needed :p)


Heres a few example images from saturday. Remember, i havent fiddled with the settings, the transducer was too high, the motor leg was in the way, and it wasnt that calm. So basically, these are the images if you set up everything wrong, use default settings and dont go out on a good day :p (so, would be better when everythings right). If this is how it performs when badly setup and in average conditions, then i'm pretty impressed :p
I was going about 5-6 knots for the images, but with a properly placed transducer and a calmer day, i probably could go faster. Will need to try it out.


This was me going over a sandy area with isolated weed patches, then moving to full weed. I rotated the image cause its sometimes easier to visualise. E.g. imagine you're underwater away from the boat, the boat puts out a searchlight, what would you see?


Heres going over a reef. I forget if the big bit in the middle was weed or reef, but the cursor is over reef (or perhaps fish). The info is there, but i gotta get better at reading it. Looking at the little 'bombies' (actually weed i think), you can see the shadow giving an idea of how tall they are.

And heres the 2d + down imaging. You can see the reef (or weed?, but pretty sure reef) where the cursor is, plus a school of fish behind it (on both 2d and DI). Theres also a decond patch of fish (i think), not right under the boat, but to the side (at the bottom of the screen).


As you can see, i need a little work reading it (to distinguish between features) but all the info is there.



edit: forgot to mention: One thing thats really awesome: SD cards!

It has a dual slot, so navionics in one, SD in the other. I set it up, so when I press mark, it marks the spot in the gps, but also takes a picture of the screen. I can then chuck it in a computer later, see the points I marked, and also the pics of them.

On the chart screen, if you highlight a mark with an image recorded on it, you can view the image too. So I can scroll over to some marks a few nm away and figure out why i marked it (so could mark the screen when it had 2D/DI or a SI of the area, or the chart). Also, if i set up a drift, then mark it while the screen shows the chart (or chart/2d combo) I can use that later to figure out if the drift is good (e.g. if drifting crossways, i could drift over anywhere on the intersection with ease, not just the point).


Wow, thats a long post, but the unit is pretty awesome, so it deserved it Laughing

crasny1's picture

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You are spot on that its reef

Mon, 2010-08-09 13:59

Solid structures like reef are red and thicker, wereas sand, less dense are thinner and less red. Hlokk I do love mine but dont even use it as techno as I should.



"I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact!!" _ Elon Musk

hlokk's picture

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Weed is the main one i want

Mon, 2010-08-09 14:27

Weed is the main one i want to distinugish, so gotta check a few more weedy areas and compare (easy on the SI/DI though :p). Boat was rocking a bit, so bottom was all up and down when i was over the weed/sand (but not too bad in the above pic).

I love using it all 'techno'. Has so many awesome features, and they've been pretty useful in the limited time i've used it too. Powerful fish finding tool Laughing

damo6230's picture

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humminbird sounder

Tue, 2010-08-10 08:38

I have the 798 unit.

Every sounder has its pro's and con's so best to think about your fishing technique/preferences and apply a sounder to your preference(s).

For me I dont need a sounder for deep water fishing, when I lived south it covered all my fishing preferences from Bream through to /jigging of the Cape. Sure the side imaging only goes 50m wide and 50m deep but it's a lot of energy to send and more importantly a lot of data to process and yeh due to such technology it means the side imaging only works at low speed (<10mph) and still water. Having said that swell was not really an issue but chop was......

But it sure does open up structure and yes fish are easy to find. Best now is the down imaging which was a FREE upgrade for me, and all other humminbird owners as you just log onto their website and load it up onto your unit........all done with little fuss and no $$.

Went down the Victoria River a few weeks back in the Territory and cruised over some Crocs and man they looked good on the side imaging.......and they and any underwater structure just show up so complete. Do yourself a favour and tour the humminbird webiste for photo's.

If you are keen then jump on a  boat and check one out, this changed my mind in a nano second, it was that good. Can claim credit for Hlokk buying his Laughing as he's seen mine in action.

Just brings a whole new level of options to fishing. The units have heaps of menu options and they really are easy to use. 

For my fishing style , particularly chasing Barra then it the only unit to have this end of town.  

Don't knock em till you try em......

hlokk's picture

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Damo can certainly claim

Tue, 2010-08-10 10:17

Damo can certainly claim most of the credit for me wanting to get one Wink

Gotta get that SD snapshot thing working Damo and show us some SI croc pics.

The 50m sideways is actually user customisable in the menu. 50m is the default, you can show up to 150m i think? How well it works out to that distance i'm not sure yet though. I'd also like to try out just how fast i can do and continually tweak the transducer position and hopefully get it going reasonably fast (then maybe just have to slow down for better definition)


As for choppyness, the pics were inside the reef so no swell, but lotsa chop and came out pretty well (even better once i position sounder properly), so i'm not convinced it needs to be calm :p. Might depend a fair bit on the boat though?


One of the big things i like about it is just how easy it is to do the stuff you want. Ping lump, press a single button to pull up a map/2d sounder, drive over, and you're done. Its great for homing in on structure and features. No trying to figure out where the lump woulda been cause you didnt have a gps connected, or missing a lump because its 20m off to the side, or missing a feature you didnt quite run over. Can find the weed/sand patches, or a bombie really easily.



Feral, you're welcome to come out on my tinny and see the sounder in action sometime if you want.

crasny1's picture

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With yo again on that Damo

Tue, 2010-08-10 09:12

It slays the old units I had which where supposed to be the best, but I wanted better and a combo with internal GPS as the external antenna always created problems.

Happy as Larry.

Hlokk why dont you go out with Ryan Thip, in a day you will be a sounder expert.



"I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact!!" _ Elon Musk