THE COMBO view from the Lowrance Elite 7…

Yes, I have Structure Scan on my boat, a pretty fun tool that raises my electronic capabilities to the level of almost everybody around me. Well, I have the HD8 on the console (snug between my Nitro gauges) with an HD5 on the bow, not two of those “lap top” versions that you see on TV.

But while I’m hardly suffering from buyer’s remorse (it makes me look cooler than I really am), I saw something else from Lowrance recently that would have been an excellent tool for most of my SoCal lake fishing, and a monstrous upgrade from sonar I had just a few years back. It’s called the Elite-7 Widescreen Fishfinder, but also is available combined with the Chartplotter.

CHART and sonar is pretty much SOP on our lakes…

In other words, you can get up-and-down sonar, Downscan Imaging (that more photo-like image) and GPS capabilities–in a splitscreen format. What’s more, compared to something in the HD 5 price range, you get a 70 percent larger screen. Say what you like, cell phone screens are not getting smaller, they’re getting bigger. Having something on your console, or over your trolling motor shouldn’t require a telescope to read.

Yes, the guy behind the counter says I can’t live without the side view, and of course, without it I could miss some opportunities. But I fish several times a week and there are plenty of days I don’t even use Structure Scan. In truth, it hasn’t been a lot of help in water less than five feet deep (ie, for fence pole dodging) though in the deeper flats of a Lake Perris or Hodges you might miss some targets (without it).

Still, somehow I have muddled along over the years. But for now, if the price between the Mercedes and the Accord matters to you, maybe the best gift you can give yourself is something that sees and maps (and remembers). It can handle all the data cards such as Navionics Gold, Hot Maps Premium and Fishing Hotspots so you won’t get out-mapped by the other guys.

SIDE BY SIDE, sonar and Downscan. (Of course, I’ve yet to find Noah’s Ark on my screen).

Furthermore, it should be noted that all Airmar® transducers used with Lowrance HDS models are also compatible with the Elite-7 Series. But even at the buy-it-all-price, it’s listed $869 for the Elite-7 HDI 50/200 kHz fishfinder/chartplotter model bundled with Navionics Gold cartography.

That’s the good news. The bad news, this baby probably won’t be available until February, 2013. Can you hang in there a couple more months?




3 Responses to “The Elite-7: Is this the gift for you?”

Hmm…I’ve been wanting to update my graphs, and my trolling motor. I’ll have to give this one some thought! Thanks, George!

Well, I ordered one of these on Friday. If I like it, I’ll get one for the bow. Thanks again for the heads up on this unit, George. I’ll get two units for the price of one HDS unit.

by George Kramer

I hope it does what you need, Darlene. And if it helps you get ’em, then we will be waiting to hear some cool fish stories! 🙂