If you are into fishing, particularly tournament fishing, you know the value of having the best equipment on hand to give you an edge over all the other anglers out there who are targeting the same fish species. Although lots of thought and expense is give (and rightly so) to rod and reel combinations, line weight, bait, lures, rigs, etc., one of the best ways to optimise your fishing success is by using a fishfinder. You can use either a dedicated fish finder device or a product that combines fish locating functionality with chartplotting GPS+WAAS technology. There are plenty of brands and models to choose from, but in my opinion you can’t go past an Eagle fishfinder.
There are a few reasons for this. But the biggest one is that Eagle (or EagelNav, as the company is properly called) starting off developing fish finding sonars, whereas other leading brands basically just added fish location as an afterthought to their marine navigation electronic devices. Anglers appreciate the attention to detail that has become a trademark of Eagle units. Basically, no matter which model you buy, you can be assured that it will perform tirelessly and will probably exceed your expectations so long as you select the best model for your fishing needs.
Eagle has a full range of products but is not over-crowded, making the task of choosing a unit that matches your requirements pretty simple. If you require portability, then go for the CUDA or FishEasy range and there you can choose between color and monochrome displays depending on your taste and budget. These portable models are perfect for fishing kayaks, canoes, bass boats, etc. or indeed in any small craft where you need something compact to fit into the cockpit. The other great advantage of these models is that they don’t need to be wired – they have their own power source so can be placed anywhere or even moved around the vessel at any time. These models can be used at depths up to 600 ft, so are adequate for lakes, rivers, estuaries and shallow bays.
For those with larger boats, you will probably want to go with a full-size fishfinder and have it permanently wired and mounted in your cockpit. Eagle has you covered here as well! Their stand-alone full-size fish finder range includes the FishMark and SeaFinder lines, which again give you a basic choice between color and monochrome displays. The difference between the two product lines is that the SeaFinder models are designed to work in deeper waters, and therefore have a dual-frequency sonar – one frequency for shallow depths and another for deeper depths (up to 800 ft).
While dedicated fish finder units are great if you either don’t need or already have a GPS chartplotter, a great way to save money is, if you need both, to grab a fishfinder that has a built-in GPS chartplotter. Luckily for those who are looking for such a product, the Eagle GPS fishfinder models are perfect! Again, there are two main product lines to choose from; the FishElite and the SeaCharter. The FishElite rage consists of two color and one monochrome product, with one of the color units having a built-in GPS+WAAS antenna. The other two models have external GPS+WAAS antenna. The SeaCharter line consists of only one product – a color unit with internal GPS+WAAS antenna. Again, the difference between the FishElite and SeaCharter is that the latter has dual-frequency sonar to work in deeper waters (up to 1500 ft). For small craft users, the CUDA 350 S/MAP is a compact sonar/mapping GPS unit suitable for depths up to 600 ft, but doesn’t have the ability to export mapping data.
Features common to all Eagle fishfinder units include a sunlight-viewable display, technology for locating fish even when concealed, ability to target fish by species, completely sealed and waterproof, and streamlined transducer. All in all, buying an Eagle fishfinder or Eagle GPS fishfinder is one of the best decisions you could make to improve your catches.