Lowrance Tips and Tricks
For those of you that own the newer units there are a lot of hidden features that you can release to help you out while on the water. I own the Lowrance LCX-111C HD unit but almost any Lowrance unit that has Mapping and Sonar can benefit from these.
First of all download the emulators that Lowrance has on there site, I couldn't get the 111 to work on my computer so that's why all the pictures show the LCX -26 unit. You can do almost anything with the emulators that you can do with your unit, so you can play with the unit on your PC before you ever hit the water with it.
For those of you that freak out over the transducer going click, click, click, in the water while anchored down rather than shut down the unit completely you can simply go to full mapping and the sonar is shut off while your in mapping mode.
While your in mapping mode, if you hit the exit button three times real fast a analog speedometer will pop up along with the miles you have traveled, I haven't been able to figure out how to reset the odometer back to zero yet but I'm working on it. The speedometer is fully functional and just looks cool if your out cruising on the water. Now granted my boat is never going to see 100 mph so that also can be changed. I did noticed that the last time I was out on the river that this speedometer had changed on it's own looks like it takes your top speed and then renumbers the ticks on the dial
If you have slots on your unit for cards
go to Best Buy or Staples and purchase a MMC/SD card reader and writer and a 512
MB card I have a Sandisk type unit very small and compact but very powerful, you
don't have to use a Lowrance card reader to be able to read the cards, what you
need to do is first insert the MMC/SD card into the GPS and use
the Browse MMC Files menu. Select the option for MMC/SD card info and choose
Create ID file. This will then place a hidden file on the card that you will
never see call ID.dat. With this ID file created, the memory card can then
be used with a non-Lowrance supplied card reader you can download maps from Lowrance then upload to your unit, or better yet upload it to your emulator then you can add waypoints or routes and change all kinds of things on the map then upload to your unit. You can also share waypoints with friends by sending the chip back in forth in the mail.
I was brought up using a flasher unit the old Green Box Lowrance so I got pretty good at reading one of them, when I'm on the move I like to see what is directly under the boat, the LCD will print it out but not as fast as the flasher.
So this is what you do while in sonar mode once again hit the exit button three times real fast what you can set-up is to have the flasher on one side and the LCD on the other so you really don't miss anything, and red on the flasher means Fish so I like to run the bottom tracker which turns the bottom to the brown color. Very easy to spot a fish on the screen.
Hit the pages button twice and the water temperature will be displayed up in the left hand corner of the flasher.
Just to give you an idea of how accurate this unit is the #1 spot is the rigging area at CJ Brown where I turned the unit on it laid down a trail to the ramp at #2 where I backed the boat down the ramp, #3 is the ramp area, #4 is the retaining wall and you can see where I made a semi circle working around the wall netting Shad, #5 is where I parked at the courtesy dock and then removed the boat from the water and parked in the rigging area. I can download the information off my unit and upload it to the PC which is what appears on the website.
Here's a drift pattern I had on CJ Brown, I started in 15 foot of water and drifted back into 6 foot of water at waypoint 018 is where almost all the fish were being caught at I found out that after I did 2 drifts that I can change the color of the trails so I can see which drift pattern was the best.
Under your screen menu you have an option to go to nightview which makes the screen much easier to see in both mapping and sonar
As far as setting up a Lowrance unit I really think a lot of people get hung up on this arches thing, to mark an arch the fish has to enter pass thru and leave the cone of sound, I look for those half and quarter arches the ones that just maybe on the outside of my sound range with drop-offs and wood. Arches there ok but I'm mainly looking for the larger fish that normally hang near the bottom of the river so they have a tendency to blend in, not anymore with this unit or in fact any Lowrance color unit. My unit is just a big unit compared to the smaller units, the screen is bigger but they all function almost the same. What I put on my site should work for anybody that has a Lowrance color or a monochrome type unit.
I run my chart to the max 100% I want all the information on that screen that I can get, I also run the ping speed to the max again 100% it kicks into Hyperscroll mode which puts out more signals to the bottom, more signals mean more information. The picture above shows the ping speed highlighted just push it to 100%, go up 5 spots highlight the chartspeed and push it to 100%
I like the dropdown menus at first I didn't but then I found out you could make the box transparent so you could still see information behind the box on the screen, the higher percent you go the more transparent the box becomes this is at 78% you can change it too your liking.
So how do you adjust one of these things so you can get the best picture or more bang for the buck, mainly it is your preference, this is what I like on my unit you may not so go and change it to what looks good for you.
I leave my unit on manual sensitivity, but I can put it in auto and change it by highlighting the sensitivity just above the auto and the unit will remember my settings.
Here's at 80% notice there is very little noise on the screen but it is also blocking out a lot of good information hard to tell what the bottom is mud or rock, some of the arches are blended in near the bottom and look like structure. very little information on the screen to help you out.
Now we push it up to 86%, getting a little more information but just not right.
So we push it to 95% and we have a lot better information but we have what is called noise or artifact, the hands are pointing towards the noise, this is just too much information and it clutters up your screen plus it makes it difficult to figure out what is what.
This is what I like to see minimal noise on the screen, the weaker signals or small fish will show up as yellow, the stronger signals or larger fish will show up as red you just have to tune it in each time you get on the water to get the most out of your Lowrance. The colorline is as important too but I'll add that information later.
I have really spent a lot of time on the water with this unit and here are some Basic settings that I have established on my unit.
1. Turn off the Auto sensitivity
2. I run sensitivity at about 85%
3. I run the depth in manual mode and because I target Catfish I will create a window from about 10 foot below the surface to the bottom, it gives me greater detail and better separation of my targets.
4. Colorline I push till I get about a 1/2 inch thick of yellow when I'm in white background mode on the bottom
5. Ping and chart speed are set to 100%
Another good tip that I found on my unit just this past weekend Lowrance defaults to the mapping when you turn on your unit, but there is a way around that, hit menu, menu, system setup, highlight hide GPS, hit enter, now when you restart your unit it will go to the sonar page immediately, after you establish your settings for your unit, I like to manually set mine up each trip on the water, then you can enable the GPS functions but if you want your unit to display the sonar first thing on start-up be sure to hide GPS as the Lowrance will memory retain your settings.........6/27/07...............Doc
This is a good shot of fish hanging all over structured humps on the Ohio River, in the middle you see active fish with the long tails which is called streaking, these fish are on the move, just below them is a very large fish hanging near the bottom, we set up on him but he never moved on a bait, when we left he was gone.
Stacks and stacks of fish on irregular bottom on the Ohio
Double echo method that I like to use, hard bottom will show up on the second echo, but a soft bottom will not along with the fish that is shown on the bottom, but is not present at the second echo, it was a 18# Blue that we pulled using Skipjack.
Good picture of a ledge on the Ohio River, but no fish, the white box is from the depth finder changing depths on me automatically as I'm still learning it, the vertical lines are interference from the Transducer of the Matrix 67 depth finder that I run with the Lowrance.
Good picture of a school of baitfish near the bottom
This sounding was recorded from the Cumberland river, we pulled a couple of dandy 20# Blues
I record every trip I go out on I can record all day long to the hard drive then when I get home I transfer it to a SD card which I upload to my computer and view with Lowrance's sonar viewer, I have a dedicated SD card that I use for nothing but sonar recording on average an 8 hour trip will record about 30 MB of information which takes about an hour to download from the hard drive to the card, what is nice about the sonar viewer is if I forget to punch in a waypoint of an area I can pull the information from the card and input it to the Lowrance. The small box you see in the first picture is an information box, because my logged sonar readings are dated I can go back anytime and look at them on the viewer and if I place the cursor on anything that box pops up and gives me the GPS reading of a piece of structure.
I was asked recently as to how to find out the hours you have on a unit here is how to do it, select Menu/Overlay Data/Enter/Time/Hours Used. If you check the box it will pop up in the upper left corner of your unit, you can select a size making it small or large.
You can put the real important information
on your screen like Depth/Temp/Battery Voltage/Speed on your units in an area
that does not block your screen where the important stuff like fish is just
using your move function, ..............Doc
Have you ever been running on the river and you look down at the screen and you see a great piece of structure on the screen and wish you could have marked it, most of us then turn the boat around and try to find that spot again, next time hit menu once toggle down and highlight stop chart, hit enter, then using your 4 way toggle activates your crosshairs put it on that piece of structure and hit WPT twice and it is now a waypoint and you don't have to search for it just flip to your map and there it is steer to it as long as it is still on the screen you can do this remember the newest information is always on the right side of your screen.............Doc
I hope this has helped you out, check back as I will update this page often