A friend owns a fishing cabin on the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. He has a nickname for everyone and is one of those guys that brings people together. He’s never more excited than when he has a new boat, a new hunting bow, or a new gadget to show off.
He regularly invites people up to his cabin: friends from the steel mill, friends from high school, and dads of the wrestlers that he coaches. Al had a bunch of us up to the camp over Memorial Day for a bass fishing weekend.
This time he was excited to show off his new Garmin EchoMAP Plus 93sv Fish finder, and I was excited to get a chance to try it out. This is a fishfinder with an 800 foot depth capability and we were in a 250 foot deep river. So we had more than enough capacity.
Since he knows my interest in fishfinders, Al put me in charge of the fishfinding duties for the weekend, so I got a good chance to explore the unit.
Garmin EchoMAP Plus 93sv Technology
The Garmin EchoMAP Plus 93sv comes with a GT52 transducer which is equipped with high and wide traditional CHIRP sonar, CHIRP ClearVu, and CHIRP SideVu technology. The transducer creates a “true” down image that is nearly photographic in quality. The unit is also compatible with the Garmin Panoptix transducer, allowing you to add the incredible Garmin LiveVu all-around viewing experience to your fishing and boating trips.
The traditional CHIRP operates at 150 to 240 kHz with a two-dimensional conical beam at 24° and 16°. The ClearVu down scan and SideVu side-scan emit at 425 to 485 kHz and 790 to 850 kHz using a narrow front to back (1° to 2°) oval-shaped beam that is wide side to side (30° to 50°).
The traditional CHIRP has a depth capability of up to 800 feet, and the ClearVu and SideVu each scan up to 500 feet. For best results from this transducer, we found the company’s recommendation to keep trolling speed under 10 miles per hour to be good advice.
Display and Interface
The best aspect of the EchoMAP Plus 93sv fish finder is that Garmin has brought a touchscreen to this model. While I prefer the much more intuitive touch screen technology, I will admit that sometimes in cold and rainy conditions, touch screen devices are not ideal. However, Garmin addressed that issue by including a keypad to use in those conditions. This keypad assisted touch screen makes the unit usable in all conditions and by people of all preferences.
The nine-inch WQVGA screen has 800h x 400v pixel resolution and an LED backlight. The screen is easily readable in bright sunlight and at sharp angles, which is useful since most fishermen I know rarely remain stationary while they fish.
The display image is high quality and real-time, giving you a clear, photo-like view of structure, cover, and fish. Images of what is next to and below your boat are extremely detailed and the unit provides excellent target separation.
In addition to high-quality fish finder images, the Garmin EchoMAP Plus comes with a variety of navigation features. The unit comes with LakeVu G3 maps which has Navionics content that show more than 17,000 US lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.
LakeVu provides detailed underwater information with up to one foot contours and shading that indicates shallows. The maps also include land features such as boat ramps, roads, marinas, and other points important to a fisherman. You can also upgrade to the LakeVu G3 Ultra or the BlueChart G3 Vision.
The device also comes equipped with the Quickdraw Contours app that not only shows you the depth contours of the lake you are fishing but also allows you to record them. If the available charts are not sufficiently detailed, you can make your own personalized maps with up to one foot contours and upload them to the Garmin Community to share with others. You can also download maps from others since the unit is WiFi compatible
The fish finder also includes SailAssist, which is ideal if your water activities are not limited to fishing. The unit, which is easily transferable between boats, displays lay lines, a wind rose, and other features designed to give you a competitive advantage while racing.
The Garmin EchoMAP Plus Fish Finder comes with a 5Hz built-in GPS receiver that can detect speed and give position fixes five times per second. It also uses WAAS/EGNOS to enhance position readings. You can use the EchoMAP Plus to track waypoints and create and save up to 100 personalized routes. The unit has enough memory to save 50 tracks each with up to 50,000 points.
PROS and CONS
I enjoyed my weekend fishing on the St. Lawrence as well as my experience testing the EchoMAP Plus 93sv fishfinder. It's a solid fish finder and I want to try it out on an upcoming Great Lakes fishing trip.