Posted by Steele
If you need a budget, side imaging unit with good GPS this should be your choice. The mapping that comes with the unit is much better than Navionics or Lakemaster and comes included in the price. The installation is easy, doesn’t require huge 1inch holes that other brands do. The screen is super sharp and can be adjusted to any lighting conditions. I’ve had many fishfinders over the years, this one is by far the best.
Posted by Charles Carson
Just recently installed the Garmin 73sv and I’m very pleased so far. Still discovering a lot of very good features. The Bristol, Tenn Bass pro shop has also been very helpful where I purchased the unit. I now have the 73sv at the console & a echo 500 on the bow. Locates the walleyes & small mouths better than my previous units. Great job Garmin!
Posted by Derrick Freeman
I have just bought and installed a 73sv on my Tracker Boat. It works great in my opinion. The maps are good and the DV/SV are better than the compitition in this price range. Not to mention that you get the maps with the unit and don’t HAVE to buy a separate $150+ mapping card. This unit works great on plane as well in speeds of 30mph+. (My boat tops at 33mph gps speed). So for the money I would say this is the best all around unit on the market right now. And if you want to add the panoptic option… Well then your above the compitition with the live feed it produces. Garmin definitely did their homework with this plotter.
Posted by Bevo81
I upgraded to the Garmin EchoMap 75SV from the Lowrance Elite 7 HDI and couldn’t be happier. I am running it on an aluminium 4.75m centre console with a 4 Stroke 50hp. The 60L fuel tank gives me a range of about 160km on a good day. Most of my fishing is done in North Queensland within and on the Great Barrier Reef between 4m and 30m of water although on the odd occasion when the weather permits I can fish up to 60m of water.
To start with the traditional 2D CHIRP sonar exceeds all expectations, I am getting much better separation than before. I also mounted the transducer with a very slight angle forward, in doing this I am picking up structure on the plane.
The downscan I have played around with and find it pretty much on par if not slightly better, I think this could be due to better screen on the Garmin unit.
Now the side scan, this is the first side scan unit that I have owned and I am absolutely blown away.
I launch the Boat in a the Ross River and can clearly see a picture of the bottom with changes from mud to sand to rocky outcrops and ledges.
Currently it is closed season on Barramundi but I have seen them hanging out in gutters and along the edges of mangroves. I cannot wait for the season to open.
After launching in the river I head out through the Cleveland Bay and check the shipping pylons for Mackerel and baitfish. The side scan in this situation is absolute gold, I can distinguish at a glance if a pylon in holding bait and Mackerel also where exactly where to drop a lure.
Once I have bagged a couple of Doggie Mackerel for the chew I head out past Magnetic Island and into an area known as the Maggie Shoals. This area is very large and comprises of a sandy/silt to muddy bottom with isolated patches of rock rubble and the odd elusive Wonky Hole. The depth of this rubble ranges from about 15m to 30m with a relatively gentle gradient.
Sidescan is proving very successful in this area picking up isolated rocky rubble which almost always holds fish. Once I find the rubble I will mark it directly from the side scan image then go for a second pass keeping a close eye on the CHIRP (high) and Downscan (800Khz) I do not claim to be an expert on sonar but I have found using the higher frequencies I seem to get a better idea of the actual size of the fish below and can determine if it is worth dropping a line or carry on to the next patch.
Now for all of you guys outside of Queensland Australia you probably glanced over Wonky Hole, now to us locals a Wonky Hole is like the Holy Grail of fishing. The scientific term is subterranean groundwater discharge, basically it is an ancient creek bed covered by silt and sea where fresh groundwater pushes up. They can close up during the dry season and appear after the wet. They can be as small as 2m across and can also spew a ring or rocks and rubble out around the edges. Now these holes are very hard to find and hold a massive amount of fish including Nannigai and Red Emperor. Using the side scan on 455kHz I have managed to confirm that 2 of my previous marks are in fact Wonky Holes, the side imaging gives me a much clearer picture of what is going on down there. Also after studying nautical charts extensively I have picked out locations to where I think there could be ancient riverbed hitting limestone barriers and marked these areas to conduct a grid search with a friend of mine with a Garmin EchoMap 94SV to cover twice the area.
After being able to see a Wonky Hole on the seafloor and the capability to scan a larger area in a single pass I am pretty dam excited to go out and find more of these holes, just need a decent wet season then some calm weather.
Sorry for the long review but I find it helps what conditions people are fishing and what they are targeting when deciding on what unit will suit.
One more note, to transfer marks from Lowrance to Garmin was no problem, I used a free program called Easy GPS which only took a couple of minutes to install, figure out how to use it and convert the files. Once converted I opened with Garmin Homeport and saved them to the Micro SD Card.
Posted by Jerry Chan
I was impressed that the side imaging sometimes works even better than the down-view in the choppy waters of Honk Kong. I love the 73sv. The rough waters here are usually not good for side view, but the Garmin works pretty well up to a 40-foot depth. I can use both side and down views in comparison to get a clear idea of any structures below the surface – and any fish, too. When driving my boat I find that the GPS and Seamap work really well together, so I get accurate waypoints for my routes. This gives me a huge sense of comfort I didn’t have before. So many fish finders in Hong Kong seem like a gamble as to what will really be in the box, but Garmin is better than that.
Posted by Derek Hudson
My only complaint about the Garmin EchoMap CHIRP 75sv is the accuracy of the GPS and LakeVu maps. Not sure if the source of the problem is the Garmin unit itself or the LakeVu mapping but the positioning shown on the map is off by a couple hundred feet laterally. If I’m hugging the shoreline while trolling, the track line will indicate that we are either out in the middle of the lake or hiking through the woods. This renders both the GPS capability and mapping utterly useless. I’m hoping to find a fix. My unit was purchased new in May and has up-to-date operating software.
Posted by Jay Spry
I purchased my 73sv 9 months ago, installed it on my boat, and it was a game changer. First of all, out of the box it did a good job, but after a season using and learning it, I can now get bottom and structure images that duplicate the clarity of the demo mode. The side vu allows you to cover much more water than before, spending less time searching and more time fishing. The auto screen brightness feature allows you to see the screen in bright sunlight, overcast conditions, or at night, with almost equal clarity. My Garmin replaced an older competitor’s unit which I moved to the bow. I’m now planning to purchase another Garmin echoMap to replace it at the bow as well. I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to up their game!
Posted by John Pickles
The 73sv is fine. The maps are not. I didn’t expect the built-in maps to be particularly detailed and they are not. I purchased the Garmin detailed fishing maps for south east Louisiana expecting that to provide the detail I need. The map provided was at least 10 years old and I believe it was at close to 20 years old. The marsh in my area changes with major hurricanes and open water is appearing where solid marsh was a few years ago. Given today’s satellite imaging, I don’t think it is too difficult to update maps far more often than it appears Garmin does. I can’t find compatible maps that will work with Garmin. Should have researched more before purchasing this unit.
Posted by Ken ME
I Just bought my first Garmin a echomap 73sv a month ago after being a long time user of Lowrance products with nothing but problems. All I can say is I should’ve switched a long time ago, the Garmin is so much better in every way. So long Lowrance, you have got my last dollar!