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Old 03-17-2012, 08:28 AM   #1
Fishinbuck
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Default Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

For a year now I have had a Lowrance HDS-7 depth finder. I am fishing when on the water, and haven't taken the time to really read the manual and try the options.

When fishing the Willamette and Columbia can you help me with some of your preferred settings?

Fishing Mode---Shallow water(less than 100 feet) or slow trolling?
Sensitivity Level?
Range?
Split screen?
Split with zoom?
Split with bottom lock?
Ping speed?
Palette Color?
Fish ID Symbols on or off?
Depth LIne on or off?

Note the categories are pretty much the same for their other models..

Thank you very much.


Last edited by Fishinbuck; 03-17-2012 at 08:30 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Fishing Mode---Shallow water(less than 100 feet) or slow trolling?

shallow

Sensitivity Level?

Auto if you're lazy, otherwise get where you're fishing and dial it up until you see too much snow.

Range?

I auto that. Unless I only care about the bottom (Walleye or Sturgeon) then I do bottom lock

Split screen?

Depends on if you want to have GPS on there as well, I do, so I split.

Split with zoom?
Split with bottom lock?

Splitting with GPS doesn't change whether I zoom or bottom lock. I think whether you want to do these things depends on how well you can see without doing them.

Ping speed?

Fastest

Palette Color?

Never messed with it.

Fish ID Symbols on or off?

OFF! Learn to read the marks yourself rather than rely on the unit to try to figure it out for you.

Depth LIne on or off?

Up to you. I think I leave it off.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

The manual covers the options and how to setup well, good place to start.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

I just spent some time tweaking my own lowrance, it's a different model with the same settings

Fishing Mode---Shallow water(less than 100 feet) or slow trolling?
The HD in the HDS7 means the addition of an 83kHz "sideband." The theoretical 120 degree coverage will be more precise at the full ping speed in our waters using the shallow water mode (slow troll reduces your ping speed 50%). Based on the changes to ping speed it leads me to believe slow troll mode was designed for slow trolling in debris filled or murky conditions as the reduced ping speed will minimize signal interference

Sensitivity Level?
The best setting is "auto" but you can still adjust sensitivity within "auto" mode... to some degree. I didn't adjust mine

Range?
This is essentially a zoom feature. The default setting is an autoadjusted display based on your depth, if you set a range it will only display that range regardless of your depth. This is useful if you're fishing suspended and want to see only that targeted window or if you're anchored... for trolling, a bigger picture is probably better and you can make mid troll adjustments if necessary based on the fish pings you see (more of a big water/ buoy 10 technique)

Split screen?
If you're interesting in the highest fidelity possible, you can run split screen and view 1 frequency ping in each window (left side = 83kHz, right side = 200kHz), most guys run split screen with sonar and map... some deep water guys like to run a 50kHz view

Split with zoom?
Split screen with bottom lock would be a cool feature to have (my lowrance doesn't have it)

Ping speed?
keep the ping speed at 100%, our waters are relatively clear so we're minimally concerned about unecessary interference, if you are getting a lot of interference I would think adjusting the sensitivity is a better first step

Palette Color?
not really sure what the difference is, I think it comes down to user preference

Fish ID Symbols on or off?
I recently turned our symbols off, but the majority of the time the FishID works great. Having the FishID on is certainly not as precise. It's my understanding that FishID in some situations it will ignore low strength returns or returns in a high noise background so you won't get a fishy symbol. If you turn it off you may have to spend some time adjusting your sensitivity and sometimes the range adjustment to help in getting a clearer picture. It definitely is an art to read the "raw" return and a lot of hardcore navy types like to pretend they're still at "test depth" hunting Akula class subs during the height of the cold war. Very fun stuff.

Depth LIne on or off?
I would leave it on.. it's a software extrapolated line based on analysis of the return, it's supposed to filter out debris and structure on the ground to give you a true bottom line

I've been eyeing the HDS series, lots of cool features, do you have structure scan and did you load any nautical charts or overlays on yours?
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Last edited by Salmonsalsa; 03-17-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

If you decide to turn fishID off, I would still keep the "depth" label turned on. I think it's a good hybrid setting because it won't assign a depth to the return unless it's classified as a fish. This allows you to still view the rest of the sonar return with more precision.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

http://saltpatrol.publishpath.com/videos

Check out the video on HDS set up. Good starting point. This link has some good info on other subjects as well.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

quick question, i was told salmon do not have swim bladders which makes them difficult to pick up on sonar. is this true? And or is it true just in shallower water rivers? What kind of sonar is needed to pick them up in the Columbia? Does someone know what the least expensive unit out there is? How much are we talking here? Thanks.

Last edited by grizzeyes; 03-17-2012 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:42 AM   #8
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Default

I was told they do and on the HDS 7 unit you more likely have a true fish arch when the arch is multi color. Not sure if this is true or not.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Thank you very much for the detailed answers. Once again IFISH comes through as an informative source to help us all!
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Also, check out Palette 13. I like the color configuration better but it really is a personal preference.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:59 AM   #11
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzeyes View Post
quick question, i was told salmon do not have swim bladders which makes them difficult to pick up on sonar. is this true? And or is it true just in shallower water rivers? What kind of sonar is needed to pick them up in the Columbia? Does someone know what the least expensive unit out there is? How much are we talking here? Thanks.
They most definitely have large swim bladders and show up well on sonar. Any sonar should pick up salmon.

I recommend generally that people try jig fishing while anchored in the south side of Hayden Island, in the slough. It really helps you learn how big things are in real life relative to what you see on the screen. Just use a jig and plastic, or nightcrawler or shrimp and make sure you can see your jig on the sonar by lifting it up & down. You'll see fish checking out your jig and get a feel for the size relationships since you usually catch them. You'll catch some weird stuff, too (mostly perch, though).

I run a Furuno (50/200, sonar only) and a HDS (83/200, GPS). Having transducers on both sides usually allows me to figure out which side the fish are on and have lots of split screen/zoom options. First thing I do when setting up anyone's sonar is turn fishID off. You don't have to be a genius, or even above average to read "raw sonar". It doesn't take long for the average fisherman to become smarter than the algorithm, as long as they pay attention.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:17 PM   #12
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Get the most recent update and then set your sensitivity. It changes a LOT with the latest software. I used to run auto most of the time, now I run manual somewhere around 50%.


Fishing Mode---Shallow water(less than 100 feet) or slow trolling?
fresh
Sensitivity Level?
manual around 50%
colorline around 60%
Range?
auto
Split screen?
almost always. either gps and chart when we are moving or chart and structure when we are searching for fish or on the hook
Split with zoom?
don't usually zoom unless I see something of interest
Split with bottom lock?
nope
Ping speed?
fastest
Palette Color?
not sure, 6 maybe? white background, fish show up as red when they are close (if I can remember I will check this next time we are out)
Fish ID Symbols on or off?
OFF!
Depth LIne on or off?
Usually off. But useful for figuring out at what depth the kokes are suspending.

Last edited by Twysted; 03-18-2012 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

I used youtube when I got mine, and found some great videos on how to set it up. Once I did I was getting images like this in Astoria, once you see this you got it dialed, oh and you are about to catch some fish,



This is a poorly installed side scan screenshot, I had it rewired and it works great now.




Good luck, and definitely check out YOUTUBE
And this gentleman was a major help as well, http://saltpatrol.publishpath.com/
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Last edited by ZaQ; 03-18-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

well, i only have a cheap $100.00 humminbird 160 that probably will not work.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:35 PM   #15
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Looks like Zaq likes to run his on a 50khz setting. Anyone ever run the 200khz? In the above link it looks like John's HDS 10 is set on 200. What's the difference?
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

What transducer are you running? Mine is a HST-DFSBL. Anyone know that all that stands for?
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzeyes View Post
well, i only have a cheap $100.00 humminbird 160 that probably will not work.
You should be able to see salmon on there no problem. You should be able to see jigs in 20' of water as well. The high dollar stuff gives you more bells and whistles, but even low wattage transducers are enough power to show fish in the shallow water we fish in. They just won't look as pretty or have as detailed separation from other stuff. But if there's a salmon down there, it will show up on yours. You've even got dual beam 83/200 with that.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:19 AM   #18
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

HST-DFSBL
Dual frequency 50/200 KHZ transom transducer mount with built in temperature sensor.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:43 AM   #19
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

This is a great thread. Love it! Keep the advise going.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:46 AM   #20
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Check out the Lowrance site. They have emulators of all their finders and will walk you through set up on all the features.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:03 AM   #21
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crabbait View Post
Check out the Lowrance site. They have emulators of all their finders and will walk you through set up on all the features.

Emulators for most of their finders except the HDS (unless it's labeled something else).
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:42 AM   #22
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobrdown View Post
Looks like Zaq likes to run his on a 50khz setting. Anyone ever run the 200khz? In the above link it looks like John's HDS 10 is set on 200. What's the difference?

I run both in a split screen always when trolling.

My 50khz cone is pretty narrow at the depths that I usually troll for salmon.
The 200khz cone will show me a larger diameter area under the boat in that shallow of water.

I can see salmon under either frequency no problem.
HDS-10 with Airmar TM260.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:46 AM   #23
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twysted View Post
Emulators for most of their finders except the HDS (unless it's labeled something else).

You are correct, I don't think there is an emulator for HDS yet.

Its a pain, but you can record sonar onto SD and then playback and change the settings and see what they would change to.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:22 PM   #24
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Default Re: Lowrance HDS7 settings help...

I believe the cone angle at 200khz is more narrow than 50khz. I can see the depth of my downrigger at the lower frequency.
Better target resolution with the higher frequency. That's why the side scan and downscan display more detailed information.
This Winter update wiped out my settings so be sure to match your unit with the tranducer once you apply the software.

I marked Spring salmon; turned down sensitivity at 200khz on my older Lowrance in the estuary. Steelhead were right along the ten-12ft temperature,salinity breakline

r
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