What's going on guys wanted to fill you in on some cool new Garmin products. I've been running Garmin units for over 10 years and been fortunate enough to win over $1.2 million in bass tournaments mostly because of Garmin. Garmin electronics play a huge role not only in my everyday fishing but in my guiding and most importantly in my tournament fishing. Everybody knows Garmin makes the best GPS’s on the planet and now they can say they make some of the best depth finders. I spent the last few days testing some of the new Garmin Echo 550 C and I have to say I'm truly impressed. I spent a lot of time at Garmin's headquarters a few months back with the engineering team discussing what we need this unit to do. The number one feature that I wanted the new Echo series to do is to show up a drop shot extremely well in mid-depth and deep water. Well, Garmin accomplish that and more… Let me tell you these units will show a drop shot better than any unit I have ever used. I did some pretty extensive testing in depths ranging down to about 40 feet, the echo line is showing up the drop shot with good hard returns in all depths.
I have two Echo 550s rigged up my Ranger Z520, with one of the console and one mounted at the bow. One of the best features with the Echo line is its ability to pick up a drop shot in a wider range or circumference around the bow. Simply put, you don't have to drop your lure directly under your trolling motor transducer to pick up the drop shot, this unit will pick up the lure falling in a 6 foot circumference around the boat. What does this mean? Well it means that you're going to see more fish and be able to fish for those fish easier by watching them on your depth finder react to your lure. This technique is what I call Nintendo Bass’n, this is where you trolling motor around and actually look for fish on your depth finder under your boat and drop a small drop shot or lure down to the fish were you can will actually see your lure falling through the water column on your depth finder and then watching the fish go to the lure and bite. This is a technique that works really well for spotted bass and smallmouth or even largemouth when they are in deep trees or brush.
The wider range of transducer coverage allows you to pick up cover on the bottom like rocks and brush piles which are all great locations for bass much easier than a narrow beam transducer. I'm very impressed with this unit and very confident that when I trolling motor over structure or fish, the new Garmin Echo will show me it's there with a beautiful HD picture of the fish or structure. Another great feature of the Echo 550 is it is very good in the bright sunlight with its new daylight readable HD screen. The second test that I put Echo line through is it's ability to read correctly in shallow water and again the Garmin was spot on. One of the key features of the Garmin depth finders is its ability to keep a lock on the depth, what I mean by that is the Garmin units consistently read the depth and not freak out like some other brands and read crazy depths in shallow water and you have to keep turning the unit off and on to get it to read the bottom. With Garmin you turn them on and never have to worry about them all day losing depth read. I'll fish all day long pulling my trolling motor up and down moving all over the lake and never have my Garmin unit freeze up and lose the bottom readings…. Very consistent and that's the way I like it. On Lake Okeechobee you have a lot of shallow grass and Echo 550 was able to define the grass very well and was able to still read the bottom depth and visibly see the bottom through the grass which in my opinion is very important. Again, what is the advantage to this, the advantage is you're able to read the bottom depth and still see the grass definition very well which allows you to find subtle details in shallow water like rocks or little ditch or even an area that's just a few inches deeper than everything else around.
One of Garmin's most popular features with all of their units is there easy menu settings and they didn't cut any corners with the new Echo line. All the menu settings in these unit are very easy to understand and self explanatory which makes this unit very simple to fine tune the sensitivity, noise reductions and range. These units will be available very soon at Bass Pro shops and if you're looking to upgrade to a great depth finder without breaking the wallet and play what I call “Nintendo Bass’n” be sure to check out the new Garmin Echo line of depth finder's especially the 550 C…. It's really sweet.