Resurrecting this thread. I was on a boat today and watched the guy point out on his fish finder various structures on the bottom and fish on the bottom. I plan to ask him what model he has. My fish finder doesn't show that kind of detail and is from somewhere in the mid 1980s. I'd like to upgrade so I talked to Bass Pro guy. I saw a sonar only unit (Lowrance Mark 5x Pro for $200), a downscan image only unit without sonar (Lowrance DSI Mark 5x for $250 after $50 rebate), and then saw one that had both but went Hummingbird (569C HD DI for $550). I checked Hummingbird for the combined unit because it appears to be significantly cheaper than Lowrance when looking at units that have both sonar and downscan imaging.
I'm trying to understand if I can get by with just sonar, just downscan imaging, or really just should bite the bullet and get both. Looking at downscan imaging unit, I could barely make out the fish as they were little dots on the screen that were tough to see, but the structures and ground looked awesome. Viewing the sonar unit, the fish showed up better and the ground, well wasn't as good as the downscan imaging one.
Would I be wasting my money getting a unit that is downscan imaging only ($250) without sonar? Does sonar work better in some ways (e.g. suspended fish or finding fish in general)?
Or, do you think the sonar-only unit would show decent ground structure, enough to be able to find not only suspended fish but recognize a large boulder, tree, and perhaps fish on the bottom?