The Lowrance Elite FS 7 with Active Imaging is an exciting new way to reveal what you've been missing underwater.
The Lowrance Elite FS 7 unit has some impressive capabilities. You won't lose any time finding key fishing areas like ledges and drop-offs, and you can navigate with precision to the best fish-holding locales on any lake with a touch of the screen.
With the high-resolution C-MAP Contour+ inland and coastal charts built into Elite FS (Fishing System) displays, along with more than 15,000 freshwater U.S. lakes and over 9,400 Canadian lakes and waterways included, you're going to spend more time catching fish, simple as that.
Sure, a fishing system this sophisticated still can't reel a fish in for you. But the fact is that good marine electronics will significantly change your fortune if you know how to use them.
Let's take a closer look at the Elite Fishing System from Lowrance, which also happens to be compatible with ice fishing.
We really like the fact that the ActiveTarget live sonar has a great high-resolution picture within the Active Imaging system. With the Lowrance CHIRP sonar, SideScan, and DownScan Imaging features, you can pick and choose your preference or utilize the best option for your situation. Plus, the easy to see daylight screen allows the Elite FS series to work great in any conditions.
Once mounted correctly (which, by the way, is very easy to do), the 3-in-1 touchscreen capability gives the user a full network-capable unit to share information like waypoints, but it should be said that it has to be done by attaching an ethernet cable, and unfortunately cannot share over Wi-Fi.
The system uses multiple mapping options, like C-MAP, Navionics, and others. The C-MAP Genesis Live onscreen mapping is a revolutionary way to execute routing and ensure you're going to the right spot.
It weighs less than two pounds, can be mounted by a gimbal bracket or by a dash flush mount, and can support a 32GB micro SD card. It operates on a 12V power system and can track 3000 Waypoints, 100 Routes, and 100 Trails with up to 10,000 points per trail. Rest assured that the Elite FS 7 knows where you've been and where you are going.
The power consumption is reasonable, coming in at 2.0A at 13VDC with the backlight on full.
Combine all of this with its multi-touch touchscreen and sonar capability, it has an integrated Bluetooth feature and can support SiriusXM weather, but for U.S. application only. Not only that, but it has an autopilot ready Outboard PilotGhost for MotorGuide Xi5/Xi3 Trolling Motors, but it requires MotorGuide PinPoint Gateway.
In a nutshell, this unit will show you where you are, where the fish are, what the bottom contour looks like, and what the depth is, and those are just a few of the features that it offers.
Other Applications of the Elite FS 7
One of the great features that really caught our eye is the fact this unit is ice fishing compatible with the Lowrance Portable Power Pack. The fact that you don't have to put this graph away when it's time for the hardwater season is an advantage Lowrance was already thinking about. Plus, the Power Pack can be used in a kayak or small boat, extending the versatility of the Elite FS 7 even more.
Here's a quick rundown of what the optional all-season pack includes, and you may not believe your eyes:
- All-in-one pack compatible with all 7- and 5-inch HDS LIVE, Elite FS, HOOK Reveal and HOOK2
- Weatherproof gear bag
- 9-pin Ice Fishing transducer
- 9-pin-to-HOOK transducer adapter
- Adjustable mounting platform
- Pair of utility boxes
- Power cables for use with HDS, Elite FS and HOOK Reveal
- 12V battery with charger
What Else We're Attracted To
I like the fact that it comes in both seven-inch and nine-inch screen options and that it can show both SideScan and DownScan Imaging. The preloaded C-MAP Contour+ Fishing Maps are just icing on the cake. The unit shows structure and cover underwater with a refined detail like few other units can, and easily distinguishes fish from the bottom details using its exclusive Lowrance FishReveal feature.
The system can provide full touchscreen control of Power Pole anchors and Ghost Trolling Motor accessories for those who demand more from their boat. Between the active imaging 3-in-1 function that gives the user an excellent picture, and the HDI transducer for tremendous clarity, you may thin you have it all with this unit. However, it also comes with the optional All-Season Pack which "gives you access to the full line-up of Lowrance fish finding tools - including ActiveTarget, Live Sonar, Active Imaging, and preloaded C-MAP Contour+ charts - to help you make the most of your time on the water."
The Bottom Line
At $949 not everyone can afford the package, but the honest truth is that's what the world of electronics is in today's marketplace. Luckily, there's a 1-year warranty and four additional years of upgrade options, so you won't get left behind when the new stuff rolls out.
If the capabilities of the Lowrance FS 7 are any indication, the next few years bode well for my overall fishing success. When I've got this kind of technology at my disposal, things can really get exciting when the spring arrives and the open water beckons.
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