New Electronics & Gear for 2023

by Chris McCotter

 In the ever-changed world of marine electronics, forward-facing, real-time sonar continues to drive technological advances. Keeping your transducer automatically pointed at the fish while you watch them react to your lure has been addressed by Humminbird and Minn Kota and we anticipate that will be a trend Garmin and Lowrance follows soon.

   Here’s a bit of news you might not have heard yet; from off it’s acquistion of Navico last year, Brunswick Corporation (owner of Mercury Marine) formed the Navico Group that includes Attwood, C-MAP, Lowrance, Marinco, MotorGuide, ProMariner and Simard among a number of other marine technology companies. 

  So, yes, Mercury now owns Lowrance and MotorGuide. It should be interesting to see what the plan is for both brands positioning themselves in the boat market for the coming year. 

  Here’s a preview of what you can expect to see for sale in area shops this winter and spring.


  With an optimized design for deeper water, the new Garmin LiveScope XR transducer has extended elements so anglers can see both long- and close-range views in real time. Anglers can now see further around and below the boat – up to 500’ in freshwater and 350’ in saltwater – and the Reverse Range feature allows them to utilize more of the screen to display fish and structure. To see detail closer to the boat, the Compress Range feature displays a live look in sharp detail up close, while still allowing the angler to keep an eye on targets further away at the same time.

  The LiveScope XR System delivers three unique vantage points with one mount that can be easily adjusted to fit an angler’s fishing techniques and preferences, no tools required. Simply turn the transducer forward for a live look at what’s out in front of the boat; point it down to see directly beneath the boat; or turn it sideways with the included Perspective Mode Mount to enable the ‘top down’ perspective mode that’s perfect for scouting open water or shorelines. Select the LiveScope mode that best fits that fishing spot, and the view will automatically change on a compatible Garmin chartplotter2 screen. LiveScope XR is compatible with a wide range of Garmin GPSMAP® and ECHOMAP™ chartplotters and combo units.

 Garmin has a new ECHOMAP™ UHD2 chartplotter series with 500W of vivid, high-contrast scanning sonar power, all-new hardware with a sunlight readable display and more. Offered in a new 5-inch as well as the popular 7-inch display, the ECHOMAP UHD2 plotters offer physical buttons for easy control and operation of functions every angler depends on for a successful outing, including marking key waypoints or quickly toggling between different chart views. Plus, built-in Wi-Fi® enables seamless sharing of sonar and user data between two ECHOMAP UHD2 units onboard.

   Whether fishing with a friend or wanting the flexibility to add another chartplotter on board, built-in wireless networking allows anglers to stream sonar and share user data, such as waypoints and routes, between two ECHOMAP UHD2 units.

 When bundled with an ECHOMAP UHD2, the GT20-TM transducer delivers a crisp view of structure, bait and fish – right from the plotter screen. For even greater clarity, users can add to their onboard system by purchasing a GT24UHD-TM transducer with Ultra-High Definition scanning sonar – CHIRP traditional and ClearVü – to target and identify a wider array of fish in vivid color schemes.  

  Thanks to the preloaded BlueChart® g3 coastal charts or LakeVü g3 inland maps with Navionics data, users can more efficiently pinpoint the perfect honey hole or navigate to their next destination with enhanced situational awareness. 

The ECHOMAP UHD2 series is available now with suggested retail prices ranging from $399.99 to $649.99. 

Johnson Outdoors 

(Humminbird and Minn Kota)

   It’s been a while since Johnson Outdoors could fulfill all the orders for it’s Humminbird and Minn Kota products. To make sure the shortfall was addressed they underwent a massive expansion last year; the plant in Mankato, Minnesota was expanded 50% with a six times the key machinery brought in to accommodate the higher demand for Minn Kota products. The Eufala, Alabama plant expanded 25%, runs 24/7, six days a week now and received a 40% warehouse expansion. Not being able to produce enough great product for willing buyers is bad. Humminbird realized that and addressed the issues.

  They also kept on setting new standards. Humminbird won the Best in Category Award for Electronics category at the most recent ICAST show back in July with their new MEGA Live Imaging TargetLock combined with MEGA Live Imaging – a way to keep live imaging sonar alwas pointed at the target automatically.

 Combined with Minn Kota Ultrex™, the need to choose between Spot-Lock® and MEGA Live Imaging is no longer. The new Humminbird MEGA Live Hand Control™ Universal Mount allows anglers to utilize the technology on any vessel.    

  Thanks to the GeigerTec billet aluminum adjustable mount and 50-inch transducer shaft, anglers take control while locking onto fish-holding structures or waypoints, regardless of the boat position or movement due to wind and current. The MEGA Live Hand Control allows for independent hand control of the MEGA Live Imaging Transducer while on any boat with or without a trolling motor. Choose from multiple viewing modes – Forward Mode for partial coverage below the boat and out in front of the boat, Down Mode for a full view below the boat and Landscape Mode for a wide, top-down view out and around the boat.  

  The GeigerTec mount can be installed on any boat. The package comes with a MEGA Live Imaging Transducer, Adjustable Mounting Arm, Shaft and Handle, Ethernet Cable, Power Cable and Mounting Hardware. 

  Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging is compatible with all Apex models, all Solix models, Helix 8-12 G3N MEGA SI or MEGA DI and 7-15 G4N MEGA SI or MEGA DI model units.

 For decades, Humminbird LakeMaster® has offered anglers accurate and advanced mapping. Now, LakeMaster is taking it to an entirely new level with the introduction of Humminbird LakeMaster maps with VX Technology.

 The new LakeMaster lineup maintains the same regions as the current lineup, but with two options per region: LakeMaster and LakeMaster Premium. Both products now include SmartStrike technology as a feature, allowing anglers to enter search parameters like season, time of day, temperature, and targeted fish species to create a custom chart that highlights areas of the map where fish are most likely to be biting.  LakeMaster and LakeMaster Premium also include customizable Chart Presets, four Depth Highlights with customizable colors, Shallow Water Highlight, Water Level Offset, and One-Boat Network capability. And for an added advantage, LakeMaster Premium includes two additional features: 2D Shaded Relief and Aerial Imagery.


  After consulting with the area Lowrance sales representative we can report you can expect big new things.

 “We launched the new HDS Pro which replaces the HDS Live that has a new internal sonar and offers the utmost transducer clarity when combined with our new HD 3-in-1 side can/down scan transducers or our new Active Target 2 system,” Joe Pechie told W2. HDS Pro units including the HDS PRO 9, HDS PRO 10, HDS PRO 12 and HDS PRO 16.

  Lowrance has also launched a new external sonar module; the S3100, so end users running older displays like the HDS Live, Carbon or Elite FS also get the advantage of running the new HD transducers. Additionally, Lowrance is launching a HW and MH version of the 3-1 transducer sold separately that adds fish reveal feature on side scan. For Fish reveal you need to have the S3100 even on the new HDS Pro.

  The S3100 provides full support for high-definition Active Imaging™ HD sonar to HDS® LIVE™ and Elite FS® displays and Fish Reveal™ SideScan for HDS® PRO. Active Imaging™ HD delivers the clearest images of fish and structure with Lowrance® CHIRP sonar and high-frequency (up to 1.2 MHz) SideScan and DownScan Imaging™ – plus FishReveal™ DownScan and NEW SideScan views, making fish identification easier below and to the sides of the boat.

  Fish will be easy to see on both sides of the boat with the new FishReveal SideScan view, which takes the guesswork out of fish identification by combining on one screen the incredible detail of high-frequency SideScan with the superb clarity and target separation of Lowrance CHIRP sonar. Available for HDS PRO, HDS

LIVE and Elite FS displays.

  With two fully independent 1kW sonar channels, you can connect the S3100 to up to two additional transducers to track multiple depth ranges at the same time.

  The Active Imaging™ HD transducer not only delivers three key sonar technologies – Lowrance® CHIRP, SideScan and DownScan Imaging™ – in one convenient package, but also features a new transducer design that boosts signal clarity.

  The Lowrance Ghost trolling motor now has an Active-Imaging 3 In 1 nosecone transducer that widens your fish-finding field of view. This easy-to-install nosecone fits on your Lowrance Ghost Trolling Motor with ease, and once it’s, it delivers a SideScan view to the right and left of your watercraft, and its DownScan Imaging™ shows you what’s directly below your boat. Plus, this underwater imaging is further enhanced by Lowrance CHIRP sonar, a game-changing advancement that delivers high-end image clarity and target separation. Like a cherry on top of the cake, the Active Imaging 3-in-1 Nosecone Transducer even comes with FishReveal™, a free upgrade from Lowrance that enhances your underwater images to new extremes, letting you easily spot fish and see the bottom and bottom structures in striking detail. 

  Stop into Green Top Sporting Goods to see the 2023 Lowrance products and be sure and chat with Green Top Marine Electronics Pro Steve Lane.


   This brand was once the undisputed king of electric trolling motors but fell behind when depth finder manufacturers began making their own trolling motors for their units. With Brunswick Corporation back, we think MotorGuide is on the way back to prominence.

  The Tour Pro, a highly regarded model name 20 years ago, is MotorGuide’s newest trolling motor available in 109-lb. and 82-lb. thrust models. These are true cable steer units with GPS anchoring capabilities. Each is accompanied by Pinpoint GPS technology so you can electronically “anchor” on your favorite spot. They also feature the Zero-G Lift Assist system that requires 40% less stowing and deploying effort versus competitor’s assist mounts. The Tour Pro foot pedals are metal, too. A rugged two-piece shaft features an oversized stainless steel outer column and an unbreakable inner composite shaft with lifetime warranty. These units’ universal sonar connect and transducer is compatible with many Lowrance, Humminbird, Garmin an Raymarine depth finders.

  The MotorGuide Xi5 is a wireless, electronically steered trolling motor said to be 50% faster than competitor’s models that is offered in 105-lb. and 80-lb versions with Pinpoint GPS and built-in transducers. The shaft is made from a composite, bendable material. Each unit includes a wireless foot pedal and a handheld remote control. The Xi5 units are compatible with a large range of Lowrance, Garmin and Humminbird units.


  Rhodan HD GPS Anchor+ trolling motors are manufactured in Florida and are available in 36 (120-lb.), 24 (80-lb.) and 12-volt (55-lb.) models in a wide variety of shaft lengths (even a 96” shaft for saltwater anglers that prefer not to use a wreck anchor).   

   In Anchor Mode, the Rhodan HD GPS Anchor+® Trolling Motor will keep the boat’s bow parked where you want it, in any depth of water, automatically compensating for wind, waves and cross-current. Anchor sites can be jogged in precise five-foot increments in four directions relative to the boat’s heading using the wireless fob. No need to mess with a wet, tangled anchor line. High definition precision differential GPS receiver provides remarkable positioning accuracy.

   In the Track Mode, the Rhodan HD GPS Anchor+® Trolling Motor will automatically pull the boat along a chosen course, continually compensating for wind and current disturbances. Dual Tilt-compensated compasses keep your boat on a stable directed path as your boat makes a beeline track for your chosen target. This allows you to fish your favorite shoreline without continually correcting your boat’s heading. The track speed is adjustable (32 thrust settings) and the track heading can be changed in precise five-degree increments, all using the wireless fob.

   In the Manual Mode, the system behaves just like a normal trolling motor, allowing the operator to wirelessly steer the system and control the thrust. Rhodan has refined the system further by incorporating Thrust Dependent Electronic Steering Control, complete forward and reverse thrust capabilities, and anti-wrap-up technology which prevents the power cord from winding itself around the shaft.

   The Rhodan HD GPS Anchor+® Trolling Motor has 12 memory locations. Four of these are dedicated to memorizing anchor sites. The remaining eight can be used to record intricate paths or routes over 1000 miles long! The twelve memories will remain in the system memory even after power down. Paths can be recorded while running at trolling speed and even at cruising speed with the trolling motor stowed! The system will automatically anchor the boat when it completes a memorized route. 

  A wireless, floating, waterproof remote control fob lets you control the trolling motor while fishing from anywhere on the boat. The HD GPS Anchor+® Trolling Motor can steer the boat while the main engine is at low power settings. This allows the system to troll at higher speeds or to anchor in fast moving current. Instant “Off” button in case you need it while working a fish. An audible battery meter allows the battery state of charge to be checked from anywhere on the boat using the wireless fob. The stowed position sensor automatically prevents the trolling motor and propeller from operating in the stowed position. A lockable quick-release mount permits the unit to be moved for safe-keeping or use on another boat Durable corrosion-free composite shafts flex upon impact. There are both black and White models are designed for saltwater use and are equipped with sacrificial zinc anodes and the trolling motor lower unit and shafts all include Line-X® finish. 

  You’ll find Rhondan trolling motors at Green Top Sporting Goods.

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