Now’s the time to cash in on a new liquid crystal graph, as the prices have never been lower, nor the quality higher. The most critical features to consider are the number of vertical pixels and, on black-and-white units, the number of grayscale levels (the higher the numbers, the better). Take a look at the guide below to decide which LCG is right for you.
**$100Â¿Â¿Â¿$120 ** Don’t let the low prices fool you. These bargain LCGs clearly show depth, bottom changes, bass, and baitfish.
**(1) Humminbird Fishfinder 515: **The 515 has an impressive 240 vertical pixels, a 12-level grayscale, and digital depth and water temperature readouts on a 41/4-inch (diagonal) screen. $120; 334-687-6613; www.humminbird.com
(2) Bottom Line Fishin’ Buddy 1101: The unit, with temperature readout, displays 128 vertical pixels on a 3.1 x 2.35-inch screen with a four-level grayscale. It easily attaches to small, portable boats. $100; 208-887-1000; www.cannondownriggers.com
(3) Lowrance X47: The 4-inch (diagonal) screen displays 168 vertical pixels with a four-level grayscale and features digital readouts of depth and water temperature. $120; 800-324-1356; www.lowrance.com
**$180Â¿Â¿Â¿$240 ** These LCGs feature higher resolution, better contrast, and a larger screen to help you distinguish bottom-hugging bass, different types of cover, and bottom composition. When you fish vertically, your lure will show up on the display so you can put it on a bass’s nose.
(4) Eagle FishMark 480: This unit displays 480 vertical pixels on a 5-inch (diagonal) screen with a 16-level grayscale for superb sharpness and contrast. Surface water temperature is also displayed. $210; 800-324-1354; www.eaglegps.com
(5) Bottom Line Tournament 480 MAX: The 5.6-inch (diagonal) screen boasts a supersharp 480-vertical-pixel-count image and four-level grayscale. Temperature readout is standard. $190
**(6) Garmin Fishfinder 250: **With 320 vertical pixels and 10-level grayscale, the 250 delivers sharp images on a 41/2-inch (diagonal) screen. Be sure your unit comes with the single-frequency 200 kHz transducer (one of two available), which is better suited for bass fishing. $240; 800-800-1020; www.garmin.com
$450¿¿¿$500 If you can afford color, go for it. You can’t beat it for separating fish from the bottom and cover, and generally giving you a more detailed view of what’s beneath your boat.
**(7) Garmin Fishfinder 250C: **The 41/2-inch (diagonal) screen delivers a 320-vertical-pixel, 16-color display that stands out crisply in sunlight. You can connect a Garmin GPS receiver (sold separately) to mark waypoints directly from the unit’s keypad. $450
(8) Lowrance X100C: The 256-color, 5-inch (diagonal) display features 320 vertical pixels, six background color choices, and good viewing in all light conditions. $500