Since Garmin's new GSD 26 and GSD 24 black box sounders started shipping, we've been hearing from folks who have been installing and using the products to find and catch fish all over the world. Recently, Todd Carver, owner of Portland Marine Electronics, installed a GSD 26 on a customer's 36' Riviera, and took a trip down to San Carlos, Mexico, to see it in action. On board this Riviera - in addition to the GSD 26 with B265LH transducer- was a complete Garmin setup including: a GPSMAP 6212, GPSMAP 4012, VHF 200, GHP 10 autpilot and a GMR 406xHD open array.
At 20 knots and 200 kHz, Todd said the GSD 26 held bottom perfectly at 900' on the 18-mile journey out to the island where the fishing spots were. Once they arrived and slowed down, "the fishfinder lit up with unbelievably incredible detail!" As you can see from the images below, these guys could see the jig they were raising and lowering at 240', and could clearly detect individual fish from 200' to 900' thanks to the great target separation - count the fish! According to Todd, the equipment was "so spot on that when fish were on the screen, it was simple to stop the boat and drift back into the fish." He said they knew when the fish were entering the screen on the drift, and that it was only a matter of seconds before they would hook one. He also touted the GSD 26's ability to pause the sonar and mark fish with a waypoint, so that they could easily steer back to it.
When they weren't busy reeling in yellowtail, amber jack and red snapper with the help of the GSD 26, these guys also had time to test out the radar and autopilot on board. According to Todd, they were "blown away" with the dual-range feature, as it made close-range and long-distance scanning easy. He also complimented the exceptional detail in the radar as it picked up every little panga and RIB. And as far as the autopilot was concerned, Todd said the GHP 10 navigated in tight tolerances from 20 miles away, all the way into the harbor and back, through the tight quarters of the marina right up to the slip. "All the owner did was adjust the throttle - it was absolutely amazing," he said.
As a final thought when reflecting on the trip, Todd had this to say: "Overall the product was flawless in installation, power up, testing and fishing, and performed above expectations."