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Humminbird Gets Salty

Long considered a freshwater marine electronics leader, Humminbird takes its innovations to the saltwater fishing world with a new line of larger MFDs.

Humminbird has never garnered much attention in the saltwater fishing world even though the company has a long history of product innovation. In 2005, Humminbird launched the first consumer-available Side Imaging Sonar. In 2015, they vastly improved on the technology with MEGA Side Imaging that led the charge and other companies followed suit. Humminbird was also the first to introduce 3-D sonar and 360-degree imaging in the recreational fishing space. The company’s products always shined in sweet water, especially in the bass world, but you didn’t see many of their units on offshore vessels or big center consoles. The latest offering, the APEX series, could start to change that.

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The APEX series is a full-HD display with a super crisp 1920 x 1080 resolution screen that can be controlled by touch or via soft keys. The low-profile MFDs have a sleek look when mounted on the dash of a center console helm. And the display is super bright—you won’t miss any fish marks.

The fish-finding capability built into the APEX is impressive. Dual Spectrum CHIRP (2D) sonar and MEGA Side Imaging+ is included on all models, which provides a clear picture of any fish lingering up to 250 feet off either side of the boat, and MEGA Down Imaging+ reaches 250 feet down. The standard APEX chartplotter includes a transom-mount transducer. The units also have a second sonar channel that can be used to connect transducers up to 2 kW and includes Airmar transducer ID for simple configuring.

Humminbird has also upped its cartography game. The units come with a base map nav chart that covers the U.S. coastline and 10,000 inland waterways. Premium chart options include Humminbird’s CoastMaster charts, which has customizable color palettes to pinpoint ledges and depth changes as well as tide tables. You can actually pair the unit with a Minn Kota trolling motor to automatically follow a depth contour on a CoastMaster chart. The APEX is also compatible with Navionics cartography.

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The units are network capable with dual ethernet ports to eliminate the need for an external hub when connecting additional electronics such as a radar. You can add NMEA 2000 accessories to display things like engine data and fuel levels. APEX is also compatible with Fusion audio, VHF radios and CZone digital switching.

With so much functionality and networking built into the APEX, don’t be surprised if you start to see Humminbird make a larger impact in the saltwater fishing world.

The units retail for $3,700-$5,000 depending on size and options.

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