OK, so a few years ago, I bought a Humminbird 899si HD combo to put on my stripper pit boat (12-foot v-hull.) The side imaging is cool, but when fishing for bass, you are typically not moving, so SI is somewhat useless after your first pass down the pit.

I saw the advertisement for the AS-360 and thought that would be an excellent addition to the arsenal as it would give me a better view of what was under the water beside me, out in front of me, or whatever.

I don’t get to fish as often as I would like (Isn’t it that way for all of us!), so tossing baits where there were no fish to speak of is a waste of time.

It was a little pricey, but what the heck! I bought it.

Real cool!

It did precisely what I hoped it would do. (No, it didn’t make fish jump into my boat, but what the heck!) What it did do was allow me to see “cover” that I would have floated over that I could not see (Standard Down imaging) until it was right under the boat. (Kind of hard to cast a crank bail or rubber worm under the boat.)

It did allow me to fish more productively.

Fast forward four years, and my 12-foot V-hull boat was not making me happy any longer, so I found a 14X42 G3 John boat and bought it. Now, this is where the geek in me goes nuts. What if I get a bigger head unit for upfront, and move the 899 to the rear. Everyone gets to see what is going on.

I jump on eBay and find a 999 si HD for sale and buy it. OK, now I need an ethernet switch to tie it all together. Oh yeah, you need the extra cables too! Done

Now, instead of a $400.00 boat with $2,000.00 worth of electronics in it, I have moved up to a $2,000.00 boat with $3,000.00 worth of electronics in it. Makes sense, right?

OK. So out on the water for the first time, I have to try to get everything set up and working together. I am using the SI transducer from the 999 because Humminbird Tech support says it is a better transducer. I am also using the speed sensor from the 999. The 899 just used GPS to guess at your speed. I have the GPS puck that came with the AS-360 connected to the 999.

So to the 999. Thru the menus, it was pretty straight forward. Yep, it sees all of the stuff tied to it. Check, it sees the AS-360 and asks, do I want to start pinging? Sure! Boom! Cool beans! I see the 360 go into action. Got the GPS configured, so I know where I am ( yeah, right!)

Now to the back. I fire up the 899, hit the menus, and there is all of the hardware attached to the 999 and the AS-360 on the network. Pretty nifty! Side imaging is working; down imaging is working. This is pretty easy.

I select the 360 unit on the 899, and I get asked, “Want to start pinging?” I say, yes! Black screen. Hmmm, everything else is working.

I check, and there is a firmware miss-match between the 999 and the 899. I will update the firmware and see what happens.

(to be continued)