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Lowrance HOOK-7 CHIRP DownScan with BaseMap

ProductDisplaySonarDepthGPSMaps
Lowrance HOOK-7
hook-7-lowrance
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7"2D CHIRP,
DownScan
1000' CHIRP,
300' DownScan
16-Channel,
Internal
Basemap

There aren’t many differences between the ELITE CHIRP units and the new HOOK units from Lowrance. The HOOK-7 Base Combo is pretty much the same unit as the Elite-7 CHIRP Base Combo. They both use CHIRP sonar, both have DownScan, and both come with the BaseMaps package. However, the price of the new Lowrance fish finders in the HOOK category is slightly lower. Therefore, why not go with the lower price, for a newer unit?

Anyway, there’s a lot to be mentioned regarding this HOOK-7 unit, but the most important aspect that we ought to start with to avoid any confusions is its model number. The model presented in this post is the 000-12664-001 model, the one that comes with the HDI Skimmer transducer, GPS, and Basemaps.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Screen: 7″ diagonal, 16:9, 800H x 480V pixel matrix, 16-bit color TFT, with adjustable backlight
  • Sonar: 2D CHIRP and DownScan
  • Depth Capability:
    • 1,000 ft (305 m) for the CHIRP sonar
    • 300 ft. (91 m) for DownScan
  • Frequency and Coverage:
    • 200 kHz (20°) / 83 kHz (60°) for standard CHIRP
    • 455 kHz for DownScan, fore to aft. 4°, port to starboard 57°
    • 800 kHz for DownScan fore to aft 2°, port to starboard 38°
  • Transducer: Transom, number 000-10976-001
  • Power Output: Max 500 Watts (RMS)
  • Power Input: 10-17 VDC
  • GPS: 16-channels, Internal
  • Maps: BaseMap
  • Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 100, 3,000, 100 (10,000 points each)

GPS and navigation

Similar to the Elite unit, the HOOK-7 features a precise internal GPS antenna, with 16-channels, providing pretty quick and accurate locks and positioning. It actually refreshes every second. Via GPS, the unit also indicates the boat’s speed.

This particular HOOK-7 model (000-12664-001) comes with the built-in BaseMap charts. As terminology suggests, these base maps are pretty basic. In other words, they don’t offer contour data, or other extra data such as marine services, tidal stations or lighthouses. You’ll have a greenish-brown area for land and a blue area for water. It serves its purpose for indicating your location and for plotting though, but the detail is minimal. Thus, is not the best navigation tool. However, there are plenty of upgrade possibilities (see below).

Waypoints and routes functions are also included.This Lowrance unit can store up to 3,000 waypoints and up to 100 routes, with 100 waypoints per each route. There’s also a trail function which allows you to record your course in a breadcrumb manner, with a capability of 10,000 points per trail. The unit can store up to 100 retraceable trails. Evidently, waypoints, routes, and trails can be shared between units connected via NMEA 0183 and backed up on a microSD card.

This unit is also Insight Genesis capable. Via this app, you can combine sonar with maps, for superior awareness. In other words, you can create your own maps, or modify existent ones via the Insight Genesis app, and use them with your unit.

Sonar and transducer

The Lowrance HOOK-7 Base Combo offers two types of sonar: 2D CHIRP and DownScan. To make it clear, this unit cannot use SideScan. The HDI Skimmer transducer 000-10976-001 is also supplied with the control unit. This particular transducer is capable of 4 distinctive frequencies: 83/200/455/800 kHz. In other words, it offers the possibility

HDI Skimmer

83/200/455/800 kHz HDI Skimmer

to use two sonar beams 2D CHIRP, and two for DownScan. The transducer is temperature capable, comes with 20′ (6 m) of cable and a transom mount.

For 2D CHIRP, the transducer uses two conical beams, of 20° (200 kHz), and 60° (83 kHz). Thus, the unit will be able to scan via Med CHIRP and High CHIRP. The HOOK-7 unit is also capable of 50 kHz though, but you will need a 50/200 kHz transducer in order to use the 50 kHz frequency and benefit from the Low CHIRP mode.

The DownScan sonar built-in this unit is also a great sonar technology to have. This type of sonar is excellent to determine the shape of the structure and the constitution of the bottom. It’s not as good as CHIRP at pointing out fish. But nonetheless, fish will also show on the DownScan view as white dots. Overall, DownScan offers photo-like clarity giving you the possibility to understand better what’s under the boat.

For DownScan, the transducer also uses two beams for 455 kHz and 800 kHz, but they’re thin fore to aft, being shaped more like a fan. For 455 kHz, the side-to-side beam has an angle of 57°, while for 800 kHz it’s narrower, with an angle of 38°.

The HOOK-7 units use Advanced Signal Processing to monitor noise such as engine ignition systems, boat pumps or water condition, filtering out unnecessary signals. This way, whether you’re using the 2D mode or DownScan, undesired clutter will be eliminated. This is actually a hands-free, automatic filtering system.

When it comes to depth capability, with the supplied transducer this unit is capable of a maximum depth of 1000 ft. for 2D, and approx. 300 ft. for DownScan. The unit should be able to scan the bottom and water column under the boat at speeds of up to 70 MPH, at perfect conditions. However, as a general idea, you will benefit from accurate imaging at speeds of up to 30-40 MPH.

Apart from what we’ve mentioned so far regarding sonar and transducer, there are also several sonar functions that should be put into view. First of all, this unit has the TrackBack function which gives you the possibility to record sonar or scroll back through the sonar feed to see a specific spot that you’ve just passed. You can also assign waypoints on recorded sonar, in case you want to revisit that particular spot.

DownScan Overlay is also a function that you might find useful. Via this function, you can actually combine the 2D and DownScan views. Since the 2D sonar is better at distinguishing fish, while DownScan is better at understanding structure, you can get a better picture of the fish positioning in relation to vegetation, bottom, rocks etc.

Other sonar-related functions available with this unit include A-Scope, Bottom Lock, Split-Zoom, Split-Flasher, Fish ID and various alarms, such as depth alarms and fish alarms.

Control unit

The HOOK-7 unit features a 16-bit color TFT display, with adjustable LED backlight, offering quality imaging for both sonar and maps. With a pixel matrix of 800 x 480, it offers plenty of screen space for split-screen views. The control unit features IPX7 waterproofing, which means it can resist water drops and splashes with no problem, and even immersions up to 1 m, and up to 30 minutes (in freshwater). You can actually view up to 3 applications on screen, such as the returns from the 2D sonar beam, the DownScan sonar, and your charts.

As we’ve mentioned above, this unit features an NMEA 0183 output and one microSD card slot. The unit works with just about any 12V battery.

Upgrade Possibilities

In terms of GPS, there is the possibility of an upgrade with an external antenna. And since the control unit features an NMEA 0183 port, it can share GPS with a different unit, or with an antenna connected to the NMEA 0183 grid. The unit is also AIS capable, and an AIS module can also be connected in this manner.

There’s quite a selection of charts packages compatible with this HOOK unit, including C-MAP MAX-N by Jeppesen, Navionics HotMaps Premium, Navionics Plus, Fishing Hotspots PRO, Lake Insight and Nautic Insight PRO.

Evidently, the unit’s internal software is upgradable, so you can download any updates for free, when available, and install them via SD card.

Lastly, it’s 50 kHz capable, so you can use a 50/200 kHz transducer for deep water fishing. CHIRP really excels at scanning higher depths.

The Pros

  • Powerful 2D CHIRP sonar;
  • DownScan imaging for a crystal-clear view;
  • Possibility to combine both DownScan and 2D;
  • HDI transducer included;
  • 16-bit color display;
  • Adjustable backlight for superior readability;
  • Split-screen view up to 3 panels per view;
  • Sonar recording;
  • Automatic noise filtering;
  • Various functions included, such as Fish ID, A-Scope, Bottom Lock etc.
  • Fast and accurate GPS;
  • Compatible with superior maps, such as Lake Insight and Nautic Insight PRO,
    Navionics +, C-MAP MAX-N, Fishing Hot Spots PRO;
  • Insight Genesis capable;
  • Fairly easy to install;
  • One year warranty.

The Cons

  • The Basemap charts offer minimal detail;
  • Unit cover not included;
  • Advanced unit; may take some time to master completely.

Bottom Line

The only major difference between the Lowrance HOOK-7 and ELITE-7 CHIRP is that the HOOK model lacks the NMEA 2000 connector. But this comes with a lower price, as opposed to the older unit. Other than that, they’re pretty much the same. The HOOK-7 is a decent unit to use on freshwater, but can also be effective on deep water. CHIRP 2D and DownScan, as well as the possibility to use the two combined, will considerably increase your fish landing rate, while the navigation functions, especially if using a more advanced charts pack, will definitely maximize your awareness on the water. All in all, it’s a medium size unit, with an impressive array of feature, offering great value for the price.

37 Comments

  1. I am confused by the statemnet under the Sonar Transducer section where you talk about downscan in this unit is good but not as good as CHIRP. I have an older fishfinder and want to up grade. It says thiis unit has CHIRP. Please explain your statement.

    • First of all, the unit has 2 types of sonar: 2D standard, and DownScan. But it only uses CHIRP technology for 2D imaging, not for DownScan. In other words, for 2D, the sonar pulse is modulated over a range of frequencies, rather than being one pulse / one frequency. For example, instead of emitting one pulse of 200 kHz, the pulse will sweep between 130-210 kHz (or so). Therefore, CHIRP cuts out some of the clutter, provides better target separation, and has better depth penetration. But this is only for the 2D standard sonar. That’s why 2D sonar with CHIRP is great for looking for fish targets.

      DownScan on the other hand, offers a different type of imaging, photo or film-like, thus it’s better to use when you’re looking at structures, to understand their shapes better. But as I said, for DownScan, the unit doesn’t use CHIRP. Therefore, the sonar pulse is not modulated over a sequence of frequencies. It’s one pulse, one frequency. But DownScan is pretty clear on its own, you don’t really need CHIRP for it. There’s the DownScan Overlay option though, that allows you to combine 2D with DownScan.

  2. Is anyone have problems with the map keeping up with the boat when zoomed in I just put this unit on my boat and while trying to run the lake and stay in the river channel I notice that when zoomed in by the time the map caught up with me I was way out of the channel

    • Yes I have found that the gps is very slow ! Also finding it hard to read the bottom when travelling at speed

    • Yes, I have the same you loose 1/3 the page in zoomed in to any depth, annoying the hell out of me, now it doesn’t plot well, the map doesn’t move with the boat, the overlay txt gets messed up, sometimes you end up not seeing where’re your Go To point is on chart!,,, expect better from Lawrence

    • Yes GPS way to slow very dangerous

    • I have the same slow gps processing. Contacted Lowrance about this and was confirmed that the Hook processor is slow and was advised to zoom out while ar speed.no current fix available.

  3. Does this unit read well while underway or just during idle?

    • The HOOK units should be able to maintain the bottom reading at speeds up to 40 MPH. However, in order to get optimum imaging and well-defined targets, you shouldn’t pass 7-8 MPH. Also, there are other factors that come into play. For example, in saltwater the unit won’t penetrate as deep as in freshwater. Or, if depth is lower than 3 ft., depending on bottom composition, it may also lose bottom.

  4. I must purchased a Hook 7. A SD Card is included with the unit. What is this SD card for?

    • Depends. If it’s a Hook-7 unit with Navionics charts, the charts are on that SD card. Or, depending on what offer you may have gotten (offers change all the time), it simply might be a blank SD card for data backup.

  5. I have a lot of clutter on downcsan. Have called Lowrance 3 times. Have not solved problem. They sent me a new transducer and still clutter. Help.
    May be the unit. I have only had it 2 months but has had clutter from day one.

    • If sensitivity adjustments and the new transducer (which I assume, was installed properly), don’t solve the problem, then the DownScan elements of the unit’s sonar are probably faulty. Send it back if it’s still in warranty.

  6. I have had just about every problem that was listed in the comments above this one when I get up to speed the screen becomes interrupted, if it gets really shallow I will lose bottom on the chart, it will some times often just completely lose down scan and sonar and the screen will be full of clutter

    • I’ve had that problems also and the only way I’ve found to correct it is turn the unit off and set it up to default settings. Sometimes several times before it gets working again.

  7. At this time I haven’t used my Hook 7 yet. But after reading some post I have concerns. I was told by my sales person I could mount my transducer on my trolling motor. The blue transducer. One post had mention he was reading the same depths after pulling his trolling motor and moving to another spot. He would have to turn his unit off and back on again to get the right readings. Can I get some help with this.

  8. My Lawrence has plenty of issue and only last year model: HD7 Chirp, GPS/Fish Finder..

    Slow to start up
    Messed up GoTo function on GPS, boat moves over map and goes off screen, map doesn’t auto centre to boats position every time.
    Top part of chart goes missing when moving at any decent speed.
    Slow, as slow when changing pages, lose place, track, chart.
    Overlay text messes up over screen in wrong order..

    Wouldn’t go Lawrence again, have to say

  9. I have just bought a new boat with hook 7 on it. It seems it’s geared more for fish finding than GPS. The opposite to what I require. Is an upgrade easy, and what cost is involved please.

    • Depends what HOOK-7 unit it is. If it’s a HOOK-7X, those lack any navigation functions and you can’t add any. They only have sonar. If it’s a HOOK-7 (without the “X”), and has GPS and charts, you can purchase a microSD charts card with Navionics Plus or C-MAP MAX-N. Those offer better detail for navigation.

  10. Just Purchased a hook7 and put it in my boat the gps map is not coming up in detail for example rivers reefs markers can’t seem to zoom in can you help me . I have also got a elite 5 and have had no problem with the gps chard and have asked friends but no success . When you put the unit on demo it comes up

    • Sounds like a faulty unit. Best thing to do is send it back and ask for a replacement.

  11. This unit is aimed at fishermen but when bundled with c map worldwide it is a bargain for the cruising yachtsman. At under 10 knots the chartplotter functions well and you get all these sonar tools. The anchor drag alarms are accurate. The screen really is the best in the price range

  12. I have just purchased a new boat and latest Hook 7 with SD card and run navionics. My question is that the depth display flashes once I get on the plane at only about 15knots. The unit does not seem to catch up on fish finder, sonar or depth until I drop back to about 6 knots. Could the transducer be installed incorrectly.?

    • Under my experience, the returns for these units are reliable at speeds up to 6 MPH, which is less than 6 knots. So, once you go over that speed, images tend to get fuzzy.

  13. I just hooked up my new hook 7 and put in the sd card and it’s not showing the blue screen and how deep or shollow or where the reefs are

  14. DO NOT BUY!!!! This unit is a revamp of the old elite 7 chirp. The processor is too slow to cope with the gps expectations we all have. I’ve been dealing with Lowrance about my gps issue and they are pathetic. They know about the processor issue, it’s all over the Internet yet they will not fix! You need to spend more and go for the HDS models or simply buy a Garmin. Big thumbs down for performance and customer service.

    • I agree it’s shit and dangerous. Processor is way to slow.

  15. I just purchased and had a dealer install the hook 7 on my boat. I used it for a fishing derby this past weekend. I like the sonar aspect of the unit but the entire unit froze up on me at least 12 times. It wouldn’t even power down by going through the shut off process to reboot. We had to shut down power to the entire boat to reboot it. Once the system rebooted it would work fine again for another few hours and then freeze all over again… I’m on the fence right now… doesn’t seem like I’ll get much out of Lowrance by the sounds of it.

  16. i have the hook 7 and it constantly chirps like there is fish but there is not.(sometime so constantly chirping i turn the unit off) i must have a setting that is just not right. Any ideas?
    thanks

    • If you’re using the Fish ID function, you might want to disable it. It considers fish almost everything that’s suspended. It’s a feature for beginners mostly. Use the standard view which shows fish as arches.

  17. My Hook 7 seems to work fine except for speed, works great at idle speed but the faster you go the more you start losing the bottom and this all happens way before I get on a plane, is there any adjustment I can do to get more boat speed and not lose the bottom….

    • First of all, for most transducers, the recommended speed for a good imaging and bottom reading, is trolling speed, up to approx. 10-12 MPH. Up to such speeds, they should be able to maintain the bottom reading with no problem. But there are many factors involved which can lead to losing bottom. For example, the transducer may not be positioned correctly, too much turbulence can be created under the hull of the boat, waters too murky, the transducer itself may not function properly due to various reasons (might have hit something and sustained damage, is simply fauly etc), and many other reasons.

      As solutions for this problem, you can experiment with various sensitivity settings, revise the transducer positioning and integrity, reduce the exposure of the transducer to turbulence.

  18. i was looking at buying a lowrance hook 7 but form reading the information on the site i think i will look at another brand

  19. A salesman told me that the transducer should be mounted to the left of the engine because of propeller turbulence. Does anyone else have this same philosophy ? My old apelco was mounted to the right of the engine and worked fine.

  20. I think this unit is for trolling motors only….MAINLY FOR SLOW MOVING SONAR AND DOWN SCAN…SIDE IMAGING IS A WAIST…

  21. i have a hook7 gps and my speed says 53knots my ais and my raymarine mfd both come in about the same 29 – 30 knots

  22. my hook 7 turns itself off when the navionics card is inserted and if I put it in while its off it wont turn on ,sent it back to them now they cant find my card , its been 3 weeks with no response. anyone else had this happen?

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