The first generation of Lowrance HOOK units was discontinued quite a while ago, but some of the units of this series may still be available. In this post, we’re going to cover the Lowrance HOOK-5 CHIRP DownScan, part number 000-12656-001. This particular fish finder includes the HDI Skimmer transducer and comes with the U.S. basemaps. Also, in case you’re wondering, one of the newer versions is the HOOK Reveal 5 model.
Key Features and Specifications
- Display: 5″ diagonal, 480H x 480V pixel matrix, 16-color TFT, with adjustable LED 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: 12 VDC (10-17 VDC min-max)
- GPS: 16-channels, Internal
- Maps: BaseMaps
- Routes, Waypoints, Tracks: 100, 3,000, 100 (10,000 points each)
Sonar and transducer
This unit is capable of 50/83/200 kHz for 2D CHIRP sonar, and 455/800 kHz for DownScan sonar. The transducer supplied with the unit is the HDI Skimmer 000-10976-001, which only covers the 83/200/455/800 kHz. Thus, right out of the box, the unit won’t be able to use the 50 kHz frequency. For that, you will need a low frequency, 50/200 kHz transducer.
The HDI Skimmer supplied with the unit is also temperature capable, as it integrates a temperature sensor. It comes with 20 ft. of cable and a transom mount.
With regards to the 2D CHIRP sonar, the unit will be able to use Med CHIRP and High CHIRP, and if you’ll also get a 50/200 kHz transducer, it will be able, of course, to use Low CHIRP as well. For the 83/200 kHz, the transducer supplied uses two different conical beams, with angles of 60° for the 83 kHz, and 20° for the 200 kHz frequency. The two frequencies can be used simultaneously and observed in split-screen.
The 2D sonar is great for locating fish. Since it uses CHIRP technology, target separation is superior, sometimes making it possible to distinguish even between targets within a bait ball. It makes available several functions such as Fish ID, Bottom Lock, Flasher, and A-Scope. Fish ID will replace fish arches with fish symbols, actually giving you a second opinion regarding certain targets. It’s a function great to use if you don’t like the abstract 2D view. Bottom Lock, as its name suggests, is a function that will keep the view locked onto the bottom, regardless of its variance, being quite helpful when looking for bottom feeders. The Circular Flasher view puts all the sonar into an abstract, circle view, great to use when still fishing, or ice fishing. And finally, A-Scope is a vertical flasher view that actually illustrates the most recent sonar echo.
The unit uses Advanced Signal Processing to filter out unwanted noise, such as water conditions, boat pumps, engine ignition systems, and others, thus reducing the need to adjust settings in order to see fish better.
For DownScan, just like the HOOK-7 and HOOK-9 units, it also uses two different beams, but these are thin and fan-shaped. For the 455 kHz frequency, it uses a wider, 57° wide beam, while for 800 kHz it uses a narrower beam, of only 38°. DownScan is great to use when you want to observe structure to understand its shape better, or the contour of the bottom, as it offers images close to the clarity of photos. But nonetheless, fish also appear on DownScan, and it’s easier to tell them apart from structure.
When it comes to scanning speed, the HOOK-5 unit can keep track of the bottom and offer images on the screen, at boat speeds up to 70 MPH. But evidently, the clearest, most reliable images will only be offered at lower speeds, up to 20-25 MPH. And as far as depth goes, with the supplied transducer, this unit can scan depths up to 1000 ft. in 2D, and up to 300 ft. in DownScan.
TrackBack and DownScan Overlay are two other important functions that require attention. TrackBack is a function that allows you to record sonar, also giving you the possibility to scroll back through the sonar feed if you need to take a second look to a certain fishing spot that you’ve already scanned, or mark waypoints if necessary. Recorded sonar can also be saved on a microSD card slot, and used for the creation of maps via Insight Genesis.
DownScan Overlay is a function that blends 2D CHIRP with DownScan. And since the 2D is better at finding fish, while DownScan is best for scanning structure, by combining these two, you will be able to distinguish better between fish and structure. If, for example, there’s a tree caught by the sonar beams, by using the overlay function you’ll see much better if there are fish between its branches, and where exactly they are.
GPS and maps
Although the unit comes with a pretty fast and accurate, 16-channel, internal GPS antenna, the built-in charts of the unit are not extremely great. The HOOK-5 Base Combo, as its name suggests, comes with the Basemap charts package, featuring more than 3,000 lakes and rivers, and also coastal contours. They don’t offer much detail and contours for lakes and rivers though, and also don’t supply data regarding lighthouses, tidal stations, or marine services. However, these maps still do their job, offering the possibility to know your location, plot your trail, etc.
The unit can record up to 100 trails, of up to 10,000 points each. It can also hold up to 3,000 waypoints, and 100 routes.
Last but not least, this unit can use Insight Genesis maps. Via this online application, you can create your own maps, or modify existing ones, with the help of your own sonar logs.
Control unit features
The control unit features a square display, 5-inch wide, with a pixel matrix of 480 x 480. It’s preferable to the HOOK-4 unit, as it offers a little bit more screen space, in case you want to observe multiple applications simultaneously. It actually allows to view up to 3 panels per view. The display offers a 16-bit color TFT range, also featuring adjustable LED backlight, with 11 possible levels. Thus, it provides excellent readability in direct sunlight, even if you have your polarized sunglasses on.
The unit is IPX7 waterproof. In other words, it can survive incidental water exposure with no problem and even immersions up to 1 m, in freshwater. However, when fishing in saltwater, it’s best to use a cover, as salt is not exactly friendly to these units.
In terms of connectivity, this unit features an NMEA 0183 port, and also a card reader, with one microSD card slot.
Finally, the control unit comes with the quick-release bracket, but there are several other mounting options available separately.
First of all, the unit’s internal software is upgradable; you can download any updates for free, when available, and install them via SD card.
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.
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, and of course, several other types of transducers that support the unit’s given frequencies.
- 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.
- No unit cover;
- The included Basemaps offer only minimal detail;
- May take a while to fully learn how to operate this unit, as it offers a wide array of features and functions to use.
If you’re looking for a small combo unit with CHIRP, down view sonar and GPS, the HOOK-5 from Lowrance is definitely one to put on your list. The 000-12656-001 that we’ve covered here comes with the necessary transducer for both types of sonar, thus you’ll be able to use both DownScan and 2D out of the box. It doesn’t offer the best maps, but the good news is, it leaves a lot of room for map upgrades. It’s a great unit for a small boat, offering great value for the price.