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  • Post last modified:December 30, 2023
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Many popular fish finders can be linked with MotorGuide built-in transducers.

However, if you want to control your trolling motor’s autopilot, you want a fish finder that is fully integrated.

Welcome to TrollingMotorPro’s round-up of MotorGuide-compatible fish finders and transducers.

Comparison Table: MotorGuide Compatible Fish Finders

Fish FinderDisplaySonarMotorGuide Control
Lowrance HDS Live
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7″, 9″, 12″, 16″CHIRP, DownScan, SideScan
Lowrance Elite FS
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7″, 9″CHIRP, DownScan, SideScan
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7″, 9″, 10″, 12″CHIRP, DownScan, SideScan
Simrad GO
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7″, 9″, 12″, 16″CHIRP, DownScan, SideScan
Humminbird HELIX
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7″, 8″, 9″, 10″, 12″CHIRP, DownScan, SideScan


MotorGuide and Lowrance have been working together to improve the integration between the trolling motors, their built-in sonars, and Lowrance chartplotters.

With a Lowrance fish finder you can control your MotorGuide trolling motor’s autopilot features. For example, “go to” a selected waypoint or “follow” a route or contour.

Not all Lowrance models can do this. Those that can include HDS Live and Elite FS:


Display: 7″, 9″, 12″, 16″   Sonar: CHIRP (dual-channel), DownScan, SideScan   MotorGuide Control: Yes


  • Large, bright displays with anti-glare
  • MotorGuide autopilot control
  • Two memory card readers
  • NMEA2000


  • Expensive

The HDS Live is the most advanced fish finder from Lowrance that fully integrates with the MotorGuide’s PinPoint GPS. You can then control your motor with a touchscreen on your fish finder.

The displays on the HDS Live have higher resolution and are brighter than other Lowrance models.

They are also available in larger sizes including 12″ and 16″.

The Lowrance HDS Live has dual-channel CHIRP sonar and is compatible with live sonars. The ActiveTarget live sonar lets you see live images of fish under and around your boat.

The HDS Live comes Ethernet ports, NMEA2000 ports and two memory card readers. This is important if you want to use different maps in one device.


Display: 7″, 9″   Sonar: CHIRP, DownScan, SideScan   MotorGuide Control: Yes


  • MotorGuide autopilot control
  • Advanced sonars and live sonar compatibility
  • NMEA2000


  • No large touchscreens available
  • Single memory card reader

If you don’t need a screen larger than 9″, the Elite FS is also worth considering.

The Lowrance Elite FS has all the advanced sonar and networking features at a significantly lower price:

Bells and whistles really drive up the cost of HDS units, and the Elite FS provides great sonar and mapping as a serious unit without the cost.

[BBC Boards]

Elite FS has NMEA2000 connectivity and one memory card reader.

It is also compatible with Lowrance ActiveTarget live sonar, which lets you see live images of fish under and around your boat.

The Elite FS comes with preloaded C-MAP US mapping but do check before buying.


Display: 5″, 7″, 9″, 12″   Sonar: CHIRP, DownScan   MotorGuide Control: No


  • A good match for smaller boats
  • Budget-friendly


  • No link to the motor’s autopilot
  • No NMEA2000 connectivity

The Lowrance HOOK2 can’t control your MotorGuide, but it can use its built-in sonar.

The HOOK2 is available with a smaller 5-inch display. That makes it suitable for smaller boats.

The standard HOOK2 comes with a CHIRP and DownScan sonar. However, there is a TripleShot version that offers side imaging.


Lowrance is not the only option to fully integrate with MotorGuide.

Simrad Yachting is a Norwegian marine electronics company that makes excellent fish finders.

The most popular option is Simrad’s GO Series, known for its large multi-touch displays and easy-to-use interface.

When running charts, echosounder and radar on one display.. You want BIGGEST and most high resolution you can afford. [Simrad] GO series fits that well.

[The Hull Truth]


Display: 5″, 7″, 9″, 12″   Sonar: CHIRP, DownScan, SideScan   MotorGuide Control: Yes


  • Bright displays with an intuitive interface
  • Radar support
  • NMEA2000 and radar support
  • The display can be mirrored on mobile devices


  • No physical buttons

Simrad GO comes with NMEA2000 capability and can be integrated with a radar. This is an important safety feature on many larger boats.

The displays are bright enough to see clearly in full sun. Additionally, they can be linked and mirrored with a smartphone or tablet.

The design of Simrad GO is more rectangular than Lowrance or Garmin. The interface is intuitive and very quick to learn for beginners.

Lowrance & Simrad: Required Equipment

First of all, you will need a MotorGuide Xi5, Xi3, or Tour Pro with PinPoint GPS. It won’t work with other MotorGuide models.

Xi3 & Xi5

To allow your MotorGuide Xi5/Xi3 and Lowrance or Simrad to “talk” to each other, you will need two things:

One useful piece of advice for the Xi5 was shared on the BBC Boards:

The GPS pinpoint gateway connector and the Motorguide network connect have arrows on their respective plugs which need to line up to work. Unlike every other connector in this system, this one is not keyed and can be done the wrong way.


Tour Pro

You don’t need the Gateway Kit for the Tour Pro, as it already has the Gateway capability.


Most Garmin fish finders are compatible with MotorGuide transducers.

Depending on the type of transducer port on your Garmin fish finder, you will need to use a different adapter cable:

4-pin Garmin fish finders

8-pin Garmin fish finders

12-pin Garmin fish finders

Related article: Garmin Transducer Compatibility Chart


Display: 7″, 9″, 10″, 12″   Sonar: CHIRP, DownScan, SideScan   MotorGuide Control: No


  • Detailed bottom maps
  • Panoptix LiveScope sonar support
  • NMEA2000


  • The menu requires many clicks to find the right item

The Echomap won’t let you control your MotorGuide trolling motor. It can only do it with the Garmin Force.

However, the Echomap provides high-quality maps of the bottom using MotorGuide transducers.

The displays are bright enough to read in sunlight, with plenty of contrast. The only complaint is about the menu structure. It requires many clicks to find the desired selection.


Humminbird fish finders will work with MotorGuide transducers.

The Helix series is a popular choice:


Display: 5″, 7″, 8″, 9″, 10″, 12″, 15″   Sonar: CHIRP, DownScan, SideScan   MotorGuide Control: No


  • Dual-spectrum CHIRP sonar
  • NMEA2000, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth


  • Reports of trolling motor interference

Humminbird HELIX series is often seen together with Minn Kota trolling motors, as they are fully compatible.

It comes with MEGA Down Imaging+ and Side Imaging+ with a range of about 200 feet.

The Helix has multiple networking features, including NMEA2000, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This let you control your fish finder with a smartphone.

MotorGuide Built-in Transducers

MotorGuide Xi5 and Xi3 trolling motors are available without transducers or a built-in standard 2D sonar (83/200 kHz).

The sonar on the Tour Pro offers 83/200 kHz views and high-definition 455/800 kHz.

You can connect this sonar to several brands of fish finders using a dedicated adapter cable:

Additional Transducers to Access More Features

If your fish finder supports CHIRP, Down Imaging (DI), or Side Imaging (SI), you will need a separate transducer to use it.

CHIRP uses different sonar frequencies simultaneously to give a better image quality. It’s sometimes called a broadband sonar.

Down Imaging uses a high-frequency sonar, usually between 400kHz and 800kHz. It gives you a high-resolution image of what is under your boat, making it easier to identify what exactly it might be.

Side Imaging sonar is the latest feature found mostly on more advanced fish finders. It generates a high-frequency sound wave directed to the sides of the boat.

Below we list a few examples of transducers. Before getting one, make sure they are compatible with your fish finder make and model:

Mounting a Transducer On Your Trolling Motor

Several mounting kits are available that let you fix most transducers to your trolling motor‘s lower unit.

These are the usual steps you need to follow:

Step 1. Place the mount on your motor’s housing, make sure the transducer is far enough from the prop

Step 2. Tighten the clamp with a flat-head screwdriver.

Step 3. Attach the transducer to the mount.

Step 4. Run the transducer cable up the motor’s shaft, secure it in place with cable ties.

Step 5. Connect the transducer to your fish finder’s display.

MotorGuide Fish Finder FAQ

Is my MotorGuide Xi5 compatible with Humminbird?

You can’t control your MotorGuide trolling motor via Humminbird, this is only possible with Lowrance.

However, if your Xi5 is a sonar version and has a built-in 2D transducer, you can link it with most Humminbird fish finders using an adapter cable.

Which Garmin fish finder works with MotorGuide?

Most new fish finders from Garmin are compatible. Depending on the number of pins in your transducer port, you just need to buy the right type of adapter cable.

Does MotorGuide work with Lowrance?

Absolutely. Both companies have worked together for years to offer seamless integration between MotorGuide’s built-in transducers and Lowrance fish finders.

How to prevent sonar interference?

The best way is to keep your motor’s cables (usually 24V or 36V) away from your fish finder’s cables. You should also use the ferrite rings on cables whenever supplied by your fish finder manufacturer.