Best Kayak Fish Finders – Guide to Finding the Right One

[Cover] Best Kayak Fish Finders

When you go fishing, your goal is to end the day catching as much fish as possible. It’s hard to know where fish are swimming in bigger numbers, though, which makes everything difficult if you’re aiming for success. So, if you want to make sure you catch enough fish to call it a day, you need a fish finder.

When fishing in a kayak, having a fish finder could be the best way to find the perfect fishing spot. It’s a useful tool that will not only improve your life but also make you look like a professional.

However, finding the best one is easier said than done if you’re not an expert. Don’t worry, though – we’re here to help. In the following paragraphs, you will find some amazing kayak fish finders and you’ll see what you need to consider when looking for one.


Quick Picks

Here are three products that may grab your attention when searching for a new fish finder, depending on your budget and what you’re looking for in these devices:

BEST PICK
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with CHIRP Traditional Transducer
BEST BUDGET
Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam transducer, 010-01870-00
BEST UNDERWATER CLARITY
Humminbird 410940-1 HELIX 7 CHIRP MDI (MEGA Down Imaging) GPS G3 Fish Finder
Garmin Striker 4
Garmin Striker Plus 4
Humminbird 410940-1
Great Map Scanning
Amazing Built-In GPS
High-Quality MEGA Down Imaging

Top 10 Best Kayak Fish Finder Reviews

Kayak fish finders are meant to show you where fish is located, so you can spend time fishing in the right spot. Let’s take a look at some top-notch products.


#1.Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer – Best Map Scanning Ability

Garmin came up with this amazing fish finder, which will help you when you feel like you haven’t had too much luck with fishing lately. It has a waypoint map, which makes it easy for you to see the location and how good it is. Since it shows you even locations like docks, stumps, and brush piles, you will easily find out where to position yourself.

It will be a piece of cake to use this device. Not only is it easy to install, but the buttons make the operation simple as well. There’s also a CHIRP sonar that sends a continuous sweep of frequencies, so you can get more information about the location.

Pros

  • It’s easy to use
  • Accurately analyzes the area surrounding the boat
  • Available in multiple display sizes

Cons

  • Doesn’t always shows the right depth

#2.Humminbird 410150-1 PIRANHAMAX 4 Fish Finder – Best Fish and Depth Detection

When you want to know what’s under your boat, this Humminbird fish finder model will come in handy. It comes with a larger 4.3” color LCD, to make sure you don’t have to struggle when you want to find out what hides below your boat and in your surroundings.

It has a tilt and swivel mount, which is great if you want to adjust the unit easily, so you can view it properly. In addition, there’s a dual-beam sonar included within this device. As such, you can choose whether you want a narrow or wide beam, so you get the right area coverage for your fishing place of choice. You will be able to easily identify contours, structure, and fish.

What’s even more impressive is the fact that you also get depth alarms and fish alarms for a more successful fishing day. You will always know when you’re in a good spot for fishing.

Pros

  • Easy to use interface
  • Large color LCD
  • Sharp image

Cons

  • May not properly adjust color line

#3.Garmin Striker 4cv with Transducer – Best Mapping Software

If you’re looking for a GPS fish finder, then this Garmin device might be right up your alley. The built-in GPS it comes with makes it easy to create routes, mark waypoints, and even check the speed of the boat. This way, you will not have any issues with your boat.

Moreover, an outstanding feature of the unit is the built-in Garmin Quickdraw Contours software, which is great for people who want to create and store maps. You can do so with 1’ contours for up to 2 million acres. To make sure you don’t encounter issues in any fishing environment, this Garmin fish finder comes with a rugged design. For proper scanning, it also has a Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar, as well as CHIRP ClearVu scanning sonar.

Pros

  • Bright 4.3” display
  • Amazing scanning abilities
  • Built-in GPS
  • Has a mapping software

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a card slot

#4.Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder – Best Dual Beam

You cannot play around – you need a fish finder that does its job properly, and Humminbird has you covered in this regard. This model comes with a dual beam to help you either with a narrow beam with more precision, or a wider beam for more search area. In addition, it shows you fish at the bottom. For even more detail, it lets you combine the beams, thus making your experience hard to match with other products.

As it has a 2D sonar too and it can adapt to the environment you’re in and improve your fishing adventure. Whether we’re talking about coastal waters, freshwater lakes, or ice, you will be able to fish just the way you want to. It works great as an ice fishing fish finder too, as a result.

With the SwitchFire option, you can also choose the way you want your return to look like. There’s a Clear Mode and a Max Mode, so you’re in charge of how much detail you want.

Pros

  • Gives you a clear image of what’s under your boat
  • Adapts to the fishing environment
  • Properly detailed map
  • Dual beam for good precision and a wider search area

Cons

  • The sonar won’t read below 200 feet

#5.Humminbird 410940-1 HELIX 7 CHIRP MDI GPS G3 Fish Finder – Best Underwater Clarity and Two Display Modes

Having a large enough screen is essential when you’re trying to see what’s under your boat. This is why, for this model, Humminbird added a 7-inch screen with 800H x 480V resolution. It has a color TFT display as well.

The one feature that makes this product shine, though, is the MDI, respectively the MEGA down imaging. This feature gives you water clarity so you can properly see what’s going on in the depths underneath your boat, being able to go as far as 125 feet.

It has two display modes, and thanks to that, you can account for the water’s turbulence and temperature, depth, and even add or remove certain detail. The fact that it lets you use a narrow and a wide mode makes it even better.

Pros

  • Transducer and mounting hardware included
  • It lets you use two display modes
  • Amazing MEGA down imaging
  • Wide screen

Cons

  • The GPS is a little slow

#6.Lowrance HOOK2 5 – 5-inch Fish Finder – Easiest to Set Up and Use

If you want something very easy to set up, you could get this Lowrance fish finder. All you have to do is mount a single transducer on the transom, through a scupper hole or on the trolling motor. Using it is easy as well – its menus look just like those of a phone, so making settings will be a quick process, allowing you more time to fish.

One of the things making this Lowrance device great is the coverage of the sonar. It can cover a wide area, respectively two times the amount of a traditional fish finder.  

It has high detail mapping as well. It has preloaded U.S. inland mapping, which includes 4,000 lakes with 1-foot contours. Therefore, you will be able to fish like a pro, with help from the mapping system and the GPS. If you need space for software and mapping upgrades, the item comes with an SD card slot to make that possible.

Pros

  • Has preloaded high detailed mapping
  • Easily upgradable
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Has a wide sonar coverage

Cons

  • Doesn’t have color or contrast changing options

#7.HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display – Best for Deep Water Fish Detection

Do you want something that notifies you whenever fish are present in your surrounding area? Say no more – this HawkEye fish finder has just what you need. Whenever it detects fish under your boat, it will ring an audible alarm that shows you the presence of fish in your surroundings. Thanks to this, as well as the HD bottom landscape imaging, finding fish will be child’s play.

Furthermore, it’s a very practical unit. So, if you’re looking for a portable fish finder, then this one could be what you need. It has a trollable solar sensor, it can be easily mounted on a boat and, more than that, it is floatable.

Pros

  • Amazing portability
  • Can detect fish up to 240 feet below your boat
  • Excellent display readability

Cons

  • The transducer connector is hard to connect without enough force

#8.Humminbird 409640-1 Helix 5 SI Fish Finder  – Outstanding Side-Imaging

When you’re fishing on a kayak, you want to see what’s under your boat, but you also want to be able to monitor the surrounding area. If that’s the case, Humminbird comes with another innovative product. This model has amazing side-imaging, so you can make the best out of your fishing day and not go home with no fish.

Thanks to the amazing GPS, you will always know what route to take when fishing, and which the best spots are. On top of that, because the device has depth sounders, you will be aware of the depth of the water underneath, and even be able to catch fish that swims at lower depths.

Pros

  • Superior side-imaging
  • Depth sounders and a great GPS
  • It uses the latest, most innovative technology

Cons

  • The screen can be hard to read when the sun is shining

#9.Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam transducer – Clearest Images and Amazing Target Separation

Having a unit suitable for every environment can be a blessing in the long run, especially if you’re someone who goes fishing very often. With this product from Garmin, you can rest assured that it will operate properly, no matter the environment you’re in. This is all due to the rugged design.

It’s really impressive how crystal-clear the images it produces can be. Considering it contains a dual-beam transducer with Garmin Chirp traditional sonar, it will show you the clearest images, while being able to separate targets for better understanding.

Not to mention that the built-in GPS will do a great job of showing you the route that you should take. Not only can you monitor the boat’s speed, but it is also possible to mark waypoints with ease. You can create routes as well.

There’s no need to worry about the readability either, as the screen can be readable in sunlight too. The user surface is intuitive, and the display is a wider 4.3” one.

Pros

  • Great built-in GPS
  • Sunlight-readable and wide screen
  • Can work in every fishing environment
  • Has amazing mapping software
  • Dual-beam transducer

Cons

  • The plastic mount meant to anchor the unit is not too great

#10.Lowrance HOOK2 4X – 4-inch Fish Finder with Bullet Skimmer Transducer – Greatest Auto-Tuning Sonar

Lowrance ensured they bring one of the best quality products you could ask for. This fish finder is great for people who don’t want to waste a lot of time figuring out how the unit works. It has phone-like menus, meaning it will not be difficult to work with it.

It has a micro SD slot to have more space in case you need to save your routes, waypoints, or upgrade your mapping. This fish finder has a built-in mapping, so it can find any change to your favorite fishing place. And as it has autotuning sonar settings, the sonar will adjust itself, meaning you can spend more time fishing than dialing in your sonar.

Pros

  • Clear and crisp views on the display
  • Has an autotuning sonar
  • Includes a micro SD slot for more space
  • Comes with built-in mapping

Cons

  • The auto depth range is not the best

Kayak Fish Finders Buying Guide

If you’re just about to start your fishing journey, the chances are that you do not know how to choose the best kayak fish finder. It’s not that easy since a simple search will throw countless products your way. Therefore, no matter if you want the best fish finder under 300 or the best fish finder under 200 – you have to know what to look for while shopping. As such, here are a few things to keep in mind when you want a fish finder for kayak:

Manufacturer

While it should not necessarily be the decisive factor when you’re looking for a new fish finder, the brand may be something to take into consideration. Some brands have been doing this for a long time, meaning they have the experience needed to create the most amazing products.

So, if this aspect matters to you, then check out products from brands like Garmin, Humminbird or Lowrance, although an Eagle fish finder may be just as amazing. Buying from a reputable company will not only give you peace of mind as you know you purchased something of high-quality, but it will also give you a good warranty.

Installation Process

The last thing you want while you’re in a kayak ready to start your fishing day is having to spend too much installing your fish finder. Not only that you want to get to action already, but it can also get annoying when you were looking forward to a nice day. Therefore, you need to settle for a fish finder that is easy to install. There are plenty of them, even from big brands, that make the installation process a piece of cake. By purchasing one of these, you will be able to focus on the fishing aspect instead of having your day ruined by anger.

Distance

How far away from home or shore do you intend to travel when fishing? You need to ask yourself this question before you invest in a fish finder. If you plan on going far away from the shore, then getting the best fish finder GPS combo may be the best option. Something that comes with GPS options will be more useful than you think, as it will let you know where you are when you need to fish.

However, these units tend to be a little pricier than your average fish finders that have no GPS circuit.

Water Resistance

You want your fish finder to last, don’t you? If that’s the case, look for waterproof devices. You’re on a kayak, after all, so there’s always a high chance of your device being splashed with water. If you don’t look for something resistant to water, you risk ruining it and you will have to spend money on a new one.

Price

Price is an essential factor to consider as well because you may not be able to afford the high-priced units from popular brands, in which case you may need a cheaper one. At the same time, it would be a big mistake to only consider the price when you buy a fish finder.

The best way to make a decision is to also check what the device offers for the price. Does it have everything that you need? Furthermore, are the reviews good? Were people pleased with it, or did they have issues with it? When you’re about to settle for a cheaper product, don’t hesitate to ask yourself all these questions.

Sun Glare

Isn’t it annoying when the sun makes it hard for you to see what’s on a screen? Some fish finders have this issue, which would make it hard for you to find out where fish is located. For this reason, you need to invest in a fish finder with a glare-resistant screen or use an LCD film. These will help you read the screen even when the glare from the sun is strong.

Screen Size

Screen size matters because larger screens will make it easier for you to read the details on them. However, since you’re on a kayak, you have limited space, which means you might want to settle for a smaller screen instead.

Portability

When shopping, you are going to find both portable and permanent fish finders. Permanent ones can be a great option when you want something to fix on a boat. As such, since you’ll be on a kayak, you can settle for a permanent one.

At the same time, this doesn’t change the fact that portable ones are easier to carry with you. They are lightweight for the most part. If you want, you can even settle for a castable fish finder.

Depth

We’re talking about finding a real fish finder here, not the Terraria fish finder, so depth needs to be considered too. When fishing, it’s hard to know how deep fish are swimming, so if you want to find that out, getting a device that can scan the area at larger depths is ideal.

You might want to get a deeper fish finder that shows you how deep the water below your kayak is and can also locate fish that swim deeper. It’s a great feature to have.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a castable fish finder?

Castable fish finders are devices that are attached to a cast line. In order to function, they make use of sonar technology and map the body of water to be able to locate fish. In essence, they are great at showing you the graphic representation of what’s under your kayak.

Q: What is the transducer?

The transducer is an essential part of a fish finder that gives your device details about the scenery below your kayak. It uses sonar technology and thus sends out signals or waves, which then bounce back to give you details. It’s a great system if you want to stay away from hazards and find the best fishing spots.

Q: What is the ideal depth for a kayak fish finder?

The best depth scanning capacity of your fish finder should be considered based on where you’re fishing. Some devices can deal with a 750 feet range, while others can scan at 500 feet, 250 feet, and so on. It’s essential to look at your favorite fishing spots and pick a depth based on that.


Conclusion

If you want to make sure you have the best fishing experience, then it’s essential to get the best fish finder. After all, you don’t want to waste your time in spots that barely have any fish. With one of these amazing devices, you’ll make your family and friends proud of your skills. Check out one of the products we listed and if none of them convinces you, you can look for a product yourself by considering the information from the buying guide.

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1 COMMENT

  1. A friend of mine had the iBobber and it worked really good. It’s best to take an extra battery for your phone or a battery pack if your phone doesn’t hold a good charge and you plan on fishing all day

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