Best Kayak Fish Finder

Best Kayak Fish Finder – Buyers Guide

Best Kayak Fish Finder – Kayak fishing is a popular activity that has been growing in popularity. You can fish anywhere you want, but it can be frustrating to not be able to find the fish.

Technology guys deserve our thanks for creating excellent fish finders that kayaks can use to allow you to enjoy fishing with ease.

There are many fish finders available, with different specifications. It can be difficult to choose one that suits your needs.

You don’t have to fish from a kayak. However, you still can enjoy all the modern marine electronics. A good fish finder can make kayak fishing more enjoyable, but it still retains the same benefits as small-craft fishing. Kayaks can be launched from any water and can be fished in almost any type of water.

After you’ve purchased your fishing kayak, it is time to make it an effective fishing machine. One of the very first additions to your kayak will be a good fish finder. There are many factors to consider when choosing the best kayak fish finder. Check out our recommendations and guidelines for kayak fishing equipment.

We have compiled a list of the top kayak fish finders on the market.

Why invest in a Kayaking Fish Finder?

Fish finders can be used to identify and seek out fish. Fish finders allow you to see aqua structure, view the locations and temperature, as well as the depth.

Let’s look at the other benefits of a fish finder:

  • The GPS on high-end fish finders shows the kayak’s location as it moves across the water. This is especially useful when you want to find the best spot for fishing and in marking your current location.
  • It can be used under ice fishing or rain, as well as on lakes and in saltwater.
  • The fish finder includes a temperature gauge that can be used to help you improve your fishing results during spawning. Some fish species are very sensitive to water temperature and knowing this will improve your fishing results.
  • This will allow you to locate the structure such as weed beds and timber as well as flat areas such as sand flats.
  • They are easy to use and feature simple icons. The technology has improved fish finders over the past decade for the benefit of anglers.

Things to consider before buying a fish finder for kayaks

Let me make a guess. You already know that you are going to be missing a must-have feature because your budget is very tight.

These are the most important factors to consider when choosing a high-quality Fish Finder for Kayaks. These criteria can be mandatory or optional. Consider all these features as a personal preference.

Keep this in mindThe best fish finder for a commercial fishing boat is not the same as one for a kayaker. Choose the right option for you.

Display

The second most important feature in a fish finder is its display. It includes the screen and the user interface.

High resolution and sharp contrast make it easier to read and see what you are looking at. This is also true in daylight. It’s undoubtedly a vital feature.

Screen Size

There are a variety of screen sizes available, from 3 to 6 inches for boat-based models to even larger ones. If space is an issue for kayakers, you will want a fish finder that is small enough to be able to see everything clearly.

When choosing a screen size, remember that you may need reading glasses even if you don’t plan to take them with you kayaking.

Resolution

The resolution refers to the number of pixels that are on either side of the screen. A larger number indicates how clear the image will be. It can range from 240×160 to 640×640. Although they are cheaper, smaller resolution displays can be just as clear.

If you are unable to see any fish or structures on the display while paddling up the river, don’t let the low price fool you.

GPS

Yes, it is aware that it is a complex feature and difficult to find on a limited budget. The good news is that some fish finders are available with GPS for a very affordable price. Make sure you check whether this feature is available on the fish finder that you are considering.

This is especially important if you’re going out on an ocean kayak. This is a safety feature that allows you to fish in areas that are not easily identifiable from the water surface.

If you’re on a long trip in your kayak and are trying to find your campsite, GPS can be a great tool.

Type of Transducer

The transducer transmits the sonar signals that locate the fish. This feature allows for mounting on your kayak. You can use multiple cone angles to send signals to the fish finders to go deep or wide.

Your fish finder’s most important feature is its transducer. The transducer provides accurate information and data that can be displayed on your display. It is crucial to select the right transducer for the water depth in order for the unit to perform well.

Frequency Signal

A fish finder’s frequency is usually one of 50, 83 or 192, 200 or 455 kHz.

The frequency at which you fish will depend on how shallow the water is.

It doesn’t matter how low the frequency is, it may still offer a wide angle for the signal. Fish finder brands now offer a variety of frequencies, so you can switch between low and high frequency.

There are four types of frequency: High, Low and Dual.

High Frequency

For shallow water fishing, high frequency signals are best. While this transmits a lot of information, it doesn’t penetrate as deeply into the water.

Low Frequency

Low frequency signals are better suited to deep water because they penetrate deeper into the water. However, they don’t have as much information and the image isn’t as sharp as high frequency.

Dual Frequency

Dual frequency fish finders enable you to switch between high and low frequency depending on your needs at any given moment. They combine the best of both.

CHIRP

CHIRP stands for Compressed High Intensity Radar Impulse. This technology is superior for transducers because it changes frequencies to give the best accuracy, regardless of water depth.

A CHIRP fishfinder is the best option if you have a tight budget.

Cone Angle

The cone angle is one of the most important criteria in any fish finder specifications. It can range from 10 to 65 degrees, which is quite a wide range.

Multiple beams can be sent simultaneously by transducers.

Fish Alarm

Fish finders can be equipped with alarms that sound when they locate fish. This is known as a fish alarm. This can be very annoying if you fish in an area that is full of healthy large fish. However, if you really want to smell a fish, I recommend you turn your fish alarm on.

Water depth

You will need a fish finder depending on the depth you are fishing. A down-imaging sonar is required if you fish in deep holes or the ocean. This will provide the best accuracy at depth.

A side-imaging fishfinder is better if you’re only fishing in shallow rivers or lakes. This will allow you to see more water beneath your kayak, and it will help you find the best places to cast a lure.

Water Temperature

A few fish finders will show the weater temperature at the top. This is especially useful for fishing bass during their spawning season. Many recreational fish species alter their behavior and location depending on the water temperature.

This feature can make the difference between a day of paddling or a day of catching fish.

Power Source

You will see large, expensive fish finders that are hooked up to the boat’s electrics. They are powered by 12V batteries. This is not the best choice for kayaks where space and weight are limited.

A fish finder should have internal, rechargeable, or replaceable batteries.

Kayak Mounting

It is important to consider how you will mount your fish finder’s display and transducer on your kayak. Some high-end fishing kayaks come with their own transducer mounting locations.

Some kayaks have scupper holes, which allow you to pass your transducer through the hull. Before you buy a fish finder, make sure you know how it will be mounted.

A fish finder that fits your kayak might be a good choice. Old Town and Ocean Kayaks have been designed to fit Humminbird Transducers, while Hobie and Wilderness Systems kayaks are better suited for Lowrance mounts.

If you don’t have any dedicated space for a transducer mount and a display mount, then you might want to consider a portable fish finder with a castable transducer. These can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Simply drop the transducer in the water to see what’s beneath you.

You can mount your transducer either at the rear of your kayak or at the stern. They can be damaged by accidental collisions.

It’s time to make a decision: Which one should you choose?

You might mistakenly think that a fish finder with low quality is the only option if you are on a limited budget. You can still get great gear even with a tight budget.

Let’s now discuss some.

7 best kayak fish finders

  • Garmin Striker 4: Best Kayak Fish Finder
  • Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar – Runner Up
  • HawkEye Fishtrax1C – Long Battery Live
  • Humminbird 5410260-1 – Features: CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS Sonar
  • ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth smart – Best for its Strike Alarm
  • Vexilar SP200 – Turns Your Phone into a Fish Finder
  • Lucky Portable Fishing Sonar Features 5 Modes Sensitivity Options

Our Top Picks

FishfinderDimensionsWeightResolutionDepth
Garmin Striker 43.6 x 1.66 x 5.9 inches8 ounces480 X3201600 feet in freshwater, 750 feet saltwater
Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar3 x 5.3x 5.9in.3.52 ounces265 feet
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C6 x 3×2 in.10.2 ounces240 feet
Humminbird 5 410260-11.1 x 7.75 x 4.3 inches9 lb800 x 4001500 feet
ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart2 x 2 in.0.16 ounces135 feet
Vexilar SP2007.2 x 3.8 x 5.8 inches1 lb240 feet
Lucky Portable Fishing Sonar5.9 x 3.9 x 3.9 in.1.11 lb325 feet

7 Best Kayak Fish Finder in 2021

1. Garmin Striker 4: Best Overall Kayak Fish Locator

Garmin Striker 4 is the best choice for fisherman who want to fish in saltwater or deep water. It features the CHIRP Sonar Technology. Unlike traditional sonars, the CHIRP sonar emits a continuous wave of waves that allows you to see down to 1600 feet in freshwater, and 750 feet for saltwater. CHIRP technology also distinguishes between small targets and clusters of fish, providing clear images.

It also features a double-display capability that allows you check both the waypoint map as well as the reader simultaneously. For a more complete underwater reading, you can view both the 200 kHz and 77 kHz signals simultaneously.

You have the option to select from a device with a 5, 3.5, or 7-inch display size. This is great because it allows you to pick the display size that best suits your kayak. Its full-color display of 480 x 320 resolution will impress you. This screen displays sharp and clear information.

The package includes a standard transducer, which you should mount to a transom arm.

This babe can also be used in extreme weather conditions because it is IPX7. It can withstand almost any weather.

This kayak GPS fishfinder is also the most accurate because it uses two conical beams to detect fish, so it can pinpoint a larger surface area. You can also use the waypoint map to navigate and mark your locations. What makes the ability to mark places so great? This is important because it allows you to save time searching for the best fishing spots that you have found before.

Some users are unhappy about the lack of maps.

Pros

  • It can be read in bright light
  • Great resolution
  • CHIRP sonar
  • Dual frequency
  • Includes a battery

Cons

  • No Maps function
  • There is no MNEA connectivity

Bottom line

This is, to put it mildly, the best waterproof fish finder. If you are looking for a waterproof fish finder that can be used in all weather conditions, this is it. It is also available if you require a fishfinder with high resolution that can be read in the sunlight.

2. Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar – Runner Up


We love Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar because it allows you to tie the line with the fishing line and cast out. Then, you will receive a scan showing the area between you and the end. This allows you to determine the best direction to cast and how far to cast. It also helps to determine the depth of the fish at certain locations.

The Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar, which is lightweight, portable, wireless, and castable, is also a great fish finder. It will not let you down, whether you are shore fishing, ice fishing or boat fishing. It can scan up to 260 feet at a time and can take 15 scans per minute.

The pod is easy to use, as you only need to put it in the water. You can then sync it with your Android or iOS devices using Wi-Fi hotspot. It doesn’t matter if you don’t use any of these platforms, it works on all platforms. You can find it here.

Customers dislike that the battery lasts only 5.5 hours if it is used continuously. It is also very heavy, so you will need a stiff rod to cast. We believe its other features make this one of the most portable kayak fish finders.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Wireless
  • It covers a large area

Cons

  • Use a stiff rod
  • No CHIRP
  • Battery life is very short

Bottom line

This babe is the right choice if you are looking for a castable fishfinder.

3. HawkEye Fishtrax1C – Long Battery Live


HawkEye Fishtrax 1C is the best HawkEye Fishtrax 1C feature. It delivers accurate information down to 240 feet (due to algorithmic software programming). It has a 25-degree sonar beam that easily shows where fish are.

It’s easy to use and suitable for both beginners and those with little experience using fish finders. This is especially useful for beginners as it sounds an alarm when it detects fish. It is easy to use with its three user-friendly modes. The Ice Mode’s digital flasher makes it usable in all seasons. It can be used while you’re ice fishing.

Moreover, it is one of the very best portable fish finders for kayaks because it is not only trollable, but also boat mountable, and floatable.

The package includes a transducer and side-scan adapter, as well as 30 feet of cable and a sensor float. This float can be used in cold conditions and deep weeds. It is IPX7, so you can submerge it to one meter.

The indicator also features FishArc, FishID and HD bottom imaging fish finder indicators. It can last for approximately 20 hours on a single charge.

It uses dual-frequency technology instead of the more important CHIRP technology. The GPS is not available, so it might not be a good choice for beginners if they are unable to find their way.

Pros

  • Battery life is long
  • Accuracy
  • Sunlight is readable
  • Warranty of two years
  • FishArc features and FishID fishfinder indicators

Cons

  • No CHIRP sonar
  • No GPS

Bottom line

This device is not suitable for those who need a GPS. It is a great deal, however, because of its other features.

4. Humminbird 5410260-1 – Features: CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS Sonar


This baby can scan to 1500 feet with its portable CHIRP Dual beam PLUS Sonar. Its battery can last for approximately 16 hours so you can be sure that your trip will be productive.

This great depth finder is ideal for kayaks. It has a 5-inch WVGA color display. It can also be read in direct sunlight. For better reading, the display has been colored.

This babe has a GPS plotting system that allows you to keep track of your time in the water, save waypoints and check optional maps. You might want to save your favorite fishing spots to be able to return there on your next trip. The MicroSD slot on the device allows you to save any location you wish to.

Pros

  • Portable CHIRP dual beam PLUS Sonar
  • WVGA display with five-inch color
  • Battery life of 16 hours
  • GPS built-in

Cons

  • Poor interface

Bottom line

This device has a terrible interface. However, it’s easy to overlook its built-in GPS, large screen and ability to scan down up to 1500 feet.

5. ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth smart – Best for its Strike Alarm


If you’re looking for a kayak fish finder that can sync with your smartphone, this is it. You can view all of its readings on the app that is free for your mobile phone.

This Bluetooth fish finder is also a great Bluetooth fisherman as it uses low-power Bluetooth to conserve your battery. The battery will only need to be charged once every 10 hours.

You can use it to bobber your fishing line, or as a remote fishfinder.

ReelSonar Bluetooth Smart also provides information about your trip’s location, time and water temperature. It also detects how many fish you have and their species. It does all the work for you, and even alerts you if there are fish in your line.

It can sync with iOS (Apple), 10.0 and later operating system, Android 4.3 or later that uses Bluetooth Smart (4.0). You can also share your trip on social media to add some fun and excitement. You can also use the interactive map to tag your GPS spots.

This device provides precise readings of up to 135 feet. You will need to determine how far it can be cast before it loses connection to your phone. Although it states that it can connect up to 100ft, users claim it loses connection after only 10 feet.

Pros

  • This allows you to share your trip via social media
  • Affordable
  • Accurate
  • Multifunctional
  • Durable battery
  • Is there a strike alarm?

Cons

  • You may be charged if you are not available within 10 hours
  • It may lose connection to your smartphone after it passes 10 feet

Bottom line

This fish finder is affordable and durable, but it also has many amazing features. This kayak fishfinder is perfect for those who love to share events via social media.

6. Vexilar SP200 – Turns Your Phone Into a Fish Finder


Vexilar SP200, a portable fishfinder that can be synced to your phone, is a great choice. The device turns your tablet or phone into a fully-functioning fish-finding sonar by using its Wi-Fi hotspot. The device can be used anywhere in the world thanks to the Wi-Fi hotspot. The app is also extremely easy to use.

It comes with pre-drilled holes that allow you to attach it easily to the kayak. The arm-band is made of neoprene and can be used to attach your fishfinder to your phone.

This device can also detect water temperature and scan down to 240 feet.

Some users report that it only works with iOS 10.0 or higher.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Super lightweight
  • Warranty of two years
  • It is easy to mount

Cons

  • One year warranty on the battery
  • Only compatible with iOS 10.0 or higher

Bottom line

This portable fish finder is the best for kayaks. This fish finder is lightweight and easy to sync with your mobile phone.

7. Lucky Portable Fishing Sonar Features 5 Modes Sensitivity Options


You can purchase the best handheld fish finder, Lucky Portable Fishing Sonar at a very affordable price and still enjoy all its features. It can be used in many ways depending on your needs. You can attach it to your kayak’s side, allow it to flot on the water surface using the included float, and attach it to a pole.

You can also mount the display anywhere you like with the included 25-foot transducer cables.

It also features an alarm for fish, and a fish school. It can also detect the approximate location of fish, weeds and sand at the bottom.

You can use it in a variety of fishing environments including offshore fishing and kayak fishing.

It can scan only 328 feet deep. It can work continuously for 4 to 5 hours. This is not practical if you plan on long trips. They can also be used in battery save mode to extend their life.

Pros

  • You can use it in many ways
  • This will tell you if you’re floating on sand, weed or rocks
  • Features fish alarms and fish school alarms
  • Features 5 levels of sensitivity

Cons

  • Battery life is very short
  • Do not look too deeply
  • Batteries not included

Bottom line

You can use it in many fishing areas. It can also be used in multiple ways, so you can choose what suits you best. The main drawbacks are the short battery life and absence of CHIRP sonar.

Why is it important to mount a fish finder on your kayak?

An Eye Underwater

It doesn’t matter if you fish for profit or pleasure, it is always a plus to be able to see under the kayak. A fish finder will show you a lot of underwater structures. Some object by saying they will spook fish in the area. This could be true, but it is possible. You can mark the spot to return later.

A fish finder can also detect holes and canals where fish might be hiding. Without one, you wouldn’t know. It’s a huge loss!

How to Mark Spots and Find Your Way Home

A GPS is a common tool for fish finders. This allows you to easily mark the best spots to fish so you can return to them on your next trip. Fishing with a kayak is a great way to get to remote areas that are not accessible by other boats and ships, which increases your chances of getting lost.

A fish finder is useful because it can be a nightmare to get lost in the ocean. It can help you track your movements and return you to the place you started.

You can use your phone’s GPS to do this. However, it is safer and more convenient to have a waterproof device with a long-lasting battery.

A versatile device is a good thing

Although a fish finder is used primarily to locate the fish structure and location, it can also help you locate your way home by marking fishing spots or helping you return to your original spot. Some fish finders can detect fish in cold water and even detect them. You can also use it to find more enjoyable routes.

Benefits of Kayak Fish Finders

Let’s first discuss the reasons why you should get a fishfinder. This is a useful tool for fishing. It lets you see the fish and determine its location.

Fish finders useSonar technology. Sonar is for Sound Navigation and Rangeing. It is more than a concept in high school physics. This is a great tool to find fish.

It emits sound waves at different frequencies, which echo back to help you find the fish under water. It will display a visual representation of everything underneath your boat.

The fishing finder is more than just a tool that will help you locate fish. The screen will show you all the debris, weeds and rocks under your boat. The screen will also show the exact depth.

The best fish finder can also be a great kayaking gear. You might want to check out our list of the top 10 fishing kayaks under $1,000 if you’re a big man.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

How do I mount a fishfinder to a kayak?

There are many ways to mount a fish finder on a kayak. It can be mounted transom at the rear or stern. Portable transducers can be thrown into the water, and can also be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. You can also pass the transducer through some kayaks with the help of scupper holes.

Are fish finders waterproof

The majority of fish finders are water resistant, which means they can withstand some splashes but they cannot be submerged. Some fish finders can be made more durable by using waterproof jackets.

What is a CHIRP Sonar?

Compressed High-Intensity Radar Impulse (also called CHIRP), uses enhanced sonar technology to send a continuous range sonar frequencies, from low to high. CHIRP sonars display more data than traditional sonars that only emit one frequency.

What is a Chartplotter Fish Locator?

This is a type of fish finder that provides advanced navigation systems. This GPS device provides visual data such as maps and charts that makes it easier to see the GPS data and track your route.

Wrapping up

It is not easy to find the best kayak fish finder on a budget. You might compromise on a few features.

This fish finder list is safe to trust. I spent a lot of time researching to find the best fish finder within my budget. The list includes fish finders that have achieved top-notch performance.

But my personal favorite is the Garmin Striker – a portable and smart piece of equipment just amazed me with superior quality even in affordable price tag. Good luck, and have fun.

We love to interact with our audience and welcome any questions or comments.

Enjoy your fishing trips!

Lewis
Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.