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10 Best Fish Finders for Kayaks

Best Fish Finders for Kayaks | Life of Fishing

Written by

Daniel Wade

/

July 28, 2020

Investing in the best fish finder for kayaks is of great importance if you want to take your kayak fishing hobby to the next level.

We all love kayak fishing and so do thousands of other anglers all around the world. Going out on the water for kayak fishing is soothing, fulfilling, and is just about as good as it gets. If you're a tactical angler who loves studying the water and tries to strategize hot to land more fish, then having a dependable and functional kayak fish finder gives you an upper hand and increases the chances of landing your next big catch. As such, choosing the best fish finder for kayaks is vital if you want your kayak fishing trips to be more adventurous, fun, and successful.

In addition to choosing a good kayak for fishing and fitting it nicely, you need a quality fish finder that offers admirable features. It should have reliable sonar and image reproduction to give you a detailed outlook of the subsurface structure. A good fish finder is, without a doubt, an ingenious little device that will make it a lot easier to locate where fish are prowling. It will not only increase your casting efficiency but will also increase your chances of catching more fish. Well, would any angler say no to that?! We don't think so.

Fortunately, a huge and good collection of fish finders is available in the market today. They come in a wide array of sizes and capability levels to fit in a wide variety of fishing kayaks. That being said, we've put together the best fish finders for kayaks that are available in the market today. These devices will not only optimize your kayak fishing performance but will also satisfy even the hardest-to-please angler.

This article covers:

Best Fish Finders for Kayaks

1. Garmin Striker 4 DV

Garmin is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the navigation industry and its Strike 4 DV is the best fish finder for kayak fishing. Coming with a transducer that can easily be mounted to the hull, this fish finder has excellent features that will augment your fishing escapades. In addition to its compact size, this fish finder is simple and easy to use, so you won't have to deal with a tricky set-up. This means that you won't have set-up problems even if you've never used a fish finder before. Its buttons are similar to those of a phone and it's easy at all levels.

Its sonar system is remarkable and offers a nearly photographic view of the water including peaks and troughs below the water. This offers you an accurate outlook of the water without necessarily being in it. You can get deeper depths as the finder's CHIRP can send ongoing frequencies into the depths to ensure that whatever you see down there is accurate.

And do you want to monitor the speed of your kayak? Well, this is quite possible on the screen of the fish finder. This is particularly important if you want to know what's happening on the water and how your kayak is performing. You certainly do not want to scare the fish away, so it's vital to monitor your speed and sneak up on the fish.

One of the main features that make the Garmin Striker 4 DV one of the best fish finders for kayak fishing in the market is its portability. As a kayak angler, you want a device that you can take it anywhere and this fish finder is portable enough for just that.

So if you love traveling, this is probably your best option as you can easily bring it along. This fish finder will keep track of your movement just to ensure that you don't get lost out on the water while also helping you locate fish. You won't have to worry when it rains as this device has a sturdy construction that makes it perfect for all-terrain.

Pros

  • Available in various sizes including 3.5 inches, 5 inches, and 7 inches
  • Intuitive and easy to use interface
  • Includes GPS
  • The Display screen is clear
  • Portable
  • Rechargeable
  • No set-up as it comes ready to use
  • The best if you're on a budget

Cons

  • The screen is not that clear when the sun is bright
  • You should upgrade to the CHIRP sonar technology
  • The display screen isn't completely water-resistant

2. Humminbird HELIX 5 Chirp GPS G2

As a fish finder manufacturer, Humminbird has taken things a notch higher with the Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2. This is probably the most technologically advanced fish finder in the Helix line of devices. Helix 5 has several exceptional features that will make your kayak fishing more fun and easier.

The 5-inch colored WVGA display offers a clear view and is perfect even for the visually impaired anglers. And if you include the transducer, you have frequencies of 83/200 kHz, so you can easily reach depths of up to 450 meters while you can clearly receive images from depths of about 180 meters. With its CHIRP digital sonar and imaging sonar, it's almost impossible to get a more accurate and clearer image below the water surface. Its GPS mapping will help navigate your routes and ensure that you never get lost.

While some fish finders are known to detect objects that aren't actually fish, the Helix 5 provides a level of accuracy and effectiveness that is perhaps impossible to match. It has high-frequency beams that will help you differentiate fish from other objects. The imaging sonar will show a clearer view of the ocean so that you can get a real-time idea of what's happening underneath the water. It offers in-depth knowledge of the water so that you can identify the best angling spots.

And do you want to save your routes and fishing hot spots? No problem, this device comes with an SD card that stores your maps so that you can visit the spots again in the future.

If you can afford the Helix 5, you certainly won't regret the decision to buy it as it one of the best fish finders for kayak fishing. This is an excellent fish finder for any angler who requires the down and side functionalities. The screen offers clear images and readings, it's easy to install and use, and you may not find a similar fish finder in the same price range. This device will undoubtedly take your kayak fishing to the next level.

Pros

  • GPS and CHIRP technology is included
  • The large 5-inch is clear and offers colored images and readings
  • It's very accurate in offering fish detection and depth reading
  • It's very sensitive

Cons

  • The clips are not durable
  • It's quite expensive

3. Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder

A truly innovative fish finder that has wireless functionality and integrated GPS, the Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar has incredible features to help you scan deeper than most fishfinder models. This is the first fish finder that has a sonar that provides an onboard mapping of more than 100 meters.

It syncs with the phone using Wi-Fi so you won't need any other internet connection to launch and view the depth data, as well as your live map. In other words, it has its own Wi-Fi signal to help you transmit data instantly to your smartphone. This fish finder has no screen, so you'll access all the data and info right on your smartphone. This means that you'll always be updated on what's going around you on the water.

You'll also receive a full picture of the water as you can cast it up to 330 feet and scan down to a depth of 260 feet under the water surface. This device is structured with a GPS system that can create bathymetric maps of your fishing location and help you master your routes and best fishing spots both in shallow and deep water.

In terms of reliability, this fish finder comes with a rechargeable battery with an approximate life of almost six hours. This is, of course, enough for a full day of fishing. It's also an easy-to-use device that works well in both freshwater and saltwater environments. That's not all; its double band system can help you attain an adequate layout of the bottom and will offer more accurate maps even at some of the deepest depths.

If you're looking for the best fish finder for kayak fishing that offers the most reliable connectivity, look no further than the Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar. It will not only give you the perfect view of the waterscape below but it will also help you find fish with ease. Better still, you'll easily access and save your fishing data on your smartphone through the Fish Deeper App. As such, you'll conveniently analyze data from your fishing adventures from anywhere. This is an excellent feature if you want to safely explore deeper depths even in unknown territory.

Pros

  • Offers rock-solid internet connectivity
  • Completely wireless
  • Lightweight, compact, and portable
  • Works well with or without a smartphone
  • You can clearly see what's on the water even at a serious casting distance
  • Creates precise maps of your best fishing spots
  • Perfect for both freshwater and saltwater

Cons

  • Doesn't have a CHIRP feature
  • Short battery life

4. Lowrance Mark4 Combo Base

Are you looking for a high-end fish finder model that's slightly less expensive? The Lowrance Mark4 Combo Base is for you. Whether you're an experienced kayak angler or just a beginner, this device is perfectly designed for kayak fishing. While it's compact and lightweight, which makes it portable, this fish finder is very durable and will serve you for many years to come. It's one of the strongest models on the market as it is constructed using grade A material that has passed numerous durability tests.

Its lightweight, portable design is essential if you do not want a device that will frustrate you during your kayak fishing escapades. In other words, it's so compact that it will easily fit in your hands while you're navigating around the water.

The best thing about this fish finder is that it's easy and convenient to operate. The LCD screen is large so you can go through various options and select them easily. While some anglers might not appreciate the fact that the screen is gray, it's essential in reducing the glare when the sunlight is so bright.

That's not all; this fish finder has an in-built GPS that is essential in plotting and marking your routes and favorite fishing spots. This navigation system is so accurate and offers up-to-date information. With this fish finder, you'll not only find fish but it will also help you find your way back. This device is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater. It's an accurate and powerful device that will guarantee that you never return home empty-handed from your fishing escapades.

Pros

  • It's compact, lightweight, and portable
  • The settings are automatic
  • It has GPS
  • It's fairly priced
  • One-handed operation is quite possible
  • It has a backup memory that can help you save up to 3,000 fishing spots

Cons

  • You may not like the grey screen

5. Lowrance HOOK2 7 Fish Finder

Has one of the best fish finder manufacturers around, Lowrance has significantly revamped its Hook2 series to go with peculiar names such as Split Shot and Triple Shot. While the HOOK2 7 may be priced than most models on this list, it has some excellent features that will make your kayak fishing a lot better.

This fish finder is designed with a split shot transducer that can be mounted to the hull of the kayak to give you a detailed view of the water below. Its 7-inch screen makes it easy to view and access all the required information. You'll excellently view the maps of your routes and best fishing spots, sonar images, as well as preferred charts. This 800x480 pixel screen has a very compact base, which is quite perfect for kayak fishing where space is generally limited.

The device provides an unbelievably wide CHIRP sonar coverage that's twice as wide as others in the market. This is particularly important if you want to see far and wide. This is, without a doubt, a superb option especially for novice anglers looking for a phone-like display that's super simple to use and navigate.

 This is because it has a preloaded mapping for key areas and provides auto-tuning just to ensure that you spend less or no time struggling with settings when you want to get an overview of a particular area. It also comes with an SD card memory to allow you to save your favorite spots and routes so that you can easily locate them if you want to revisit them.

Are you new to fishing and looking for a fish finder that's easy to use? This can be a great option. It's not only easy to install and use but will also guide you through the entire process. It doesn't matter whether you're at full speed; this fish finder comes with an easy-to-use screen to ensure that you can easily read what's on the screen so that you don't miss anything while on the water.

Pros

  • Compact, portable, and easy to use
  • Offers great picture quality
  • Can be connected to smartphones
  • Has a user-friendly interface
  • Offers one of the best CHIRP sonar coverage in the market

Cons

  • Doesn't come with a GPS
  • It's expensive

6. Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro

If you've been looking for a great fish finder for kayak fishing that's gorgeously designed and is easy to use, look no further than the Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro. It has wide viewing angles and a powerfully colored display screen that can easily show you the best spot to cast your rods.

This fish finder is highly rated by kayak anglers thanks to its extremely elegant features that make it one of the best in the market today. It comes with an in-built GPS circuit to help you mark your best fishing spots, as well as your best routes in case you want to return to the same spots later. This accurate GPS can also be useful if you want to share those locations with a friend or fellow anglers.

That's not all; this fish finder is designed with a highly-effective CHIRP technology to give you high-quality images that will augment how you angle. The transducer comes with a temperature sensor, which is great in keeping an eye on the fish's movements. The colored display screen is perfectly colored so that you can view everything even when the sunlight is bright. It features Wi-Fi connectivity to enable you to share the images on your smartphone.

And do you want to save data? No problem, this fish finder comes with a micro SD card slot to ensure that all the info is stored. While it may be a little expensive, this fish finder is great for novice kayak anglers with little experience. This is because it will help you locate fish with ease and take your kayak angling skills to the next level.

This fish finder is in a league of its own and will make your kayak angling a lot better and exciting. Buy it and you'll never regret the decision.

Pros

  • Sonar optimization
  • Offers Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Comes with a user-friendly interface
  • Has a micro SD slot
  • The CHIRP is one of the best
  • Offers down vision imaging
  • Offers colored display
  • Comes with a 72-channel GPS circuit

Cons

  • A little expensive when compared to other models

7. Lucky Portable Saltwater Fishing Sonar

If you're in the market for an excellent fish finder that's great for kayak fishing but can still be used for other complex adventures such as ice fishing, Lucky Portable Saltwater Fishing Sonar is definitely for you. This is a highly advanced fish finder that shows both air and water temperature, as well as air pressure, which is another crucial element for a great fishing adventure.

This fish finder is designed to help you approximate the location of fish, detect the depth of the water, as well as any structure below the water. Its 4-inch color LCD display screen is so clear that you'll easily see all the details, data, and info with ease. It will detect and display everything that you need to make your kayak fishing much better. This is a 16-bit color display screen that comes with an adjustable backlight that can easily glow to make the info and data readable even in bright sunlight.

It is designed with two user modes that include simulation modes and transducers to make it a lot easier to find even the hardest to find fish. The sonar transducer offers 45 degrees detect angle, 328 feet of depth detection, and 26 feet of wired operation distance. This fish finder is very compact and comes with a rechargeable battery that can last more than 5 hours with a full charge.

Even though it may lack some navigation features, this fish finder has several sensitivity options and offers an alarm when it detects fish. It's also lightweight that you can hang it around your neck when fishing. If you've been looking for a superb fish finder that will serve you incredibly well while kayak fishing and still be great for other complex scenarios such as ice fishing, this fish finder is unquestionably a great choice.

Pros

  • Comes with multiple intuitive settings
  • Offers clear colored display
  • Easy to use, compact, portable
  • Versatile (great for both kayak fishing and ice fishing)
  • Advanced signal processing
  • High Definition Down Imaging Sonar
  • Broadband CHIRP

Cons

  • Low deepness sonar
  • The sensitivity is always high even on low settings

8. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

Are you on a budget but still looking for an efficient, compact, and well-designed fish finder for your kayak fishing adventures? Well, the Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder is created with you in mind. Even though it doesn't come with a decorative LED screen, this fish finder will get its main job done with ease: it will help you detect fish while giving the exact water depth. This is a very portable device that can perfectly fit in the palm of your hand, mounted on the kayak's hull, or on a pole.

This device is not only known for its accuracy but is widely appreciated for its unmatched visibility and preciseness even the darkest of conditions. As we've just noted, this fish finder does not have an LED screen but you can use your smartphone and you'll be good to go. It also has 5 settings to allow you to set the fish size that you want it to detect. You also are able to see the rocks and all the patches below the water surface.

This is a very affordable option and a great choice if the value for many is high on your priority list, especially if you're still learning how to fish on a kayak. Although it doesn't offer whistles or those fancy features that are available on the more expensive models, this device remains functional, reliable, and will get the job done.

And even if you're planning to go fishing at night, this fish finder comes with a backlight feature to offer a better view at night. But even in low light conditions, this device guarantees that you'll locate fish more than 300 feet deep into the water. At only about $40, you'll get an absolutely incredible fish finder that won't dent your bank account and will ensure that you never go back home empty-handed.

Pros

  • Lightweight, compact, and portable
  • Very affordable
  • Has a very long battery life
  • Adjustable brightness level
  • Can reach more than 300 feet in depth
  • Perfect for both daytime and night fishing thanks to the adjustable backlight
  • Perfect for both freshwater and saltwater environments

Cons

  • Doesn't have an LED screen
  • Only works at less speed (5mph)
  • Cheap construction

9. Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder

There's a reason why the Hawkeye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder remains one of the most popular fish finders in the market. In addition to its perfect size, compact design, and portability, this fish finder is excellent for kayak fishing as it comes with a floatable and transducer that will enable you to explore the water and find fish with ease.

It will inform you if your location has fish and will ring or make a sound if there's fish beneath your kayak. This is because it's a modern fish finder that is designed with technologically advanced features to scan the waters and offer accurate readings up to a depth of 240 feet. This fish finder comes with ergonomic navigation buttons that are a lot easier to use than other models.

Its color HD display makes it one of the best fish finders out there. You'll not only access the bottom of the water but it will provide quick results on whatever you scan. It comes with an exceptional sonar sensor that you can mount on your kayak that's if you do not want to use it as a floatable sensor. Whatever method you decide to use, rest assured that this device is versatile and will serve you well in various conditions. The sonar sensor will give a wide range of data and info on temperature, the depth of the water, voltage of the device, as well as minute details that will ensure that it's a lot easier to find fish.

This device is designed with three user-friendly modes to ensure that you can accurately assess some of the most important data. Do you want to know your current water depth? No problem, this device will be there for you. Are there fish lurking below your vessel? This device will detect it and signal you almost immediately.

In essence, this fish finder is what you need if you're looking for a fish finder that will make your kayak fishing escapades more fun and easy like a child's play.

Pros

  • It's lightweight, compact, and portable
  • Detects fish up to 240 feet underneath the water
  • Excellent screen readability
  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Perfect mounting on a kayak

Cons

  • The battery is a major weakness
  • The transducer is difficult to connect
  • The screen is small

10. iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder

If you're looking for an inexpensive fish finder that delivers great value for money, the iBobber might be the right device for you. This is one of the most portable fish finders out there. It's designed stylishly and is one of the lightest fish finders in the market today. Its wireless capability makes it one of the coolest fish finders in the market. You can easily sync it with its App on your smartphone even if your smartphone is 100 feet away and it will still serve you marvelously. With this, you can easily get data about your favorite fishing spots and routes on your phone.

Although its display screen is small, this shouldn't put you into thinking that it won't be perfect. This device is technologically advanced and is known to offer some of the best images in terms of quality. This display is designed to offer fish icons to alert you of the fish's presence, as well as a striking alarm to alert when fish is nearby.

With the capability of detecting up to 135 feet depth, this fish finder will be functional and reliable in most kayak fishing situations. It's also equipped with a GPS locator, as well as a water thermometer to enhance your kayak fishing experience all through the year.

Pros

  • Lightweight, compact, and portable
  • Offers superb graphics
  • 10 hours of battery life
  • Strike alarm
  • Offers incisive product guide
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons

  • The screen is small

Bottom Line

There are a lot of factors and features to consider when looking for the best fish finders for your kayak fishing escapades. But because you're probably on a tight schedule and do not have time to go through the entire feature, we make it a lot easier for you by highlighting the best fish finders that are currently available in the market.

No matter the fish finder that you choose to go with, you'll be guaranteed that you'll never go back home empty-handed. If anything, they'll make your kayak fishing adventure a lot easier, successful, and exciting.

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