If kayak fishing is one of your chosen activities, then you know that how frustrating it can be to cast the rod and wait for the fish to bite. Even when you have been using the best kayak and fishing tools, the sport turns out to be a game of luck. Here is when the best fish finder for kayak comes in picture!
This is the tool that makes fishing more fun, as it removes the frustration of waiting. This tool is very small in size and fits onto your kayak easily to help you sail through the streams where you will surely find the fish.
This device is nothing new for those who have been involved in fishing for a long time, but yet buying the best kayak fish finder will still be a challenge.
We have researched a lot to find the distinct set of fish finders that make fishing easy and fun. Here we have listed top 15 few fish finders that we have reviewed after considerable research, along with the factors to consider when buying one, and how to maintain one.
Whether you are the first-time user of fish finder or have been using it for years, this guide will help you upgrade your fishing tool successfully.
- The Best Fish Finders For Kayak
- How to choose a fish finder for kayak
- How To Care For Fish Finder For Kayak?
- Indulge In Successful Fishing Adventure With Best Fish Finders For Kayak
The Best Fish Finders For Kayak
1. Garmin Striker 4
Fishing into regular or unknown waters can become extremely easy and fast with this 3.5” GPS fish finder from Garmin. This traditional chirp transducer comes with high frequency sonar to give exact location and image of the objects below the kayak.
Take this tool along to find structures, objects and fishes in all water types. It is easy to use and install with dedicated buttons for different functions.
- Available in different display sizes of 3.5, 5 and 7
- Can be used in both fresh water and salt water
- Comes with in-built flasher
- Waypoint map to view locations
- Easy to use and install
- Built-in GPS for successful navigation
- Cheap price
- Screen is difficult to read in sunlight or with sunglasses
2. Deeper Pro
This fish finder helps you to track the fishes with your smartphone. Use portable wireless sonar that connects with your smartphone via Wi-Fi to give real time data.
Cast this spherical sonar at different places and scan the bottom for different directions.
All the data is saved successfully on Cloud to help you map the entire location in the app. It is handy and reliable.
- Wi-Fi enabled for quick data transmission to smartphone
- Deeper scanning with wider casting
- Create maps on your Smartphone from shore
- Saves data on cloud to be used on Fish Deeper App
- Dual beam scanning for more accurate results
- Not good for those looking for a mountable fish finder
3. Lucky Handheld Portable
Looking for a portable fish finder for your fishing adventure, then this fish finder with 2.4” TFT color display from Lucky is a good choice that comes within $80.
It comes with a USB charger that offers battery life of almost 5 hours after every charge.
It is portable, so easy to handle, and displays water temperature, contours, water depth, and also the fish size along with fish depth.
- Can be used for kayak fishing, sea fishing, shore fishing, river fishing, ice fishing, etc.
- Depth detection of up to 328 FT
- Offers two user modes: simulation and transducer
- Comes with a bracket to fix transducer to your boat
- Multiple settings to adjust features
- Very cheap price
- Display is too small for those looking for a big screen experience
4. Garmin Striker Plus
Garmin Striker Plus 5cv is a traditional Chirp transducer with ClearVu scanning. It has built-in Quickdraw contours map software to create maps with 1’ contours and also store up to 2 million acres of maps. It comes with built-in GPS to follow trails, mark waypoints, and also monitor the speed of boat.
The 5” display of this tool is bright enough to be readable even in bright sunlight. User friendly interface and various modes make this tool convenient to be used while exploring various water bodies.
- 5” display with resolution of 800 X 480 pixels
- Comes with intuitive user interface that helps in easy navigation of all functions
- Create and store routes for your next trip
- Mountable design
- Expensive as compared to others
5. Garmin Striker Plus 4
The Dual Beam Striker Plus 4 Transducer from Garmin offers crystal clear images with accurate target defining. It is offered with Quick Draw function that can be used to plot maps for the large areas. It also houses built-in GPS to record the speed and set the routes.
- Big 4.3” display for clear imaging
- Stores up to 2 million acres content of 1’ contours
- Comes with chirp sonar clarity
- High sensitivity GPS
- May fail to read accurate depth when battery is low
6. Joywee FF688C 3.5″
Those fishing enthusiasts looking for portable fish finder can opt for this 3.5” Dual Sonar Frequency Fishfinder from JOYWEE.
It is offered with multi-language support and auto zoom features that make it more popular than similar other units. It can read depths from 0.6 m to 300 m with accuracy.
It displays all bottom types like rock, grass, sand, fish and more. Easy to use fish finder can be used effectively by both amateur as well as professional fishermen. It is designed to be used in all types of water bodies.
- 3.5” LCD TFT screen for clear image
- White LED front lighting
- Operating temperature of -20 degree to 70 degree C
- Dual beam sonar frequency
- Guaranteed quality
- Hangs at times
7. Humminbird 410940-1 HELIX 7 CHIRP MDI
Those looking for a big screen experience from the fish finder would like this Humminbird Helix 7 fish finder with Mega Down Imaging and GPS. The 7-inch color TFT screen offers 800H X 480V resolution delivering unmatchable underwater clarity. This mountable fish finder comes with two display modes to view various details at the same time.
- Split screen view option for better viewing experience
- Underwater clarity of up to 125 feet under the boat
- Comes with mounting bracket
- SD card not included in the package
8. Ricank Underwater Fishing Camera
Experience the HD view of life under the water with this RICANK underwater fishing camera. This fish finder comes in two parts – camera and screen. The HD camera can cover up to 15 M depth under the water. The same can be viewed on handheld 4.3” LCD monitor.
The device also comes with a 15 M cable and 8 white LEDs, with the help of which you can clearly see under deep water. It is also resistant to water, cold and pressure, due to which it does not corrode and lasts long.
- Perfect tool for ice fishing and sea fishing
- HD camera can view underwater topography and not just fish
- Sun visor and LED backlight fitted
- 15 M long cable
- Reasonable price
- Operations are a little difficult to understand
10. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display
You can find the fish precisely below water up to 240 feet depth with this Fishtrax intelligent fish finder from HawkEye. This mountable sonar comes with HD display and LED backlight to enjoy glare free viewing in sun and even at night. You can enjoy HD landscape images with FishID and FishArc indicators for targeting fish.
- With IPX-7 waterproofing, it can be submerged in 1 meter water for up to 30 minutes
- Audible fish alarm to alert you when you are not viewing the screen
- Dual beam sonar of 83 KHz and 200 KHz
- Comes with bottom composition indicator
- Stylish look
- Little pricey
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How to choose a fish finder for kayak
If you are thinking that all fish finders are the same and the only difference that you need to spot is the price, then you are wrong!
There are many factors that need to be considered while buying best fish finder for kayak. So, look for all these factors together and find the best tool to fit on your kayak for stress free fishing experience.
1. Temperature And Pressure Readings
You may not think of this factor if just random fishing is your goal. But if you are an avid fisher interested in spotting the areas in the stream where fish would be nesting, moving or spawning, then you need an advanced tool with temperature and pressure reading technology.
When you know these readings, then it is up to you to interpret them efficiently to plan your fishing journey. Some of these readings can be used to track back your path to find more fish schools that you may have left behind on your fishing path.
2. Locating The Unseen
While the main use of the fish finder is to locate the fish under the water, it is equally helpful in locating the unseen rocks, underwater debris, and many such obstacles hidden under the water. In clear waters, it is mostly easier to see the things at the bottom, but it is still difficult to find the exact depth of the same.
Even when you are sailing in the shallow waters, the best kayak fish finder will help you locate the world below effectively. Check whether the tool that you are planning to use is designed to record the depth of the objects below or not, other than the moving fish! If yes, then it is the one for you.
Accuracy is the key! Even if your fish finder is full of features, it would be of no use without efficiency and accuracy.
Imagine a scenario when you change your route based on the information given by the fish finder and end up taking a wrong course just due to lack of accuracy. The best fish finder for kayak is the one that is accurate and can be trusted fully.
If you don’t want to check the accuracy yourself, then go with the online reviews. These reviews are mostly trusted and can give you a brief insight into the product. Most of the good quality fish finders are accurate in standard conditions, but some damage and forced submersion would sometimes affect its depth exploration settings. So, make sure you take proper care of the unit to avoid such accuracy issues even in future.
4. Size And Type
Based on its size, there are two types of fish finders available in the market – Portable and Mountable. The portable fish finder is small in size and can be carried along in the bag conveniently. This type of tool is good for the people using rented boats or fishing from the shore.
The accuracy of portable fish finder is lower as compared to the mountable type. Again, stability is another issue, as it comes with a suction cup to fix it on the boat, and hence not very stable. However, those looking for a sleek and handy tool would love it for sure.
It is also the best option to find in limited budget. Carry it in your fishing bag and it is ready to be used anywhere anytime. On the other hand, mountable fish finder is bigger in size and can be mounted well on your Kayak to enjoy accurate guidance.
A mountable tool is a great investment if you are going to use it on your own boat. Those spending substantial time on water may love this tool due to its stability and accuracy. When using your own boat, opt for this type of fish finder.
5. Built-in GPS
Built-in GPS will add to the cost of the best fish finder for kayak. It is still recommended if budget is not the problem. It is the best thing to have in unknown waters where it would be difficult to find your way back if you travel a long distance.
Smartphone is always there to rescue, but it may be of no use in event of drained battery or lost data signal. This tool will help you find your way back in all conditions. Try paying a little extra for GPS, as this will help you in creating and storing the water trails to be followed during your next fishing trip.
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How To Care For Fish Finder For Kayak?
Fish finders are used in water and may come in water contact again and again. Most of these fish finders are water resistant and are designed to remain in water for long periods. Whether there are batteries or other mechanism fitted in this tool, there are chances that they may get affected due to constant water contact.
Again, this tool is used in all types of water bodies. Hence, it is very important that you take proper care to ensure that it functions properly for long. Some of the maintenance tips are mentioned here that you should follow to keep your tool in best condition:
1. Maintenance Of LCD Display
A good display is the key feature for any fish finder. There are chances that LCD display gets affected by water logging or due to physical impact. Although the display is waterproof, it cannot be cleaned in running water. Clean it with mild soap and water solution with microfiber towel.
You can also place it in water container such that surface comes in contact with water. Don’t submerge it in water forcibly, as this will damage its depth finder. Don’t use any chemicals for cleaning, as this will damage the display quality considerably.
2. Maintenance Of Transducer
Transducer is also continuously exposed to water. For those having their boats in water all the time, it is important to take extra care of the transducer, as there are chances that it will have accumulation of algae around it. Just like the display, transducer can also be cleaned with mild soap and water solution, while using a microfiber towel for cleaning the surface.
Transducers are not ready for immediate use in water, as it takes time for water to be absorbed. Initially, some bubbles are formed on the transducer, and slowly after some time, these bubbles will go away on their own. If you are looking for immediate results, then clean these bubbles with the help of your finger or small towel.
Once the bubbles are removed, the transducer is ready again to perform its duty. A thin film formation of micro flora on the transducer will affect its efficiency negatively.
3. Maintenance Of Connections And Plugs
These parts of the fish finder are prone to easy corrosion. They come in regular contact with water and get corroded easily. Water contact is not avoidable, and hence proper care of these parts becomes important.
There are anti-corrosives available in the market, which can be used regularly to clean these connections. Take these anti-corrosives on the microfiber towel and wipe the connections, plugs and cable ends properly.
Let them dry for some time before using again, as this will protect these fixtures from corrosion and also increase the life of your fish finder.
1. Why Is A Fish Finder Required?
Fish finder is required to find the bait from the surface when it is not visible directly under the water. This is a tool that uses the sound waves to locate the structure where fishes are found.
These structures can be easily located with this tool, and it also helps you to explore other locations when fish is not present at your regular spots.
2. How Does The Fish Finder Work?
It works by using sound waves in water. The underwater transducer known as hydrophone is used to convert the electrical impulse into the sound wave. This wave travels in the water until it strikes an object such as rock, fish or other such structure.
The wave then reflects back to the surface and displays the size, shape and even the composition of the object it has struck. This helps in finding the bait.
3. What Is The Right Size For Fish Finder?
There is no specific size for the fish finder that can be termed as the right size, as there are many other factors affecting the same. The available sizes of the screen range from 3.5 inches to 19 inches.
You may opt for the biggest screen size that suits your budget to view more information on the screen at a single glance.
If your budget doesn’t permit, then try and find a mid-size screen of about 9 inches to enjoy benefits of bigger screen in your budget. However, if you want it to be handy, then go for the screen size smaller than 5”.
4. Does Fish Finder Work In River Too?
Fish finders are designed to work in different depths starting from 4 ft to 135 ft and in all water types like fresh water and salt water. Hence, it can be effectively used in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and even works for ice fishing.
Some of the models are designed to work in shallow waters too and have special options to regulate the sonar frequency to suit the water depth.
5. How Do You Mount The Fish Finder Transducer On Your Kayak?
Transducer is mounted on the fish finder after turning over the kayak. It can be mounted in four different ways. In case of portable unit, the transducer is fitted with suction cup. While for other units, it can be fitted on the flattest surface on the hull.
Other ways of installation are from the scupper hole or at the back of the rudder. There are users who also hang the transducer on the side of the boat, but this is found to be damaging.
6. Are Fish Finders Waterproof?
Fish finders are designed to be water resistant. The display housing is water resistant and will protect your fish finder display against water splash. However, it may not protect the unit against water submersion.
It is important that the unit is cleaned as per the expert cleaning directions, and forced water submersion should be completely avoided to avoid any accidental damage.
Indulge In Successful Fishing Adventure With Best Fish Finders For Kayak
For those spending most of their time on boat and fishing in different water bodies, fish finder is the most promising tool. It is quite accurate and can be used in water of all depths to find the baits at the bottom. It is not just beneficial in finding baits, but some of these models also help in finding your way back with its in-built GPS.
You can now get into unknown waters without any fear of losing the way, as this tool will be there to take you back. While all these tools claim to be accurate and useful, it is good to find a fish finder that meets all the important factors required for adventurous fishing sport.
So, what are you waiting for! Check our research above and get the best fish finder for kayak that will stay will you in all water types to provide accurate results every time.