Do You Love Kayak Fishing? I like it the most. You might be wondering to know that it has become a great part to pass my leisure. But now tell me how many times have you got a really good catch actually? Maybe several or none. There might even have been passed several numbers of days when you realized that there was not much fish as you want, alas where you had been waiting all day long casting your line.
Nowadays it does not remain secret that Kayak fishing requires immense patience and focuses. But why we put ourselves through pointless hours when we can really know & see at mu our own eyes where the fish is abundant. That’s where a kayak fish finder kicks in hand that time. A marvelous innovation of modern technology, it can tell & assist you amazingly when a fish is nearby.
There is an abundant number of fish finders around. But which to choose? Which is the one that confers to the latest technology to give you the best kayak fishing experience?
What should you be looking for?
There are several important aspects of a good kayak fish finder:
1) A GOOD SONAR
It is the main component of your fish finder. The sonar gives off sound waves and analysis the ones reflected back in order to understand what’s below the
surface. It is effectively the instrument that tells you what’s below your boat.
The frequency is the number you would be searching for. The higher it is, the stronger the sonar, allowing you to hunt in shallow water.
This device uses the sonar to give the relevant output in the screen. So it is essential, the fish locator itself. A higher wattage transducer would give you a more effective output.
3) DISPLAY AND ACCESSIBILITY
The display has to be a pretty decent one to allow for easy visibility under the bright sun. However, there are fish finders which can connect to your smartphone and give you the relevant details, via Bluetooth technology, right on the screen.
For a kayak, you would need a compact fish finder, unlike the ones used in large boats. They can either be mounted on the kayak itself or are portable handheld ones. The portable ones use floating sensors on the surface of the water to send a signal back to the handheld screen.
5) OTHER ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY
There are fish finders which allow you to measure the temperature of the water as well. This helps you to understand the kind of fish that you would be able to find in a particular region.
A built-in GPS also helps you to mark the places that you have been to and the kind of fish that you found there. This might allow you to make a good map of the kind of catch available in the area.
THE 10 BEST ONES AROUND
We try to give you a comprehensive review of the best fish finders that would suit your various needs.
1) Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder
Garmin lives up to its brand name with this extraordinary fish finder. A complete package with built-in GPS at an affordable price, it really is the deal to seal.
It is so good that one can go to the extent of saying that this device is meant for the serious fisherman. Aimed at budget-conscious enthusiasts alike, this is a very highly reviewed fish finder.
It comes with CHIRP SONARs as standard. These are pretty responsive and allows for good penetration even at low depths. The transducer is of 77/200 KHz wattage is good enough for fishing even in shallow waters. It can be mounted on the kayak itself and works on the dual frequencies of 77 and 220KHz in order to give you a good picture of what’s under the water surface.
- A very user-friendly interface allows almost anyone to use it. The screen itself is bright and clear with a pretty high resolution of about 480×330 pixels. The screen can also be split into two, allowing you to measure on the dual frequencies simultaneously.
- Works up to a maximum depth of about 1600 feet, which is more than enough for most. In salt water, it works to 750 feet.
- In-built GPS capabilities allow for marking your location, useful in drawing maps for fish zones.
- A good value budget device that is compatible with a number of other transducers.
- The screen at 3.5 inches can be small for some. It challenges your vision and can make mapping and chart plotting really difficult.
- It does not have a touchscreen. However, then there area suitable no. of buttons and are quite responsive for any task.
- A complete package and might be just the one you are searching for as a beginner or amateur.
2) Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2
This Humminbird is a more serious device and is good for fishing even in deeper waters. A powerful dual frequency transducer allows you to take it to even the toughest fishing grounds available.
It not only has CHIRP SONAR but several others to give you a better idea of the terrain within the water surface. This also uses a landscape orientation, thereby allowing for a widescreen view of the terrain underneath, which can be very useful on a kayak.
- A 5-inch color WVGA screen that is large enough for most purposes including chart plotting.
- The built-in GPS helps you track your location every time you go into the waters, thereby allowing for better mapping of the fishing zones.
- Combines a mixture of sidescan/down-scan with CHIRP in order to allow for better mapping. This also allows better fishing in shallow zones and also helps differentiate the fish from other objects under the surface.
- It is a proven performer for kayaks and small boats and is often suggested by experts. Indeed, a full feature unit at a very competitive price.
- Has a microSD slot, and therefore you can put in your own maps, and previously determined fishing zones without any hassles.
- The interface is not very friendly and as a beginner, you would have to spend a good amount of time to master it.
- There is no touchscreen enabled, which would otherwise, be expected in a high-end device like this.
- Integrated Mapping does not come as standard, and can only be got as an upgrade.
NOTE: It is priced a bit higher. But given the fact that it a more professional device that can cater to the enthusiast who likes to go for big game fishing from time to time, this definitely can be the right choice.
3) Deeper PRO PLUS Smart Sonar
A very versatile fish finder that allows you to switch between different types of water to cast your line. It is very light, easily portable, and you do not need to get tangled in all of the wired mess because it completely works based on wireless technology.
One of the most futuristic and fun fish finder you will find in the market. You can easily use your smartphone to set up a great fishing experience.
- It’s good for all kinds of fishing. Be it offshore, kayak or ice fishing. Also allows you to pedal or paddle while using it.
- No extra screen required. Just sync all the important information into the bright and vibrant screen of your smartphone.
- A portable fish finder to its truest meaning. Just a sphere with no wired attachments.
- It can float easily in both freshwater and saltwater alike.
- Finding the best fishing spots is extraordinarily easy. You can tie the fish finder with the fishing line and cast it out. And the scan of the entire area between your rod and the end of your fishing line is delivered right into your smartphone screen.
How more convenient can a device get?
The app comes with a fishing log and your saved maps as well.
- A widely reviewed product by experts. And is
often appreciated because of its strong imaging capabilities.
- GPS comes as a standard with this product
- Can be used in extreme temperatures ranging from
-4F to 104F, expanding your fishing niche by thousands of miles.
- Works on dual frequencies helping you to map the
- Does do not include CHIRP or sidescan SONAR. This can be a fatal blow to all those planning to use it for the extreme.
- Depends on wifi to do the mapping, and sometimes can be mischievous.
- A very competitively priced device that offers you a castable fish finder, and
works well in different kinds of water. But so much for cutting edge, does not
include the latest developments in SONAR technology.
4) Lowrance Hook 3X
If you are in a slightly tight budget, this device has all the features that might just compel you to get it. It also can be used for hunting up to about 230 feet and would mostly serve all of your purposes if are new to the game. It’s water-resistant and the screen has zoom capabilities.
- The sonar power changes automatically as your hunt for deeper water as a result of the advanced processing involve in its core.
- It also allows for fish tracking and alarm and is therefore good for beginners. It makes sure you do fall asleep when there is a fish around.
- It can operate in dual frequency, allowing for effective use in both shallow and deep water.
- Wide conical coverage of 60 degrees, at the lower frequency range of 83Hz, allows you to capture more of the water at a single time.
- A backlit color display of 3.0 inches, that allows you to fish even in dim light.
- The device is quite easy to mount and detach and the entire system is very durable.
- No GPS means no location tracking and inbuilt mapping in the device.
- Can be somewhat inaccurate if you are cruising along with a flow with decent speeds.
- It does not have CHIRP SONAR and does involve any other advanced imaging technique.
- The device is a great deal for beginners. Sure it does have GPS, but who needs it given the fact that would be able to enter details on a suitable app anyway.
5) Hawkeye FT1P Fishtrax
A highly portable device that can be used as a handheld one or mounted in your kayak. Has decent sensors can be used for fishing to a good depth. It also features a very friendly user interface with easy to understand icons. You can easily set it to see fish sizes even.
Ain’t that amazing!!
- An affordable and easy to mount system, that can also, be detached and used as a handheld device pretty easily.
- Boasts of a great display, which is visible even under direct sunlight.
- A compact and stable device that would hardly disappoint you.
- It has got dual frequency SONARS and therefore facilitates fishing in both shallow and into deep waters.
- Can work till a maximum depth of about 240m, which is pretty good for beginners and amateurs alike.
- The device also shows water temperature and available fish targets onscreen.
- The in-built alarm system alerts you when it detects fish in its range, and therefore quite useful for beginners.
- The batteries are not rechargeable. So make sure you carry a no. of them with you.
- Does do not include advanced technology like CHIRP or sidescan sensors.
- This a pretty affordable unit, and easy to use for beginners. It can also detect fish deeper under the water unlike most in its price point.
6) Venterior Portable
A value package for a beginner or one searching for a basic device. It can be used easily for kayak fishing but would not accommodate speeds of above 5 mph. It is a handheld device that has a very simple user interface.
- A crisp LCD display screen allows you to be pragmatic about your fishing experience.
- It works in a depth of 3 to 328 feet, which is remarkable in its price range.
- Can work in widely varying temperature conditions, allowing you to expand your fishing horizon.
- It easily displays the bottom of the water distinguishing between sand, rock or grass.
- Its sensitivity can be well calibrated allowing for different degrees of versatility required in various depths and environments.
- It is very easy to set up and is almost a plug and play device straight out of the box.
- It alerts you to the location of the fish in its sensing range allowing you to access your options accordingly.
- It is perhaps the most affordable device of its kind in the market.
- It cannot tell you the size of the fish, but only its location. So, you never know if your catch is the big challenge or just another small one. In addition, it only detects fish which are larger than 4 inches. So only big fish for you, or no fish at all.
- No GPS. Hence, you cannot use it for location tracking, and given the fact you went into faraway waters, if your smartphone’s battery dies, so will you, unless there comes a ship for rescue.
- It is sensitive to turbulence in the water and therefore cannot always give you an accurate picture of what’s going on.
- The unit is not waterproof. This is a serious difficulty as saving it from water, when are in the water is not something anyone would fancy.
- Does do not have CHIRP sensors, thereby making it difficult to use in harsh and shallow waters.
7) Nor-Cross HawkEye F33P
Another great handheld device that will definitely make your fishing experience a real pleasure. Even in a compact size, it delivers a great package while being very efficient to operate.
- Uses SONAR at ultra wide angle beam allowing for coverage and scanning area.
- The device can work in a wide variety of temperatures including 0 F. Can you believe that?
- It is easily mountable in addition to being handheld and has sides integrated into its SONAR.
- The device has 4 sensitivity settings and allows you to remain constantly vigilant about what’s around your fishing line.
- The two-stage fishing alarm makes sure you do not miss a single opportunity to catch a fish.
- Is very easy to use the device. You only need to turn the device on and toss over the device sensor.
- Although powered by AAA batteries, it can be used for up to 20 hours, with a pair of fully charged batteries.
- The display is backlit allowing for good brightness day and night.
- Has a pretty short depth gauge of about 100 m, making it impossible to venture into deep waters.
- Only tells you the location of the fish and not the size of the fish.
- A pretty decent product for a beginner, but not highly commendable for a fisherman.
8) Deeper Smart Portable
It is one of the technologically advanced devices for the fisherman who likes to stay ahead of the game. It works on both the Apple and Android platforms seamlessly as it uses smartphone screens to display its scanning. It is wireless, and a truly smart and portable device.
- It works on a dual frequency transducer and scans up to depths of about 130 feet.
- It eliminates the use of cables, which often is a hassle in a small kayak.
- It is lightweight, versatile and can be used in both freshwater and salt water.
- The smartphone application is quite developed and offers features like fish activity calendar, maps, and an integrated camera function.
- GPS allows for location tracking and therefore better mapping of the fishing grounds.
- Its short battery life of about 4 hours is the biggest and most glaring issue. It simply does not allow you to stay on that day long hunt.
- Since it connects via radio, it often faces connectivity issues and is sometimes a bit unstable.
9) Lawrence Mark-4 HDI Combo
It’s one of the high-end devices on the market and is an efficient fishfinder and plotter at the same time. And a large 4-inch grayscale LED allows you to easily navigate for fish.
- It combines a broadband sounder and Downscan imaging to give you a hybrid dual image.
- Its multi-window function easily allows anyone to choose from several screen layouts.
- An in-built GPS map consisting of over 3000 rivers, lakes and coastal zones in the US, would definitely serve most of your fishing needs.
- It can clearly see under the water surprise with its advanced processing abilities coupled with the exact pinpointing of fish location.
- The grey scale display is not very engaging.
- Does not still have CHIRP sensors in it.
- This device is a high-end offering and caters to professionals. However, if you are the kind of amateur who would like to take your game ahead, go for it.
10) Garmin Echo 300C
It’s one of the great offerings from the reputed brand with a 3.5-inch color display and dual-band capabilities. Unlike some, it’s easy to use and is very much a plug and play device. It’s one of the high-end devices on the market but comes at a pretty affordable price.
- A color display with a QVGA resolution.
- Dual band transducer meant to be useful for all kinds of fishing waters.
- Can sense up to a depth of about 1500 feet, which is more than enough for even professional fishermen.
- Garmin HD ID tracking technology provides exceptional clarity under the water surface and makes fishing pretty enjoyable.
- Missing CRISP SONAR technology
- The system is sometimes erratic.
TIME TO FIND FISH!!
The above reviews would cater to your needs, regardless of whether you are a beginner, a seasoned fisherman, or just someone who likes to upgrade their fishing hobby. All of this device is efficient and good in its own price range. Which to buy depends on your needs, the intensity of your fishing, and also your budget.
With rapidly evolving technologies fish finders have evolved rapidly, and are in this fine form today with features like wireless connectivity and high depth scanning. If you do not have one, now is the time to grab one of these and enjoy those fishing trips like never before!!