Fish finders work by using sonar and other technologies to scan the water and detect fish. They can accurately tell you where the fish are and where you need to be to catch them and bigger versions of the same technology are used on commercial fishing vessels. If you are struggling to catch fish or you want to catch even more fish, using a fish finder on your kayak can really help increase your catch rate.
Best Fish Finder for Kayaks
Just because you are on a tiny boat does not mean you have to catch tiny fish, a fish finder can help increase the size and number of fish that you come in contact with when out on the water. While a day paddling around always beats a day in the office, a day with lots of action on the rod beats those days when you don’t catch anything.
All of the fish finders on review today have:
- Good performance
- Clear screens
- Long range
- Durable designs
Whatever you pick will be a good choice, focus on finding a fish finder that suits your budget. As you spend more money you will get better performance, more features and easier to use design.
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with CHIRP Traditional Transducer
$106.99 in stock
- Clear Vu scanning Sonar shows you more of what is in the water around your boat; This high frequency sonar gives near photographic images with detailed representations of objects, structure and fish
- The power of simple offers a keyed interface with dedicated buttons; The device is easy to use and easy to install; Available in 3.5, 5 and 7 inch display sizes; Water rating IPX7
- Waypoint map: Use the way point map to easily view, mark and navigate to locations such as brush piles, stumps and docks; Maximum depth 1,600 feet freshwater, 750 feet saltwater; Current draw at 12 volt: 0.23 Ampere
- Chirp Sonar sends a continuous sweep of frequencies which provides a wider range of information; Chirp Sonar is able to create crisper fish arches with better target separation
- Built in flasher: View your sonar data in the classic flasher format; Ideal for ice fishing or vertical jigging. Display size: 1.9 x 2.9 inches (4.9 x 7.3 centimeter); 3.5 inches diagonal (8.7 centimeter)
Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish Finder
$277.32 in stock
1 used from $268.56
- 5-Inch Color WVGA Display
- CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS Sonar. Power Output RMS : 500 Watts. Power Draw : 615 mA
- Precision Internal GPS Chart plotting with built-in Anima cartography
- Micro SD card slot for optional maps or for saving waypoints
- Target Separation - 2.5 Inches
HOOK2 4X - 4-inch Fish Finder with Bullet Skimmer Transducer
1 used from $99.00
- EASY TO USE: The Lowrance HOOK2 4x Fish Finder features auto-tuning sonar and phone-like menus giving you more time to spend fishing and less time dealing with settings.
- WIDER SONAR COVERAGE: The HOOK2 4x offers a wide-angle sonar cone giving you double the coverage of traditional fish finders.
- EASY SETUP: A single transducer can be mounted on the transom, inside the hull, on the trolling motor or through a scupper hole.
- TRANSDUCER INCLUDED: The included Bullet Skimmer transducer gives you traditional 2-D sonar (fish arch) views.
Garmin Striker 4cv with Transducer, 4" GPS Fishfinder with CHIRP Traditional and ClearVu Scanning Sonar Transducer and Built In Quickdraw Contours Mapping Software
$153.83 in stock
- Includes transducer for built in Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar plus CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar
- Built in Garmin Quickdraw Contours mapping software lets you create and store maps with 1’ contours for up to 2 million acres
- Built in GPS lets you mark waypoints, create routes and view boat’s speed
- Bright, sunlight readable 4.3” display and intuitive user interface
- Rugged design for every fishing environment.Transmit power:300 W (RMS)
Humminbird 410150-1 PiranhaMAX 4 Fish Finder
$102.97 in stock
- Display Size Diagonal - 4.3-Inch
- Dual Beam Sonar
- 2400 watts PTP/300 Watts RMS
- Depth Sonar 320 ft (20) 455 kHz, 600 ft (20) 200 kHz
- Sonar Coverage 28° & 16° @ -10dB
LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder Portable Fishing Kayak Fishfinder Fish Depth Finder Fishing Gear with Sonar Transducer and LCD Display
- ◆ Fishes and bottom contour readout: LUCKY fish finder portable detects and displays water depth, approximate fish location, short & tall weeds, sand & rocks on bottom. Fish finder portable design gives you another option to hang it around neck.
- ◆ The kayak fish finder suits for variety fishes fishing environments: It can be used for off shore fishing, kayak fishing, ice fishing, lake fishing, sea fishing and so on. You can also use handheld fish finder on the moving kayak with speed below 5mph.
- ◆Depth readout: The fish finder portable detector range is in a 45°cone underwater. The detection of depth range is from 3ft(1m) to 328ft (100m) below fishing sonar transducer. The water depth can be shown either in feet or meter. The fishing sonar sensor is with 25 ft cable and removable transducer float.
- ◆ Small portable fish finder with powerful functions: 5 modes sensitivity options; battery save mode; backlight mode; fish and fish school alarm. Normally fishing depth finder supports 4-5 hours continuous working with brand new batteries. Open battery save mode can be working even longer.
- ◆ Warranty Policy: We offer 12 months warranty for LUCKY fish finder portable. It will be one of your best fishing kayak accessories. Any questions before or after purchase, please feel free to contact us via Amazon message (response within 24 hours every day online).
Lowrance HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot Transducer and US Inland Lake Maps Installed …
- HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with TripleShot Transducer and US Inland Lake Maps Installed
- EASIEST TO USE: The Lowrance HOOK2 5 Fish Finder features auto-tuning sonar and phone-like menus giving you more time to spend fishing and less time dealing with settings.
- WIDER SONAR COVERAGE: The HOOK2 5 offers a wide-angle CHIRP sonar cone giving you double the coverage of traditional fish finders.
- EASY SETUP: A single transducer can be mounted on the transom, inside the hull, on the trolling motor or through a scupper hole. The HOOK2 5 is ideal for small fishing boats or kayaks with limited console space.
- MORE SONAR VIEWS: The Lowrance HOOK2 5 comes complete with a TripleShot transducer which gives you DownScan sonar (straight down), SideScan sonar (up to 300' to each side), and CHIRP sonar (fish arch) views.
Garmin Striker 7SV with Transducer, 7" GPS Fishfinder with Chirp Traditional, ClearVu and SideVu Scanning Sonar Transducer and Built in Quickdraw Contours Mapping Software
$443.49 in stock
1 used from $449.99
- Includes transducer for built-in Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar plus CHIRP ClearVü and CHIRP SideVü scanning sonars
- Built-in Quickdraw Contours mapping software lets you create and store maps with 1’ contours for up to 2 million acres. Resolution : 800 x 480
- Built-in Wi-Fi for access to ActiveCaptain app so you can receive smart notifications, access Quickdraw Contours Community and transfer waypoints and software update notifications
- Built-in GPS lets you mark waypoints, create routes and view boat’s speed. Transmit power - 500 W (RMS)
- Bright, sunlight-readable 7” display and intuitive user interface
LUCKY Portable Fish Finder Transducer Sonar Sensor 147 Feet Water Depth Finder LCD Screen Echo Sounder Fishfinder with Fish Attractive Lamp for Ice Fishing Sea Fishing
$79.89 out of stock
- ★The portable fish finder, with 2.4inch TFT color LCD screen, can detect and display underwater contour, water depth, water temperature and fish size with depth. It has two user modes: WIRELESS/SIMULATION. You can try all functions in simulation mode and go fishing in wireless mode.
- ★The wireless sonar transducer, with fish attractive lamp, makes it easier to detect fishes. It has a transparent replacement cover, so you can see where the sensor is even in the dark.
- ★The wireless fish finder supports 196FT(60m) wireless operating range(There is an antenna on the left top of the hand held, please pull it out), 147FT(45m) depth detection. You can go fishing in different ways with it, such as ice fishing, river fishing, sea fishing, fishing off the shore, kayak fishing or fishing in the night.
- ★Various features settings: detect sensitivity, screen brightness, depth range, zoom, depth alarm, fish alarm, fish icon, units alter and language choose.
- ★Both of the wireless fish finder and the sonar are rechargeable. Come with a USB cable for charging. The hand held can last 4 hours with full charge and the sonar sensor can last 10 hours with full charge.
RICANK Portable Fish Finder, Contour Readout Handheld Fishfinder Depth readout 3ft(1m) to 328ft (100m) with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display 5 Modes Sensitivity Options Fish Depth Finder Black
1 used from $25.69
- 【Fishes and Contour Readout】The fish finder portable detects and displays water depth, approximate fish location, fish size, short & tall weeds, sand & rocks on bottom.
- 【Suitable for Various Fishing Ways】It can be used for off shore fishing, kayak fishing, ice fishing, lake fishing, sea fishing , river fishing, and so on. It will be one of your best fishing accessories.
- 【Depth Readout】 The fish finder portable detector range is in a 45°cone underwater. The detection of depth range is from 3ft(1m) to 328ft (100m) below fishing sonar transducer. The fishing sonar sensor is with 25 ft cable and removable transducer float. Water depth shows by meters/feet.
- 【Powerful Functions】5 modes sensitivity options; battery save mode; backlight mode; fish alarm; unit of measure. Normally fishing depth finder supports 4-5 hours continuous working with brand new batteries. Open battery save mode can be working even longer.
- 【Package Included】1. Fish Finder Display 2. Sonar Sensor (Transducer) with 25ft cable 3. Removable Transducer Float with Rubber Stopper 4.Transducer Side-Scan Adapter 5. Stainless Bolt and Wing Nut 6.Neck Strap 7.Operation Manual.
Conclusion, what is the best fish finder for kayak?
Out of all the products I reviewed, the best three picks for a kayak fish finder are:
Best Performer: Humminbird Helix 5
I felt this had the clearest screen and longest range out of the products I tested, it was a clear winner. The unit is well made, with a nice big screen that was easy to see in sunlight. It quickly picked up target fish and this is my choice.
Best Value: Garmin Striker 4
If you’re looking for medium performance at a very affordable price, then look no further than the Garmin Striker 4. This is a high quality fish finder, ideal for small boats and kayaks. It is packed with features and I found it to be a wonderful little product to use. It quickly picked out fish in close range and was very impressive.
Cheap Product: LUCKY Hand Held Fish Finder
If you’re an occasional kayak fisherman or looking for something basic, this Lucky fish finder will be fine for your needs and costs very little! It lacks range and featured. It also lacks a mount which made it hard to use while on the water, but for the money what do you expect? It does the job and will get you started.
How to mount a fishfinder on a kayak?
Usually your fish finder will be supplied with a mount of some sort, some are sticky pads that use glue, some use suction mounts similar to a GPS in a car and some use magnets. Some cheaper fish finders don’t have mounts and you can simply place them on your lap as you padel, I also have a friend who used zip ties and some plywood to hold his fish finder which was very effective.
Some fish finders also use bluetooth and display results through your phone. For these you will obviously need a phone mount that will protect your device from water.
How do I power a fishfinder on a kayak?
Your fishfinder will have an internal battery that should last a number of hours, but for extended trips you may want to consider taking a USB powerbank with you and charging as you go. These are basically inexpensive batteries that can power phones and similar devices while on the go, they are very handy for people who enjoy the outdoors.