Best Kayak Fish Finders – The Complete Buyers Guide

Best kayak fish finder

Technology has invaded most activities today and fishing is no exception.

Fish finders are one of the most sought after fishing accessories and with good reasons.

These devices greatly improve the accuracy when determining what the ideal fishing spots are. They take a lot of the guesswork that was typically involved in such a venture.

If you tend to fish in a kayak, you are going to need the best kayak fish finders to get the job done.

These devices need to be compact and lightweight, easily mounted in a kayak, and have a battery source that is suitable for a smaller vessel.

If you are not sure what to get, the options below are some great models to choose from.

Best Kayak Fish Finders

Garmin Striker 4

ON SALE
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5' GPS...
759 Reviews
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS...
  • CLEAR VÜ SCANNING SONAR Shows you more of what...
  • THE POWER OF SIMPLE Offers a keyed interface with...
  • WAYPOINT MAP Use the way point map to easily...
  • CHIRP SONAR CHIRP sends a continuous sweep of...
  • BUILT IN FLASHER View your sonar data in the...
What made this fish finder immediately stand out was its compact size.
In total, the device is under six inches long and weighs just 230g. Therefore, even if you are in a small, solo kayak, this fish finder isn’t going to take up much space.
While the Striker 4 is small, a majority of the space is devoted to a large screen. The rest of the finder consists of large, easy to use buttons.
Of course, this finder is more than just a well-sized product. Part of what makes the Striker 4 so great is the CHIRP technology that it utilizes.
Here, several low and high frequencies are sent out, and then each of them is interpreted one by one, when they are returned. This means that not only are the results from reliable, it is also easier to discern between each of the targets.
There is also a real great GPS navigator built into the finder. With this, you can mark out important spots. This includes your favorite fishing spots as well as the route to the docks.
You are also able to work out the position of these marked points in relation to your current position. With the Striker 4, being lost is a thing of the past. T
he device is equipped with a sealed rechargeable battery to ensure that the battery does not get wet while you are using it.
There is also a suction cup transducer mount that allows you to fix the finder on your kayak in an easy to see position.
Specs:

  • Color fish finder display
  • CHIRP sonar transducer
  • Sensitive GPS
ON SALE
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5' GPS...
759 Reviews
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS...
  • CLEAR VÜ SCANNING SONAR Shows you more of what...
  • THE POWER OF SIMPLE Offers a keyed interface with...
  • WAYPOINT MAP Use the way point map to easily...
  • CHIRP SONAR CHIRP sends a continuous sweep of...
  • BUILT IN FLASHER View your sonar data in the...

HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax

ON SALE
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color...
80 Reviews
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color...
  • VirtuView HD Color Display
  • Dual-Frequency FishTrax Intelligent Sonar 
  • Ice-Mode Digital Flasher Portrayal
  • Fish Depth Identifier
  • Portable or Boat Mountable
The HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax is a great option for fishers who are new to such technology.
This device has a large display and is easy to use. You will also be hard-pressed to find a more portable fish finder.
This one can actually be used as a handheld option although it can be mounted on your kayak, if you want. This can be done with the help of a suction mount, making this an easy fish finder to work with.
The FT1PXC also have plenty of usable features. For instance, there is the dual beam sonar that uses the airwave frequencies 200 KHz and 83 KHz.
This allows you to customize the device to work in either shallow or deep water, depending on your location. There is even an ice mode that allows you to find fish quite quickly when you are ice fishing.
The depth identifier will show you almost precisely at what depths the various fish are swimming at.
The LCD display is a color one, which makes the display easy and fun to read, even for someone who is not used to using such devices.
What I personally liked about this fish finder was the battery feature. This device uses regular AAA batteries, which means that you don’t have to haul around external battery devices.
These batteries should last you about five hours, depending on your use.
Of course, even if you need to change them out on the water, it is not an issue as the compartment utilizes captured screws.
Specs:

  • HD Color Display
  • Fish depth finder
  • Dual frequency sonar
  • Ice fishing feature
ON SALE
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color...
80 Reviews
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color...
  • VirtuView HD Color Display
  • Dual-Frequency FishTrax Intelligent Sonar 
  • Ice-Mode Digital Flasher Portrayal
  • Fish Depth Identifier
  • Portable or Boat Mountable

Deeper Smart Fishfinder 3.0

Pritaz Headphone Jack Adapter Cable Car Charger...
1,382 Reviews
Pritaz Headphone Jack Adapter Cable Car Charger...
  • Powerful Function: With Pritaz audio aux cable,...
  • Wide Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone X/ XS /...
  • Dual Functionality: This device allows you to...
  • Uncompromised Audio Quality: The 3.5 mm Audio +...
  • What You Get: You will get 1 x Pritaz Apapter, and...
The Deeper Smart Fish Finder 3.0 may not look like any fish finder that you have seen before.
Nonetheless, this is precisely what it is although you can consider it to be just one-half of the entire mechanism.
The Smart 3.0 is a castable echo sounder – with your smartphone or tablet making up the other half of the fish finder.
You toss the device into the water and it then transmits information to your phone or tablet.

“So, what exactly is the Smart 3.0 picking up?”

Well, pretty much everything.
This includes depth, fish location, temperature, bottom organization, and even vegetation in the water.
This device can continue to transmit information to you up to 40m away from your phone or tablet. This is done with the help of a Bluetooth connection.
Since this fish finder doesn’t require a data connection or WiFi, you are allowed to head out to remote locations if you want.
The device boasts dual sonar frequency with the wide beam allowing you to check the surrounding area for fish.
The narrow beam will provide you information about fish as well as the bottom structure.
The Smart 3.0 works equally well in freshwater and saltwater – and can provide accurate information up to 40 meters below the surface.
This device has a rechargeable battery that can be used for six hours at a time. The recharge time is just two hours.
The cherry on top of all of this is that it is actually quite an affordable fishfinder, despite being such a high-tech option.
Specs:

  • Compatible with Android phones, iPhones, and tablets
  • Dual sonar beam
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Depth up to 40m
Pritaz Headphone Jack Adapter Cable Car Charger...
1,382 Reviews
Pritaz Headphone Jack Adapter Cable Car Charger...
  • Powerful Function: With Pritaz audio aux cable,...
  • Wide Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone X/ XS /...
  • Dual Functionality: This device allows you to...
  • Uncompromised Audio Quality: The 3.5 mm Audio +...
  • What You Get: You will get 1 x Pritaz Apapter, and...

Humminbird PiranhaMax 197C

Humminbird 409670-1 PiranhaMax 197C Color Fish...
85 Reviews
Humminbird 409670-1 PiranhaMax 197C Color Fish...
  • So you can see what's below your boat with great...
  • Thanks to an easy-to-use interface, unlocking the...
  • It has 3.5" display with 1600 watts PTP power...
  • Temperature:Built In Transducer
I would recommend the Humminbird PiranhaMax 197C to those who are looking for a basic model and that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles.
Although the 197C may not be the highest functioning device around, it is still a great fish finder.
The XNT 9 28 T transducer allows the device to use both frequencies – 200 KHz and 455 KHz.
The transducer is equipped with a transom mount and needs to be mounted in the water, outside of the kayak.
The device has received an IPX7 waterproof rating which means that it is more than capable of withstanding exposure to water or even being immersed.
While this device does offer two separate sonar beams, they are unable to operate at the same time. Therefore, you will have to scan with one or the other frequency.
With this fish finder, you will be able to receive information up to 600 feet below the surface.
There are also bottom readings, which are actually ideal for the speeds that are maintained by kayaks. Depending on which you find easier to read, you can choose between viewing sonar arches or opt for the Fish ID function instead.
You should be aware that the sonar arches are more accurate. There are also alarms for depth and fish sizes.
Therefore, once you have programmed a particular depth or fish size, an alarm will sound when these conditions are met.
There is a 12V battery included with the device.
Specs:

  • Dual frequency sonar
  • Fish and depth alarms
  • Fish ID and Sonar arch options
Humminbird 409670-1 PiranhaMax 197C Color Fish...
85 Reviews
Humminbird 409670-1 PiranhaMax 197C Color Fish...
  • So you can see what's below your boat with great...
  • Thanks to an easy-to-use interface, unlocking the...
  • It has 3.5" display with 1600 watts PTP power...
  • Temperature:Built In Transducer

Lowrance Hook-3X

Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
119 Reviews
Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
  • Led-backlit 3 inch color display with detailed 320...
  • Broadband sounder detail easily identifies fish...
  • Advanced signal processing (asp) reduces the need...
  • Dual-frequency 83 or 200kHz operation helps...
  • 83kHz sonar operation provides up to 60deg of...
The Lowrance Hook-3X has a lot to offer different kinds of fishing enthusiasts.
It may not be the most up to date fish finder on the market but it perfectly executes the functions that it is capable of.
The Hook 3X relies upon two frequencies; 83 KHz and 200 KHz.
This means that you can confidently search in both larger areas as well as more confined targeted regions. The 83 KHz allows you up to 60 degrees of conical coverage which produces more significant fish arches. The 200 KHz, on the other hand, provides you with 20 degrees of conical coverage.
This results in better target separation as well as lure tracking and you can quickly switch between the two options with just the push of a button.
The fish finder is also equipped with Advanced Signal Processing, which does away with the need to continuously manually adjust your settings.
Therefore, you can see fishes, the bottom, and the structure a lot more clearly with less of a hassle.
The Fish ID allows you to see fish icons which also aids in fish identification and is also a lot easier to read at a glance.
There are also alarms that you can set so that you are alerted whenever specific conditions are met regarding fish recognition.
The display screen is backlit so that means that even if you are trying to view it in broad daylight, you will have no issues at all.
Specs:

  • 83 KHz and 200 KHz frequency
  • Advanced Signal Processing
  • Fish ID
  • Alarms
Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
119 Reviews
Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W/ 83/200...
  • Led-backlit 3 inch color display with detailed 320...
  • Broadband sounder detail easily identifies fish...
  • Advanced signal processing (asp) reduces the need...
  • Dual-frequency 83 or 200kHz operation helps...
  • 83kHz sonar operation provides up to 60deg of...

Venterior Portable Fish Finder

ON SALE
Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder,  Handheld...
442 Reviews
Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder, Handheld...
  • Detects and displays water depth, approximate fish...
  • Applies to lake, river, sea and other fishing...
  • Comes with round transducer with 25 ft cable and...
  • Various features settings: 5 user selectable...
  • Warranty: This device is covered by a 2 Years...
One of the reasons that the Venterior Portable fish finder is ideal for kayaks is because it doesn’t work well with faster moving vessels such as boats.
Therefore, the slower that you are moving, the more accurate the results.
This device works great in most environments including lakes, seas, rivers, and even bodies of water that have frozen over.
You can definitely use this fish finder for ice fishing. There are also numerous ways that you can use the Venterior fish finder.
For instance, you can choose to fix the transducer to the hull of the kayak or have it float underneath the water.
There is a 25-foot cable that allows for this kind of movement. You should note that while the transducer is waterproof, the receiver is not.
This device can be used to identify water depth, relative fish location, vegetation, rocks, and even sand at the bottom.
There is also a fish alarm to indicate when a particular fish is detected by the device.

“The range of this fish finder varies from 0.7m to 100m”

The other benefit of this finder is that it uses AAA batteries, which makes it easy to carry around.
Also, there is a battery saving mode which allows you to reduce the amount of energy being utilized by the device.
There are some restrictions with this fish finder. For instance, it is not able to pick up bait fish or really small creatures. Apart from this, however, it really is a great fish finder.
Specs:

  • Castable, waterproof transducer
  • Ice fishing option
  • 7m – 100m depth capability
  • Compact batteries
  • Fish alarm
ON SALE
Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder,  Handheld...
442 Reviews
Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder, Handheld...
  • Detects and displays water depth, approximate fish...
  • Applies to lake, river, sea and other fishing...
  • Comes with round transducer with 25 ft cable and...
  • Various features settings: 5 user selectable...
  • Warranty: This device is covered by a 2 Years...

Your Guide to Buying a Good Kayak Fish Finder

best-kayak-fish-finder

The HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display

There is a lot of information available in regards to what you should look for a fish finder for a boat.

However, a kayak is a good different from that type of vessel and therefore has slightly different requirements. Here is what you need to know:

High and Low frequencies

Fish finders are available in single, dual, and multiple frequency options. If you decide to opt for dual or multiple frequency models, you will be covered in most situations.

If you decide to go with a fish finder that has a transducer that produces just one frequency, however, you should be aware that limitations exist. Therefore, you will need to decide whether you will be fishing in shallow or deep waters before purchasing such a device.

Why? Well, low and high frequencies work differently at different depths.

Low frequencies are able to penetrate quite deeply into the water.

Nonetheless, they typically don’t offer as much detail.

This is why they are best suited to deeper waters.

On the other hand, high frequencies do not penetrate as deeply but make up for this by allowing for greater clarity and detail. This makes them better for shallow waters.

Of course, high and low frequencies notwithstanding, some devices have a maximum depth limitation. Therefore, you will need to check that the fish finder in question is capable of providing you with the depth coverage that you require.

Speaking of shallow and deep water, there is another aspect of the transducer that makes it suitable for one or the other. This is the conical angles of the beam. The narrower the angle, the more appropriate it is for shallow water. If you are fishing in a deeper area, you should make adjustments for a wider angle.

Structure Fishing Features

Of course, fishing is not just divided into shallow and deep categories.

There are many who prefer to fish among certain structures, a practice that is known as structure fishing.

If this is an activity that you prefer, you are going to need a fish finder that is capable of being able to provide you with a clear outline of this.

Fortunately, most of the devices that are available today already come equipped with this feature. What you need to do is to ensure that the fish finder is capable of picking up the structures that you are most interested in. This could be changed in the sea or lake bed or it could be various types of vegetation under the water.

Downscan and Sidescan Imaging

You should know that different manufacturers refer to this particular technology by a variety of the names.

The concept, however, is the same across the board. Down scan refers to the image that you get from beneath your kayak. On the other hand, with side imaging, the sonar ways are sent outwards. Both options use high-frequency sonar waves.

With downscan imaging, you are afforded excellent detail. This makes it good for anyone who is bait fishing, especially in deeper water. Side scan imaging covers a greater distance and makes it easier to pinpoint the exact location of schools of fish or structures. Because of this, it is great for fishermen on the move.

There are many fish finder models today that have both features available. The only downside is that these tend to be a little costlier than those that just have one of the options.

Size of Fish Finder

When you are on a kayak, you don’t necessarily have a lot of room to work with. You also need to remember that most fishfinders don’t come by themselves. You need to think of cables, mounts, batteries, and numerous other accessories. This is why, unless, you have a lot of storage space that you stick to the most portable option available.

At the same time, you will need to think about just how small you are willing to go. This is largely due to the screen size on the fish finder. If you are going to want to see what is going on at a single glance, you are going to need a relatively large screen. Most people fishing from kayaks find that the ideal size is somewhere between 3.5 inches and 5 inches.

In addition to a good screen size, you are also going to need one that offers a great resolution. If not, it is going to be quite difficult to distinguish between all of those images.

The Battery

It can be a bit tricky choosing the batteries that you are going to power your fish finder. To a certain extent, this does depend on the device itself.

Some fish finders require an external source such as Sealed Lead Acid batteries or rechargeable lithium batteries.

SLA batteries are readily available, economical, and can be recharged with ease. However, they also tend to be quite heavy. Rechargeable options such as lithium ion batteries are much lighter, making them a breeze to have onboard.

At the same time, they are quite expensive and the recharging process is a bit cumbersome.

Then you have the alkaline batteries such as AAA. Some fish finders will only accept these. On the one hand, getting such a battery is really easy as they can be found in most stores. Not to mention, they are incredibly light.

However, you do need a great deal of them, just to power one device. Also, they don’t have as much staying power as the other two options.

Mounting Features

It goes without saying that you are going to need to mount your fish finder somewhere. There are several options available to you.

Now, some transducers can be mounted on the hull of the kayak. In a similar fashion, there are transducers that can be lowered into the water by means of a cable or a pole. Perhaps the best mounting option are those that come attached with suction cups.

These can easily be stuck on a flat surface in your kayak.

GPS Features

At some point, you are going to wonder whether or not your fish finder should have GPS features. The only downside to having GPS is devices with this option tend to be a bit more expensive. Now, if you rarely move too far away from land, GPS can seem a bit like a waste.

Nonetheless, GPS does more than just point you back the way that you came. This feature also enables you to save hot spots as well as fruitful routes. Therefore, you will easily be able to find your favorite spot with this kind of feature.

This is what you should be aware of when you are getting your own kayak fish finder. Remember, that you shouldn’t always get the cheapest option as that could be lacking in features.

Last update on 2019-09-15 at 22:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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