Gone are the days when people invested a lot of their time and patience sitting and waiting to get a bite on their line. Thanks to technology, there’s no need to go through the pain and agony of finding the perfect fishing spot.

However, choosing the best kayak fish finder can be a difficult task due to the many options available on the market today.  There are plenty of models that are quite advanced and feature-rich to let you know the exact location where the fish is. The depth of the water, the vegetation beneath, and other factors are also spotted accurately through images and readings by the user.

There are various types of fish finders available in the market. Some are installed with GPS inside while some have large display screens and some even come with Wi-Fi connectivity to sync well with smartphones. Most of these are easy to set up.

However, this would always depend on the type of kayak you have. So, if you are in search of the best kayak fish finder in 2020, these factors and features should never go missing.

Best Kayak Fish Finder in 2020 Reviews

Here are some of the best kayak fish finders that we found after carefully analyzing each product. Take a look:

1. Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer

 

If you are in love with kayak fishing, the Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer will take your excitement to the next level. With an ability to work in both deep and shallow water, it comes equipped with high-frequency sonar to give you photographic images with details about any object, fish or structure floating around the kayak.

What makes it a user-friendly interface is that it comes with a keypad and dedicated buttons. Also, its 3.5-screen display is good enough to give a clear picture of what’s happening around the kayak.

Garmin Striker 4 makes use of a waypoint map that helps one easily identify, view and navigate to hot spots, docks, and ramps. It can go down to 1600 feet freshwater and 750 feet saltwater.

With the help of its chirp sonar, frequencies are sent constantly so that plenty of information can be retrieved. Interestingly, chirp sonar is helpful in creating crisper fish arches along with advanced target separation.

Portability is another key feature as well as an advantage of this kayak fish finder. This makes it absolutely hassle-free to carry canoeing or kayaking. Powered with a sealed rechargeable battery, Garmin Striker 4 has an internal transducer cable management and space for storing essentials as well.

Pros

Identifies fish and other small objects easily

 

Cons

Display screen could have been a bit bigger

2. Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar

 

If you had always loved fishing from the shore or through the ice, you must then know about a castable fish finder. But what if it fails to give you a clear picture beneath the surface? Here comes the Deeper Smart 3.0, which is quite advanced to keep you updated about the water conditions for fishing.

What’s incredible about this dual-beam sonar unit is that it works in tune with your tablet or smartphone. Moreover, it gathers detailed information by using the Bluetooth connection and displays the results on the screen of the device you are using.

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar has the potential to stay connected to your personal device at a distance of up to 130 feet. Furthermore, this kayak fish finder has a built-in GPS that helps in the creation of bathymetric maps.

In fact, this can be done right from the shore. Also, you can review, analyze and save all the maps in your smartphone from anywhere you wish with this best fish finder.

With this new age fish finder, you can even take pleasure in the simple boat fishing. It just needs to be installed properly, which hardly takes time. Once done, the trolling will be as smooth as ever. Ice fishers, too, are going to have a blast with this best fish finder.

Pros

Works on both Android and iOS devices

Easy to install without cables

Cons

Battery life is poor

The safety strap is of poor quality

3. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

 

Good news for avid anglers who are looking for the lightest model and Venterior VT-FF001 does proper justice in this respect. Right from giving you accurate water depth to detecting the location of fish, it is easy to use and makes your fishing job so easy and hassle-free.

Even if you are willing to set out in the dark, the backlight mode will make things look clear. So, whether it’s a river, lake or sea, both kayaking and fishing would be no doubt enjoyable with this best fish finder for kayaks.

Venterior VT-FF001 comes with a round-shaped transducer along with a cable of 25ft long and a detachable transducer float. The depth of water this kayak fish finder can detect is up to 328 feet. Besides, it has a fish alarm, 5-user sensitivity, and battery saver mode.

The audible alarm feature helps the user to stay alert whenever a group of fish passes by. Installing this fish finder becomes effortless with a wing nut, stainless steel bolt, and a side-scan adapter as well.

Although Venterior VT-FF001 sports a very simple look, it comprises such features that would take your fishing session to the zenith of excitement. Just make sure that the display unit is not exposed to water, or otherwise, this fish finder for kayaks is worth considering for canoe and kayak owners.

Pros

Multiple sensitivity settings to choose from

Display backlight helps to view readings at night

Cons

Does not stay fixed at a place

Issues in measuring accurate depth

4. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C

 

Compact, easy to mount and multi-featured, the HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder has been designed to provide you quality time in the waters. Despite having a mini size, it is packed with brilliant features.

Out of the three models, this one is the most advanced and powerful as well. Equipped with a full-colored screen, it has one hundred sensitivity settings that would let you achieve complete accuracy. Easy to use, its operation is based on three modes – the Data mode, the Fish Finder mode, and the Ice Flasher mode.

The FishTrax intelligent sonar not only gives accurate readings but also tracks down up to a depth of 240 feet. Operating this new-age fish finder is also quite easy with a handful of soft buttons.

These make the menu navigation hassle-free, making it convenient for users to set out on fishing trips. The audible alarm proves to be great whenever the fish appears within the range.

Having updated with the algorithmic software, the HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder cuts down the chances of giving you false readings.

The LED backlight mode consumes low power and will not cause the battery to heat up the device. Its easy-touch programming, too, makes FishTrax 1C a great pick for kayakers.

Pros

Color screen of HD quality

Gives accurate readings even at greater depths

Cons

Not waterproof

5. LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder

 

Those boring fishing sessions will now come to an end with this Lucky Handheld Fish Finder. It scores high on portability, detects the exact water depth and brings everything into the display on the 2-inch Anti-UV screen.

Also, it gives you the exact location where the fish is and even lets you know about those rocks, sand, and weeds underwater. What also makes it flexible is its ability to be used in diverse settings. To be precise, you can take it for fishing at the lake, sea, offshore, etc.

The Lucky Handheld Fish Finder comes with some of the best functions like fish school alarm, backlight mode, battery save mode, 5-mode sensitivity options, and more. It’s just that you will find it a bit tough to let it work in smaller spaces like a water bucket or a swimming pool.

So, it would be advisable to utilize it in bigger spaces. Apart from the kayakers, the canoe owners can make good use of this fish finder.

Those who are into ice fishing will also find it great, provided that the transducer needs to be dropped below the ice so that accurate readings can be achieved. The batter life is also quite good as it would give you around eight to nine hours of constant use.

Pros

Light in weight and easy to carry

Works great for kayak and canoe fishing

Cons

Poor battery life

6. Humminbird 409620-1 Helix 5 DI

 

If you have been looking forward to bettering your freshwater or saltwater fishing sessions, Humminbird 409620-1 Helix 5 DI can make a grand contribution.

Featuring the SwitchFire technology, it lets you customize the sensitivity as per your convenience and brings you optimum results on the 5-inch LED-backlit screen. It has a 500W RMS power output as well as a peak to peak output of 4000W that tracks down the bottom with sheer accuracy.

The built-in GPS makes it easier to let the user know about the location as well as the speed. Talking about the display, it brings you absolutely bright and clear images to be viewed effortlessly under the sunlight, offering some of the best visibility we have seen.

On the other hand, the sonar installed is quite modernized and features a 20-degree down looking beam that would fetch you the most high-quality image of the environs. As it comprises dual beams, it lets you widen the scan parameter.

What also deserves mention about the Humminbird 409620-1 Helix 5 DI is its split-screen view. Here you can mark waypoints and simultaneously fish around.

This keeps you aware from one side of the screen as to what is going on below the deck while the other side lets you see marked viewpoints through GPS. Compact and user-friendly, this model is indeed impressive and deserves to be with every angler.

Pros

Easy to use and mount as well

Gives accurate readings in LCD screen underwater

Cons

Auto depth feature does not work correctly

7. Vexilar SP200 T-Box Smartphone Fish Finder

 

Rich in technology and smart in connectivity, the Vexilar SP200 T-Box Smartphone Fish Finder is a super-innovative device meant to add life to your fishing hours. Using Wi-Fi signal technology, it would turn your smartphone into a fine fish finding gadget.

What’s great is that this model has been designed to provide its own Hotspot and lets you share it with others. All Android and iOS users can take full advantage of this technology and have incredible fishing experience.

Vexilar SP200 makes it quite convenient for use as it has pre-drilled holes, making the mounts easier. So, no matter how many accessories you wish to mount it on your kayak, there will be no hardships.

The 25-feet cable that it comes with proves to be quite advantageous for setting it up. Moreover, it brings you a neoprene armband in addition so that you feel safer to check your phone display all the time.

Apart from these, the Vexilar SP200 T-Box Smartphone Fish Finder comes with a depth indicator, water temperature indicator, audible fish alarm, battery indicator, noise rejection, Zoom Bottom Track, and other features.

The device would also go well with a tablet, which should, of course, have Wi-Fi. Smartphone users should go for it at least once to have a different experience.

Pros

Pre-drilled holes make it easier to mount

User-friendly interface

Cons

Not compatible to work with all types of phones

8. HOOK2 5 – 5-inch GPS Chirp Sonar Fish Finder

 

Fishing is going to be more adventurous this time with the Lowrance Hook2 5 Fish Finder. Equipped with menus similar to what you find in a cellphone, it lets you spend quality time fishing. As the interface comes clutter-free, you don’t need to get too engrossed in the settings

All these have been possible for its SolarMax display. Furthermore, its auto-tuning sonar makes its operation so user-friendly. Thanks to the Chirp Sonar cone that creates a wide-angle and makes enough coverage unlike what a conventional one does.

Installation of the HOOK2 5 – 5-inch Fish Finder is also quite easy. In other words, you can easily mount a single transducer in multiple ways. It can be mounted on the trolling motor, transom, or even inside the hull.

Apart from this, it allows users to enjoy multiple sonar views owing to its SplitShot transducer. To be precise, it allows the straight-down view as well as the fish arch view. The internal mapping provided also helps in identifying depth changes and even your ideal spot for fishing.

The fun part is when you will be able to save all the routes, trails and waypoints by means of a micro SD slot. Now plan your next fishing date and head to the shore with this Lowrance Hook2 5 Fish Finder for an unforgettable experience.

Pros

Best display screen for meter readings

Easy to install and use

Cons

Depth readings are not accurate

9. Humminbird 410170-1 Sonar Portable Fish Finder

 

Technology has gone such heights that it will now keep you updated with what is there below the boat while you will be fishing. Humminbird 410170-1 is one such modernized fish finder that comes with a very comprehensive interface.

Equipped with a big LCD 4.3-inch screen, it would give you a bright picture of what is going around your kayak. What also makes this one stand out is its portability. It comes with a carrying case along with a transducer, a wall charger, and a 7-Ampere-hour battery.

One of its noteworthy features is the dual-beam sonar that lets you choose from a wide beam for more accurate detail or covering a big area. This helps you track down the fish, contours, and structure as well.

The swivel mount makes it easier for you to size your viewing area angle. Apart from this, it has the function of unlocking the ability of optional Down Imaging. Also, it comes with depth alarms, fish alarms, and a wonderful zooming option.

Installing this model that’s equipped with some of the best solar technology on a small boat is not problematic at all. In fact, the performance here is flawless and the user will just love the experience. Just make sure to follow the instruction manual and things will look quite smooth.

Pros

Dual-beam sonar makes wide coverage

Some of the best fish alerts on the screen

Cons

Fails to stay stagnant

Poor quality transducer

10. LUCKY Wired & Wireless

 

Lucky brings you a fabulous fish finder having both wired and wireless modes. With a simple interface and multiple features, it has proved to be a very powerful device as per many kayakers and fishermen.

It has a 2.8-inch LCD screen with rich colors that would bring you the most accurate readings. With the wires, it can measure up to a depth of 328 feet while the wireless mode can take the measurement up to 147 feet.

Powered by a rechargeable lithium battery of 3.7 V, this versatile gem by Lucky is ideal for all types of fishing conditions. For instance, the kayak fishers can make good use of it for marking targets and feature finding.

On the other hand, the shore anglers can use it for marking fish and finding structure with its outstanding scanning depth. Boat fishers will find it easier to scan those unreachable areas without affecting their targets. Ice fishing, too, is going to be fun with this portable fish finder.

The LUCKY Fish Finder, in other words, is worth going for with its best in class battery life and sharp accuracy. Although it cannot be called fully waterproof, it would work well during the rainy season. If you are, therefore, looking for power-packed fish finders with sonar technology, this would do a great job.

Pros

Takes no time to find the fish

Hassle-free operation

Cons

Finding accurate depth is a challenge

Benefits of Using a Kayak Fish Finder

Fishing is no doubt fun and super adventurous. But when it is done on a kayak, the experience reaches a different level. Therefore, a kayak fish finder can add quality time to your fishing sessions.  With that in mind, we’ve put together a buying guide so you know what to look for before you buy.

best overall kayak fish finders with transducer

Just imagine the advantage of minimizing your waiting time for the fish to get caught in the net. Yes, a kayak fish finder makes this possible and even helps you track down whatever is beneath the boat.

After all, who does not want a safe trip across the waters? The best kayak fish finder, therefore, brings you all such perks of being a happy kayaker. So, let’s take a quick look at the number of benefits a kayak fish finder would bring you:

Searches fish deep down

What’s great about a kayak fish finder is that it has advanced presets and programs that help you to accumulate enough data about the fish location as well as the water depth.

As a result, it raises the probability to catch fish instead of wondering whether there are any. Moreover, you can easily judge the water temperature and also find out if there are impending hazards under the water. In other words, you get a very clear picture of the water as well as the safety conditions through fish finders.

Brings Sonar Technology into play

The most essential part played by a kayak fish finder is the transducer that runs on the basis of sonar technology. This helps you to know the real scenario under the water.

Apart from knowing how deep the water is, it lets you know where the fish school is, the plant, the landscape, and every little detail. By means of the LCD screen, you get to know all these. The best fish finders also give you the advantage to use your smartphone to track down things underwater.

Navigation becomes so easy

With kayak fish finders, what kayakers and fishermen can also benefit from, is effortless navigation. The majority of such devices come equipped with a GPS that lets you safely glide across the waters and pass along stumps, brush piles and docks.

Apart from letting you navigate seamlessly, it helps you to point out your waypoint locations. This makes it easier for you to choose the trails you should follow. Some fish finders have even preloaded maps that act as proper guides to make your fishing trips as smooth as possible.

Adds no weight to your kayak

One thing that kayakers can remain assured about is the portability of a fish finder. Most of these fish finders are light in weight and quite compact so that it can easily mount with no obstruction.

Moreover, it takes no space to install. Hence, it can be easily carried on both short and long trips with no hassles at all. It also doesn’t matter whether you have multiple people on the boat or you are alone because a fish finder will take no extra weight to obstruct your kayak from moving.

Keeps you aware of obstacles underwater

When you move along the waters with your kayak, you stay clueless of what is there beneath and whether that would cause hindrance to your fishing trips. So, once again it’s the transducer that comes into play by emitting ultrasonic waves.

What happens hereafter is that these waves cover the areas beneath and convert into proper readings. Furthermore, you are able to track the fish by means of structures like bars and arches that are displayed on the fish finder only. All these factors give you a fair idea of the probable hindrance you might come across in the midst of your fishing trip.

What to Look For in a Kayak Fish Finder

sonar and gps features to catch large bass

If you have plans to set out on a fishing trip along with your kayak, you must choose the best kayak fish finder. What it means that it should be packed with all those features that would make your fishing sessions more productive and give you quality results at the end of every trip you undertake.

More precisely, the one you choose must comprise everything that could meet your fishing needs, wants and preferences. So, here are some of the most crucial features to consider in a kayak fish finder. Have a look:

Size of display and screen resolution

Most kayakers would tend to go with fish finders having larger displays. However, this might not work out on those smaller kayaks. For instance, if your kayak is spacious enough, a 5 to 6-inch screen would be acceptable. Otherwise, it would be wise to choose fish finders with screen sizes ranging from 3 to 4 inches.

When it comes to resolution, it should be good enough to bring you quality results. The higher the resolution, the clearer the images and the better the coverage. Make sure the resolution stays above 640 x 640 for better results.

Set up process

A kayak, of course, would be limited in space, and accordingly, you need to choose the right kit that would help you set up the fish finder with ease. A good option to mount the fish finder will be the gear tracks. Some models come equipped with pre-drilled holes that make the installation process hassle-free.

A lot of kayakers also prefer mounting their fish finders on such places in their kayak that can be easily accessible and viewed as well. If it’s a big size, make sure it has a good space for accommodation.

Portability and convenience

Fishing gets a lot better and pleasant when it involves portable accessories. A fishfinder demands the same requirement that adds a good deal of convenience. If your fish finding device is light in weight, it would be easier for you to evaluate the details, especially when you on the driver’s seat.

This is a reason why modern kayakers go for such fish finders that can be synced with smartphones through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This lets one use the settings seamlessly, making their rides more comfortable and safer.

Type of Transducer

As discussed above, a transducer is an integral part of a fish finder. Therefore, it is advisable to check the right type of transducer for your kayak. What it indicates is that a transducer should be compatible with your boat. It should be installed in the right manner, or otherwise, there would be inaccurate readings and lapses.

Most people, therefore, prefer installing fish finders on kayaks instead of boats for compatibility reasons as well as to save time. The most crucial factor should be to determine as to what type of kayak you are using. Accordingly, you can proceed to choose the most compatible transducer.

GPS accuracy

The 21st-century fish finders are proving to be quite advantageous for kayakers. Now, the manufacturers are placing an advanced GPS tracking system inside fish finding devices so that one finds it easier to navigate the water without any effort.

Having updated features, the fish finders with built-in GPS create the fishing hotspots, mark your waypoints and even guide you to return to the starting point. So, a fish finder for a kayak with GPS would any day be a worthy device for regular kayakers.

How to Install a Fish Finder on a Kayak

best portable depth finder for the water

The process of installing it on a kayak can be quite a challenging task. If you are completely new to it, you might be left clueless as to how you should go about it. Well, the installation process should begin only after you have been able to find the right spot for your fish finding device.

The best kayak fish finders provide an installation kit, which makes the process easier. In fact, it is also important to ensure that you have installed correctly, and then only, the device will work in the right manner.

Now, here is the step-by-step installation process of setting up a fish finder on a kayak:

Look for the right spot

As already mentioned above, you need to first choose the most appropriate spot for installing it on the kayak. Make sure the space you choose to install can be easily accessed and stays away from the paddling area.

Once done, you have to find a spot where you can place the transducer. A flat surface somewhere at the bottom of your kayak will be great to consider. Try to keep this spot as clean as possible by not allowing debris to interfere.

Apply the install pad

Choose to use a thinner layer of the installation pad. Just make sure that you are installing the pad in tune with the direction where the transducer is kept.

In other words, keep it pointed towards the front direction towards which the kayak is moving. To make sure the installation pad has been fixed completely, use glue of good quality on the concerned spot.

Keep the transducer in the right position

As explained in the first step, the transducer should be placed at the bottom of the kayak for better results. By means of silicone, you can position the transducer.

Try to keep bubbles away or otherwise, the readings would be inaccurate. Once the installation pad has been installed, allow the dry it fully that might take up to 48 hours.

Set up the fish finder

After you have rightly placed the transducer, it’s time for mounting the fish finder on the kayak. So, you need to look for an ideal spot where it becomes easier to set up the fish finder.

It’s just that it needs to be kept flat in order to sustain security. Moreover, it should ensure ease and comfort for the kayaker. So, what you can do is drill a hole on the surface to set up the fish finder base.

Tighten the screws well

Get the screws and tighten them well. Take away the top section of the fish finder and place it on top of the mounting spot. Once you have done it, fix them with the mounting screws.

Organize the wires and cables

Head towards the base of the fish finder and reassemble the cables and wires. Find the right spot where the wires and power cables would pass through. It would be best if you can utilize a grommet as this would keep those wires organized.

Get the grommet installed

Get the power drill again to make a hole so that you can install the grommet with ease. Since all the wires and cables would pass through here, you need to first set up the battery connector and the power line.

There will be possibly red wires whose ends need to be stripped for connecting them to the battery. Once done, do the same for the black wires.

Run the fish finder

Take the wire and plug it well at the back end of the kayak. Once you do it, the fish finder would be good to run.

FAQs

humminbird fishing kayak

What is the purpose of a kayak fish finder?

Fishing often seems tedious since it usually takes time to catch fish. The best fish finder, therefore, gets this job done with ease. Equipped with modern features and settings, a fish finder makes fishing a super entertaining activity on the waters.

Apart from helping you track the exact location of the fish, it also lets you know what is there beneath the waters. So, fishing seems to be a lot effortless and less time-consuming with a fish finder.

How safe are fish finders?

Since a fish finder stays deep down the water, it is questioned for being waterproof or not. The truth is that the transducer inside the fish finder is actually waterproof while the fish finder is water-resistant.

This means that a fish finder can bear water splashes but cannot stay submerged in water for long. However, there are waterproof covers for assuring complete protection to a fish finder.

What is the easiest way to set up a kayak fish finder?

It would always be wise to mount a kayak fish finder at such a place that is easy to access and can be viewed as well. Just make sure that it doesn’t obstruct your paddling and result in an unpleasant journey. Also, keep the wires at a good distance so that there are no chances of fire or similar accidents.

What is the role of a transducer in kayak fishing?

Without a transducer, a fish finder is incomplete. In other words, it is an integral part of a fish finder equipped with sonar technology that emits signals or sound waves.

These help to bring details to the kayaker about everything related to the water and fish. Furthermore, you get to know more about the aquatic life as well as about any impending hazards coming your way.

What should be the best screen size of a kayak fish finder?

The display of a fish finder matters a lot to kayakers. For these devices, the screen size should not be more than 5 inches. In fact, if the kayak is a large one, a 5-inch display screen would be fine. But if it’s a small one, a 3.5 to 4-inch display screen would be good enough for a fish finder.

Is it essential to buy a fish finder with built-in GPS?

Fishfinders with GPS are, of course, beneficial for kayak fishing. Here one finds it a lot easier to identify the right direction to sail along and also tracking the return route. Besides, it helps one in fishing at unknown locations and also proves to be advantageous for setting out on new routes.

Conclusion

So, who wins the race in the list of kayak fish finders? Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder deserves to lift the trophy. Let’s see why and how. What Venterior VT-FF001 impresses in kayak fishing is its depth detection ability of up to 328 feet.

Alongside, it lets you measure the exact depth of water, helps in tracking where the fish lies, creates no problem in fishing amidst dark settings for its backlight mode, equipped with sonar technology, and what not. It doesn’t even make a difference whether you choose to do kayak fishing at a river, lake or sea.

Venterior VT-FF001 even brings you a 25ft long cable that makes the installation painless. On top of it, the fish school audible alarm, 5-user sensitivity, and battery saver mode are great additions.

So, if you are planning to invest in an efficient, updated and versatile fishfinder, Venterior VT-FF001 will never leave you disheartened on the waters.

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