Kayak Fish Finder - Our Top Picks

Kayak Fish Finder

Abigail ScottByAbigail Scott
Updated on 9/29/2022

Honestly, let's face it. The next logical step after getting a kayak was to start kayak fishing. Once you started, it became a passion. Anglers can't get enough of the excitement of the close-quarters fishery. What you might catch is always a surprise. You're now taking it more seriously and want to go the extra mile. You're sick of catching tiny fish and now want to see them for fun.

You would need a foolproof way to cast your line to accomplish this. To do that, you'll need a kayak fish finder that provides the best performance. Then it becomes a mean fish-catching machine. We've compiled a list of the top 5 fish finders on the market today and some tips on how to choose the right one.

Kayakers' Top Choice: Garmin Striker 4

Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder with Chirp Traditional Transducer
4.7/5
96%
Light weight
92%
Easy to install
92%
Portability
90%
Accuracy
90%
Easy to use
84%
Tech Support

The Garmin Striker 4 is a perfect choice when it comes to kayak fish finders. It makes the perfect fishing accessory for kayaking with so many valuable features. The 3.5-inch full-color display delivers self-explanatory images regardless of the environmental conditions. Thanks to its intuitive keypad-style controls, you can easily navigate between the different screens.

You can quickly identify the location of the fish with the Striker 4's CHIRP-activated transducer. Based on proprietary DownVu sonar technology, it provides unparalleled detail of the marine world underneath the water's surface. It also comes equipped with a flasher that is useful for illuminating the water and luring fish into deep waters. The built-in GPS is handy for anglers that guides them to and from their favorite fishing spots.

Overall, this fish finder comes with a lot of impressive features, and this is another reason it is so popular with kayakers around the world.

Pros

  • Utilizes the latest in CHIRP technology to track fish schools.
  • It has a GPS built in for tracking location.
  • The optimal depths of freshwater and saltwater are 1750 ft. and 830 ft., respectively.

Cons

  • The screen size is too small for some people.

Garmin Striker 4 ON THE WATER REVIEW!

Kayak Fish Finder Lowrance Hook 2 4X (Best Wide Angle View)

HOOK2 Fish Finder
4.3/5
84%
Easy to install
74%
Easy to read
70%
Value for money
66%
Easy to use
66%
Accuracy

This Lowrance HOOK 2 4X fish finder is an excellent choice if you are in the market for a fish finder made explicitly for kayaks. This fishing pole is full of fantastic features that will make your fishing adventure a breeze. You'll have a field day - pun intended!

With the Hook 2 4X, you'll get clear images of the water's surface thanks to a superior auto-tuning sonar system. Setup doesn't require manual adjustment of the transducer. The SolarMax display allows you to view at an ultra-wide and apparent angle without tilting your body or head.

Like the Garmin Striker 4, the HOOK 2 also has a built-in GPS plotter that lets you save routes and mark your waypoints to track your vessel's movements. Thanks to its intuitive interface, one of the easiest fish finders on the market today.

Pros

  • It has GPS and a variety of mapping options.
  • with an intuitive user interface.
  • It has a wide-angle CHIRP sonar system.
  • as well as a bullet skimmer.

Cons

  • Sonar rewinds and records are not available.

On the Water Review of the Lowrance Hook2 4x!!

(Best Portable Kayak Fish Finder) HawkEye Fishtrax 1C

HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display, Black/Red, 2" H x 1.6" W Screen Size
4.1/5
100%
Value for money
92%
Portability
86%
Battery life
84%
Accuracy
82%
Easy to use
82%
Giftable

For the most part, you'll find pretty decent fish finders. However, there is always a tradeoff with them. Some are highly portable but have poor sonar return quality, while others may be full of useful features but somewhat bulky. However, it offers a perfect balance of both in the HawkEye Fishtrax 1C. There are tons of unique features packed into a small device that's slightly larger than a conventional smartphone.

The Fishtrax 1C is just 6 inches long and 3 inches wide and features a full-featured fish finder within an easy-to-carry device that runs on 4 AAA batteries that last up to 30 hours. There are several ways to use the transducer, including mounting it on the transom, using it as a trollable device by attaching it to a rope, or floating it from the shore. The device comes with the necessary mounting accessories to mount it in any way you want.

According to how deep you fish, it transmits on two different frequencies. Deeper waters require a frequency of 83 kHz, while shallower waters require a frequency of 200 kHz. You can adjust the sonar sensitivity as well on the Fishtrax 1C. A low sensitivity will give you a better picture of the bottom when viewing large structures and game fish. As a whole, this is an excellent device for both intermediate and advanced anglers.

Pros

  • This program provides various sonar functions.
  • Over 100 levels of sensitivity are available.
  • The transducer is mountable, trollable, and floatable.
  • It comes with an HD display.

Cons

  • Occasionally lags when changing sensitivities and refreshing.

HAWKEYE FISHTRAX 1C HONEST REVIEW!

(Best Kayak Fish Finder) Humminbird HELIX 7 G3

Humminbird 410940-1 HELIX 7 CHIRP MDI (MEGA Down Imaging)
4.7/5
88%
Easy to use
88%
Accuracy
86%
Easy to install
82%
Value for money

The Humminbird fish finder industry is not new to Humminbird, and transducer precision is their constant focus on innovation. As an example of how far Humminbird's technology has progressed, the HELIX 7 G3 stands out. It is the perfect compromise between price and performance. It has a 7-inch backlit display, which is suitable for use in various conditions, whether it is raining or shining, or day or night. Despite its small screen, it features a split-screen combo for simultaneously displaying GPS and fish finder information.

HELIX 7 features a sophisticated transducer with a CHIRP sonar that transmits 140 to 200 kHz frequencies. Having these adds a higher level of precision for more straightforward and more accurate readouts. Additionally, it has a built-in GPS for tracking your location and excellent mapping tools for tracking your movements to and from fishing sites. Despite the higher-than-usual price point, it is well worth the investment given its cutting-edge features.

Pros

  • Imaging on both sides and from below using sonar.
  • Fast, responsive features.
  • It is GPS-enabled.
  • Suitable for freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water.
  • It's packed with features.

Cons

  • The screen is small for some users.

Humminbird Helix 7 mega

The Best Kayak Fish Finder (Venterior Portable Fish Finder)

Venterior Portable Fish Finder Kayak
4/5
86%
Portability
82%
Battery life
80%
Easy to use
80%
Durability
70%
Accuracy

Venterior Portable Fish Finder is the best in terms of price. Beginner anglers and anyone looking for a fish finder without having to break the bank will find it a great option. It features a small LCD with a fair resolution and a backlight that adjusts to low visibility conditions, such as bright sunlight or at night. The transducer also contains one 45-degree sensor beam and runs on 4 AAA batteries that can last five hours.

A rubber float is included in the package, making it ideal for use on a kayak. Freshwater and saltwater anglers can use them without any problems. Sonar is used to detect the fish's location and water depth, providing accurate readings. It uses a 200 kHz frequency and a depth finder range of up to 328 feet below the transducer. It comes with a two-year warranty.

Pros

  • The cost is low.
  • Setup is easy.
  • Easy to use.

Cons

  • It has fewer features than some of the other fish finders.

Venterior Portable bank FISH FINDER (Review)

Kayak Fish Finder Buying Guide

Today, there are many sophisticated fish finders on the market; how do you choose the best one? Make sure you get the best gadget for the job by asking these questions.

What Is Your Intended Fishing Depth?

Identifying how deep you intend to fish is the first thing you need to do. Your choice of imaging sonar will depend on this. You need a fish finder that uses down-imaging sonar to get a clear view of what lies beneath the boat if you're after deep-water fish. They contain transducers that emit sound waves downward.

On the other hand, if you prefer to fish in ponds and shallow streams for bluegills, bass, and other shallow-water species, a side-imaging unit would be ideal. A transducer directs the sonar waves to the sides of your boat with these types of fish finders.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each type, and you should choose the right one for the situation.

Deep Do You Intend to Fish

The Advantages Of Down-Imaging Fish Finders

A down-imaging sonar system has several advantages.

  • Since they search along a vertical plane rather than a horizontal one, they are more likely to find fish in deep waters.
  • The images they produce with kayaks and cameras are more transparent, and a side-imaging fish finder does not work this way.

The Disadvantages Of Down-Imaging Fish Finders

You should be aware of the following drawbacks.

  • In most down-imaging gadgets, only one transducer exists. Consequently, they don't capture as much information and produce low-quality images.
  • Side-imaging sonars provide more precise data. Consequently, while these systems may tell you there's a big fish 15 feet deep, they don't tell you if it's 20 yards to the left, right, or somewhere in between.

The Advantages Of Side-Imaging Fish Finders

Check out these benefits of side-imaging sonar fish finders if you're thinking of getting one.

  • You can scan the water faster since they view the water profile from two different perspectives. Therefore, they cover twice as much area as down-imaging fish finders.
  • In addition, they provide an overall view of the marine environment. Then, a side imaging device would be able to distinguish between rocks on either side of the boat, and these rocks would appear as one large patch on down-imaging finders.
  • Because of their orientation, these devices provide a better image, making them particularly useful when searching for fish in shallow bays and creeks.

The Disadvantages Of Side-Imaging Fish Finders

Side-imaging sonar systems have the following disadvantages:

  • Although they are generally more expensive than down-imaging systems, they are worth the extra expense.
  • The side-imaging sonar won't show up things under your boat because it uses side-imaging sonar. You need a down-imaging fish finder if you're also interested in what lies directly beneath you.
  • Boats traveling at low speeds produce the best results from these devices. You may not be able to rely on them if you're trying to cross a river or lake to get to another potential fishing spot.

However, since side-imaging fish finders can scan a larger area of water, they compensate for this drawback as they save time.

How Far Will You Go From The Shore?

You may want a fish finder with a built-in GPS if you often fish far from the shore. You will appreciate the capabilities of these devices even though they are a bit more expensive than conventional systems without an integrated GPS circuit. As opposed to getting two separate units, it's always better to get a team with both a sonar system and a GPS since a particular department would take up more space on your kayak.

How Much Space Does Your Boat Have?

For fishing kayaks with limited space, consider a portable sonar unit with a built-in float-style transducer. When you throw the sensor into the water, it transmits the data wirelessly to your smartphone. Using your phone, you'll be able to see the fish and any underwater structures and cover. However, a proprietary app will need to be downloaded to your device. The apps generally come free of charge and work well. It's essential to keep in mind that you'll need to tether it to the boat using a fishing line or some other attachment to prevent it from drifting away.

What Are Your Plans For Mounting The Transducer?

The type of transducer you need depends on the mounting system installed on your boat. Trolling motors can either be directly attached or attached to the bottom of the transom. The hull of most modern yaks has scupper holes so the device can be passed through and attached to the transom. Therefore, ensure that your device is compatible with the kayak's setup.

Do You Intend To Use A Specific Power Source?

Most fish finders require to connect to a 12-volt marine battery enclosed in a waterproof enclosure. In most fishing kayaks, space is a luxury, so you will barely be able to fit a large battery. Consider a kayak with a portable battery to save space. As a result, it can transmit data to your phone while in the water.

You should invest in a high-watt fish finder if you have the budget. In contrast to low-power variants that send sonar waves much slower, they provide quicker readings. Particularly if you intend to fish deep-water, these aren't very reliable.

Is It Compatible With What Frequencies?

A transducer with a higher frequency will display a more precise and detailed picture, and this is because it will be able to send out more sonar pulses at once. As high as 400 kHz can be transmitted by some fish finders.

Is The Product Waterproof?

Since you will, after all, be using the device in the water, make sure it is waterproof. Having a fish finder that gets damaged the moment water splashes on it is the last thing you need. A good brand should offer some level of water resistance.

What Type Of Transducer Does It Have?

Last but certainly not least, you need to think about the type of transducer on the device. A high-quality transducer means high-quality signals, which translate into precise, clear, and accurate on-screen images of the ocean.

How To Do It Like A Pro

You now know what features and specs to look for when purchasing a kayak fish finder. Pick the one that fits your goals and hit the water based on its functionality. Our guide has analyzed some great products that make great starting points. Enjoy the experience. If you're interested in a motorized kayak