Fishing from a kayak is getting popular, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of advanced marine electronics. Today, a good fish finder can greatly enhance the kayaking experience. The right kayak fish finder must be tough enough to survive water, dirt and the constant exposure to sun that comes with kayaking. For instance, it should come with an easy-to-read screen, a good level of water resistance among many other features.
However, some anglers want their kayak fish finder to come with 360 degree and side view imagery while others want only a portable and lightweight fish finder with limited features but whatever it is, the fish finder must be simple to install with accessories and components aimed at saving space and improving performance. There are many options available on the market, without the right information, you may end up with a poor performing kayak fish finder and that is why we have put this article together. Below, you will find our list of the best performing kayak fish finders and a buying guide to enable you to have the right information to make the best purchasing decision.
1. Deeper Pro Fish Finder for Kayaks with Smart Sonar – Castable Fish Finder Built in GPS
This is perhaps one of the most versatile fish finders for both beginner anglers and experts with great emphasis on kayaks With this fish finder, you don’t have to worry about batteries or mounting brackets, all you need to do is to just throw the transducer into the water and it will show you everything going on under the water. With this Deeper pro fish finder for Kayaks, you can see the fish location, its size and the suspended depth with ease, you can choose to just mark and return to the fish spots or even share your favourite routes with your friends.
It doesn’t end there, this device can also give you a clear image of the bottom couture vegetation, underwater structure and hardness. With this fish finder, you can sync it with your phone no matter your location as it generates its own Wi-Fi signal. Moreover, it is compatible with both iOs and Android devices. The fish finder comes with the Deeper App which is fairly easy to use. To allow for the overall scanning of areas so you can easily pinpoint fish, the Deeper Pro features a dual beam sonar frequency. It has the capability to scan down to 260 ft and sync from up to 330ft away.
You can save the data you receive from this fish finder on cloud and this is important as you will be able to build a detailed record of all your fishing locations. You can also review all scans and maps at your convenience since they are saved directly to the app. This fish finder comes in four different models and the premium model has the CHIRP sonar technology. This technology automatically selects the correct frequency based on the water depth.
2. Garmin Striker 4 GPS Fish Finder for Kayaks – Best Fish Finder GPS Combo
Having this fish finder means you won’t miss your favourite fishing spot or even get it missing at sea as it comes with GPS systems. You can basically do anything and go anywhere with this fish finder. The Striker 4 comes with tons of features packed into a very small package. Even at the deepest water depths, you will still see everything under your fishing kayak and this is because it comes with wide options of display sizes with the best transducers on the market.
Aside from this, the display also shows the water temperature and this is a great feature for bass anglers especially over the spawning season. The water rating of this fish finder is IPX7 and with this, the fish finder can handle 1 meter of water depth for up to 30 minutes. This doesn’t mean it is waterproof but it is capable of handling splashes from your paddle or rain for that long. When it comes to the overall design, this fish finder comes with a display of 1.9 x 2.9 inches; 3.5 inches diagonal and as such, you can view your sonar data and information in the classic flasher format.
The Garmin Striker 4 comes as a full package and it includes the trolling mounting cable, tilt/swivel mount and the CHIRP transducer. Its user friendly and offers a keyed interface with amazing buttons.
3. Lowrance HOOK 4x Fish Finder
The Lowrance HOOK 4X comes with simple menus which makes it easy to access important features. This fish finder comes with a 4-inch color display that shows the bottom of the water in great detail and in addition to its auto-tuning feature, you will even see the bottom faster. This makes it ideal for kayak fishing.
The Lowrance HOOK 4X Fish Finder comes at a good price point and as such, it is a great entry level option. The transducer can be installed on basically all kayaking setups as it’s very easy to install. This fish finder is well built to deliver exceptional results without the features of an advanced device.
4. iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder
The iBobber, unlike other fish finders, doesn’t require permanent installation onto a hull. This makes it very simple to use and install. It is portable and specifically designed for kayak or shore fishing.
This fish finder can work perfectly in both salt and freshwater, along with its great apps log system, you can mark your spots, lure type, species, water temperature, depth and photos into a fishing trip log. The iBobber features a bluetooth system which can sync up to 100 feet away and as a result, you will be able to see at a distance and not only what is under your kayak.
5. Humminbird HELIX 5 Fish Finder
The Helix 5 series comes with an ultra-thin beam which searches to the left/right of where your kayak is located. To help you locate fish more clearly, it will feed you with a detailed side-to-side perspective on the underworld below the surface. No matter your desired fishing environment be it in freshwater lakes, coastal waters or the ice, this fish finder has the right tool for your environment.
It’s important to know that Humminbird takes advanced technology and innovation very seriously and it is the core of everything they do. The Helix 5 series comes with tons of innovative and advanced features which includes but not limited to the mapmaking power, intuitive interface, incredible SONAR, the uncompromising widescreen display and the broadband CHIRP.
In addition to these features, it also comes with the standard basemap designed to deliver a superior angling experience. The standard Basemap works by delivering clear images with high-frequency sound waves thrown out in ultra-thin slices.
Portable or Permanent Fish Finder
You will easily come across both permanent and Portable fish finders on the market. Permanent fish finders are installed on large boats. A Portable fish finder will be the best for a kayak. It is lightweight and as such, can be easily moved on the kayak. It will also enable you to enjoy many different types of fishing.
When choosing the best fish finder for your kayak, the screen size is a very important feature to look at. It is important that you look for a screen size that fits your budget. Although you can see more information on a bigger screen, you should choose a smaller screen as kayaks are small and low to the water.
You have to make sure you’re not going in for a larger screen at the expense of quality. You have to keep an eye on the quality of the screen. It is important to know that the pixel of the screen is what determines it's quality. That is, the more pixels you have (single dots on the screen) the more quality your screen is.
Grayscale versus Colored Displays
This is another significant feature to look at when selecting the best fish finder for a kayak. In recent times, grayscale displays have been taken over by colored displays. However, a grayscale display will work perfectly well for a kayak fish finder and it is a lot cheaper as compared to a colored display. On the other hand, a colored display looks good yet it basically provides the same functionality as a grayscale or a black and white display.
Glare from the sun
You have to consider the real conditions that come with fishing when buying the best fish finder. One of such conditions is the glare from the sun. Most times, the glare from the sun makes it difficult to read the fish finder screen. To help combat this, you can opt in for a glare-resistant screen or use some LCD films .
A GPS device is an essential feature you don't have to joke with when you go out for kayak fishing. A GPS device will help you save your favourite fishing spots and most importantly, help you trace your route to prevent you from getting lost at sea
Transducers are extremely important as they are responsible for sending and receiving sonar waves. They are what detect sonar waves that bounce off on different objects and then process those signals into graphical representation on your fish finder’s screen.
It is important that you go in for kayak fish finders that are water-resistant otherwise, they can easily get damaged when water splashes on them.
Number of Frequencies
A transducer with a higher frequency is very essential as it will provide you with a clear and detailed picture of your displayed screen. This means, the higher the frequency of the transducer, the more the sonar pulses it will send out.
You will make a big mistake if you choose your fish finder by price alone. You must make sure you do not compromise the quality and essential features that come with the best fish finders to get a cheap price.
Is a GPS fish finder worth it on a kayak?
Yes, it is. A GPS fish finder on your kayak will help you to trace your way back and mark spots with it. This means you can easily find baits and quickly determine underwater structure.
Can you put a fishfinder on a kayak?
Yes. Fish finders are now very easy to use and are readily available for the kayak angler. Combine it with a few accessories and yup will see a great improvement in your fishing.
How does a fish finder work on a kayak?
A fish finder works the same way on any other boat, craft, vessel or starship. It operates by using sonar to send waves into the water and receives signals when those waves are bounced off. It finally converts the signals into readable data.
You have finally made it to the end of this article. Buying the best fish finder for a kayak is easy when you have the right information. It is important to note that a higher priced model will usually have better connections, a more detailed transducer and a better display unit. Adding a GPS will improve the performance of your fish finder. We hope the article helps you make the best purchasing decision in your quest to get the best fish finder for your kayak.