The best kayak fish finder is going to allow you to easily carry it and mount it inside of your kayak. Or, it could even be a portable fish finder. These are small and can even be held in the hand of the user. These lightweight fish finders are ideal for kayaks.
Many of these new and smaller fish finders even have some of the same features as larger fish finders. So, you don’t have to worry about whether you will have the same technology or not. Making it easier and efficient to get out there and catch fish.
Table Of Contents
- Best Kayak Fish Finders
- What Is A Kayak Fish Finder?
- Benefits Of Kayak Fish Finder
- Best Kayak Fish Finder Reviewed
Best Kayak Fish Finders
- Best Kayak Fish Finder: Lowrance Hook 2
- Best Budget Kayak Fish Finder: Lucky Portable Fish Finder
- Best High-End Kayak Fish Finder: Humminbird Helix 5
- Best Kayak Fish Finder with GPS: Garmin Striker 4
- Best Kayak Fish Finder with Down Imaging: Garmin Striker 4CV
So, if that sounds good to you then check out the article below. We’re going to go over five different products. On top of that, we will go into detail on those fish finders, and then we will also talk about some of the best features of fish finders.
What Is A Kayak Fish Finder?
Simply put, a kayak fish finder is one that you can use in a kayak. Technically you could mount the biggest fish finder out there and use it in a fishing kayak.
However, that is not going to be very practical. There are both weight and room restrictions so while possible, it may not be to your benefit.
Ensure that your fish finder comes with a transducer as well. Sometimes they come separate and this just adds another expense. Also, wi-fi is a plus, as having a backlight and a micro-sd card slot.
An LCD screen will also ensure clarity, along with a color screen. A color display is not needed but it helps locate spots more efficiently.
Instead, you’ll be using something much smaller. Most kayaking fish finders will be in the 3-7 inch range. These are small enough that it won’t take up too much space, and it also won’t be as heavy as some of the larger counterparts.
A quality fish finder will have sonar technology and could be mounted near the trolling motor with the transducer being able to go through a scupper hole.
Benefits Of Kayak Fish Finder
Using a fish finder instead of your naked eye to locate structure and fish is going to be very beneficial to you as an angler. A whole new world is going to open up and your ability to locate and catch fish is going to increase significantly.
Even if you are not able to catch the fish you find, you’ll still be locating the areas where they hang out and you can continue to try new lures each time in order to get them figured out. No longer are fish finders only for anglers on large boats.
Considerations Before Purchasing A Kayak Fish Finder
Below, we’re going to go over a few different features and considerations you should be on the lookout for when purchasing a fish finder. Check them out and see which of these are going to work best for you and your style of fishing.
The size of the fish finder will all depend on what you need as well as the size of your kayak. Larger seats on tops that are more stable and can hold more weight will be able to handle a larger fish finder.
Smaller kayaks are going to be better off with smaller options that have greater portability. The smaller options potentially have lower khz, and pixels. Making the screens not as clear. Look for these to around four inches in size.
Having a GPS combo in your fish finder is a great added feature. It allows you to see in both shallow water and deep water, you will be fishing and can allow for easier decisions while out fishing as to where to go.
Also, many fish finders with GPS also allow you to add waypoints. This is great for when you find a great spot where fish are located and want to mark it so you can always come back.
Also, having GPS will allow you to easily find and get back to the boat ramp after a long day of fishing. Which may not be that big of a deal on your local lake.
However, on new water, you could find yourself tired at the end of the day, and having GPS could mean the difference between getting to your truck at sunset or getting lost.
If you have a larger kayak that can support a bracket and mount for your fish finder then you should utilize it. Ensuring that your fish finder is one spot and securely allows you to have peace of mind that it will be falling overboard and getting lost forever. Something that can happen if you have a handheld fish finder that is not secured.
It might be difficult to mount it on a kayak. However, all you need to do is locate the transom and mount it there. From here you can install android or IOS and BlueTooth capable fish finders that come with dual-frequency and high functionality. Making it easier for kayakers to find fishing spots that are castable.
Portable or handheld fish finders are great. Especially for smaller kayaks. However, as we mentioned above it does open up the possibility of dropping it overboard.
Since you will be holding it and moving it around the kayak then you could easily drop it into the water by mistake. So, keep that in mind when purchasing your fishfinder.
You may think that all fish finders are waterproof. However, you would be mistaken. Be very careful if you do wind up purchasing something that is not waterproof. A big rain, or drenching it from holding a fish over it could lead to your new fish finders going haywire and not working.
Best Kayak Fish Finder Reviewed
Below, we’re going to go over five different fish finders for kayaks. Each has its own pros and cons so think about what you need in a fish finder and apply that to the list below. We will have one that fits your fishing style, I’m sure of it!
1. Lowrance Hook 2 (Best Overall Kayak Fish Finder)
This is a slightly larger model. Making it better for larger kayaks that have both the weight capacity to accommodate this device as well as the room. That being said, it is not overly large, so if you wish to be a little cramped then you could fit this on a smaller kayak and be fine as well.
It’s also very easy to use. The keypad control allows you to scroll through and select exactly what you want to see, and allows you to set it up very easily. It is not meant to be used as a handheld device so this will need to be mounted. Make sure you have a proper spot to put it before mounting.
It has a very wide sonar coverage. Allowing you to see more of the water column as the bottom of the lake or river. The size of this coverage is going to be almost double what the normal fish finder is going to give you. So if you want to be able to see a large area then this is the product for you.
On top of all that it also comes with a GPS. Making it ideal for those who want to target lakes and rivers that they have never been to before. No longer do you have to bring a large fold out map to study the lake because it is all on your device now.
2. Lucky Portable Fish Finder (Best Budget Kayak Fish Finder)
The lucky portable fish finder is perfect for the angler who doesn’t want to spend too much money. Either because they are on a budget or are new to the world of fishing finders and don’t want to drop too much on their first one. If that’s the case then this is a great first fish finder for anybody.
It is very small and lightweight. Fitting perfectly in the palm of your hand. Making it ideal for those who are in kayaks that have lower weight restrictions. However, be careful that this is secured in your tackle box or pocket. Since it is handheld it could easily fall overboard by accident.
This doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as some of the more expensive models. However, it comes with everything you need in order to find and locate fish. It tells you the contour of the bottom, structure, as well as locating actual fish. It even comes with a fish alarm so you know exactly when you’re on top of one.
This can also be used in every fishing season. Use it in cold water during the winter or when fishing in hot temperatures during the dog days of summer. If you want you could use it while ice fishing. However, there is no flasher. Don’t worry about the water temperature because this device can hold to exactly what you need it to.
3. Humminbird Helix 5 (Best High-End Kayak Fish Finder)
Equipped with down imaging and CHIRP sonar, the Humminbird Helix 5 is a great fish finder. It will need to be mounted and the five-inch screen is a little bit larger than some others on this list. So keep that in mind when mounting to your kayak.
The down imaging will give you a clear view of what is directly beneath your boat. Allowing you to mark and locate spots where either fish are located, or in areas where they will eventually. This could include drop-offs, humps, structure, stumps, or laydowns.
The dual-beam sonar that comes equipped with this device allows you to combine two different types of sonar. This way you can have a crystal clear image of what is going on beneath your boat as well as giving you a wide area of coverage.
The keypad control also makes it very maneuverable. Perfect for someone who may be new to the world of fish finders or for someone who may not be very tech-savvy. This allows you to spend more time fishing and less time scrolling.
4. Garmin Striker 4
If you want a small and lightweight fish finder that also has a mounting unit attached then this is the one for you. Don’t worry about this device fumbling around in your hands and falling overboard. Mount it anywhere you see fit on your kayak and fish without anxiety. The small size is great for smaller paddling kayaks too.
It also comes with a ClearVu scanning sonar. This shows you more of what is in the water that surrounds your boat. It is a very high-frequency sonar that gives you crystal clear pictures on the screen. Allowing you to see fish, structure, or anything else you wish to see.
This device is also very easy to use and install. The keypad on the side of the device allows you to easily and quickly scroll through the menu and pull up whatever setting you need. Making the learning curve low, so you can spend more time fishing and less time messing with your electronics.
You can also use this in both saltwater as well as freshwater. Making it perfect for the angler who needs their tools to be as versatile as them. Easily take your kayak out in a river fishing for bass one day and take it to the ocean for speckled trout the next.
5. Garmin Striker 4CV (Best Kayak Fish Finder with Down Imaging)
If you want a few more bells and whistles then this is a great product for you. The down imaging is a wonderful feature to have and can help you really hone in on what is beneath your boat. Making it ideal for plotting a lake or a river.
On top of having down scan imaging, it also comes with CHIRP sonar. So you can also see the contour of the bottom of the lake, as well as locating fish, and structure. Making it perfect for jigging in deep water or just seeing the water depth.
The mapping software on this device also allows for 2 million acres of custom maps to be stored. So, you can have all of the maps for your local lakes. This way you can know every nook and cranny of where you fish. Allowing you to locate fish quickly and easily.
The built-in GPS also lets you create waypoints. So you can always go back to the hot spot you found earlier. The small size also allows for easy and lightweight use on your boat. It can be used as both a handheld fish finder or it could be mounted if you would prefer it to be secure.
There are many different brands and types of fish finders out there, and it can be overwhelming when you first start out. So use the list above to help guide you on your journey to choosing new fishing for your kayak. Also, don’t forget to check out castable fish finders. Attach the transducer to some fishing line and cast it out to the spot you want to see.
Check out these brands and models too. The Hawkeye Fishtrax, Venterior, Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro, or the Fishtrax 1c. Most of these come with auto-tuning sonar, can be run on a 12-volt battery, and come with a warranty. Easily, these are some of the best fish finders for kayaks. They have superb connectivity, can tell the depth of the water, and have a display screen large enough to make fish finding easy. All of these will increase your fishing experience.
Using a fish finder is no longer only for larger boats. They now make all different types of models that work for every condition possible. So, check out the list above as any of those could be your next fish finder. Check out Amazon to locate them!