kayak with fish finder battery and gear on the shore

Best Kayak Fish Finder: 2023 Recommendations For Every Kayak Angler!

kayak with fishing gear on the shore

Are you tired of spending all day on the water without catching a single fish? It’s time to invest in the best kayak fish finder for your needs. With so many fish finders on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one.

But don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best kayak fish finders for 2023.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned kayak angler, having the right fish finder can make all the difference in your catch. With our recommendations, you’ll be able to find the perfect fish finder for your budget and fishing style.

From the Lowrance Hook Reveal 5x SplitShot Fish Finder to the Garmin ECHOMAP UHDCV 73CV Fish Finder, we’ve got you covered. So, get ready to up your fishing game and make the most of your kayak adventures.

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Best Kayak Fish Finder

If you’re in the market for a new kayak fish finder, you’ll want to consider models like the Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Inch Fish Finder with Transducer, the Garmin Striker Vivid 4cv, the Humminbird HELIX 5 SONAR G2 Fish Finder, the Lowrance HOOK2 4X 4 Inch Fish Finder with Bullet transducer and GPS Plotter, the Hawkeye FISHTRAX 1C-K PADDLESPORT Fish Finder, and the Deeper PRO Smart Sonar Castable and Portable Smart Sonar WiFi Fish Finder.

Each model offers unique features like GPS plotter, side imaging, and castable design, so it’s important to determine what features are most important for your fishing needs.

With the right fish finder, you’ll be able to locate fish and improve your success on the water.

Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Inch Fish Finders with Transducer

Well, look who we’ve got here – the Lowrance Hook Reveal 7-Inch Fish Finders with Transducer. It’s a fancy little gadget that promises to make your fishing trips just a tad more successful. This imaging fish finder combines CHIRP sonar and DownScan Imaging with FishReveal technology for better target separation and fish identification. The GPS Plotter feature makes navigation to favorite fishing spots a breeze, while the TripleShot Transducer offers wide-angle high CHIRP sonar, SideScan, and DownScan Imaging for all your sonar needs. You can trust the Autotuning Sonar to adjust settings automatically for the best sonar image based on fishing conditions.

The 7-inch SolarMAX display offers excellent clarity and daylight visibility, making it easy to navigate through user-friendly menus. For added convenience, the Lowrance Hook Reveal 7-Inch Fish Finder can be installed on different types of boats, even with unconventional mounting positions.

Overall, the Lowrance Hook Reveal 7-Inch Fish Finders with Transducer is a solid choice for any kayak angler looking to improve their fishing game.

Product Specs:

  • Power Source: Direct Current Power
  • Screen Size: 7 Inches
  • Item Weight: 1.25 Pounds
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Pros:

  • FishReveal technology for better target separation and fish identification
  • GPS Plotter for easy navigation to favorite fishing spots
  • TripleShot Transducer with wide-angle high CHIRP sonar and SideScan and DownScan Imaging for all sonar needs
  • Autotuning Sonar adjusts settings automatically for the best sonar image based on fishing conditions
  • 7-inch SolarMAX display with excellent clarity and daylight visibility
  • Fish finder mount can be installed on different types of boats, even with unconventional mounting positions

Cons:

  • Fragility of the transducer (can be mounted with a transducer saver for added protection)
  • Limitation in loading Genesis Live data created by other Lowrance users
  • Mount can be difficult to use and maps may have lag time in loading.

Garmin Striker Vivid 4cv, 4 Inch Color Fish Finder and Sonar Transducer

The Garmin Striker Vivid 4cv is an easy-to-use 4-inch color fish finder that comes with a GT20 transducer for built-in Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP ClearV├╝ scanning sonar, making it an excellent choice for any angler looking to find fish and improve their chances.

With the high-sensitivity GPS, you can mark waypoints, create routes, and view your boat’s speed, making it easier to navigate and find the best fishing spots.

The built-in Quickdraw Contours mapping allows you to create and save maps with 1-foot contours, giving you a clear picture of the underwater terrain.

The Striker Vivid 4cv also includes a tilt/swivel bailmount bracket for easy installation and a high-contrast color palette that makes it easier to see what’s beneath the surface.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use 4-inch color fishfinder with new vivid scanning sonar color palettes
  • High-sensitivity GPS to mark waypoints, create routes, and view your boat’s speed
  • Built-in Quickdraw Contours mapping allows you to create and save maps with 1-foot contours

Cons:

  • Original Striker 4 had more pixels, more vivid colors, and was easier to read even though it was a smaller screen (3.5 vs 4.3)
  • Troublesome to keep depths at speed

Humminbird HELIX 5 SONAR G2 Fish Finder

You’ll love the clear and detailed display on the Humminbird HELIX 5 SONAR G2 Fish Finder. It’s like peering through a crystal-clear window into the underwater world. This fish finder features a 5-inch widescreen color TFT display that is easy to read in bright sunlight. It comes with DualBeam PLUS and SwitchFire sonar technology that allows you to see what’s happening below the surface in unprecedented detail.

With its two display modes, you can add or remove detail as needed, accounting for water depth, temperature, and turbulence, and watching lure presentations.

Product Specs:

  • Display: 5-inch widescreen color TFT display
  • Features: DualBeam PLUS and SwitchFire sonar technology
  • SwitchFire Sonar: Two display modes for adding or removing detail, accounting for water depth, temperature, and turbulence, and watching lure presentations
  • DualBeam PLUS Sonar: Two beams for identifying fish, structure, and contours, with a narrow beam for high-accuracy returns and a wide beam for larger search areas
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Item Weight: 2.6 lbs
  • Display Resolution: 800×480

Pros:

  • Clear and detailed display
  • DualBeam PLUS and SwitchFire sonar technology for unprecedented detail
  • Two display modes for adding or removing detail
  • Basic unit with water temperature display

Cons:

  • May need to raise unit for better visibility

Lowrance HOOK2 4X 4 Inch Fish Finder with Bullet transducer and GPS Plotter

Get clear and detailed views of fish and fish-holding structures with the Lowrance HOOK2 4X 4 Inch Fish Finder that’s perfect for use as a fish finder and GPS. The product boasts a 4-inch SolarMAX screen that offers a clear and bright display of the underwater world. The automated sonar settings with HOOK2 Autotuning sonar make it easy to use, while the Lowrance Wide-Angle Broadband sonar provides the best traditional sonar views. The dedicated keypad simplifies adjustments, making it the easiest-to-use menu operation.

The Lowrance HOOK2 4X Fish Finder comes equipped with a built-in GPS Plotter that allows you to save waypoints and navigate your way to your favorite fishing spots with ease. The product also features easy front-dash or quick-release bracket mounting installation options, making it a convenient and versatile tool for kayak anglers. With a depth alarm, shallow alarm, and temperature readings, the Lowrance HOOK2 4X 4 Inch Fish Finder is an excellent fish finder for kayak anglers looking to improve their fishing experience.

Product Specs:

  • Display: 4 inch
  • Resolution: 480 x 272
  • Warranty: One year
  • Transducer Type: Bullet Skimmer
  • Display Type: WVGA color TFT LCD
  • Backlighting Levels: Adjustable Screen And Keypad
  • Waterproof Standard/rating: IPx7

Pros:

  • Automated sonar settings for easy use
  • Built-in GPS Plotter for saving waypoints and navigating to favorite fishing spots
  • Lowrance Wide-Angle Broadband sonar for best traditional sonar views
  • Easy front-dash or quick-release bracket mounting installation options
  • Dedicated keypad for simplified adjustments

Cons:

  • Screen size may be too small for some users
  • Limited power output may not be suitable for deep-sea fishing
  • Some users may find the product a bit pricey compared to other fish finders.

Hawkeye FISHTRAX 1C-K PADDLESPORT Fish Finder

If you’re looking for a top-notch tool to help you locate aquatic life while on the water, you might want to check out the Hawkeye FISHTRAX 1C-K PADDLESPORT Fish Finder. This fish finder is designed specifically for kayaks, canoes, Jon boats, paddleboards, and other small watercraft.

The all-in-one kit makes it easy to mount on any vessel, and the 100% waterproof design ensures that it can withstand even the harshest conditions. The Hawkeye FISHTRAX 1C-K PADDLESPORT Fish Finder has a 4-inch HD color display that provides clear and detailed images of the underwater environment.

The battery-powered device is lightweight and easy to use, and there’s no need for an external battery. The kit includes a TraxMount Portable Post Mount, TraxMount Transducer Track Arm, and TraxMount 4 Low Profile Track, making installation a breeze.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, the Hawkeye FISHTRAX 1C-K PADDLESPORT Fish Finder is an excellent investment for anyone who loves to fish.

Product Specs:

  • Power Source: Battery Powered
  • Screen Size: 4 Inches
  • Item Weight: 3 Pounds
  • Warranty: 2 year manufacturer
  • Included Components: FishTrax 1C, TraxMount Portable Post Mount, TraxMount Transducer Track Arm, TraxMount 4 Low Profile Track

Pros:

  • Easy to install with the all-in-one kit
  • 100% waterproof design
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Some customers have reported inconsistent depth accuracy

Deeper PRO Smart Sonar Castable and Portable Smart Sonar WiFi Fish Finder

Looking for a versatile fish finder that you can take with you on the go? Check out the Deeper PRO Smart Sonar Castable and Portable Smart Sonar WiFi Fish Finder. This device is perfect for kayak fishing, as it allows you to cast out up to 330ft and scan depths down to 260ft. With precise 2.5cm target separation and two beam frequencies, you can easily view depth, bottom structure, vegetation, and fish.

Additionally, you can create bathymetric maps from your boat, canoe, or kayak, and access all your scans, maps, points of interest, photos, and notes on the Fish Deeper app and web platform.

Not only is the Deeper PRO easy to install without drilling or cables, but it also has a longer battery life than advertised. You can attach your Deeper PRO to your vessel on the side of a kayak or to your fishing rod.

Overall, if you’re looking for a smart and portable sonar fish finder that can help you catch more fish on your kayak trips, the Deeper PRO Smart Sonar Castable and Portable Smart Sonar WiFi Fish Finder is definitely worth considering.

Product Specs:

  • Castable and portable smart sonar fish finder
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Casts out up to 330ft and scans down to 260ft
  • Precise 2.5cm target separation
  • Two beam frequencies with 15 scans per second

Pros:

  • Easy to install without drilling, cables, or wires required
  • Battery life lasts longer than advertised
  • GPS integration is unique
  • Versatile fish finder suitable for any season and fishing type
  • Great for onshore fishing, ice fishing, boat and kayak fishing

Cons:

  • Device does not work well in rough water
  • App does not continue updating bottom contours after a certain period of time
  • Sideways-looking sonar is not available in a castable format

Factors to consider when choosing the best kayak fish finder

When choosing the best kayak fish finder, there are several factors to consider. The transducer type is important, as it determines the quality of the sonar images.

The display type and screen size are also crucial, as they affect the readability of the images. GPS is a useful feature for navigation and marking fishing spots, and the power source, portability, and price should also be taken into account.

As an experienced angler, you know that finding the right fish finder for your kayak can greatly enhance your fishing experience, so take the time to consider these important factors before making a purchase.

Transducer type

Now let’s dive into the section on transducer type and see what options are available for enhancing your kayak fishing experience.

The transducer is the most important part of a fish finder, as it sends out and receives sonar signals to detect fish and underwater structures.

There are two main types of transducers: traditional and side imaging. Traditional transducers send out a cone-shaped signal and are great for detecting fish directly below the kayak. They are also the most common and affordable type of transducer.

Side imaging transducers, on the other hand, send out side-to-side movements, providing a wider view of the underwater environment. They are great for detecting structures and fish further away from the kayak. However, side imaging transducers are more expensive and require more power to operate.

When choosing a transducer, consider the type of fishing you will be doing and the areas you will be fishing in. If you will be fishing in shallow waters with lots of structures, a traditional transducer may be the best option. If you will be fishing in deeper waters or areas with less structures, a side imaging transducer may be the better choice.

Keep in mind that side imaging transducers require a more powerful battery and may not be compatible with all kayaks. Ultimately, the type of transducer you choose will depend on your individual needs and preferences as a kayak angler.

Display type

You may be surprised to learn that the display type of a fish finder can greatly impact your fishing experience. Some models offer higher-resolution screens and advanced features like split-screen viewing. According to a recent survey, 62% of kayak anglers prefer a color display for their fish finder. This is because color displays allow for better visibility and easier interpretation of information, especially in bright sunlight.

Additionally, larger screens provide a clearer view of underwater structures and fish, allowing for more precise targeting and better fishing results. When choosing a fish finder display, it’s important to consider factors such as screen size, resolution, and brightness. A larger screen may be easier to read, but it may also be bulkier and harder to mount on a kayak. High-resolution screens provide more detail, but they may also consume more battery power.

Some fish finders also offer split-screen viewing, allowing anglers to view multiple types of data simultaneously. Ultimately, the best display type for your kayak fish finder depends on your personal preferences, fishing style, and budget.

Screen size

Screen size is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a fish finder display, as it can impact the clarity and visibility of underwater structures and fish. A larger screen size, such as a seven-inch display, provides a clearer and more detailed image of the underwater environment, making it easier to distinguish between fish and structures. However, larger screens can be more expensive and may not be as portable or easy to install on a kayak.

On the other hand, smaller screens, such as a four-inch display, are more affordable and easier to install on a kayak. While they may not provide as much detail or clarity as larger screens, they still offer essential information on depth, fish, bait, and water temperature.

Ultimately, the choice of screen size depends on personal preference and budget, but it is important to consider the trade-offs between portability, affordability, and display clarity.

GPS

Navigating the open waters with confidence just got easier, thanks to the addition of GPS capabilities to fish finders. With a GPS-enabled fish finder, you can mark waypoints, track drifts, monitor speed, and measure distance, all while keeping an eye on underwater targets. This powerful combination of fish-finding and navigation tools makes it easier than ever to locate and catch fish, even in unfamiliar waters.

When choosing a fish finder for your kayak, consider the GPS capabilities and how they fit into your fishing style. If you like to explore new waters and navigate with confidence, a fish finder with GPS is essential. Look for models with easy-to-use navigation features, including the ability to mark and save waypoints, view charts and maps, and track your speed and direction.

With a GPS-enabled fish finder, you’ll never have to worry about getting lost or missing out on a great fishing spot again.

Power source

Don’t forget to consider the power source when choosing a fish finder for your kayak, as the right battery can make all the difference in keeping your electronics running smoothly all day long.

Here are three things to keep in mind when selecting a power source for your kayak fish finder:

  1. Battery size: Most fish finders are powered by 12-volt batteries, with 12V 7Ah and 12V 12Ah being the most common sizes. Make sure to choose a battery that is compatible with your fish finder and has enough power to last for the duration of your fishing trip.
  2. Battery life: One hour of use per amp hour can be expected. Keep this in mind when selecting a battery, as you don’t want to run out of power in the middle of a productive fishing spot.
  3. Warranty: Look for a battery with a good warranty to ensure that it will last you for many fishing trips to come.

The Dakota Lithium 12V 10Ah battery is lightweight and rechargeable, with an 11-year warranty and good for 2,000 cycles. The Yak-Power Power Pack is another great option, as it is waterproof, has an integrated battery charger, and can hold multiple batteries.

Portability

When it comes to choosing a fish finder for your kayak, portability is a key factor to keep in mind. You want to ensure that the unit is easy to install and take out, and built for a mobile rig that can withstand the rugged abuse of being out in the elements all day.

You don’t want a fish finder that’s too bulky or heavy, as that can make it difficult to maneuver your kayak and take away from the overall experience. Look for fish finders that are compact and lightweight, with a screen that is easy to read even in direct sunlight.

Consider whether you want a fish finder that is permanently mounted or one that is portable. Portable fish finders are more convenient and can be transferred between kayaks, but they may not be as accurate or have as many features as a permanently mounted unit. However, if you’re just starting out with kayak fishing, a portable fish finder may be the perfect option for you.

Whatever you choose, make sure it fits your budget and fishing style, and don’t be afraid to do your research before making a purchase.

Price

Now let’s talk about price and how much you can expect to spend on a fish finder for your kayak. The cost of a fish finder for kayaks can vary greatly depending on features and brand. You can find a basic fish finder for around $100, while a high-end model with all the bells and whistles can cost upwards of $1000.

However, most kayakers can find a quality fish finder that fits their needs and budget for around $300-$500.

When considering price, it’s important to remember that the more expensive models usually have better connections, tougher display units, and more detailed transducer signals. They may also come with additional features such as GPS and side imaging.

However, if you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of affordable options that still provide essential information on depth, fish, bait, and water temperature. Ultimately, the best fish finder for your kayak is one that fits your fishing style and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the best fish finders for kayaks in 2023?

A: The top kayak fish finders of 2023 include leading brands discussed in this article such as Garmin, Humminbird, and Lowrance. They offer high-quality images of fish, user-friendly interfaces, and compact designs suitable for fitting on either side of your kayak.

Q: What factors should I consider when choosing a fish finder for my kayak?

A: When selecting the best fish finder for your kayak, consider factors such as size, versatility, display quality, and integration with GPS. Other important factors include ease of installation, side imaging capability, depth finder, and fish reveal features.

Q: Are compact kayak fish finders as effective as larger models?

A: Compact fish finders are designed specifically for kayak anglers, and many models offer excellent fish-finding capabilities. They may have slightly smaller screens, but are still capable of providing detailed images of fish and bait, helping you locate fish quickly and stay on the action.

Q: How does GPS integration benefit my fish finder for kayak angling?

A: Adding GPS to a fish finder offers numerous advantages, such as tracking your location, marking fishing spots, accessing maps, and following routes. Many fish finders with GPS also include features like fish reveal to provide more accurate and detailed images of fish in relation to structures or terrain.

Q: Is it difficult to mount a fish finder on a kayak?

A: Mounting a fish finder on a kayak is relatively straightforward, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Most fish finders come with detailed instructions and mounting kits to help you securely attach the device to either side of your kayak.

Q: Can I use a fish finder for my kayak in both fresh and saltwater?

A: Yes, most fish finders are designed to be versatile and suitable for use in both fresh and saltwater environments. Make sure to choose a fish finder with the appropriate features and capabilities to fit your angling needs.

Q: What is the advantage of using a fish finder with side imaging for my kayak?

A: A side imaging fish finder provides detailed images of fish, structure, and underwater terrain on either side of your kayak. This enables you to quickly locate and target fish near your kayak without having to spend time moving around searching for them.

Q: What is the average cost of a fish finder for a kayak?

Fishing kayaks are a great way to get up close and personal with nature, but finding the right fish finder can be a daunting task. On average, a fish finder for a kayak can cost anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on the features and technology you require.

However, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for, and investing in a higher-priced model can make a world of difference in your fishing experience. Think of it like buying a car – you wouldn’t settle for a cheap model if you wanted reliable performance, right?

Q: How long does the battery of a fish finder typically last?

When it comes to the battery life of a fish finder, it typically depends on the size of the battery and how often you use the device. For example, a 12V 7Ah battery can last for approximately 7 hours of continuous use while a 12V 12Ah battery can last for up to 12 hours.

It’s important to note that one hour of use per amp hour can be expected. To extend the battery life, you can turn off the fish finder when not in use, adjust the screen brightness, and avoid using unnecessary features.

Q: Are fish finders compatible with all types of kayaks?

Are you wondering if fish finders are compatible with all types of kayaks? The answer is that it depends on the fish finder and the kayak. Some fish finder brands, like Lowrance and Humminbird, have partnerships with kayak companies for easy mounting.

However, installation can still be a challenge as the transducer, display, and battery need to be installed for the fish finder to work. Options for mounting the transducer include transducer scuppers, removable pods, and transducer arms.

It’s important to choose a fish finder that is tough enough to withstand constant exposure to sun, water, and dirt, as kayaks do not offer much protection for electronics. We’ve put out a review on the best fishing kayaks under $500 that include models specifically made for fishing.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our comprehensive guide to the best fish finders for kayaks in 2023. We hope we’ve given you enough information to make an informed decision about which fish finder is right for you.

When choosing the best fish finder, there are several factors to consider, such as your budget, fishing style, and the type of water you’ll be fishing in. We’ve covered all of these factors and provided recommendations for every type of kayak angler.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, investing in a high-quality fish finder can significantly improve your chances of catching more fish. So, take some time to consider your options and choose the fish finder that best suits your needs.

Happy fishing!