If you regularly enjoy fishing in your kayak, then a fish finder can make the process a lot easier. Even if you don’t catch anything, fishing can be a relaxing experience, but over time the lack of catch can become frustrating.
There’s nothing worse than spending an entire day out on the water only to get no bites, and find yourself with nothing to show for your day spent fishing.
This is where a fish finder can come in handy, as these devices play an important role in helping to locate fish beneath the water.
These devices use different methods to be able to locate fish beneath the water and display them on a screen, allowing you to know where to cast your rod for the best chance of a catch.
But finding the perfect fish finder for you can be difficult. There are lots of different types available and this can make it hard to choose the right one for you.
However, there’s no need to worry because we’ve put together this complete guide to the best kayak fish finders on the market, along with a short list of some options we would recommend. So if finding the right fish finder for you is proving stressful, then keep on reading.
OUR TOP PICK
Our favorite kayak fish finder on the market is the Garmin 010-01550-00 fish finder. This fish finder is a wonderful choice if you haven’t got much experience with your fish finders as it is very user-friendly.
This is mainly because this device uses a Waypoint map which allows you to easily navigate around the body of water beneath your kayak to find where the fish are.
The reason that this device is so user-friendly is partly because it uses chirp sonar which ensures that it is continually working.
By using chirp sonar this fish finder is able to continuously sweep the water looking for any movements or obstructions in the water.
This is then displayed clearly on the screen of the fish finder, which is available in 3.5, 5, and 7 inches, so that you can buy the one that works best for you.
With all of this considered, it is clear that this is one of the best options on the market.
- Easy to Use - uses a Waypoint map to allow you to easily view, navigate, and map different locations on the screen to help you find the fish
- Continually Working - this device uses chirp sonar to continuously sweep the water and note any changes or movement in fish beneath the water
- Clear Picture - available in 3.5, 5 and 7-inch screen sizes to ensure that you will always be able to clearly see fish moving on the screen
- No notable drawbacks
We also love the Lucky Handheld Portable Fish Finder. Lucky is one of the leading companies when it comes to fish finders, so you know that you can trust this company.
One of the best things about this fish finder is that it has a portable design.
Some people will prefer a fish finder that can be permanently attached to your kayak, but this device is actually portable allowing you to attach and detach it whenever you want to.
This means that your kayak can still be used for regular kayaking rather than being limited to just fishing use.
Additionally, it is rechargeable and can hold its charge for up to 5 hours at a time off of a single charge. So with all of this considered, there’s no question that this is one of the best options on the market.
- Easily Portable - comes with absolutely everything that you need to simply attach and detach this device from your kayak whenever you want to use it
- Rechargeable - includes a USB slot to recharge this device, off of a single charge it will run continuously for 5 hours at a time
- Adjust to your Needs - comes with lots of different features that can be altered to fit your style of fishing, the area that you are in, and lots more
- No notable drawbacks
Another great option is the Lowrance Hook2 4-inch Fish Finder. This is another device which is great if you haven’t got much experience using a fish finder as it is very user-friendly.
The main thing that makes this device so easy to use is the fact that a lot of the features on it actually do the job themselves, and you don’t need to worry about them.
This means that you can spend more time fishing, and less time fussing about technology. Additionally, this makes the fish finder easy to set up.
All you need to do is mount the transducer to your desired location, and then you are ready to go. So if you want to make you experience as stress-free as possible, this fish finder is a great option.
- User Friendly - this device is self-explanatory to use and comes with features that do the work themselves, so you can spend more time fishing
- Easy to Set Up - includes a transducer which can be easily mounted on the hull, rudder, or in a scupper hole depending on where works best for you
- Wide Coverage - includes a wide sonar range which allows this device to cover larger areas of water than some of its competitors
- Doesn’t have Sensitivity Settings - limits your ability to locate fish in deep water
Alternatively, you might choose to buy the Venterior Portable Fish Finder. The main feature which makes this fish finder great is that it is very accurate.
Not only is it excellent at pinpointing where fish are beneath the surface, but it also gives accurate readings for depth allowing you to locate how deep the fish are in the water.
This fish finder is able to do this as it is very easy to use.
All you need to do is throw the transducer of the fish finder into the water and the readings will come through to the display unit which is why it is able to provide such accuracy.
Finally, this fish finder is great because it is portable, so you don’t have to permanently alter your kayak to be able to use it, so there’s no doubt that this is one of the best fish finders on the market.
- Very Accurate - able to provide highly accurate readings, even for depth reading, which makes locating fish an easy task
- Easy to Use - all you need to do is throw the transducer into the water, turn on the display unit, and then you will start to get readings
- Portable - doesn’t leave a permanent fitting on your kayak, so you can easily detach it when you don’t want to use your kayak for fishing
- Unclear Display - as this device is portable, the display isn’t that clear, but you can still see the fish
Finally, you should think about buying the RICANK Portable Fish Finder. This is a great option if you like to complete lots of different types of fishing, or like to fish in a variety of different types of water.
This is because the fish finder is incredibly versatile and flexible, allowing you to use it in lots of different scenarios.
One of the main reasons behind this is the fact that this fish finder is portable, so you can easily attach and detach it whenever you want to.
Finally, this fish finder is great because it provides accurate depth readings which are very important depending on the type of fish that you are trying to catch.
So, if you are looking for a kayak fish finder, this is one that you should definitely consider.
- Versatile - can be used for lots of different types of fishing, and in lots of different types of water making it very flexible
- Easily Portable - everything is easily portable so that you can simply detach this fish finder when you don’t want to use it
- Excellent Depth Readings - provides accurate depth readings so that you can locate exactly where the fish are in the water, as well as how deep they are
- Small Screen - means it might not be the best choice if you have poor eyesight
Best Kayak Fish Finder Buying Guide
Finding the perfect fish finder for your kayak can be hard work, but the products that we have looked at above are some of the best options on the market.
If you still aren’t certain which is the best for you, we’ve put together this quick buyer’s guide to help. So if you want to find out more, then keep on reading.
The first thing you need to consider when buying a fish finder is the type of mounting style that it has.
There are a variety of different methods that you can use to mount your fish finder to your kayak, to identify the one that is right for you, you should sit back in your kayak and take a look at where you have available space.
The most common places to attach your fish finder are to the rudder, on the hull, or in the scupper holes. All of these different options are fairly simple to do, but ensure you choose the one that works best for you to make sure you will be able to enjoy your time fishing.
Next, you need to think about the transducer. The transducer is probably the most important part of the fish finder as it is the component that allows the device to locate fish.
There are three main types of transducer that you may encounter: cone angle, sonar type, and frequency type.
Cone angle transducers are one of the more basic designs as they can only cover a certain amount of water at any one time. Sonar type transducers come in lots of different varieties, but they all use sound waves in order to locate fish and other obstructions beneath the water’s surface.
Finally, frequency type transducers use frequencies to locate fish below the water and plot them on your fish finder.
All of these transducers are excellent, but you need to consider the one that works best for you and the area that you fish in before buying.
Following on, you need to consider the display of the fish finder. The display is often overlooked, but this is very important as it is what you will use to locate the fish.
When it comes to display, there are lots of different things which you need to consider, including screen size, resolution, and color display.
Generally, you will find that most fish finders come with a display screen measuring 3-inches, but if you want a larger display, you can get models with a screen measuring up to 5 inches in size.
Similarly, you will find that the average screen resolution for a fish finder is 640 x 640 pixels, however you can get them with less or more pixels depending on how much you are willing to pay.
Finally, you need to consider whether you want the display to be in color or black and white. Color often makes it easier to locate the fish, but black and white models are cheaper, so you need to consider which is best for you.
Something else you should consider before buying a fish finder for your kayak is whether you want it to come with GPS pre-installed or not. These devices tend to be considerably more expensive, but GPS takes your fish finder to a whole new level.
Kayaking can take you to a variety of different places, especially if you are on a river or active bed of water, and a GPS system can make this safer as you will always be able to find where you are.
This system can also help you save locations where there were lots of fish activity for future reference.
Before you buy anything, you will also have to think about water depth. This will be more important if you plan on going fishing in your kayak on water that is incredibly deep, such as the sea.
Deep-sea fishing is a very popular type of fishing, so this is a valid thing to consider when purchasing a fish finder.
If you are interested in this type of fishing then you should think about buying a fish finder which comes with a down-imaging unit as this will give you a much better idea of what lurks beneath the deep sea water.
Finally, you need to think about smartphone compatibility. This is something that is becoming more popular recently as smartphones can provide a back-up for your fish finder.
Fish finders are excellent, but their batteries are often very poor and can run out of power very quickly. If you purchase a fish finder that comes with smartphone compatibility then you will be able to back up all the information on the fish finder onto your cell phone.
This means that when your fish finder runs out of battery, which it inevitably will, you will still know exactly where you are, and more importantly, where the fish are because it is all stored on your phone.
This might not always be important to you, but if you regularly kayak in unknown areas then it might be a good idea for you to purchase a fish finder with this capability.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you put a fish finder on a kayak?
Yes, you can put a fish finder on a kayak. In fact, a lot of companies now design fish finders that can be specifically used on kayaks to help you find fish.
These devices give you eyes beneath your kayak which will hugely increase the chances of you catching fish. So yes, you can put a fish finder on a kayak, and it is actually a hugely effective way to help you catch a bite.
Do fish finders actually show fish?
Yes, fish finders do actually show fish, which is why they can be a great help when you are trying to get a bite. Most fish finders come with a variety of different modes so that you can use the one that works best for you.
Some modes will show the fish as actual fish diagrams on the screen of your fish finder, other modes will simply show fish in a different color to vegetation and other things you may find beneath the water. Either way, it is easy to find the fish that are displayed on your fish finder.
Is a fish finder worth it on a kayak?
It is definitely worth using a fish finder on your kayak. Fish finders use GPS signals to give you an advantage when it comes to catching fish as they can allow you to pinpoint exactly where they are in the water.
This allows you to mark the spots where you are going to fish and can also help with choosing which bait to use.