Fishing out of a kayak is more popular than ever and manufacturers are seeing the demand for smaller, less gaudy fish finders to be mounted on kayaks and still save space.
For serious kayak fisherman, the market has seen a big increase in depth finders made specifically for kayaks that are both size and price minded. We’ve picked a few that we feel are the best fish finders for kayaks available. Let us know what you think.
- Best Portable Fish Finders For Kayaks In 2018
- 1. Garmin Striker 4 With Built-in GPS
- 2. Humminbird PiranhaMax 197C DI
- 3. Lowrance Hook 3X Sonar
- What To Look For In A Kayak Fish Finder
Best Portable Fish Finders For Kayaks In 2018
1. Garmin Striker 4 With Built-in GPS
The Striker 4 from Garmin is about as close to perfect for a kayak fish finder as it gets. The color display and built-in GPS in a compact package that is not too small yet not in your way is a great value. Let’s break down why I like it so much.
A Bright 3.5″ Color Screen
The screen on the Striker 4 just pops and the bottom, structure and most importantly fish show up in great detail. As usual with Garmin units the readouts stand out and are accurate also, including the CHIRP technology.
The simple, easy-to-use keypad puts only what you need right at your fingertips. It is useful and not too complicated so you can get to the fish without fumbling around with your fish finder.
Honestly, to find a unit at this price with built-in GPS is crazy! That’s what sets the Garmin Striker 4 apart from the rest. It has the ability to not only mark your favorite waypoints and honey holes but you can follow your routes and fish the exact same route you fished on your last trip, if you caught anything ;).
It also displays your speed and has a built-in flasher if you’re into that. GPS in a color kayak fish finder at this price, wow!
Perfect Size Depth Finder For Kayaks
Measuring in at 3.6” x 5.9” x 1.6”, the Striker 4 is not quite 6 inches tall so it is totally out of the way of your casts and if you need some tweaking, it comes with a tilt and swivel mount with all the adjustments you may need.
2. Humminbird PiranhaMax 197C DI
Down Imaging In A Compact Fish Finder
The PiranhaMax 197C DI has incredibly crisp down imaging to 320′ providing unbelievable detail, better than we’ve seen on any unit at this price. We only liked the Garmin Stryker 4 a little better because it has a nice display too, but the added GPS put it over the top for us. Again, if you would rather have a crisper, more detailed image and don’t really need GPS, then the Humminbird is for you.
Humminbird’s Switchfire sonar technology has been a favorite of many anglers in their larger units and now its available in this smaller unit. It provides great detail and fish-marking ability in its own right, even without switching to down imaging. You get clear readings all the way down to 600′, although I don’t think I would test that depth range in a kayak ;).
Nice Size And Layout
As with all these fish finders on our list, this is a nice compact unit that also has a tiltable base for multiple angles and placements. Only what you need at a glance.
3. Lowrance Hook 3X Sonar
Dual Frequency Operation
By allowing you to switch between 83 or 200 kHz, you can dial in the perfect settings for whatever depth you are in. 83 kHz will allow you to find fish by having a larger search area and cover more water. Then when you find then, switch to 200 kHz and zone in on their exact location and make pinpoint, fish catching casts over and over.
Patented Skimmer transducer
The famous skimmer transducer from Lowrance has built-in water temperature readouts and displays fish as icons instead of arches to better help separate actual fish from the bottom. It also can track the bottom depth at speeds up to 75 mph for you ultra fast kayakers.
Advanced Signal Processing (ASP)
ASP eliminates the need for you to manually adjust settings just to zone in on fish, structure or the bottom as it handles this automatically. It also has a “Pages” button to let you quickly switch between 83 and 200 kHz views.
What To Look For In A Kayak Fish Finder
Basically I look for 3 things in picking out a fish finder for my kayak. Size, a color display and a nice price point. These 3 fish finders meet all that criteria and then some. Really, you can’t go wrong with either of these it just boils down to personal preference.
I hope this post has been helpful and if so, please leave a comment below. Tight lines!