Best Fishfinders for Kayaks


If you’re an avid angler who enjoys kayak fishing, investing in the best fishfinder for your kayak can significantly improve your fishing experience. A fishfinder not only helps locate fish but also provides valuable information such as water depth, temperature, and underwater structures. In this blog post, I’ll discuss some of the best fishfinders for kayaks and offer helpful tips to make your fishing excursions more enjoyable.

Why Do You Need a Fishfinder for Your Kayak?

A fishfinder is an essential piece of equipment for any angler, but it’s particularly important for kayak fishermen. Here are a few reasons why investing in a fishfinder for your kayak is a wise decision:

  1. Improved success rate: Knowing the location of fish increases your chances of casting your bait at the right spot, thus improving your success rate.
  2. Better understanding of the underwater environment: Besides locating fish, fishfinders provide valuable information about the underwater environment, including depth, temperature, and structures. This information is crucial for planning your fishing strategy.
  3. Safety: Having a fishfinder ensures that you know what’s beneath the surface of the water, helping you avoid potential obstacles and dangerous situations.

Top Fishfinders for Kayaks

In this section, I will introduce five of the best fishfinders for kayaks, covering a range of features, price points, and user preferences.

  1. Garmin Striker 4 – A Compact and Affordable Option

    The Garmin Striker 4 is a popular choice among kayak anglers due to its compact size, affordability, and reliable performance. With a 3.5-inch color display and CHIRP sonar technology, this fishfinder offers clear and detailed images of fish and underwater structures. Additionally, it features a built-in GPS for easy navigation and waypoint marking.

  2. Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 – For Advanced Features and Technology

    The Humminbird HELIX 5 is a versatile fishfinder with a range of advanced features. It’s equipped with a 5-inch color display, CHIRP DualBeam PLUS sonar, and AutoChart Live. The latter allows you to create custom maps of your favorite fishing spots. The HELIX 5 also includes a built-in GPS and support for optional maps, making navigation a breeze.

  3. Lowrance HOOK2 4X – User-friendly with Essential Features

The Lowrance HOOK2 4X is an excellent fishfinder for beginners. Its 4-inch color display and wide-angle broadband sonar ensure clear images and decent fish detection capabilities. Furthermore, its simple interface and easy-to-navigate menus make it a user-friendly option.

  1. Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar – Wireless and Portable Solution

    If you’re looking for a fishfinder without the hassle of wiring and installation, the Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar is worth considering. This portable, wireless fishfinder connects to your smartphone or tablet, providing real-time sonar data and a built-in GPS. The Deeper PRO+ is perfect for those who prioritize portability and simplicity.

  2. Raymarine Dragonfly 4PRO – For High-quality Imagery and Mapping

    The Raymarine Dragonfly 4PRO stands out with its high-definition optical bonding display, which delivers bright and sharp images. Equipped with CHIRP sonar and DownVision technology, this fishfinder offers exceptional underwater vision. It also features a built-in GPS and comes with free US lakes and coastal maps.


Choosing the best fishfinder for your kayak depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. By considering factors such as display size, sonar capabilities, GPS, and user-friendliness, you can find the right fishfinder to enhance your kayak fishing experiences. Don’t forget to explore F&S+ for exclusive access to stories by your favorite writers at just $1 per month, providing you with more information, tips, and tricks for your fishing adventures.

What is the best size fish finder for a kayak?

For optimal visibility, kayak anglers prefer a fish finder that has a five or seven-inch display. If you plan on using the unit in split-screen mode to see both fish finder and GPS simultaneously, it’s better to go with a seven-inch display.

How do I choose a fish finder for my kayak?

When selecting a fish finder for your kayak, consider the following factors:

  • Budget: Set a budget and look for a fish finder that falls within that range, without compromising on essential features.
  • Screen size and resolution: As mentioned earlier, a five or seven-inch display with a high resolution (at least 480×800 pixels) is ideal for a kayak.
  • Transducer compatibility: Ensure that the fish finder you choose is compatible with the transducer that your kayak can accommodate.
  • Frequency options: Having a fish finder with different frequency options allows you to adapt to various fishing environments. Look for options such as 50kHz, 83kHz, or 200kHz.
  • GPS and mapping: A built-in GPS and mapping feature helps keep track of your favorite fishing spots and navigate unfamiliar waters.
  • Ease of installation and portability: Since kayaks have limited space, ensure that the fish finder is easy to install and portable.

Can I use a portable fish finder on my kayak?

Absolutely! Portable fish finders are an excellent option for kayakers, as they provide flexibility and can be easily transferred from one vessel to another. Some portable fish finders can even be cast out into the water while you remain on the shore. Just make sure you choose one that suits your fishing needs and is user-friendly.

How do I mount a fish finder on my kayak?

Mounting a fish finder on your kayak can be relatively easy by following these steps:

  1. Select a suitable location to mount the fish finder display. It should be easily accessible and visible without obstructing your paddling movement.
  2. Choose an appropriate mounting system, such as a portable mount, RAM mount, or flush-mount. Ensure it’s compatible with your kayak and fish finder model.
  3. Assemble the mount according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Attach the display unit to your chosen mounting system and secure it in place.
  5. Install the transducer. Depending on your kayak and preference, you can install it through scupper holes, inside the hull, or on the rear of the kayak using an arm.
  6. Run the cables connecting the transducer and display unit, securing them properly to avoid any snags or damage.
  7. Connect the power source, usually a 12V battery, and tidy up any loose cables using cable ties or Velcro straps.

How do I power my fish finder on a kayak?

To power your fish finder on a kayak, you typically need a 12V battery, which is enough to run the fish finder for several hours. Waterproof or water-resistant battery boxes are a good idea to protect the battery from water damage. Make sure you secure the battery in place and have a suitable charging system in place to keep it topped up.

What additional features should I look for in a kayak fish finder?

In addition to the basic features mentioned earlier, you might want to consider the following:

  • Down and side imaging: This allows you to see underneath and around your kayak, giving you a better picture of the underwater environment.
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity: This enables easy updates, sharing of data with other devices, and displaying information on your smartphone or tablet using compatible apps.
  • CHIRP sonar: CHIRP (Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse) technology offers improved target separation and image clarity compared to traditional sonar systems.

With these features and considerations in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to find the perfect fish finder for your kayak that suits your needs and budget. Happy fishing!

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