One of the only things better than sliding across the water on your kayak is fishing from it. Many folks who fish from kayaks find fish finders beneficial, but if you’re planning on this type of angling adventure there’re a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when you select your finder.
Type of Fish Finder
There’s no need to worry too much, though, there’s basically three types of finders which are best suited for kayak fishing. Once you’ve decided on which type you’re going for, there’s sure to be a number of options.
- Smart Fish Finders: These are relatively new to the marketplace, and these will connect easily with your phone and often offer surprising resolutions and features. Most won’t necessarily need a cell tower connection either, instead, you’ll be able to access them using a Bluetooth signal. The biggest disadvantage of these for kayak fishing is pretty obvious, however, that you’ll need to have your phone over the water. If you’re risk-averse where you’re device is concerned but still want to utilize one of these high-tech gadgets, you’ll probably want to look into measures to keep your smartphone safe and dry, however.
- Portable Finders: The go-to of pier and rock fishermen everywhere, these devices are often pretty low tech with a lot still using old LCD screens. They tend not to be quite as accurate, and you might find yourself having to sweep the transponder more often than you’d like, but they’re generally cheap and fairly reliable. They’re usually battery operated, which makes for a convenient and accessible experience.
- Mounted Units: Several smaller transducer units will mount on your kayak quite easily and give you the same capabilities as someone piloting a larger vessel. If you pick carefully you’ll have all of the functions and none of the drawbacks, but for most of them, you’ll also need to carry a power system within your kayak.
For most kayak fishing, you’ll find that ridiculous power and frequency used for people who fish in deep lakes or open oceans isn’t necessary. You’ll also want to find something with a smaller screen, so you won’t be excessively cramped up in your already tight quarters.
Something with 3-D imaging may also be ideal if you prefer to fish specific structures, and GPS is also useful for this type of fishing. The 3-D imaging will let you get a better look at where you’re dropping your line, and GPS can help keep you on target.
You’ll find a lot of utility no matter which unit you eventually settle on, though, but it’s aways best to make sure your first purchase is a great one. If you’re looking to increase your fishing pleasure in a kayak, read on as we’ve reviewed some great finders to use in conjunction with your boat.
Our choice: Top 5 Best Fish Finders for Kayak
Deeper DP0H10S10-P Wireless Sonar Smart Fish Finder
The Deeper Smart Fish Finder is probably the best of its class available in the marketplace today. The app on your phone has a wide array of uses and allows you to take advantage of its already high-resolution screen to get you going. You’ll simply need to toss this device into the water and you’ll be able to take readings through your Bluetooth connection no matter where you’re at.
The Deeper Smart Fish Finder is good down to about 140 feet, and features dual-band frequencies at 90 kHz/290 kHz. If you get a waterproof case for your phone, you’ll rapidly find the Deeper to be one of the best investments you could possibly make for this kind of fishing.
Venterior Portable Wired Fish Finder
If you’re looking for a unit that you can utilize on a budget, you need to look no further. The absolute rock bottom price of this unit belies its functionality. The LCD screen will make sure you can get your line to where it needs to be and it also boasts a surprising number of minor but helpful features like alarms and a backlight so you can keep going if it gets a bit dark.
This fish finder has a 45-degree angle, so you’ll be able to get a pretty good sweep beneath you and it’s good down to about a hundred feet. The LCD, despite being primitive, will also be able to tell you what’s on the bottom. For the price, you simply won’t be able to beat this unit.
Lowrance 000-11448-001 Elite-3X Fishfinder
If you’re looking for a mounted unit at a low price, the Lowrance Elite X3 is perfectly suited to your needs. You’ll find that it has a wide array of functionality and it boasts a small, but colored screen which will allow for more accuracy in your readings.
The dual frequencies of this handy little device will save you time and effort, with a 200 kHz band for looking down up to two hundred feet and 83 kHz if you need to go a bit deeper. You can easily switch between the two views with a single press of a button as well, making this a convenient and cheap way to locate fish from your kayak.
Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder FishFinder
This is another solid, portable option. All you’ll need to do is pitch the transducer overboard, power on the unit and you’ll soon be getting the readings you need to improve your fishing. It’ll read down to two hundred and forty feet and it comes with an accurate color display which you just might find indispensable.
With its dual-band frequencies and accurate measurements, you couldn’t ask for more in a portable finder. It’s perfectly suitable for low speed trolling from your kayak, simply take a leisurely paddle and keep an eye on it and you’ll soon find yourself locating the spot of your dreams to take a cast.
NorCross HawkEye F33P Fish Finder
Yet another cheap, portable finding unit. The NorCross Hawkeye F33P boasts a floating transducer which is attached to thirty-five feet of cable, making it perfect for kayak fishing. You can troll with the unit, just float it, or even mount it depending on the usage you want to receive.
It has a simple to read LCD screen which will help immensely in your adventures, and with a low price and variety of uses you may have just found the perfect unit to use. This is another solid choice if you’re looking for a portable fish finder for lighter use.
Depending on what you’re looking to do, you’ll find that there’s a wide variety of fish finders available for you to use with your kayak. As you can see there’s something for every angler and every budget available, so just take the plunge and make the initial investment you can afford and soon you’ll be catching the fish of your dreams.