Have you ever wondered if a kayak-mounted fish finder might be your next tech upgrade for your fishing rig? I have always loved the outdoors and anything one can do outside. I grew up on the river and have had a paddle and a pole in my hands for as long as I can remember. While I remain an avid kayaker, I hadn’t considered melding that with my occasional fishing habit until recently, and it’s proved to be a serious improvement on shore fishing. I’ve been thinking of moving into the modern age with a fish finder, but the options are endless, and it can be a tough choice to make.

I knew I wanted something portable, easy to use, and not too bulky (to avoid getting in the way of paddling). I found five contenders, but my top pick is the Garmin Striker 4 with portable kit. Keep reading to find out why.

Best kayak Fish Finder – Our Picks

Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
  • The power of simple - offers a keyed interface...
  • Waypoint map - use the waypoint map to easily...
  • Chirp sonar - chirp sends a continuous sweep of...
Lowrance FishHunter PRO - Portable Fish Finder...
  • A FISH FINDER ON YOUR PHONE: The FishHunter PRO...
  • NO DATA CONECTION REQUIRED: Better than Bluetooth,...
  • MULTIPLE FISHING VIEWS: See fish as fish symbols...
Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer, 010-01809-00
  • Clearer scanning sonar - shows you more of what is...
  • The power of simple - offers a keyed interface...
  • Way point map - use the way point map to easily...
LUCKY Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable...
  • Find fish, water depth,water temperature, bottom...
  • Depth Capability: Cable 328feet(100m); Wireless...
  • Sonar Coverage: 45 degrees beam angle in...
Lowrance HOOK2 4X - 4-inch Fish Finder with...
  • EASIEST TO USE: The Lowrance HOOK2 4x Fish Finder...
  • WIDER SONAR COVERAGE: The HOOK2 4x offers a...
  • EASY SETUP: A single transducer can be mounted on...

Last update on 2019-05-19 - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Doing some research, I can tell you that there are five considerations you should make before your final decision. Those considerations are accuracy, portability, ease of use/personal preference, manufacturer, and cost. Once you find out what you are looking for in each of these categories, it’s easy to narrow down the competition and make the right choice for you.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN IT COMES TO FEATURES?

After all, there are myriads of choices and featured additions to almost any model. So, what is most important to consider? A good kayak fish finder setup can be hard to find, but the following criteria should help you narrow down your choices.

HOW ACCURATE IS THE EQUIPMENT?

The first thing to consider is accuracy, because it can have all the latest and greatest features, but if it has poor sonar capabilities, you’re still out of luck when it comes to snagging the catch of the year. Accuracy has to do with the frequencies at which the device’s sonar operates. The best versions have multiple frequencies which can combine to give a very clear topographical picture of the underwater geography, as well as the fish.

An important thing to note about the accuracy of your device is that it’s possible, especially if you’re fishing from a kayak, that you don’t need the most accurate fish finder with the deepest range. If you would like a more versatile model, or frequently fish deep water, be sure to put depth and accuracy high on your list of desirable features.

IS IT PORTABLE?

For kayak enthusiasts in particular, thinking about how easy it is to install and remove your fish finder could be paramount on your list of necessities. Perhaps one day you decide to fish and the next to run some white water on the local river. Because kayaks are meant to be versatile and easily portable your fish finder should be as well.

Some of the options on my list come with portable kits, and others take a bit more work, so if you only use your kayak for fishing, this might not be the most important factor for you. However, if your kayak is your second home and has more than one job, make sure you select a fish finder that fits with your boating habits. Keep in mind that most fish finders are not recommended for use in fast moving water.

IS IT EASY TO USE/ DOES IT FIT MY PERSONAL PREFERENCES?

If I’m being honest, I’m not all that tech savvy, and I am not looking for the most technical capabilities. I really just want to see the fish. On the flip side, I know some hard-core gear heads who love to know everything about their gear and want to use it to maximum effect. Either way, how easy something is to learn, or use is a huge consideration in your purchase.

This brings us to what you are going to do with your fish finder. This question really drives all the others because how you plan to use something determines what you buy. Do you want to use it in your motor or drift boat some of the time? Do you want something to swap over for ice fishing in the off months? Perhaps you want something with battery life for full kayak expeditions. These sorts of questions can affect what you look for in a device and should be thought out before purchasing.

IS THE MANUFACTURER REPUTABLE?

Something else to consider is what brand name is on your device. Some are quite well known in the fish finder industry and others are more obscure. Name brands like Lowrance, Garmin, and Humminbird are consistently quality equipment, and have good customer service.

Other brands have the same level of quality, but because they aren’t as popular, they don’t get the same recognition. Bottom line? Be careful who you purchase from as they may or may not be what you’re looking for. Good, inexpensive fish finders for kayaks ca be hard to find, so do your homework.

WHAT ABOUT THE PRICE TAG?

For some of us, cost is a huge factor, and for others it isn’t, but don’t worry, there are some great fish finders at reasonable prices. Many of the options on my list are versatile models which can be ordered with a variety of features and have flexible prices to reflect that.

The fact is that there are some brands and devices that are more expensive, but that doesn’t mean they perform better. Choosing a budget and sticking to it can help narrow down choices and should be a qualifier for what you do and don’t want.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Besides the above categories, the possibilities are endless, such as whether GPS is included or if the transducer must be mounted or is castable. Clarity of screen picture might be a factor for you, or screen size.

Be sure to thoroughly read through the product specifications before you purchase to find out exactly what you will be getting in your quest for a good kayak fish finder set up.

Best kayak Fish Finder – The Reviews

What follows here is a quick breakdown of each of the models on the chart above and why I think they might be a good fit for you and your kayak. When I checked out each of these products, I chose a variety, with each having something a bit different to give you an idea of the range of products out there. Last on the list is the one I would choose for myself, but each of the others has just as many great qualities. Without further ado, check out my picks for the five best fish finders for kayakers.

1. Lowrance FishHunter PRO Fish Finder – Review

If you’re looking for the most versatility at the lowest price, this is the model for you. This fish finder is manufactured by a trustworthy brand and has unique capabilities. It’s incredibly convenient as it links directly to your smart device. It comes with a castable transducer and is easy to carry along on any expedition. I particularly recommend this for any river fishermen out there, as it’s easy to stuff into a dry bag when not in use.

Lowrance FishHunter PRO - Portable Fish Finder...
  • A FISH FINDER ON YOUR PHONE: The FishHunter PRO...
  • NO DATA CONECTION REQUIRED: Better than Bluetooth,...
  • MULTIPLE FISHING VIEWS: See fish as fish symbols...

Last update on 2019-05-19 - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The majority of reviews were quite positive, though some people expressed issues with connectivity and the associated app. I chose this option for the list because it was portable and had the significant convenience factor of being able to use one’s phone or other smart device as the display, meaning one less thing to purchase and carry along.

2. Garmin Striker 7SV with Transducer – Review

Perhaps you want something you can use in more than one boat that has all the features you could want and more. This is the largest option on this list, and as such may not be preferable. It is, however, the most comprehensive model here. I make this recommendation for those who really want it all and like the idea of multiple features and price points.

Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer, 010-01809-00
  • Clearer scanning sonar - shows you more of what is...
  • The power of simple - offers a keyed interface...
  • Way point map - use the way point map to easily...

Last update on 2019-05-19 - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The GPS and sonar capabilities are through the roof, and it can be seamlessly transferred to your motor boat for everything from lake to deep sea fishing. It has the greatest depth capabilities of anything on this list and the display has the best readability.

3. Lucky Fish Finder Wired & Wireless – Review

If it’s versatility that has you scouring the internet, then this might be your top choice. This model has capability for everything from ocean to ice fishing and is quite durable. It has castable and wireless transducers as well and would be perfect for the all-seasons kayaker.

LUCKY Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable...
  • Find fish, water depth,water temperature, bottom...
  • Depth Capability: Cable 328feet(100m); Wireless...
  • Sonar Coverage: 45 degrees beam angle in...

Last update on 2019-05-19 - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a very nice mid-range product that includes a variety of possible uses. If I can’t convince you that this is a solid piece of equipment, then perhaps the incredible reviews will. Most said this was quite easy to use and that it was a good purchasing choice, especially as a reasonable choice for a beginner.

I would recommend this for the fish finder novice who isn’t totally sure they want to make a significant investment just yet. It is quite a solid and dependable model that should last well and give anyone a good idea if fish finders are for them.

4. Lowrance HOOK2 4X Fish Finder – Review

Maybe you’re someone who wants a fish finder that’s easy to use and install with minimal hassle and optimum features. It can be used in a kayak or other sort of vessel and is easily transferred from one to the other. It has a clear interface with easy to understand readings.

Lowrance HOOK2 4X - 4-inch Fish Finder with...
  • EASIEST TO USE: The Lowrance HOOK2 4x Fish Finder...
  • WIDER SONAR COVERAGE: The HOOK2 4x offers a...
  • EASY SETUP: A single transducer can be mounted on...

Last update on 2019-05-19 - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Its sonar quality and accuracy is nothing to sneeze at and it is very well designed. The jury is still out for some folks as far as preference goes, but most would agree it’s a great choice for kayakers and those who want something that gets back to basics. For the fisherman who just wants to find fish and catch them, this is perfect. It’s accurate and comprehensive, and that’s why it gets my endorsement.

5. Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit Fish Finder – Review

I did in fact save what I think is the best for last. This is a reasonably priced unit that comes fully equipped with a portable kit and all the coolest and most useful features. I am a bit of a map junky and am a sucker for good GPS. Garmin has the best mapping software available and this model is small enough that it won’t get in the way of my paddling and casting.

Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
  • The power of simple - offers a keyed interface...
  • Waypoint map - use the waypoint map to easily...
  • Chirp sonar - chirp sends a continuous sweep of...

Last update on 2019-05-19 - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I often float rivers and being able to mark way points along my route was a top priority in my selection, so this one gets my vote. It also gets the votes of pretty much everyone else as well. Also listed as Amazon’s choice, it was highly recommended by over one hundred consumers. Ultimately, I recommend this model because it’s the best bang for your buck and suits my preferences and usability perfectly.

DO I NEED ANYTHING ELSE?

Something not everyone considers is how exactly the fish finder gets attached to your kayak. Something to consider would be an external transducer mount or display mount. For some models on the list like the FishHunter with a castable transducer this isn’t an issue. It can be with the others, however. There are a variety of methods for attaching both the transducer and the display to your kayak, and the following products are the ones I would recommend which help you do that. These are two mounting systems from YakAttack that have proven to be durable and easy to install with the right tools.

YakAttack Switchblade Transducer Deployment Arm

Here we have a mount for your actual interface that works similarly to the transducer mount. It’s just as customizable and super secure to avoid the loss of your electronics. It is designed to fit most smaller to mid-sized brands of fish finder and works like a dream.

YakAttack Switchblade Transducer Deployment Arm...
  • YakAttack's Transducer Arm Folds up when not in...
  • Mounts to Track or Mighty Mount Hardware (MMH)....
  • INCLUDES: FREE UPF50 Waterman's Wear American Flag...

Last update on 2019-05-19 - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Yakattack Fish Finder Mount

Here we have a mount for your actual interface that works similarly to the transducer mount. It’s just as customizable and super secure to avoid the loss of your electronics. It is designed to fit most smaller to mid-sized brands of fish finder and works like a dream.

Last update on 2019-05-19 - Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

THAT’S ALL FOR THE TOP KAYAK FISH FINDERS

There you have it, the best kayak fish finders on the market. This should give a good overview about what’s out there and what to look for when making a purchase. A final word of caution for potential purchasers is to make sure you know what you’re getting! Go to Amazon to read more complete product descriptions and CHECK WHAT COMES IN THE BOX. Many of these items have customizable features and the ability to purchase the display and transducer separately. Be careful and double check that you know exactly what you’re purchasing.

Please let us know in the comments what you best fish finder success (or spectacular failure) stories are. If you have experience with any of these models, let other readers know what you thought about them and if you would recommend them too. Happy fishing!

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