When choosing a fish finder for your kayak, there are a few things you want to consider.
The transducer is the beating heart of your fish finder. This is where your sonar is. It sends electrical pulses into the water and returns the echo in the form of images on your screen. Without it, your fish finder is little more than metal and plastic.
You’ll also want your unit to be small and easy to use. A sizable display that you can read in all conditions is a must.
Build-in maps are a huge perk, but you really want a good mapping system. Each of the fish finders listed here offers all of these things and more.
Top 6 Kayak Fish Finders
- Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI GPS G3 Nav Fish Finder+
- Lowrance Hook Reveal 5 Fish Finder – 5 Inch
- Garmin ECHOMAP UHD
- Raymarine Element 7-Inch HV Combo
- Garmin Striker 4
- Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder 7 Inch
Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI GPS G3 Nav Fish Finder+
The Humminbird Helix 7 is an excellent fish finder with a lot of great features. It boasts a 7-inch screen with 800 x 480 resolution. It offers dual-spectrum CHIRP sonar that helps locate fish and measure depth and water temperature.
What’s best is that it comes preloaded with an SD card filled with more than 21,000 US and Canadian bodies of water.
One of the most outstanding features of this fish finder is the MEGA imaging. It provides side and down imaging up to 125 feet.
In addition, you can save and plot spots to check out later using Helix’s mapping feature. The Helix is an excellent choice if you want a mid-size fish finder for your kayak.
Lowrance Hook Reveal 5 Fish Finder – 5 Inch
The Lowrance Hook Reveal is an excellent budget fish finder that’s the perfect size for a kayak or other small craft. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some of the others, but it’s user-friendly and perfect for a newbie.
It has a GPS plotter that lets you save spots for later and comes preloaded with 4,000 US lake maps that you can easily view on its 5-inch split screen.
Lowrance’s FishReveal allows you to find and identify fish quickly and easily. This feature combines Lowrance’s high-quality CHIRP sonar with high-resolution images of what’s in the water beneath you.
In addition, you’ll have HOOK Reveal autotuning sonar, which will let you spend less time fiddling with your machine and more time fishing.
Garmin ECHOMAP UHD
The Garmin ECHOMAP UHD is packed with great features, making it one of the most versatile units on this list. The 9-inch backlit display is the largest on the list, but its size allows you to split your screen three ways.
Another great feature is the touchscreen with a backup keypad for when touch isn’t available. So, if you’re going to be out on a winter day, you won’t have to worry about constantly taking your gloves off to use your unit.
One of the greatest things about this unit is the mapping. It comes preloaded with LakeVu 3 inland maps of 18,000 bodies of water.
In addition, its CHIRP sonar allows you to find fish and map what’s below the surface with ease. Although it’s on the high end, price-wise, it’s an excellent tool for the avid fisher.
Raymarine Element 7-Inch HV Combo
The Raymarine Element is a user-friendly fish finder that offers a 7-inch sunlight-viewable LCD with a keypad.
You won’t have much coverage on your kayak, so a screen you can see in the sun is a must. Raymarine’s smart mapping supports mapping charts from all the big names, including Navionics, C-MAP, and others.
HyperVision CHIRP provides high-res images that detail everything under you. The HyperVision 3D gives you detailed images of any points of interest underwater. In addition, you’ll have clear visibility for 100 feet on either side.
Garmin Striker 4
If you need a fish finder that gives you the basics without any flair, the Garmin Striker is a good choice. It’s small, with a 4.3-inch screen, but its size makes it perfect for kayaks, especially if you’re trying to limit the amount of gear in your pack.
Garmin’s CHIRP sonar provides a high level of quality that you don’t find on other smaller units.
Quickdraw contours mapping lets you create your own maps, including contour maps. Although this is a more budget-friendly option, it’ll still give you everything you need in a fish finder.
Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder 7 Inch
The Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 is a step up from the Hook Reveal 5 listed above. Its 7-inch screen boasts a bright 800×480 display with keypad controls.
Although there’s no touch screen, the buttons are intuitive, so you won’t have any trouble navigating it.
FishReveal sonar was a new addition in 2020. It was a significant upgrade from the previous model and makes finding fish a breeze. In addition, the Genesis Live Mapping lets you create your own maps, making it easier to find and return to key fishing spots.
A great fish finder can take a fishing trip from slow and frustrating to enjoyable in the blink of an eye. Plus, they’re not even that hard to install!
Even if you don’t catch anything, you’ll be able to find great new spots that you can come back to time and time again. Knowing where they’re biting is half the battle when it comes to fishing.
Are there any other fish finders I missed? Feel free to sound off in the comments.