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How to Install a Fish Finder on a Kayak

If you want to improve your chances of catching fish when you are out fishing on your kayak, then a fish finder is an excellent way to do this.

fish finders

These devices can help you find the fish in the water, allowing you to target your efforts to specific areas that are likely to produce results.

But these devices were not traditionally designed for use with kayaks, so attaching your fish finder to your kayak can be daunting. 

But there’s actually no need to worry because this is an easy job. There are actually a few different ways in which you can install your fish finder to help you get an impressive catch.

fish finders on display

In this guide, we’ve gathered three of the main ways in which you can install your fish finder, so if you want to find out how, keep on reading. 

What is a Fish Finder?

Before we go any further, to dispel any confusion, let’s quickly establish exactly what a fish finder is.

depth finder

A fish finder is a type of sonar device that can help you detect where the fish are in the body of water that you are working on.

They use pulses of sound waves which are sent down to the bottom of the water in order to detect any movement or obstructions that you cannot see.

When they encounter anything, the sound waves bounce back allowing you to detect where the fish could be. 

Method One: Through the Scupper Hole

The first place that you might want to install your fish finder is through the scupper hole.


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A post shared by Mike Pevine (@mpevine)

This method is hugely effective, but it does mean that you will lose a scupper hole in your kayak, so if you are not prepared to do this then this method is probably not for you. 

In order to use this method you will need to use a scupper mount. Some companies produce these for fish finders, but a lot do not, and so the type of fish finder that you own might limit whether you can use this method.


Once you have got a scupper mount and have attached that to your fish finder, the process is easy. All you need to do is fit the transducer and fish finder into the scupper hole, and then you are good to go. 

But remember, the scupper hole plays an important role in draining water. So, if you block the scupper hole, you will need to find another way to drain the kayak. 

Method Two: Near the Rudder

Alternatively, you may choose to fit your fish finder near the rudder of your kayak. This is another easy method, and a great choice if you want to get the job done quickly. To do this, you will first need to go to the back of your kayak and find a flat area. 

person fishing in the ocean on a kayak

Once you have found the perfect place, you will need to fit a plastic or metal mount of about 3 inches in width. This piece of plastic/metal will work as a transom, allowing you to attach your transducer to it.

But remember when doing this that the plate and the transducer are higher than the bottom of your kayak as this will avoid any unnecessary damage should you encounter any rocks beneath the water.

After the transducer is firmly attached to the back of your kayak, you can then use a series of cables and wires to link the transducer to your fish finder. 

When you have attached your fish finder, you can then find the perfect place to keep it in your kayak. After the fish finder is firmly attached, you can then use it to help you find fish when you are out on the water. 

Method Three: In the Hull 

Finally, you might choose to install your fish finder in the hull. This is the last method that we are covering, but it is actually one of the most popular. 


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A post shared by Chris (@yaknlife)

In this method, the first thing that you need to do is open the hatch of your kayak and find a flat spot on the hull to install your transducer.

Once you have found the perfect spot you should then rub the area with alcohol to ensure that there is no dust or debris on the area. 


After it is clean, you can then attach your transducer to the area, it is best to attach the transducer after surrounding it with a foam pool noodle to make it more secure. 

Once your transducer is snug inside the foam noodle, you can then use a marine-grade glue to stick it to the designated area on your hull.

Be generous when applying glue because you want this component to stick as tightly as possible to your hull. After you have attached the transducer, you will need to leave the area to dry for 48 hours, so try to do this when you have no intention of going kayaking. 

When it is secure, you can then connect your fish finder to the transducer using the supplied cables, and it will be ready to use next time you want to go fishing. 

Portable Fish Finder

All of the methods that we have looked at so far are fairly final, and once you attach your fish finder, it is difficult to remove it.


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A post shared by Brad Hole (@kayakfishingwashington)

If you do not want a permanent attachment for your fish finder, then you would be better off using a portable device. 


These devices are very convenient to use because they mean you can simply attach your fish finder when you want to use your kayak to fish, and detach it when you simply want to go kayaking.

They have a slightly higher price point than static fish finders, but the benefits definitely outweigh the costs if you do not want your kayak to be permanently set up for fishing. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are a few different ways that you can install your fish finder on your kayak.

We’ve outlined them all above to help you find the method that is right for you. 

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