Best fish finder for Kayak

Going on that trip to explore some beautiful water bodies in a boat or kayak is something most people look forward to. The experience and adventure lure a lot of people into fish exploration.  Whatever  the motivation, having a fish locator mounted on your vessel will make the work easier and more exciting. There are so many fish finders on the market today, but I’ll focus on fish finders that are usually used on Kayaks.

Comparison Table –  Best Fish Finder for Kayak

PictureFish Finder NameMaximum DepthCheck Price

Garmin Striker 4

1,600 ft freshwater
750 ft saltwater

Check Price
Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro 900ft Check Price
Lowrance Hook-3X Sonar 300ft Check Price
Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 43dv2,300 ft freshwater
1,100 ft saltwater
Check Price
Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c320 ft Check Price
Vexilar SP200 T-Box 240 ft Check Price
iBobber Wireless Bluetooth135 ft Check Price
Lowrance Mark-4 100 ft Check Price
HawkEye Fishtrax240 ft Check Price
Signstek FF-003240 ft Check Price

Before I get to some of the best fish finder for kayak in the market, briefly, I’ll go through some of the factors to consider when getting this device for your Kayak.

Buyer’s guide – Best Fish Finder for Kayak


A Fish finder power is measured in Wattage. The greater the Wattage, the faster your fish finder displays the readings. A high level of power can also go deeper.


The higher the frequency, the more detail you get to see on screen. Fishfinders with high frequencies work best in shallow water, whereas those with low frequency are more productive in deep water.

Screen resolution

This refers to the amount of pixels the screen displays. The higher the number of pixels, the clearer the view as displayed on screen. A higher screen resolution enables the angler to get a better idea of the objects in the water. It will make it easier to distinguish fish from other objects.

Screen size

This of course goes hand in hand with the screen resolution. Having a large screen size increases the level of detail you would like on your display. In other words, with a bigger screen size, you get to enjoy an HD display.

Color or black and white screen

Color screens are much better. They are more enjoyable to look at with beautiful images illustrating various objects in the water. Needless to say they are more detailed compared to their black and white counterparts.

However, it does depend on the budget. Color screens are a bit expensive, hence you can go with the black and white if you do not have enough cash for a color screen. They are relatively accurate, though.

Fixed vs portable fish finders

A fixed fish finder is much more suitable for a boat that you own. A portable one comes in handy if you have rented the vessel. It  takes up less space and is a bit more expensive. However, it is a small price to pay for the convenience brought by a portable fish finder.

GPS enabled

It is advisable to purchase a fish finder with a working GPS. This is very useful especially if you are exploring areas that you are not familiar with. In case you get lost, a good GPS system makes the difference. A fish finder with no GPS works as well if the angler has prior knowledge of the river, sea or lake and its contours.

The following are some of the best Kayak fish finders on the market.

1. Garmin Striker 4 Bbuilt-in GPS Fish Finder

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This is arguably one of the best portable fish finder in the market. This makes it perfect for kayaks and canoes. It comes with a portable kit, with a sealed, rechargeable battery with charger. However, its portability feature does not compromise its quality.


It displays some of the most clear, near photographic images showing details of the objects on display. This is made possible because of its high frequency sonar, known as CHIRP SONAR. This feature enables the fish finder to give a wide range of information with a better target separation.

Waypoint map

For a better experience in navigating and marking various locations under water, it comes with a waypoint map. It also comes in handy when you want to find your way back easily and faster.

In addition, the Garmin Striker built-in GPS fish finder, has a high sensitivity GPS  that comes in handy when locating your current location more precisely and accurately. It also has the capability of displaying speed, which helps making sure that you are travelling at the right speed. It is suitable for ice fishing due to its built-in flasher. If you are not satisfied with the picture quality, the Garmin allows room for improvement as you can upgrade the CHIRP technology for better images.

Main features

    • Has a split screen zoom
    • Integrated GPS
    • Power cable
    • Weighs 230 grams
    • Portable
    • Available in various screen sizes, 3.5, 5,7 inch displays
    • Built-in flasher

2. Raymarine Dragonfly-4 Pro Sonar/GPS

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This is one of the best fish finder for kayak available in the market. It features an optically bounded display, it offers a clean, crisp imaging experience with with pinpoint accuracy and impressive depth capability. The display may be relatively small, but the quality of the images makes it worthwhile. It has an important fish finding feature known as the CHIRP sonartech and possesses a WI-FI module. The best thing about this module is that you can connect to a compatible smartphone or tablet and get to receive the images as crisp and clear as from the fish finder itself.

As the name suggests, it comes equipped with a CMAP essentials pack that includes all navigation aid and charting objects. It also features a micro SD slot. This makes it easy for that user who would like to revisit some of the images in the future as they are safely saved on the SD card.

Last but not least, this is an all-weather device with no internal fogging, meaning the viewing will always be clear to the user’s delight.

Main features

  • No internal fogging
  • Micro SD slot
  • All-weather device
  • Can be used at a depth of 900 ft
  • Has a WI-FI modular
  • Has GPS and charts
  • Comes with USC-MAP Essentials Pack
  • 3 inches high-definition display

3. Lowrance Hook-3X Sonar

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This is an easy to use device with amazing features that make it worth a mention in our list of best fish finder for kayak.

Ease of work

A very easy to use gadget with multiple features that make the experience thrilling and enjoyable. It features quick keys that enable the user to quickly zoom in and out up to four times the normal view, hence helping the fisherman to focus on key fishing areas. Equipped with a broadband sounder detail, it easily identifies fish targets, including bait fish and game fish.

Image quality

The Lowrance hook has a 3 inch color display , led-backlit that is easy to use with detailed resolution. It does not really matter whether you are viewing your images in darkness or in broad daylight, the images will display clearly even in full sunlight. This high quality resolution makes it the ideal gadget to view from wide angles.

Depth and temperature analysis

It has unique and adjustable features that include depth, temperature and speed. It has a temperature sensor built into its structure. It is an ideal kayak depth finder because of its dual frequency operation, as in, 83 or 200KHZ operations. This assists in maximizing the view beneath the boat and providing an excellent view from different angles.

Moreover, for superb target separation, and excellent noise reductions, it has an Advanced Signal Processing feature, also known as ASP. With this feature, one does not need to manually change the settings in order to get a more detailed view.  It comes with an alarm option too. One downside however is its lack of wireless connectivity.

Main features

      • 320*240 resolution
      • Depth compatibility of up to 300ft
      • Supported by Lowrance Service Program
      • Operating frequency of 83kHz/200kHz
      • No maps or GPS
      • Color LCD display
      • Backlight control for nighttime and daytime fishing
      • Can zoom in up to four times to focus on key fishing area

4. Garmin echoMAP CHIRP 43dv with transducer

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This is an easy to use, easy to install device with features that enables the user to get a thrilling experience out of it. The following are some  of its key features.

Clear images

It comes with a 4.3 inch display featuring a 480 by 272 pixel resolution. If you are looking for afFish finder for kayak with a display that can withstand any kind of conditions, then this is the kind of device you should get. Its amazing high contrast display, adjustable lighting and swivel mount makes it easy to read under harsh conditions.  It has an auto-dimming display and is readable in sunlight.

Auto Guidance technology

This is one of those features that makes the Garmin echoMAP unique and sets it apart from the rest of fish finders. With this technology, charts are searched with the aim of displaying a virtual path. This comes in handy as it helps the user identify and avoid areas that may be hazardous or areas that are not worth visiting and viewing.

It also helps with calculating anticipated arrival times to a particular destination and is sensitive to anticipating problem areas quickly. It has an autopilot option, if you wish to take a step back and allow it to automatically follow the auto guidance route.

Charts and maps

Contains pre-installed maps that include a total of 17000 maps of lakes, rivers and other reservoirs. All these maps are displayed in detail. It also comes with maps that provide HD views of 5700 lakes. These maps also indicate the important points such as docks, highways, fishing areas and boat ramps which makes it one of the best fish finder for kayak.

Other than already installed maps, it also features an easy to use software that comes already installed, with which a user can create custom made maps that are crystal clear. You can design these maps to your own liking.  The exciting part of this software is that you do not need another software to give results. As you draw these maps, results appear in an instant.

In addition, it comes with a micro SD slot. You can save the virtual paths you may have displayed using the Auto-guidance technology, or the maps that you may have created. The expandable map allows for upgrade of maps into the Garmin.

Main features

  • 3 inch display
  • 480 by 272 pixel resolution
  • Comes with a micro SD slot
  • Easy to use and install
  • Built in maps and charts
  • Available in various display sizes such as 4, 5 7 and 9 inches
  • Maximum depth of 2300 feet fresh water and 1100 feet in salt water

5. Humminbird PiranhaMax 197c

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This is an easy to use fish locator. Though relatively small, it boasts of features that makes it one of the most sought after kayak depth finders on the market.

The technology

The technology used by this fish locator is something worth writing about. It uses sonar technology like most fish finders; what sets this locator apart from the rest is its dual beam capability. One beam operating at 455kHz whereas the other at 200kHz. The former being more effective when focusing on a specific area, especially the area beneath the boat, and the latter giving a more general view. It also boasts of Down Imaging at 600 ft.

The display

Features a 256 color 320×240 resolution. Has a relatively small display of 3.5 inches. It may have dual beam capability, but cannot display the results simultaneously. In other words, it has no split-screen capability.

Various objects, however, are displayed using different colors, for instance an object portrayed by a blue color represents a weak signal, whereas that portrayed by the color orange represents a stronger signal. This means the object with color orange is closer.

Alarms and Temperature

This fish locator has a temperature sensor that comes in handy when the user wants to determine the ideal conditions in the water. This sensor does not come with an alarm. However it comes with a depth sensor which has an alarm that goes off once you come across a potential load of fish.

In addition to these features, the Humminbird boasts of a fish ID technology that displays fish location and makes use of fish icons to enable easy interpretation of the results by an amateur.

Main features

      • Dual beam capability. Covers 200kHz and 450kHz
      • Displays one frequency at a time
      • Down imaging at 600 feet
      • Depth capability at 320 feet
      • Functional depth alarm
      • Functional temperature gauge
      • No GPS
      • No maps

6. Vexilar SP200 T-Box Smartphone Fish Finder

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The Vexilar smartphone fish finder is a one of a kind device. This is mainly because of its portability, and is one of the few handheld fish finders we have in the market. Its portability feature spreads to its battery.

The battery has its own portable pack which comes in its own portable system. Still on batteries, it comes with a semi-enclosed battery compartment that is easily accessible. The battery is rechargeable and normally comes with a digital charger. This charger is automatic hence chances of the battery overcharging are non existent.

It boasts of a dual beam compatibility with depths of up to 240 feet. It has the word smartphone as part of its name, making it obvious that it is compatible with Ios systems and android devices. Has the ability to create its own WIFI hotspot hence making it possible to easily share your signal others. This is a awesome feature that makes it one of the best fish finder for kayak.

To sum it up, this is a fish locator that is just simple to understand and easy to operate beginning with its installation to its operation.

Main features

      • Has dual beam capability
      • Creates its own WI-FI hotspot
      • Comes with a rechargeable battery
      • Easy installation
      • Comes with a digital charger
      • Compatible with both android and Ios devices

7. iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder

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Some of its features are as follows.


If you are looking for one of the best portable depth fish finder with a stylish design and the lightest in the market at the moment, then you should get yourself an iBobber. It is a pretty cool device with wireless capability and can sync with an app that can be installed for free on your smartphone. The best part of its sync feature is it can sync with a phone or tablet up to 100 feet away.

Superior battery life

If you are exploring in areas where there is no available power source, no need to worry as it comes equipped with a battery that can last a total of ten hours and is rechargeable. In addition, it comes with an indicator that shows the charge status every minute.


Its small size, however, should not fool you. As far as the iBobber is concerned, size does not really matter. The images are at their best in terms of quality. On the display you will see fish icons symbolizing the presence of fish. In case you are wondering how you are going to distinguish between different sizes of fish, this device has color coded the fish by size making it easier. Not only that, you will be able to get a detailed view of the valley and the hills that are underwater. How’s that for quality!

Additional features

One of the additional features of this device is the strike alarm. Also known as the fish alarm.  Its work is basically to alert you, the user, once you come across a potential catch. It has a depth capability of 135 feet equipped with a water thermometer and a GPS locator. For a device as small as the iBobber, it is impressive to possess all these features.

This fish locator will no doubt enhance your fishing experience all through the year.

Main Features

Comes with;-

      • USB Charger
      • Carrying pouch
      • Product guide
      • Great graphics
      • Strike alarm
      • GPS locator
      • 10 hrs battery life

8. Lowrance Mark-4 Combo Base Fishfinder

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The Lowrance Mark-4 Combo, as the name suggests, is a combination of a fish finder and a chart plotter. It is a fish locator that has two important features rolled up into one making this device a must have for both the experienced and newbies in the fishing sector. It is one of the best hand held fish finder due to its light weight.


The display is not that much detailed because of the absence of colors for various objects that come into contact with the device. This, as a result becomes difficult for the user to distinguish between fish and other objects.

The quality of the images may be good enough to identify and indicate the presence of objects or absence thereof. The screen size is a modest 4 inches in size with a 320 by 240 resolution. It also offers a wider view on its screen. You do not have to worry about the accuracy of the results displayed. One thing to add is it boasts of a grayscale display.

GPS and Chartplotter

The Lowrancr is equipped with a full GPS system. This comes in handy when one encounters a situation or an area that may be difficult in terms of visibility. It is the best piece of equipment to have at your disposal in case you get lost as it has GPS that is powered by satellite technology. The GPS consists of an antenna that increases the level of accuracy of the details it provides on the location of the vessel.

With the help of satellite technology, it features a chart plotter that enables the angler to mark spots that may be useful, hence making it possible for those spots to be revisited at a later time. This feature is known as the track back feature. As the name suggests, it is responsible in making sure that the spots that have been marked for future reference are saved. Needless to say, it contains a Micro SD slot to make this possible.


It boasts of pre-installed maps that are very useful. They cover most rivers in the US, including the lakes and coastal regions. If you need more details in your maps, there are map expansions available and also offer details on reservoirs outside the US.

Main features

      • GPS with chart plotter
      • Easy to operate
      • Depth up to 100 feet
      • Comes with pre-installed maps
      • Grayscale displays
      • Has a dual 83/200 kHz operation
      • Display lacks details.
      • The Screen is 4 inches with 320 by 240 resolution

9. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder HD Color

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The HawkEye Fishtrax 1c is a handheld fish finder popular among the more experienced fishermen. Its portability makes it easy to carry it anywhere and use it anytime. It boasts of a high definition fishing capability, including a color HD view.

It operates on two frequencies namely; 83kHz and 200kHz. It also features a dual beam intelligent sonar. The HawkEye has a few alarms including the fish alarm signal and the water temperature. These sensors come in handy and make work easier for the fisherman. With the help of the fish alarm,the angler is able to identify he areas with a potential catch.

The water temperature sensor comes in handy to anticipate the kind of organisms that may be found in a particular area of the water body. Different organisms thrive in various temperatures. The interpretation of these kind of results may require some expertise on the side of the user with some prior knowledge.

Main features

      • A color HD view
      • Fish alarm
      • Water temperature signal
      • Fish depth identifier
      • Dual beam intelligent sonar
      • Operates on two frequencies; 200kHz and 83kHz

10. Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder

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This is one of the best portable fish finder in the market at the moment. The good thing about it is its capability to make use of the sound waves to give a detailed view of the terrain under water. It uses sonar technology to make this happen.

Suitable for both skilled and amateur anglers because of its enhanced depth finding capability. Because of this feature, it is possible to identify and distinguish fish on the basis of their size. It can reach to about 24 feet in depth, just to be specific with an auto-zoom and quick annual zoom feature. With this zooming feature, it is easy to spot fish deep underwater in detail.

Last but not least, the chances of experiencing language barrier are reduced because of its multi-language menu and long lasting battery life is just a bonus. best fish finder for kayak

Main features

      • Cheap and easy to use
      • Long-lasting battery life
      • Indicates bottom contour & water temperature
      • The Fish depth indicator shows small/big fish
      • Fish and depth alarm
      • Can read depth of up to 240 feet.
      • Portable
      • Multi-language menu

To sum it up, take your time before you purchase so as to make sure you get the best fish finder for kayak specifically for you. Do not forget to take into consideration the factors mentioned. Happy fishing!


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