Best Garmin Fish Finder Reviews 2020

What is the Best Garmin Fish Finder?

At one point, you probably have been on the search for the best Garmin fish finder reviews. Or better still, you’re still on the lookout for the right fish finder for your fishing activities.

I know what this desire feels like. That’s why I have compiled a detailed review and buyers guide of the best Garmin depth finders.

If you are in a hurry, here are the Best Garmin fish finders reviews:-

Why Garmin Fish Finders?

Garmin fish finders are dependable depth finder units manufactured by Garmin Corporation, a leader in GPS technologies.

Compared to other fish finders in the market, Garmin units have the best GPS technology fused in them. They’re highly sensitive and a great tool for easy navigation both on water and on land.

But wait…there’s more!

  • They’re easy to install and operate. You won’t spend forever trying to configure how to use one.
  • They’re waterproof, dustproof, and durable. You won’t need to worry about possible excess water or dust damages.
  • They operate on advanced scanning technology. You’ll get clear and well-detailed images of fish and other structures. The scanning technology will also enable you to reach great depths.
  • They have clear and high-resolution screens. Use this to view high-quality images of underwater objects.
  • You can create your own maps for a memorable fishing experience. The units feature Quickdraw ™ contours mapping software. Use this software to create fishing maps in both small and large water bodies.

That’s just a scratch on the surface. Definitely, there are more benefits that are unit specific. And the best way to discover them is by analyzing each fish finder for what it offers.

So, let’s dive in!

Best Garmin Fish Finder Reviews 2020

1. Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit – Best Garmin Fish Finder

Garmin Striker 4 Portable Kit

  • Easy to use color fishfinder with a 3.5-inch display screen
  • In-built high-sensitivity GPS
  • Portable carrying case perfect for kayak, canoe or ice fishing
  • Soar depth of depth 1,600 feet freshwater, 750 feet saltwater
  • CHIRP sonar transducer (77/200 kHz)
  • Power transmission (200 W RMS)/(1,600 W peak-to-peak)

This is the best Garmin fish finder GPS combo that is designed for use in Kayaks, Canoes, or ice fishing. This makes it ideal for small boat fishing. 

Design

This fish finder is portable, compact, and occupies a smaller surface on your boat. You won’t need to worry about the need for more space.

This model comes in three screen size variations. These include; 3.5 inches, 5 inches and 7 inches screen sizes. This gives you multiple options to choose from and settle on what gives you optimum value.

The display is colored and makes it easy to have a clear impression of what’s happening under the water. You will be able to see the true representation of the fish and where they are.

It comes with a carrying bag that you can use as a storage case while transporting it after a fishing session.

More importantly, it’s waterproof and durable. Thus, you won’t need to worry if it comes into contact with water.

CHIRP Sonar and Transducers

This fish finder features Garmin CHIRP transducer with a low frequency of 77 kHz and a high frequency of 200 kHz. Low frequencies are ideal for deep-sea fishing while high frequencies are best for shallow fishing.

In turn, this makes it possible for the fish finder to sends signals as deeper as 1600 feet and 7500 feet shallow. Therefore, you will be able to find suitable fishing grounds as long as they’re within this range.

Also, the CHIRP transducer is high tech and makes images clear. Therefore, you’ll be able to see a near true impression of what’s underneath.

GPS and Navigation

It features a highly sensitive GPS function that you can use to map out waypoints. When starting out, you can use the GPS to find out your position in relation to the already marked waypoints.

Also, this GPS function makes it easy to see your acceleration speed when fishing. This is useful when you have tight schedules or time conscious. 

What to Like
  • It’s compact in size, portable, and easy to use.
  • It has a highly sensitive GPS function.
  • Three screen size variations.
  • Versatile CHIRP transducers.
Downside
  • It doesn’t come with pre-installed maps
Read More: Garmin Striker 4 reviews

2. Garmin Striker 4cv with Transducer

Garmin Striker 4cv

  • Bright, sunlight-readable 4.3” display (Intuitive user interface)
  • Rugged design for every fishing environment
  • Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar plus CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar
  • Garmin Quickdraw Contours mapping software
  • Built-in GPS for marking waypoints, routes and boat’s speed
  • Water proof rating IPX7

This is a high performing Garmin fish finder with an inbuilt GPS function that makes navigation easy. It’s portable and you can use it in any environment.

Design

It features a 4.3” HVGA display with an aspect ratio standard of 3:2. Besides, it measures 1.9 * 2.9 *1.6 inches. 

These two features give it a large enough display which you can use to clearly see what is beneath the water.

Therefore, you will be able to see the fish pus other structures with the exact form. 

It has a water and dustproof rating of IP-X7 which means that it’s not susceptible to water damages. 

CHIRP Sonar and Transducers

This radio operates on the standard 2D and clear Vu sonars. Together with these two is the CHIRP technology that enhances its performance including the maximum depth it can cover.

CHIRP technology makes it possible for the released frequencies to cover a wider area so that you get a better view of what’s happening under the water.

It operates on CV20- TM transducer that covers frequency ranges of 77/200 kHz and 455/800 kHz thus it can scan as deep as 1750 ft. in freshwater and 830 ft. in saltwater

GPS and Navigation

It features an inbuilt GPS function that is highly sensitive and reliable for determining your location and mapping out waypoints. Moreover, it can also calculate your acceleration speed so that you know how fast you’re.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with inbuilt charts, and neither does it have SD slots where you can save your charts. Therefore, the best you can do is add your own 5,000 waypoints in the navigation platform.

The radio has features that make it easy to add special icons to your marked out waypoints and quick draw contours software. Therefore, it becomes easy to identify your favorite fishing points or docks.

What to Like
  • The device is easy to operate
  • Operates on both 2D and ClearVu sonar
  • Has a sensitive GPS function for easy navigation
  • Has a clear and high definition display screen
Downside
  • It doesn’t feature inbuilt charts

*Check out our review of Lowrance Vs Humminbird Vs Garmin

3. Garmin Striker Plus 5cv with Transducer– Best Value

Garmin Striker Plus 5cv

  • Bright, sunlight-readable 5” display intuitive user interface
  • Rugged design for every fishing environment
  • 2D CHIRP sonar max depth of 2,300 ft (701 m) and ClearVü 250 ft (76 m)
  • Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar plus CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar
  • Garmin Quickdraw™ Contours mapping software
  • Built-in GPS
  • Water proof rating IPX7

This is a compact and best GPS fish finder with a large screen for better viewing of display items. This model is ideal for both first time and experienced anglers alike.

Design

The fish finder has a bright 5” WGVA color display with a high screen resolution power. This makes it easy to see images clearly thereby, giving you a true depiction of what is underneath.

It measures 7.4 * 4.5 * 2.1 inches and is large in size to accommodate split-screen function. This implies that you can simultaneously display more than one operation on the screen.

It weighs approximately 1 pound, lightweight and easy to carry around. Therefore, you won’t find it a hurdle transporting to the fishing site and back.

CHIRP Sonar and Transducers

This model operates on both Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar transducer at a frequency of 77/200 kHz and Garmin CHIRP ClearVu Scanning sonar transducer at a frequency of 455/800 kHz.

This gives you access to a much deeper depth of 2300 ft. in freshwater and 1100 ft. in saltwater. Also, it has a high transmit power of 500 watts that makes it possible to go deeper so that you’re able to cover a wide area.

The CHIRP signals are strong which enhances the fish finders’ accuracy. Thus, you will be able to get an output of high quality and clear images of the fish and other objects under your boat.

GPS and Navigation

It features an inbuilt and highly sensitive GPS function that you can use to create paths and mark out your waypoints. Besides, you can use the GPS to find out your acceleration speed. 

You can then decide to slow down or not depending on your preference and time usage. This is the tool you need to keep you focused especially when you have a time limit to keep up to.

Moreover, it has the advantage of QuickDraw Technology which is essential for mapping purposes. With this tool, you can mark out contour intervals of 1 foot in an area covering 2 million acres.

This gives you wide coverage and it means you can carry out your fishing activities even in the largest lakes around you. Amazingly, this tool is simple to use and requires no special skills.

What to Like
  • Highly sensitive GPS for easy navigation.
  • Large display screen.
  • High power output.
Downside
  • Doesn’t have a user manual.

*Check out our review of Best Fish Finder for Kayak

4. Garmin Striker Plus 7Cv with Cv20-TM transducer

Garmin Striker 7cv

  • 7” display screen
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Built-in GPS
  • Sonar depth of 2300 feet deep in fresh water (1100 salt, 250 ClearVü)
  • Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar plus CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar
  • Garmin Quickdraw™ Contours mapping software
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for access to ActiveCaptain app

This a combo GPS fish finder with a much larger display screen size. It has improved features that make it a great tool for catching more fish.

Design

It features a 7-inch WGVA display with a high definition screen resolution power. This makes it possible to see detailed images and is crucial for seeing underneath objects with their true depiction.

Besides, you can use the split-screen function to divide the screen into two so that you monitor more than one operation. Also, it has an anti-glare lens that enhances usability when there is much brightness.

It is lightweight and easy to transport. You won’t find it exhausting to hold the depth finder for longer hours. This means you can focus more on finding and catching more fish, thereby, increasing your productivity.

CHIRP Sonar and Transducers

This fish finder operates on both the traditional CHIRP sonar and the Dual-beam CHIRP ClearVu scanning. 

This increases its efficiency as sonar is a high-performance technology for consistent low and high-frequency transmission.

This makes it easy to access the quality imagery of the fish and other objects found below the water.

Moreover, its transducer comes with an in-built temperature sensor that you can use to gauge the water temperatures. 

Wi-Fi

It features a Wi-Fi connectivity interface that you can use to connect the device to other wireless devices.  Also, it has an app called the ActiveCaptain that makes it easy to connect to another striker plus device or smartphone.

With Wi-Fi connectivity capability, you can backup or share your waypoint information. It also gives you swift access to the Quickdraw contours online community. 

GPS and Navigation

It has an inbuilt highly sensitive GPS function that provides location updates after every second. As you move around, you can mark out your waypoint features on the fly. 

This will save you the time required to completely mark out your desired fishing spots and other water features. This function also allows you to create your favorite routes while monitoring your boat’s speed.

What to Like
  • It’s easy to operate.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity function enabled.
  • Has a highly sensitive GPS function.
  • Built-in quick draw contour mapping technology
  • Comes with a transducer and a carrying case
Downside
  • It doesn’t come with preloaded maps

5. Garmin Striker Plus 7sv With GT52HW-TM Transducer – Premium Pick

Garmin Striker 7sv

  • 7” display screen
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Built-in GPS
  • One 4-pin SideVü transducer port
  • Sonar depth of 2300 feet deep in fresh water (1100 salt, 250 ClearVü)
  • Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar plus CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar
  • Garmin Quickdraw™ Contours mapping software
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for access to ActiveCaptain app

This is a well-built fish finder with versatile features and is suitable for both newbies and veteran fishing hobbyists.

Design

It has a large 7-inch screen that’s great for ensuring you get an optimum view of the happening below your boat. These include fish spots, other water creatures, and structures underneath.

Besides, the display is bright and is designed to work well in all environments. This means that you can still use the depth finder without strain even when there’s a lot of brightness.

It has a waterproof rating of IPX-7, thus it’s not affected by water and dust. Therefore, it will still work well even after exposure to water and dust.

Also, it weighs 800g and lightweight. You will find it easily portable and you can carry it for long without experiencing fatigue.

CHIRP Sonar and Transducers

This fish finder has transducers for inbuilt Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar, CHIRP ClearVu, and CHIRP SideVu scanning sonars. 

Also, it operates on dual frequencies of 50/200 kHz and beam frequencies of 77/200 kHz.

Garmin CHIRP SideVu scanning enables you to see a clear image of objects on the side of your boats. 

On the flip side, the Garmin CHIRP ClearVu scanning will provide you with a detailed photographic image of objects passing under your boat.

Wi-Fi

It features an inbuilt Wi-Fi connectivity function that you can use to gain access to the Quickdraw contours community. 

You can also use this Wi-Fi feature capability to store up your waypoints information of fishing spots, routes, and docks.

More importantly, this Wi-Fi function enables you to gain access to its ActiveCaptain app. You should note that it’s this app that enables you to enjoy the Wi-Fi connectivity benefits.

GPS and Navigation

It has an inbuilt GPS system function that you can use for three main purposes. One, you can use it to mark out waypoints. Second, you can use it to find and to create new fishing routes for the easy fishing experience. 

And third, you can use it for speed monitoring.

For easy management of fishing points, routes, and quick point accessory, you need to have access to its ActiveCaptain app. 

What to Like
  • Operates a high power output.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Sensitive GPS function.
Downside
  • It doesn’t come with preloaded maps for easy navigation

6. Garmin Echomap Plus 43cv

Garmin Striker 43cv

  • 4.3-inch color display with keypad control
  • Transducer with CHIRP and CHIRP ClearVü
  • Preloaded LakeVü HD maps cover 17,000 total lakes
  • Quickdraw Contours custom HD map creation software
  • Internal 5 Hz GPS
  • Sonar Depth Capability:Standard: 2,300 (701 m) & ClearVü: 250 ft (76 m)

This is an improved and new version of Garmin Echomap Plus 43cv with better features. Unlike the older version, it works on GT20 transducers, has LakeVu 93 charts, and is best for freshwater fishing.

Design

This model features a 4.3-inch display size, though, not as large as other Garmin models. However, it’s still large enough to give you optimum viewing experience of objects below your boat.

Besides, the screen is high definition and has a pixel resolution of 272H * 480V. This will enable you to have a state of the art, clear and high-quality images.

The screen is colored and is backlit so that you can use it anywhere regardless of the level of brightness. What’s more: it is IPX7 waterproof marked. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about water damages.

CHIRP Sonar and Transducers

This fish finder features the GT20-™ transducer and operates on the frequencies of 77/200 kHz and 455/800 kHz. These apply to traditional CHIRP and the CHIRP ClearVu respectively.

With this fish finder, you can access as deep as 1900 ft. in freshwater and 750ft in saltwater. 

For more productivity, it is best used for freshwater fishing.

GPS and Navigation

It features a 5Hz GPS receiver that is capable of giving you frequent location updates 5 times every second. Also, you can use it to accurately mark out waypoints for easy navigation.

In addition, you can use the GPS function to calculate your boat’s speed. This is essential when you’re operating on a fixed schedule and you need to get things done on time.

What to Like
  • It features US LakeVu high definition maps
  • It’s easy to operate
  • High definition and large display screen
  • It’s waterproof enabled
Downside
  • It’s not compatible with C-maps

Buyers Guide – Best Garmin Fish Finders Reviews

1. Frequency

For more productivity, you need to pick the best GPS fish finder with an optimum frequency capacity. 

By this, I mean you should first determine the condition at which you fish. Do you fish in deep-sea waters or shallow waters?

But why does this even matter? Let me explain!

High frequency is good for showing more details, hence, a good fit for shallow water fishing. However, deep-sea fishing doesn’t require much detail in images. Low frequency will do just fine in such scenarios.

2. Display Characteristics

This is a make or a break for your Garmin depth finder. That said, color, size, and pixel are the three features to check in the best display. For good user experience, you need a color display with a high pixel resolution.

Also, the best display has backlit abilities, thus, you can easily use it in multiple environments. This includes both in scorching brightness of the sun and in absolute darkness.

Moreover, bigger screen size is better than a smaller one. With a larger one, you can split it into two and set up more than one operation on it. You can have one side displaying waypoints and another fish images.

3. Portability

You need to decide first hand whether you need a portable or a fixed fish finder device. Also, each is suitable for specific situations and one way to determine this is through your purpose of fishing.

Portable devices are small in size, are lightweight and you can easily carry them in your pockets. Besides, they’re suitable for small boats such as kayaks. Nevertheless, they easily drain off battery power.

On the other hand, fixed devices are more powerful and suitable for use n big watercraft. However, you can still use them in small boats such as kayaks.

4. Power Output

High power output in watts is a key feature of top-performing fish finders. Higher wattage power translates into better transmission abilities and enhances the overall performance of the device.

Also, power output determines how far the devices’ frequencies can reach. For more depth reach, you need a device with high power wattage. But if you fish in shallow waters, an average wattage would still be okay.

And the big idea is that with high wattage power, you will be able to see clear images of objects under your boat.

5. GPS Function

There are three types of fish finders–standalone, combo, and network fish finder. One defining feature that makes the difference in the three is the GPS function. 

The last two types have inbuilt GPS function feature that makes it possible to map out waypoints, routes, and to determine your boat’s speed. When you acquire either of them, you won’t need a separate GPS device.

Moreover, GPS function is more necessary for large scale fishing in large water bodies such as oceans and big lakes. Therefore, for easy navigation, you will need the best GPS fish finder.

6. Technology

Technology determines how effective a fish finder is. For more productivity, you need to check that the fish finder operates on the most modern technology.

First, there is the traditional standard sonar technology. And second, the new CHIRP and scanning technology is another option. New technology has better capabilities and a good investment for quality images.

7. Mount

This primarily depends on the type of watercraft you’ll be using. Each requires a special type of mounting for your fish finder. 

The main mount types are; manual mount, Hull mount, trolling mount, transom mount, and portable mount.

Note that every mount is specific to a watercraft. The size of the craft plays a major role and it explains why portable mounts are suitable for small boats.

8. Scanning Capabilities

Fish finders operate on two scanning modes. These are the Down Scan and the Side Scan and each is suitable for a specific purpose. 

The Down scan is more powerful and detail-focused. However, its downside is that you won’t be able to see objects on the side of the boat.

On the other end, Side Scan is ideal for scanning of fish and other water objects found on the sides of your boat. This method also works best for shallow water fishing.

Therefore, for maximum results, you need a fish finder device with both functions so that you’re not limited in your scanning efforts.

Final Thoughts

It’s true!

Finding the best Garmin fish finder can be a daunting task. However, you shouldn’t feel that way after going through this comprehensive guide on the best Garmin fish finder reviews.

For more productivity and great fishing experience, you need to take action by acquiring one of these Garmin Striker fish finders. 

Paul Dudley