Best Fish Finders For Kayak Fishing

Last Updated on September 21, 2023

A fish finder is an excellent tool for illuminating what is beneath the water’s surface. Instead of fishing aimlessly, hoping you’re in the right area, this valuable technology helps you make the most of your time and locate fish. When you combine that fish finder with a kayak, you have one of the more enjoyable ways to catch fish because you can angle away from the people while covering a lot of water.

Small sonar devices that produce a sound wave through the water are used to detect fish. When sound waves bounce off objects below the surface, such as fish, they calculate the distance and provide fishermen with an estimate of how deep the fish will be.

With that in mind, the following are my top selections for anglers that enjoy fishing from the water’s edge. Choose the perfect fit for your boat and go fishing to your heart’s content.

Best Fish Finders For Kayak Fishing


Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP SI

To begin, this is a fantastic pick if you’re seeking a fish finder that’s ideal for kayak fishing. This type is compact, lightweight, and portable, making it an excellent alternative for kayakers and small boat owners that require it to fit in confined locations. The display resolution is bright and clear enough to give anglers a clear picture of their objectives. The side/down imaging capabilities are an excellent addition, and the CHIRP/DualBeam sonar delivers clear, high-resolution images. Surprisingly, this unit offers so much for so little money.

SmartStrike is one of the best features of this fish finder. The HELIX 5’s GPS captures data required for locating fishing places where you are certain to catch a fish. Simply enter the body of water, weather conditions, season, and type of fish you’re looking for. The SmartStrike card will care for the rest, pinpointing places for you. There’s no reason you shouldn’t consider this low-cost unit for your next kayak fishing expedition.


Lowrance HOOK² 5

The HOOK² 5 has more user-friendly features, sonar capabilities, and GPS navigation than the earlier hook unit. Thanks to the split-screen view, you can quickly navigate the menus with the unit’s keyboard and see up to three panels at once. The DownScan option is a wonderful addition that provides a good view of the fish below, and the Sonar Recording feature allows you to record/review sonar recordings whenever you want.

This unit has a chart plotter that can create up to 100 different routes, 3000 waypoints, and 100 tracks. You also get a collection of charts for over 3000 lakes in the United States, which is helpful while kayaking in unknown areas. While the GPS navigation isn’t particularly detailed, it is extremely precise. This is your gadget if you want a dependable and precise fish detector.


Garmin STRIKER 4

The Garmin STRIKER 4 is a versatile fish finder with outstanding CHIRP sonar and scanning capabilities that work in salt and freshwater. Even with a smaller screen, the images produced by this device are astonishingly clear.

The 2D sonar may appear unappealing initially, but it has helpful features such as A-Scope, UltraScroll, Flasher, Auto Gain, Split-Zoom, and Fish Symbol ID. The Fish Symbol ID is fantastic for a variety of reasons. It can analyze sonar returns in various ways and display numerous fish icons. It can also highlight each depth of the targeted fish, making kayak fishing easier.

This unit’s GPS is unique since it provides precise coordinates that allow you to set waypoints to keep track of the greatest fishing areas. You can save up to 5,000 different waypoints and label them with various icons. If you want an economical, compact, and long-lasting fish finder for kayak fishing, this is the unit for you.


Deeper CHIRP 2

Look no further if you want a fish finder small enough to fit in your kayak on your next fishing journey. The Deeper CHIRP 2 has features that set it apart from the competition. Anglers can watch and scan using mobile devices instead of a display screen. Because of its depth range and scan rate, sonar allows for versatility in various fishing scenarios.

The Deeper app allows you to control the unit, which is more convenient than fiddling with a display on another fish finder. The software includes outstanding mapping capabilities, GPS coordinates, accurate depth readings, and other features.

This device is composed of tough materials that endure various weather and water conditions. It’s also small and simple to cast. You’ll get about 5.5 hours of battery life and plenty of time to spend on the kayak. Deeper continues to be an excellent addition to the smart sonar series for fishermen.

How much do fish finders cost?

Most kayaks can accommodate a 5″ display for your fish finder, and some very large kayaks may even have room for a 7″ display. In general, the larger the display, the better. However, some kayaks may only have room for a sub-5″ display; try not to go below 4″ if possible. A portable fish finder costs between $100 and $1000; most models beyond that price range are too large to be termed portable. These expenses are split throughout the control unit (which includes the screen and controls) and the transducer.

Things To Consider In Choosing Fish Finders For Kayak Fishing

Here are the most important factors to consider when selecting a fish finder for your kayak. Let’s go over each briefly to assist you in selecting the best fish finder.

Fishing Preference

Because no two anglers have the same preferences, my collection includes many different fish finders.

Preferences differ far more than we could ever capture here. You may have a favorite manufacturer.

You might have preferred different color palettes. I cannot account for everything, but you can. Keep in mind your preferences. There is no such thing as an objective best!

Mounting your Fish Finder

Space is limited on a kayak. You’ll need space for your fish finder, mount, battery (typically 12V), wires, and all of your other gear, including your rods. There’s no denying it: that’s a lot of things.

You might be able to get away with utilizing the gimbal mount that comes with most fish finders. You could require anything made to order. It all comes down to your budget.


It is simple to look for the best fish finder for a kayak. The wide range of electronics packages available can meet every budget and requirement. Find a fish finder that is within your price range.

Better connections, a more powerful display unit, and a more detailed transducer signal are frequently found in higher-priced models. The addition of a GPS allows you to keep on track while monitoring your speed with the fish finder. It could potentially incorporate a kayak-friendly depth detector.

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