Going out fishing can be for recreation purposes, passion or even as a professional venture.
Whichever the case, the whole experience and the ease with which you will undertake the task is an important consideration to make, and that is why you need a fish finder.
You need one that fits your style whether you are a professional or not and so in a bid to find the best fish finder, if you lack knowledge, you will most probably fall for any brand that comes your way.
How To Use Fish Finder (The Right Way)
What Should Look?
When identifying excellent fish finder the main question that should be running in your mind is whether what you settle for will help you catch more fish or not.
It is obviously easy to get confused when you are confronted with all the brands available in the market, with positive information about each of the varieties you may find in the market of the fish finder.
That is why there is a list below of some of the important aspects you need to consider when choosing one.
The Display Screen
From the varieties of fish finders, you will come across; you need to know that there are those with a black and white screen and others have a colored screen.
I suggest that you need to opt for one with a colored screen because it will help you see images better compared to a black and white screen.
Additionally, nowadays, fish finders with a colored screen are fairly priced, and so, the cost to incur should not be one of the reasons why you should opt for a black and white screen.
Secondly, you need to consider the size of the screen of the fish finder you opt for because the larger the screen, the easier it is to locate where the fish are.
However, the biggest challenge, in this case, is that if you need a fish finder that is portable, then, it is not possible to carry one around if it has a large screen.
Hence, you need to consider which among the two is a priority and forfeit one in place of the other attribute. That means that if you opt for a large screen, you may not be in a position to carry it around but it will be easier to locate the location of fish under water.
On the other hand, if you opt for a fish finder with a screen that is 5 to 7 inches wide, which is the recommended size, you will still be able to locate the fish.
Otherwise, if you opt for a smaller screen for portability reasons, you are able to move with this gadget from one point to another but locating fish under water with ease, might be your biggest challenge.
Depending on your style and preferences, the main thing, in this case, is to go for a screen that will serve the purpose intended in the best way possible.
Hence, the choice of an appropriate screen size may differ from one individual to another, but you are good to go with the recommended size as highlighted earlier.
This is the main component that helps you locate fish under water and more than that; it also captures whatever is underneath the surface of the water as well.
The transducer sends sonar signals under water, which in turn bounce back from any object underneath. Once, this happens, the signal is received by the transducer once again, and it is converted to an image for you to gain a clear picture of whatever is below the surface of the water.
Because of the fact that a particular cone angle can work better in some situations compared to others, dual beam transducers are now available, which combine both the bigger degree and wide cone technologies in one unit.
There are other varieties with multiple beams as well, and these have four or more beam in addition to the ability to relay 3D images. The side beam transducer is another variety that helps shoot signals on the side to give you the opportunity to cover a wider search area.
Every fish finder has a power rating on it and it is indicated in the form of watts. If you choose one with higher wattage, you will enjoy better speed when the gadget is displaying readings, better effectiveness and more depth of usage.
These are some of the attributes that serious anglers will be seeking when trying to identify fish finder, and obviously, they help them realize better results in the whole process.
If you intend to use a fish finder on shallow waters, I suggest you use a 600 watts gadget because, in such an environment, it will be up to the task and will deliver accordingly.
Also for those who go out on such expeditions for fun or if you are not one of the serious anglers, a fish finder with this kind of power will work best for you as well.
Deep water fishing is a whole different environment altogether in all aspects you may imagine even though there may be some similarities with shallow water fishing.
In most cases, experienced anglers and the skilled go out to locate fish in such environments and for these, a fish finder with higher wattage will be most appropriate.
Hence, it is worthwhile to consider the depth of the waters you will specifically need to use the fish finder on because this will help you pick on the gadget that suits that particular environment best.
This consideration should be made prior to the purchase of the fish finder to ensure that you do not incur the same cost in the near future when you finally realize you need one that has a higher power rating.
This is another feature that every transducer should possess, and it is quite critical in this particular gadget. Identifying a fish finder that is appropriate for you will depend on the ability to choose one with the right frequency, and you need to consider this factor.
The frequency is an important consideration because it is directly related to the cone angle.
The implication, in this case, is that a higher frequency will relay more details on the screen which is obviously something that you will appreciate and you will be out to achieve as well.
The majority of the transducers available in the market today have frequencies ranging from 50, 83, 192 and 200 kHz.
Therefore, for those who wish to reap the benefits that dual frequency transducers have, this will be a viable option that they can capitalize on.
Again depending on the environment you need to use the fish finder and your preferences on the same aspect, you should have an easy time finding the best with this insight.
Portable or fixed options
As your source for an appropriate fish finder, you will have two options to choose from and these include the portable one and the fixed variety. As the name suggests, the portable variety can be moved from one location or another depending on the need on the ground. This may be the best option for you because of various reasons.
The other reason why a portable fish finder may be the best option for you is if you engage in “fly-in” fishing and ice fishing because of the nature of each of these tasks. A portable one will have its own carrying case in addition to a power supply that serves the gadget.
Also included in the package is a transform mount for installation purposes and a transducer that is connected to the transform with the help of a suction cup.
If you own a boat and you use that particular boat for all your fishing ventures, then a fixed fish finder will be the best option for you. That is because you may not give it out to anyone else for them to use it.
That way, you have the freedom to fix the device at a specific location on your boat and this can either be on the trolling engine, stern or hull.
10 Best Fish Finder Reviews
#1. Deeper Smart Fishfinder 3.0
Advancement in technology has also penetrated the fish finder world and this is what the Deeper Smart Fishfinder 3.0 is all about.
You only need to cast it at any spot on the water and once you do so, it will gather and relay precise bottom and water column information onto your tablet or smartphone screen.
To activate this technology, you only need to download the Deeper App on your smartphone or tablet and run a simulation to see how it functions.
When you are ready, you can then pair it with the Deeper device to start using the underwater sonar technology.
This option operates on both online and offline modes and includes other functional features such as offline maps, fishing notes, camera, day/night screen color mode, weather forecast, social media sharing, among others.
- It has a bigger screen for better viewing.
- Works well on both fresh water and saltwater environments.
- Has high-resolution sonar system.
- It’s a grab and ready to go hence, there is no need to install.
- Android or iPhone connection is possible.
- Floats easily on water.
- Ice fishing capabilities
- Its battery is not removable.
#2. HawkEye Electronics Fish Finder
This device has several unique features including 4 user selectable sensitivity settings, WeedID, a side-scannable and mountable sonar sensor, among others.
These features are determined to give you the ultimate experience in your fishing expedition, and you should expect great results.
It is a portable device that easily fits in your pocket and when activated it will capture, the water depth, bottom structure reading from 1.5 to 99.9 feet and fish location as well.
You can toss the multipurpose transducer from the boat, shoreline, dock bridge, or you can transom mount it or place it in-hull on your canoe, boat or kayak.
The operation is also simple because you only need to turn the power on and toss the sonar sensor int0o the water and you will have instant readings of bottom contours, fish, weed, and depth right before your eyes.
- It has an approximate battery life of 30 hours, which is longer compared to that of other devices of its kind.
- Easily fits one’s hand.
- You will have major reading issues if you use it for ice fishing.
#3. FishHunter Military Grade Portable Fish Finder 3.0
One unique characteristic of this device is that it has military grade specifications which mean that you can use it in varying fishing environments and that includes ice fishing.
When fully charged, it can last up to 8 hours and is appropriate for ice fishing, kayak fishing, shore fishing and small boat fishing.
It is also capable of measuring contours up to 100 feet / 30 meters and captures temperature on the surface of the water, depth and the location of fish as well.
- It comes with GPS tracking, mapping, and navigation.
- Has the fishing log on the app.
- Complete package with charging station, mini USB cable and a carrying bag with charger.
- Has free Android and iOS app.
- Military-grade sonar
- It is weak when it comes to ice fishing.
#4. Garmin Echo 551dv Worldwide with Transducer
This device has an all inclusive transducer that enables it to transmit both Garmin DownVu scanned images and advanced HD-ID 77/200 kHz in a simultaneous manner on a horizontal or vertical screen that is split.
Using it you will also be able to access nearly photographic bottom or structure details as well as the best images of fish arch returns.
It can serve on both deep and shallow waters and the transition from either of these environments is smooth and include both narrow and wide angle cone viewing to cover a vast area.
A low-profile trolling motor transducer is provided for easy mounting, and you can rewind history with this 4,000 W peak-to-peak power.
- Has a water temperature sensor.
- Provision for zoom.
- Has powerful sonar.
- Ease of targeting fish enabled by its extra features.
- Avails photo-like images of the sonar readings.
- Capable of functioning in high depths.
- Provision for sonar history rewind.
- Has advanced HD-ID and DownVütransducer.
- Does not have chart plotting and GPS.
#5. Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder
This device is appropriate for both those who are new in the fishing ventures as well as professionals in this area.
It makes locating fish easier through a sonar sensor and makes a useful tool for fishing a family vacation.
It can be used in diverse environments including lakes, rivers, oceans, and will be instrumental in bringing fish to you.
- Has provision for multiple languages.
- Long battery life.
- It is portable.
- Has an audible alarm.
- Appropriate for ice fishing.
- Compact in size yet very effective.
- Can identify both big and small fish.
- In the initial stages, you may have challenges with its sensitivity levels.
#6. Vexilar SP200 T-Box Smartphone Fish Finder
This fish finder device is meant for permanent mounting on a boat and is connected to a 12-volt power supply.
It has the capability of turning your smartphone into a fully equipped sonar system of the same level as those available in the market,
And you can share the connection with as many people as possible through the WiFi hotspot created.
Some of the features you will enjoy include a fish icon, compatibility: Ios 4.3 (iPhone, iPad) and Android 2.0, Zoom bottom track, water temperature and depth indicator, among others.
- Has a wireless plotter for locating fish.
- If you have a tablet you do not need to incur an extra cost when purchasing this gadget.
- It is the best option for those who already own a tablet.
- Offers iPad interface, which interaction with sonar/charts easy and fast.
- You can create charts in real time using Sonar Charts.
- Uses little current, which makes that the battery will last longer.
- Has no provision to import fishing marks.
- If you plan to go angling for the rest of the day using your iPad mini, it’s battery may not last that long.
#7. Humminbird PiranhaMAX 175 Dual Beam fish finder
It has a 4-inch contrast-enhanced clear edge grayscale display that gives you access to all you wish to see.
It is appropriate for starters and those who prioritize the simplicity aspect of such gadgets.
- Has easy menu navigation.
- It is compact in size.
- Has multiple sonar options.
- Makes use of 4 AAA batteries.
- It may be difficult to view the display when paddling.
- No provision for mounting.
#8. Humminbird 698ci HD SI Combo
This option will help you maximize your angling experience because of the features it has.
These include a design that provides for drop-in replacement capability for competitive in-dash models,
Tilt & Swivel Quick Disconnect mounting system, three programmable preset buttons, clear HD display, as well as Imaging Sonar, SwitchFire Sonar and GPS cartography options, among others.
- Imaging is to precision.
- Has fish identification capabilities.
- Has an in-built GPS.
- Comes with 256 vivid color display in addition to a backlight.
- The menu is easy to read.
- Installation is easy as well.
It may not have some features you may need.
#9. Garmin echo 300c Dual-Beam Fishfinder
This is the best option for a color screen fish finder for buyers who are on a budget and has such features as Garmin HD-ID target tracking for ease of visibility through water
Sunlight-readable display, 300-watt (RMS) sounder for angle viewing of up to 120 degrees and bottom viewing of up to 1,500 feet,
Quick-release tilt mount, transform-mount transducer versatility, among others.
- For its quality, it is reasonably priced.
- It is easy to use, and both amateurs and professionals will not have a challenge using it.
- Avails accurate real-time updates.
- The display is readable even under direct sunlight.
- The cable connected to the transducer is not long enough.
- Has no back-lit display.
#10. Mark-4 Combo Base fish finder
It has a LED grayscale display that enhances viewing in any environment on a boat in addition to an internal GPS antenna that is ultra-accurate.
More to that, it has user-friendly features such as swivel bracket and quick-release.
- It is user-friendly.
- Has GPS capabilities.
- It is highly reliable.
- Its manual is not detailed.
From the list of various fish finder tools reviewed above, it is evident that each of these gadgets has unique features that will not only give you a wonderful experience while you are out on some fishing expedition but more than that, you will be able to enjoy the latest technology in fish finding.
By embracing either of the options outlined herein, you are subscribing to a revolution from the way fishing has been done in the past, to a wonderful experience in such ventures that will make every fishing expedition another great story.
Make the wise decision today and opt for the right fish finder from the list above and see how angling will be something you always look forward to, and not just another moment to pass the time.
It is a whole new way of making angling the best adventure you can ever imagine. It is a whole new way of making angling the best adventure you can ever imagine.