Want to catch more fish? Fishfinders are devices used to locate fish underwater. It’s a must-have for anglers who want to have a bigger catch. It can be mounted on the boat, kayak, or even on your fishing rod.
Fishfinders are designed to help you identify the location of fish in your area. It helps you target the right areas where there are high concentrations of fish in the water.
Continue reading to know which is the best fish finder for you!
Our Top Picks
5 Best Fish Finders
- Best Overall – Lowrance HDS-Live Fish Finder
- Best High-End Imaging Fish Finder – Humminbird 411550-1 SOLIX 12 Chirp MEGA SI+G3 Fish Finder
- Best Vivid Scanning Fish Finder – Garmin Striker Vivid 9sv Fish Finder
- Best Affordable Portable Fish Finder – Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder
- Best Down Imaging Finder – Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp DI GPS G2 NAV+ Fish Finder
1. Lowrance HDS-Live Fish Finder
- MOST ADVANCED FISHFINDER TECHNOLOGY: Simultaneously view…
- DUAL-CORE PROCESSOR: HDS employs a dual-core processor with…
- COLOR SONAR: New dynamic color range result in…
- Made with StructureScan 3D or HD
- It has a dual-core processor for quick response
- With a new dynamic color range resulting in high-visibility contrast
- Never miss a target with its CHIRP channels and frequency
- Navigate faster with automatic route planning
The Lowrance HDS-Live FishFinder is the best fish finder on this list. Although it is pricey, it’s advanced and has the best quality.
Additionally, it can also be connected to your mobile. This fish finder also has a powerful GPS and a lake mapping feature. It is the top-rated fish finder. The Lowrance Elite FS 9 Fish Finder also makes for a great fish finder for kayaking.
2. Humminbird 411550-1 SOLIX 12 Chirp MEGA SI+G3 Fish Finder
Best High-End Imaging Fish Finder
- Features a 12.1″ Cross Touch touchscreen with customizable views and settings
- It has a MEGA Side Imaging, MEGA Down Imaging for the best view
- Made with a dual-core processor to perform any task
- With an Airmar transducer ID to install
- A one-boat network compatible with exclusive boat control and fish-catching features
The Humminbird has the best imaging on this list. Although it is not as advanced as Lowrance, it offers active imaging for maps, chart plotting, and autopilot features. A bit cheaper than Lowrance, you can also pair it to your mobile.
3. Garmin Striker Vivid 9sv Fish Finder
Best Vivid Scanning Fish Finder
- Easy-to-use 9” color fishfinder with new vivid scanning…
- Supports Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar plus CHIRP ClearVü…
- High-sensitivity GPS to mark waypoints, create routes and…
- 9″ easy-to-use color fishfinder with new vivid scanning sonar color palettes
- Supports Garmin CHIRP traditional scanning sonars for compatibility
- Includes with a built-in Quickdraw Contours mapping
- It has a high-sensitivity GPS to mark waypoints, create routes, and view boat’s speed
The Garmin fishfinder offers excellent depth and range, vividly scanning your preferred location. It offers down and side imaging.
Although it does not show quality imaging like the first two, no maps and high-tech options are limited. It comes with CHIRP and a sonar device.
4. Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder
Best Affordable Portable Fish Finder
- 3.5″ easy-to-use color fish finder with a built-in, high-sensitivity GPS
- With a convenient keypad operation
- Includes a CHIRP sonar transducer and can transmit power
- Can be upgraded to high-performance CHIRP with GT8 or GT15 transducer
The most inexpensive on this list. It has a GPS and CHIRP for scanning. Also good for ice fishing. Portable fish finders are useful if you move around a lot.
Although it does not offer side sonar imaging, maps, and image quality is low, It is the best budget fish finder.
5. Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp DI GPS G2 NAV+ Fish Finder
Best Down Imaging Finder
- Includes a down image sonar for a clearer view under the boat
- Features a CHIRP Sonar to help you to see individual fish
- It has a SwitchFire Sonar for two display modes
- Humminbird Basemap Built-in that provides a clear view of underwater terrain
The Humminbird GPS Fish Finder offers excellent imaging of your location. It has a highly visible screen that is ideal for outdoor use.
However, this device is a little more expensive than Garmin 4. The one disadvantage it has is not having side imaging capabilities.
Types of Fish Finders
Standard Sonar sends waves into the ocean that bounces. A bounce indicates a fish or a structure. Sonar helps you to determine when you should throw your fishing line.
The problem with this sonar is the accuracy of the location. It is a depth finder, but there’s no assurance of how accurate it is. The screens in these are not detailed.
CHIRP uses sonar frequencies. Instead of sending equal waves in a pattern, the chirp sends a quick burst of sonar waves.
This helps to detect the fish a lot faster and also increases the accuracy. They can also tell you more about the water structure.
Down Imaging paints a vivid picture of what to expect beneath the water based on the frequency. It provides a detailed picture of underwater structures and refreshes constantly. This is a lot more accurate than the first two.
The cons of having this sonar are they can only tell you what is directly beneath the boat. It is only limited to what you can do with this type of finder.
Side Imaging helps you to see what’s around the boat rather than under the boat. It is a lot more helpful when you are trying to fish around you or in shallow waters.
Fishfinder brand manufacturers advanced their devices with this kind of imaging.
What to Consider When Buying a Fish Finder
One of the important factors is how you can mount it to the boat. The typical type of mount is a transom mount transducer.
It is mounted to the back of the boat by the trolling motor. Always be aware of it, so you lose it in the middle of the water.
The display helps you see what is going on beneath you. Most fish finders that you can see today use full-color displays to signify elevation changes.
This feature is useful when catching fish. Consider a display that is good with direct sunlight.
Refers to the width of the sound wave that it offers. The wider it is, the larger the area. Find one with at least a 20-degree angle. It is the most common angle that you can see in a fish finder device.
In looking up at a device, you should consider its size. When you have a small boat for fishing, you should get a size that would fit in your boat.
But also, getting a smaller screen size may make it a little difficult to see what’s happening under the water.
A powerful device can help you to enhance your fishing style. Power can enhance the fish finder features, especially when fishing in deep water or long.
Knowing your device’s GPS features and capabilities allows you to create waypoints and document your best fishing spot. It can easily point you where your desired fish might be.
Good fish finders have a good frequency. A quality frequency and a moderate power are essential for getting a high-quality picture of the water.
Determines the quality of the image that you will receive. Getting a great fishfinder transducer is a must. If you don’t have a high-performing transducer, you won’t have the accuracy to find anything.
Target separation distinguishes individual fish from another. Smaller numbers mean that you have better performance.
Having a fish finder can give you the edge you need when you’re out fishing. Consider using this article as a guide to determine the best fish finder for you.
Make sure you check the fish finder reviews thoroughly. Once you’ve got one, get ready for a big catch!