Whether you’re going for sea fishing, ice fishing, or shore fishing, having a good fish finder can make a difference.
Here’s a list to help you find the best portable fish finder to make your fishing trip fun yet straightforward. Below are among the best portable units many experts pick.
Our Top Picks
Best Portable Fish Finders
1. Garmin Striker 4 (with Transducer)
Best Portable Fish Finder with GPS System
- Clear Vu scanning Sonar shows you more of what is in the...
- The power of simple offers a keyed interface with dedicated...
- Waypoint map: Use the way point map to easily view, mark and...
- Easy-to-use, 3.5-inch color with high-sensitivity built-in GPS
- Helps you find more fish, and you can mark and return to hot spots, docks, and ramps
- Convenient keypad operation
- Includes CHIRP (77/200 kHz) sonar transducer and can transmit power (200 W RMS) / (1,600 W peak-to-peak)
- Upgrade to high-performance CHIRP with a GT8 or GT15 transducer (each sold separately)
Garmin is a well-known brand, so you don’t need to worry about its reputation within the most portable fish finders. Any device from the Garmin Striker series is the best sonar fish finder.
Besides, this new addition to the production has ClearVu technology. The sonar waves can show you more of the water around your small boat. Also, this can be perfect for when you do kayak fishing as it’s easy to install.
2. Venterior VT-FF001
Best Value for Money
- Shows you what is in the water: water depth, approximate...
- Easy to Use: Toss the transducer into water and turn on the...
- Very portable that you can take it anywhere: It comes with...
- 5 user-selectable sensitivity: you can ignore small fish by lowering the sensitivity
- Battery save mode will allow the device to work longer
- Yellow backlight mode enables you to use it at night
- Fish alarm: gives you alerts when it detects fish schools passing by (can be turned off)
- Water depth can be shown by meters or feet
Make your fishing trips chill and extra fun with this portable finding device for fishing, which is considered a great fish finder. This one’s also good to use to complete your saltwater fishing setup (it’s good for bank fishing, too!). It’s one of the best castable fish finders that you can bring with you anywhere.
Thanks to its solid sonar frequency, you can detect fish under your fishing boat. It also has a backlight mode that is suitable for night fishing.
3. Humminbird 5
Best Sonar Imaging Technology
- 5-Inch Color WVGA Display
- CHIRP Digital sonar engineered to help you see individual...
- SwitchFire Sonar to take command of how your sonar returns...
- Down Imaging – lets you see a more transparent view beneath your boat
- Digital CHIRP Sonar: helps you view details that other forms of sonar won’t show you
- Built-in Humminbird base map
- AutoChart Live creates real-time maps of your fishing spots
- LakeMaster Compatible with upgrade
Hummingbird is another reputable brand that provides some notable sonar fish finders. Their company also has a collection called the Helix series. Undoubtedly, these products are part of impressive portable fish finders.
It comes with a rechargeable battery that can last up to eight hours or more. Plus, it is the perfect partner for your boat because it’s easy to carry.
4. Garmin STRIKER Plus 5
Best Portable Fish Finder for Ice Fishing
- Bright, sunlight-readable 5” tool with GPS, ice fishing transducer, and support for ClearVu scanning sonar
- Includes high, wide Garmin CHIRP transducer for crisp, clear fish arches and excellent target separation
- A mapping software lets you create and store maps with 1’ contours for up to 2 million acres.
- Built-in flashers let you see your jig or weighted bait and the depth of fish as they swim into the sonar beam.
Another portable depth finder from the Garmin series is this product. Its CHIRP can send a continuous stroke of frequencies instead of just sending one, ranging from high to low. Add this to your fishing kit if you ever want to go fishing in winter.
5. Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4
Best Fish Finding Device for Kayak Users
- Display Size Diagonal - 4 3-Inch
- Dual Beam Sonar
- 2400 watts PTP/300 Watts RMS
- Dual Beam Sonar – choose from a narrow and a wide beam for great detail or a generous coverage area, helping you identify fish, structure, and contours.
- Tilt and Swivel Mount – quickly adjust your viewing area angle.
- Portable Carrying Case – soft-sided case protects your Humminbird for safe transport.
- Depth Sonar: 320 ft (20) 455 kHz, 600 ft (20) 200 kHz
- Inclusions: portable carrying case, portable transducer, 7 Amp Hour battery, and wall charger
Get this unit on your next fishing endeavor for a modern style look. One of its best features is giving you a fresh perspective on what’s below your boat. Aside from the liberty of choosing what beam to use for coverage, this one has a suction cup mount.
Best SONAR Coverage for Finding Fish
- Available in five screen sizes: 4", 5", 7", 9" and 12"
- High-resolution, solarmax display
- Autotuning sonar
- Available in five screen sizes: 4″, 5″, 7″, 9″ and 12″
- High-resolution, SolarMax display
- Autotuning sonar
- Double the CHIRP sonar coverage of most
- Broadband sounder, high CHIRP, sides can, and down scan imaging sonar options.
This unit fits in that category if you’re looking for one of the basic mountable fish finders. This sonar device has a broader cone than most traditional devices. It gives an accurate description of the underwater environment.
7. Humminbird ICE Helix 7
Best All-Around Fish Finder Unit
- All-Season Ready: it comes with everything you need to use on both ice and on your boat or portable applications in the summer
- AutoChart Live Ice: create real-time 1-foot contour maps of your fishing spots to find fish faster
- Dual Spectrum CHIRP Sonar: helps you see individual fish, clearly identify bait and structure, and reach greater depths and range
Aside from the excellent quality and easy set-up, its big screen is a considerable advantage for fishing. This one is a long-term investment and is perfect for any season.
Types of Portable Fish Finders
Portable Fish Finder
This is the traditional style for locating fish on the water. It works best on small boats.
Castable Fish Finder
Castable Fish Finder is a new technology that utilizes smartphones for tracking species. One example from these castable fish finders is the Reel Sonar iBobber (the app is available on an Android or IOS device).
Mountable Fish Finder
It is a tool you can mount on fishing boats. Deeper Pro Smart Sonar fits this category and is the only one from the market capable to create bathymetric maps from the shore.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Portable Fish Finder
I would suggest getting those with a rechargeable battery so that you don’t need to replace them.
You need to consider the device’s power rating that you want if you decide to go fishing in deep waters. More power means faster waves, which translates to accurate readings.
Get a small fish finder unit that you can quickly bring to your favorite fishing spot. Also, make sure to bring a portable kit to store your equipment.
It’s the most essential part of the gadget in locating fish as it sends out waves to collect data. Also, sonar transducers have small holes in them where you can tie your fishing line.
At least 240 px x 160 px should be your target display on an excellent resolution. Even better if it can show the water temperature and depth range.
Make sure you’re buying a waterproof device. You can use JIS or IPX ratings to check the level of resistance to water.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a portable fish finder?
A fish finder that has features of fish alarms helps you detect fish nearby.
How do portable fish finders work?
It uses SONARS to generate sound waves in the water that gives you an overview of where the fishes are in the area.
Where should I use a fish finder?
It’s best to put it in areas where fish often congregate or form their habitat.
You can decide which is the best fish finder from the listed items above. However, make sure you tick off the specific qualities you’re looking for.
Also, you can get add-on features to attract fish for your finder. For instance, you can add lights to grab attention. I hope my portable fish finder reviews guide you in getting that premier device!