Best Fish Finder for Kayaks

Once you’ve got your fishing kayak paddle, and life vest, the next must-have item for anglers is a Best Fish Finder. These nifty devices help you locate where the fish are hiding.

Best Fish Finder

Some fish finders have basic features and compact sizes. Others offer fancy extras like side scanning, 360 imaging, and GPS mapping. Those advanced models pack in lots of helpful tech but can get pricey.

We checked out all the top brands to find the best kayak fish finders out there. From affordable and simple to loaded with high-end features, there’s something for every budget and need.

Keep reading for the scoop on the top-rated fish finders that will take your kayak ocean fishing game to the next level! Whether you’re looking to save money or go all-out, we’ll help you reel in the perfect kayak-ready finder.

Top 6 Best Fish Finder for Kayaks

Best Overall: Lowrance Hook Reveal 5x SplitShot Best Fish Finder

Best Fish Finder GPS: Garmin ECHOMAP UHDCV 73CV Best Fish Finder/Chartplotter Combo

Best with Side-Imaging: Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI GPS G3 Nav Fish Finder+

Best Compact: Garmin Striker Vivid 4 cv Best Fish Finder

Best Portable: Deeper Chirp 2 Castable and Portable Best Fish Finder

Best Budget: Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 Best Fish Finder

How We Picked the Best Fish Finders for Kayaks

We make fishing gear recommendations based on hands-on testing and talking to industry experts. We look at these key factors:

  • Portability – Is it easy to install and remove for a mobile kayak rig?
  • Screen – What is the screen size? Is it readable in sunlight?
  • Technology – Does it have GPS, downview scanning, or side imaging?
  • Durability – Can it withstand being outdoors all day on a kayak without much protection?

Testing gear on the water helps ensure we suggest portable products that have clear readable screens, advanced fishing technologies and are durable enough for kayak fishing. Our goal is to provide the best recommendations based on real-world use

Best Fish Finders for Kayaks: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Lowrance Hook Reveal 5x SplitShot Fish Finder

Screen SizeDimensionsControl Method
5 inches9.02 x 7.13 x 7.52Touchscreen & buttons


  • Best Fish Finder Strong and sturdy
  • Great kayak size
  • Easy to understand


  • Best Fish Finder Pricey

The Lowrance Hook Reveal 5 is a great fish finder made especially for kayak anglers. It has a 5-inch waterproof screen that’s easy to see and control from your kayak seat. The big buttons can even be pushed with your paddle or rod tip – handy when your hands are full!

The screen has a special coating that prevents glare, and the whole unit is tough enough to handle splashings and beatings. The auto-tuning sonar automatically adjusts to give you the clearest readings based on the water and bottom.

Lowrance Hook Reveal 5x

The compact Splitshot transducer fits perfectly in a scupper hole yet still provides top-notch Chirp and DownScan imaging. Lowrance’s easy mounting kit takes just 5 minutes to install for a secure and out-of-the-way fit.

The Hook Reveal 5 also has basic GPS features to help you find fish fast and stay on top of the action. You can mark fishing hot spots, monitor your speed and distance, and navigate new waters with confidence. It’s got everything an angler needs for successful kayak fishing!

Best Fish Finder GPS: Garmin ECHOMAP UHDCV 73CV Fish Finder/Chartplotter Combo

Screen SizeDimensionsControl Method
7 inchesN/ATouchscreen & buttons


  • Large, clear screen, even in bright sunlight
  • Shares sonar with other Echomap Plus units
  • Comes with Navionics maps already loaded


  • Costly

The Garmin Echomap UHD 74/CV packs a powerful fish finder and high-quality GPS into one handy kayak-friendly unit. With both touchscreen and push button controls that work even with slimy, muddy hands, it’s designed for real fishing conditions.


The 7-inch screen is a perfect size – big enough to split yet stays out of the way. You get both traditional sonar for super clear deep water images and CHIRP sonar that creates an almost 3D view of structure and fish. The display is vivid with adjustable colors so you can see every detail.

The GPS uses Garmin’s excellent Bluechart G3 navigation charts that are constantly updated, giving you the best mapping on the water. High contrast readings make finding structure and navigating backwaters a breeze. You can even customize the maps with your info.

And the smartphone app lets you update charts, plan trips, and add notes from anywhere. So when you hit the kayak, the Echomap already has all the intel needed to put you on the fish. For an all-in-one powerhouse fish finder and GPS, the Garmin 74/CV is a top choice for kayak anglers.

Best with Side-Imaging: Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI GPS G3 Nav Fish Finder+

Screen SizeDimensionsControl Method
7 inchesN/AButtons


  • Clear pictures
  • Side imaging extends up to 125 feet
  • Includes Navionics+


  • Costly
  • Not user-friendly interface

The Humminbird Helix 7 MEGA SI GPS G3 fish finder uses powerful sonar technology to produce very detailed images of fish and underwater structures.

Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp

The Mega Side Imaging creates high-definition views of structures and fish that are clear enough to identify species. The Mega Down Imaging produces a 3D image of the structure and fish below.

Dual Spectrum CHIRP sends two frequencies for a more detailed sonar return. The cone can be set to wide or narrow views. The SwitchFire sonar uses bright, high-contrast colors to differentiate schools of bait and fish.

The Helix 7 also has basic GPS mapping for setting a course, monitoring speed, and tracking. It can be upgraded with more advanced mapping software. Overall, the Helix 7 uses top-of-the-line sonar and imaging to give kayak anglers a detailed view of what’s happening underwater. It’s one of the best Humminbird fish finders available.

Best Compact: Garmin Striker Vivid 4 cv Fish Finder

Screen SizeDimensionsControl Method
4 inches8 x 11.5 x 6 inchesButtons


  • Clear scanning sonar
  • Has Chirp traditional and CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar
  • High-sensitivity GPS
  • Affordable price


  • Small screen

The Garmin Striker Vivid 4cv packs top-notch sonar and GPS into a compact 4-inch unit perfect for kayakers. It features both traditional CHIRP sonar to find fish and structure, plus high-def ClearVu scanning to explore hot spots in ultra detail.

Garmin Striker Vivid 4 cv

The high-sensitivity GPS lets you mark waypoints, and track your course and speed. Tie it to the sonar and you can record depth contours to create custom maps covering up to 2 million acres!

The bright, high-contrast color screen gives clear views of maps and sonar. You can choose from 7 color schemes to optimize the display for any conditions.

 The Vivid 4cv squeezes big performance into a small package that’s easy to mount anywhere on your kayak. For high-tech fish finding and navigation, it’s a top pick.

Best Portable: Deeper Chirp 2 Castable and Portable Fish Finder

Screen SizeDimensionsControl Method


  • Can be cast out
  • Sends signals up to 394 feet
  • Long-lasting battery


  • Not suitable for boats

Deeper’s portable fish finder keeps it simple. Just tie the golf ball-sized transducer to your line and cast it out. It sends WiFi images of the bottom and any fish to your phone app – no cables or battery needed!

Deeper Chirp 2 Castable

The transducer uses CHIRP technology to create super-detailed scans of the underwater world. It has multiple beam angles so you can get a wide view or zoom in on targets.

This little gadget works in waters up to 330 ft deep and maintains a WiFi connection up to 330 ft from your kayak. Or you can mount it to your yak permanently like a regular fish finder.

The app lets you log fishing spots, share pics and stories on the Deeper network, and search past fishing intel. For hassle-free fish finding straight from your phone, Deeper brings the fish to you!

Best Budget: Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 Fishfinder

Screen SizeDimensionsControl Method
4.3 inchesN/AButtons


  • Budget-friendly
  • Uses dual-beam sonar
  • Depths measured up to 320 feet


  • Only has sonar capability
  • Lacks GPS

The Humminbird Piranahmax 4 is a fish finder that provides high-quality features at an affordable price. It has a bright, 4.3-inch color display that shows a clear and detailed image of the fish and the bottom.

 Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 Fishfinder

The 256-color display makes it easy to distinguish between fish and bait. The device also has a wide range of colors that help you identify hard and soft bottoms.

The fish finder is equipped with a high-powered, dual-frequency transducer that sends two signals simultaneously. This allows you to detect even small baitfish and the slightest change in bottom contour. With a 2400-watt PTP power output, the device is powerful enough to pick up even the smallest details.

What To Consider When Choosing a Fish Finder for Kayaks

A fish finder is a device that helps you locate fish in the water. It is important to choose a fish finder that is durable and can withstand exposure to sun, water, and dirt. The device should have a waterproof screen that is easy to read and corrosion-resistant electrical connections.

The fish finder should be easy to install with accessories and components that save space and improve performance. Many companies offer installation kits and transducer options that fit any boat. The screen should be easy to view in any light condition and have waterproof housing that can withstand rough handling. 

The transducer should fit in a scupper and the cable should be easy to route to the display. The battery should be stored out of the elements and in easy reach.


A fish finder shouldn’t be a hassle when you’re fishing or paddling on your kayak. If you’re short on space, think about using a compact fish finder. These smaller fish finders have a 4-inch screen and a base that’s small—about the size of your hand. They show colorful pictures of what’s under the water, and if you mount them near your seat, it’s easier to see.

Some of these small fish finders also have GPS and use special technology for better underwater images. They don’t need a lot of power, so you can use a smaller, lighter battery and still fish for a long time.


If you lack space, hate mounts, or just want a fuss-free fishing buddy, a portable fish finder is your answer. These kayak buddies ditch pesky wires and rely on your phone. Think: golf ball-sized gizmo with a smartphone app, showing you where the fish are hiding

GPS Technology

Fish finders with GPS are handy for both finding fish and navigating. Combining them lets you watch underwater activity while mapping your course and speed. Larger screens are better for visibility. The best ones offer adjustable displays and detailed, up-to-date maps. GPS-equipped fish finders track movement, mark spots, and aid in emergencies. 

Side-Imaging Technology

Ahoy, mateys! Ever wished you could see what lurks beside your kayak, beyond the line’s reach? Side-view fish finders are your underwater radar, painting pictures of fishy treasures hiding to port and starboard. Think “pirate maps for fish,” not just blips on a screen. Even better, some fancy finders spin around like a sea shanty, giving you a 360° peek at the fishy party below.

But there’s a hitch: these transducers are hefty lads! Luckily, some kayaks have handy built-in nooks for them, while others let you hang them off the side like a trusty first mate. And for live-view marvels, they can even hitch a ride on your trolling motor or dangle on a watery pole.

The beauty of using a kayak with these fishy gadgets?


Fish finder technology has advanced significantly in recent years, and the good news is that prices have come down. Today, you can find some of the best fish finders for kayaks under $100.

These budget-friendly fish finders may have fewer features than their more expensive counterparts, but they still offer high-quality components. For example, they come with a high-resolution color display and a glare-resistant screen. They also use dual beam transducers to produce detailed images of fish and underwater structures.


To install a fish finder on a kayak, you need to mount the transducer, display, and battery. Here are three ways to do it:

  • Transducer scupper: Many kayaks have a special scupper to place the fish finder below the water line and run the cable to the display.
  • Removable pod: Attach the display to the top of the pod, place the battery inside, and install the transducer to the bottom of the pod. The pod makes it easy to install and remove the fish finder.
  • Transducer arm: The arm attaches to a gear track and holds the transducer over the side of the kayak.

When looking for a fish finder for your kayak, it’s important to choose one that can withstand exposure to the elements. Look for fish finders with high IPX ratings, which are waterproof, dustproof, and damage-resistant.

 Make sure the plugs are protected from moisture and dirt. Mount the fish finder display in a location that is most protected from swinging paddle blades. The connection to the battery is a weak link, so use heat-shrink terminal connectors and treat all electrical connections with dielectric grease.

A fish finder sends a sonic wave through the water and records how it bounces off fish and structures. The signal is sent to the display unit where it is processed to provide a detailed image of fish and structure. Traditional sonar shoots a cone-shaped signal directly below the transducer. 

 A new forward-seeing sonar shoots a signal, like a video camera, in front of the kayak.

On a kayak, a fish finder works great because there is less turbulence and a kayak moves slowly, improving the signal’s ability to record data.

Best Fish Finders for Kayaks: Final Thoughts

Picking the right fish finder for your kayak is pretty straightforward. There are many options available in different sizes and prices, so you can find one that suits your needs and budget. If you can, try to get the best fish finder you can afford.

 Usually, pricier models have better features, like stronger connections, sturdier screens, and more detailed underwater views. When you add a GPS to your fish finder, it becomes a useful tool for navigation. It helps you stay on track and keep an eye on your speed. 

Together, they can mark spots where you find fish or interesting structures, and you can use them to follow the same path again. Even a basic 4-inch fish finder can give you important details about the depth, fish, bait, and water temperature to help you find fish when you’re out kayaking.

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