Just like any other sport, anglers want to have the best gear they can get to make them better. By having the best fish finder in your fishing gear, your fishing trip could be a lot more successful than if you just choose fishing spots based off a feeling.
Today, we’re going give you quick reviews of three best portable fish finders currently on the market, as well as what to look for when buying one. Let’s start off by looking at what is the best fish finder currently available.
Let's take a look on our top picks for the best fish finder:
The Garmin Striker 4 is the best fish finder for kayak users, but also if you like to use canoes or even small boats. Notable Features of the Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder include:
This is a straight-forward fish finder that features a 3.5-inch color display that’ll help you locate fish, but also detect contours, structures, and other items on the water’s floor, thanks to the CHIRP technology installed on this unit. You can also mark locations that are especially lively with fish (or there’s a lot of structures that makes fishing difficult).
Most of the people who reviewed this fish finder had nothing but great things to say about this product. Customers reported that it’s very accurate, detailed, and they absolutely love being able to mark hot spots, obstructions, and even where you dock.
Other customers liked that it was very user-friendly, they could start using it right out the gate, and it’s one of the best budget fish finders they’ve used.
On the other hand, there were some people were disappointed that the fish finder they received started working strangely only after using it for a week. One person said that it wouldn’t turn off unless you pulled the power plug.
Another customer reported they wish the instructions that came with the product was more detailed because the customer experienced some difficulty trying to get it up and running.
At first glance, the Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp Fish Finder may not look like anything special, but when you actually start using it, that’s where it really shines. This fish finder features CHIRP sonar and imaging technology that works to give you improved clarity when trying to discern a fish from an object. Notable Features of the Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp Fish Finder include:
The AutoChart Live feature allows you to “paint” depth contours on the screen while you’re driving. You can create detailed maps wherever you want, but also whenever, thanks to this unit’s 8-hour recording time.
Many customers who have purchased this fish finder said that this was the best fish finder under $500 because it has a lot of useful features that experienced anglers are looking for.
Customers appreciate how sensitive the sonar is – one person said they could watch their jig move up and down on the screen! Other customers said that there is a bit of a learning curve, but once they learned how to use it, they never go out fishing without it.
There were a few people who had some issues with this unit. Of the negative fish finder reviews for this product, customers were disappointed that the GPS chart plotter doesn’t give you any information about your trip.
For example, customers would have liked if the device plotted every new route for future fishing trips. A few customers were disappointed by the mounting bracket because it only moves vertically, not side to side. Of course, this is just a personal preference and it may not be a concern for you.
The Venterior Portable Fish Finder is unlike others in this guide because it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles the others have. With that said, this is one of the best cheap fish finders you can get. Notable Features of the Venterior Portable Fish Finder include:
It’ll detect and display the depth of the water, an approximate location of where fish are, and it’ll also show where rocks, weeds, and other debris is on the bottom of the sea floor. This fish finder is capable of reading depths up to 328 feet, which is pretty impressive for the price you’re paying.
When looking at the reviews, a lot of people had great things to say about the Venterior Portable Fish Finder. Several people said this was the best value fish finder because it does exactly what it’s supposed to. It’s easy to use, easy to read, and it doesn’t cost a lot of money.
People also raved about the company’s customer service. One customer reported an issue and the company contacted them immediately to remedy the situation, which resulted in being sent a new fish finder, no questions asked.
Some of the issues people had with this fish finder was that their unit was defective. Customers reported not being able to view the screen or it didn’t give accurate readings. With that said, the company’s customer service is on point and the manufacturer reached out to some of the customers for replacements and refunds.
Before buying just any fish finder, there are some things that should play a big role in your selection. Here are the features that you should focus on when buying the best fish finder to add to your gear:
The design of the fish finder is important because you want something that is going to be easy to use but will also fit on your boat properly. Durability is a no-brainer because you don’t want a device that you’ll have to replace in six months! Look for a unit that is waterproof, weather resistant, and corrosion resistant (if you fish in saltwater a lot).
If you intend on fishing in shallow water, you’ll want a fish finder that works with high frequencies like 192 or 200 kHz. If you’re going to be fishing in deeper water, you’ll want a low frequency device like 83 or 50 kHz.
Many fish finders available today come with GPS capabilities which is helpful because you can document locations that were good (or bad) for fishing.
Portable fish finders are incredibly handy if you’re someone who enjoys fishing in small boats, kayaks, or even canoes because all you have to do is drop the transducer into the water and connect it to your smart device. If you’re someone who typically fishes in smaller bodies of calm water, portable fish finders may be an excellent option for you.
Price is a big factor because you can find expensive fish finders that are loaded with features and tech, or you could find affordable options that operate solely as a fish finder. Keep in mind that price doesn’t always mean it’s the best!
You don’t have to have a fish finder with a screen that looks like it could be a smartphone. We do recommend color screens though because they’re easier to read in the sun, but also determine what’s going on in the water. Also, look for a screen resolution 240x160p or higher for a clearer picture.
Each of the fish finders we reviewed today all have their pros and cons. If you’re looking for a great basic fish finder that’s very affordable, you can’t go wrong with the Venterior Portable Fish Finder. However, if you don’t mind spending a little extra money, we think you’ll be very happy with the Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder.
The Garmin isn’t as expensive as the Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp Fish Finder, but it offers many comparable features that the Humminbird has, but for a third of the price – which is why we feel this is the best fish finder currently on the market.