Sometimes a smaller and more portable kayak can come in handy for fishing. In fact, you can use the best fish finder for kayak to help you find the fish that you want out there. Why? Most people assume that you need a large boat to go fishing.
This is due to not only the potential for you to collect many fishes but also from the massive materials you might need to get just to go out and find fish. But not everyone can afford to get a large boat.
You don’t have to get a large boat out if you want to go fishing. A kayak can be all you need when looking to get out there onto the open water.
You will love getting close to the water while enjoying time out fishing. The peaceful scenery of the water and the great outdoors will make for an experience unlike anything else you might get into. But you will have to look at what you can get when finding a quality fish finder.
There are many options to see when finding the best fish finder for a kayak. These are made with smaller bodies that are easier to handle. They will also include various details to help you identify where the fish are in your area. This could make your fishing trip all the more enjoyable as you can find all the fish you want to catch.
This guide is all about identifying a great fishfinder that you know will work for your demands. Be sure you look around here to get a clear idea of what you can use and that you have the best possible choice for your demands. As you will see in this guide, these fishfinders are diverse over how they are laid out and the features that they offer for your trip needs.
Comparison For The Best Fish Finder For Kayak
|Fish Finder||Size (inches)||Depth (feet)||Transducer Data||View On Amazon|
|Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fishfinder||3||328||25 foot cable on a round transducer||Check Price On Amazon|
|Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder||Varies by phone or tablet||130||130 foot casting range on the spherical transducer||Check Price On Amazon|
|iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder||Varies by phone or tablet||135||Syncs with a Bluetooth-enabled device up to 100 feet away||Check Price On Amazon|
|HawkEye Fishtrax 1C||2||240||Uses its own extending arm||Check Price On Amazon|
|Eyoyo 7” TFT LCD Monitor Fish Finder 1000TVL||7||About 100 feet||30m cable for viewing what is under the water||Check Price On Amazon|
|Vectorcom Portable Fish Finder||2||300||100-foot casting range on the unit||Check Price On Amazon|
|Venterior Portable Fish Finder||2||300||25-foot wire for the transducer||Check Price On Amazon|
|Docooler Portable Fishing Finder||3.5||984||25-foot wire on the transducer||Check Price On Amazon|
|Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+||Varies by phone or tablet||260||Operates with a Wi-Fi link up to 330 feet away||Check Price On Amazon|
|Deeper Smart Sonar PRO||Varies by phone or tablet||260||Operates with a Wi-Fi link up to 330 feet away||Check Price On Amazon|
Elaborated Features Of The Top Fish Finders For Kayaks
The fish finders listed here are all different based on how they operate and what displays they will include. Some options are rudimentary while others might link to a larger mobile device.
Whatever you use, you must look at how well each of these choices works for your demands. Top ten fish finders for kayak:
- Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish finder
- Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder
- iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder
- HawkEye Fishtrax 1C
- Eyoyo 7” TFT LCD Monitor Fish Finder 1000TVL
- Vectorcom Portable Fish Finder
- Venterior Portable Fish Finder
- Docooler Portable Fish finder
- Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+
- Deeper Smart Sonar PRO
These fish finders can be used in a kayak, canoe or boat. Those who like kayaking, canoeing, or fishing, they should know the canoe vs kayak pros & cons.
Start your search for the best fish finder for kayak by looking at the Venterior VT-FF001. This offers a design where you can link the transducer to not only the bottom part of your boat but also to someplace a little deeper in the water.
With this fish finder, you can attach it to a 25-foot cable and allow it to float in the water or to move a little deeper down with a pole. Whatever you plan on doing with it, you can use this to generate the appropriate signals you wish to work with.
This will detect the water depth in your area and list information on any short or tall weeds in a spot. The fish displays will help you identify the approximate location of where each fish is in a spot.
It can identify most types of fish and always works to find active ones. It does not read anything that does not produce substantial vibrations, thus ensuring the fish you find are the ones that are actually moving around in the water.
- Versatile for working in many environments
- Fish alarms let you know when something has been found
- Works at around 300 feet deep
- Fish readouts are not accurate
- The screen looks extremely rudimentary and can get jumbled up fast
Deeper Smart Portable Fish Finder
The attractive design of this spherical fish finder makes it a popular choice to have in your kayak. It uses a Bluetooth connection that links to your mobile device. With this, you will secure the base to the rear end of your boat while a ball will be hung onto the back of the kayak. As the ball trolls the water, it identifies signals through its transducer. This identifies vibrations in the water and can be cast out by around 130 feet from your kayak. This also reads fish up to 130 feet in the water although it works best in clear conditions.
The Bluetooth link will move the data on your fish finder to a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone. You would have to use the appropriate app from Deeper on your mobile device to help you read what you are coming across while you use it.
A dual-frequency sonar beam is used here. This works at two frequencies and angles to create a wider scan range. This, in turn, produces a more accurate readout when used accordingly.
- Dual sonar system offers a better readout
- Works in many water conditions including salt water
- Compatible with Android and iOS devices
- Will not work well if the water is too cloudy
- Might be difficult to carry a tablet with you while fishing
iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder
Another Bluetooth-enabled device for Android and iOS users, this iBobber model features a smart layout. The unit can link up to your kayak as a bobber or even as something you can cast out into the water further from your kayak.
You can use this fish finder without having to permanently install it onto any surfaces in your vessel. This also works with a detailed app that helps you to record more information on what you are finding while on the water. The finder lists information on things like the specific areas you are at through a GPS readout, a trip log that mentions details on your fishing trip based on readouts, and even real-time weather information. The details listed give you a clear idea of what you are finding during your trip and could help you to plan future fishing trips.
This all works with readouts that are comparable with what you might get off of a much larger fish finder. But this all works without having to add an extra receiver. You just have to use your own mobile device to make it work without being too complicated or hard to use.
- The battery lasts for up to ten hours on a recharge
- LED beacon lets you see where the fishfinder is
- Alarms go off when fish are identified
- Needs consistent Bluetooth connection and extensive setup
- Might be harder for the fishfinder to work if cast too far away from you
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C
The fourth option to find here is the HawkEye Fishtrax 1C. The 14-degree beam angle adds a good touch that helps you find fish with ease. It includes a fish depth scale that measures the approximate depth from your boat to the fish.
A series of indicators are also used to see how the bottom of the water floor looks. The sonar setup can be adjusted into one of many intensity levels with two sonar settings working to find more fish. You can adjust the intensity to determine the specific types of fish you are aiming to come across.
The display screen reveals a full-color layout of the ocean floor with the colors changing based on how close you are to certain spots. The screen also gives you an idea of how deep the water in your area is and what the water temperature is. These give you ideas on what to find in the water and can even help you to plan your bait based on the conditions.
- Sonar signals travel fast into the water
- Easily portable, although you can mount it to your kayak too
- Can eliminate noise by avoiding smaller items that will not make an impact
- More accurate in spots closer to you
- The screen looks too ordinary or vague at times
- Sensitivity levels might cause you to find more than what you are really looking for
Eyoyo 7” TFT LCD Monitor Fish Finder 1000TVL
Eyoyo makes this model with a slightly different approach to how it works. Instead of using a sonar device, this uses an actual camera that you move into the water. The link produces a full-color image, but the items that come with it ensure that your connection works well.
This LCD monitor finder uses a 7-inch TFT monitor with a sun visor on the top. You can remove the visor if desired.
The 7-inch screen uses an HD layout with around a thousand lines on its body. This produces a clearer and more realistic appearance.
The camera comes with twelve LED lights to produce enough visibility in even the darkest or toughest spaces under the water. You can adjust the light through the controls on the screen.
This is all prepared with a sturdy case. The case allows you to transport the screen, camera, and other items anywhere. This is valuable considering how the camera itself has some fragile parts that need to be protected as well as possible.
The wiring used on the camera itself is also sturdy and will not wear out in most basic water conditions. The coating that goes over the wiring ensures that everything inside the space is fully protected.
- The clear screen offers a brilliant look
- Easy to move the camera in and out of the water
- Adjustable lights make seeing in deep water conditions easy
- Camera parts are fragile
- Does not provide a 360-degree view like what a traditional fish finder offers
- Does not work in extreme temperatures whether they are hot or cold
Vectorcom Portable Fishfinder
Vectorcom makes this fish finder a basic option that is suitable for a majority of fishing needs. The finder uses a body that connects to a transducer through a simple wire and plug. The transducer can particularly handle most water conditions and can go more than 300 feet into the water.
This is a flexible model as the transducer does not have to be fixed to the boat at all times. You can use the float feature on the transducer to get it a little further into the water.
You can also attach the unit onto the kayak hull or you can use a pole to get it away from your local spot. The design lets you carry this around in any spot and could even be used during the winter season for ice fishing purposes.
This all comes with a readout that gives you information on how deep the water in a spot is and where the fish are located. This includes information on where they are in relation to the underwater floor. The estimates are designed to be accurate while providing you with a decent range for getting your fishing items out there well enough.
- Simple setup makes using it easy to handle
- Offers a wide detection range
- Can read the information on most fish in your local area
- The screen can be difficult to read
- Accuracy is not as strong as what you might find on some other models
Venterior Portable Fish Finder
Venterior makes this fish finder as a model that gives you additional information on what is happening with the fish where you are. It can work at depths of about 300 feet and uses a 25-foot cable for the transducer.
A removable float is available to let you get the transducer out to more spots near your boat. The transducer float works well for moving it into the water, but you might need to add an extra lead weight onto the bottom just to be safe if the water is a little too intense.
Like with some other models on this list, the Venterior transducer lets you move it into many spaces around the water. By using this appropriately, it becomes easy for you to see where fish might be no matter what the conditions are.
You can even use this in some deeper spots by using a longer rod to let the readout move outward even further. But you would have to watch for how the transducer wire can go out by only a certain amount of space at a time.
The small digital display provides points on the fish in your local area and is easy to read from any spot on your kayak. The layout shows the information on the water depth and the temperature of the water. These are available in standard and metric readouts as well.
- Uses an auto-shutoff feature when idle for a few minutes
- Gives you more information on all the items on the waterbed
- The receiver does not do well when it gets wet
- Auto-shutoff might active without much warning
- Wire for the transducer is rather short
Docooler Portable Fish Finder
FThe 3.5-inch LCD screen on this fish finder makes it a popular model for those who want to find fish in any spot. The unit can even read items from nearly a thousand feet deep in the water, thus making it one of the strongest fish finders for kayakers to use.
The dual-beam sonar system makes it easy for you to get the finder to identify fish no matter how deep you go.
The display gives a detailed and curvy look at what the waterbed is like while the fish on the display are listed alongside approximate details on how deep they are in the water. It all comes with the standard distance and temperature readouts that you would expect to find out of a fish finder such as this.
You can even adjust this to work with either one of the two sonar frequencies or both at the same time. Be advised that using both at once will cause the battery to run out a little faster, although that can be said about any kind of fish finder that uses sonar technology.
The flat surface on the bottom gives you the opportunity to get the fish finder mounted onto the area near your seat. You would have to get this part installed carefully with the proper transducer setup added if possible.
It might still be better for you to get a separate transducer for your use as the one that this comes with might not work well enough for getting too deep or far off into a spot.
- Simple readout adds a convenient look
- Display setup is not overly complex
- Offers better depth coverage than most other similar models
- The transducer that comes with this has too short of wire for it
- The receiver does not handle water well
Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+
Deeper has made this special edition of its sonar fish finder with a brilliant layout that does more for finding things underwater. In addition to its strong sonar capabilities, this model also comes with a series of lights to help give the unit an easier time identifying what is under the water.
This uses a Wi-Fi connection to link up to your mobile device. It works with your smartphone or tablet to quickly produce a clear display that shows what the fish finder is identifying. It works effortlessly to find what is in your area and will produce maps on your device quickly. You can even save those maps for later use, thus allowing you to keep the unit working.
This even works from more than 300 feet away. It can give you information on fish, vegetation, rocks, temperatures, and many other points. You could even leave the unit out in the water for as long as desired so long as the Wi-Fi connection on the unit continues to stay strong and work accordingly.
- The body is very sturdy and easy to set up
- Information on your app is more detailed than what most other fish finders might offer
- Tough to hold onto a smartphone or tablet in your kayak in some cases
- Takes a while for some GPS maps to load up
Deeper Smart Sonar PRO
The last of these fish finders to see is a more basic version of the Sonar PRO+ model that Deeper makes. This works with many of the basic controls and functions that the old model uses. It offers a Wi-Fi connection range of around 330 feet and can review things in the water from 260 feet deep.
This unit is extremely precise. It can identify fish as little as half an inch in size. But you can always adjust the unit to display only things that are a little larger in size. You would have to use the app that comes with this program to get this feature to work.
The unit offers a carefully arranged layout where people can identify the temperature and depth of the water among other vital points. You can also use the Boat Mode feature to create a full map of the waters in your area. You can also use the Lake book data management program to make it easier for you to review the data.
- Reads items quickly
- The strong body does not wear out fast
- App lets you link to a larger computer to plan your fishing trips and to analyze your performance
- Might have a harder time reading things in salt water bodies
This section focuses on many points that you should explore when getting the best fish finder for kayaks. These concentrate on many points that make it easier for you to go fishing, but you should see how well your model of interest is laid out.
Review the Display
The key for the display on your fish finder is to keep it from being overly large. Stick with something that is about five inches in size at the most. This is enough to create something visible without getting in the middle of your line of sight.
Some displays come with full-color layouts while others are simply in black and white. A design may come with a full layout showing the specific size of a fish or how deep it is.
Others might produce an accurate layout of how the underwater floor looks. Some models might be rather rudimentary without offering much information at a time. Be aware of what you are coming across when finding a good display screen in any case.
What Are the Mounting Points?
The mounting system you use on your fish finder should not add lots of weight. The mount should attach to the seating area of the kayak while not taking up far too much space.
Keep the mounting system at just a few pounds in weight in the best case so the system does not add far too much drag in the process.
Not all fish finders need to be mounted. Some models are portable, but those units are much smaller in size and could be easy to lose if you are not careful enough with handling them.
Of course, anything that would link up to a smartphone or tablet would not have to be mounted, although you could always try to find a third party mounting unit for something like this if you really feel a need for it.
Analyze the Transducer
A transducer is vital for your fish finder. You need the transducer to take in details on movements in the water and where they may be located. Some fish finders come with their own transducers, but sometimes you might have to spend a little something extra on one depending on how your finder is laid out.
The transducer on your fish finder should come with a body that you can quickly mount. It can be mounted inside the hull. You can also get it added through a pipe within the Scudder hole.
Some suction cup attachments or others that use adhesives might allow you to get the transducer attached to any part of your boat. Such cups or other binding agents might come apart quickly if not used well enough.
You would have to regularly check your boat to see that the transducer, in this case, is actually attached properly.
How Can the Transducer Work?
Depending on the model you order, you might get the transducer on your fish finder to identify fish from well off of your boat. You can use some models that feature a pole or wire that lets you move the transducer into one of many spots.
Some transducers might work alongside a floating item you add into the water. Others could even be completely removed from your kayak and be used in small ice fishing holes during the kayak fishing offseason. Check with any fish finder you want to see how well it might be laid out along the water.
What Is Sonar?
Some transducers work with sonar features. Sonar is a popular technology that identifies items underwater. It produces sound waves and reviews the reflections produced in the water. These include reflections from fish, plants, and the bottom of the water surface.
A sonar readout will give you an approximate layout of where fish might be. A series of displays on your screen should include spots that show the sizes of the fish being identified.
The sonar unit can also read the information on how the fish are moving around in the water. This includes looking into how they are vibrating in the water.
Sometimes the sonar might work with one angle from the transponder into the water. In other cases, the sonar may work with two separate angles to add a better readout and to cover more space for finding fish. For more information about this matter, you may have a look at how does s fishfinder work.
Can It Link To Your Phone?
Some of the choices you will come across when finding the best fish finder for kayaks include links that let you get what’s on the finder onto a mobile device.
These include fishfinders that come with cable links or Bluetooth connections to let you see what is in the water through your mobile device.
Having a good link might be perfect in that you can get more information on what is in the water through a mobile app. The screen might be a little easier to read in some cases.
You can always take the device out of your pocket without having to mount it anywhere too. It might take a bit of time for a connection to be set up though. This is especially for a Bluetooth link.
The instructions for making this work will vary based on the fish finder you have and your mobile device.
Some fish finders may work with Wi-Fi signals instead. These signals are easier to handle because they can be read fast without having to get an overly complicated technical setup ready.
But you would have to watch for any obstacles that get in the middle of your Wi-Fi signals. Your fish finder will stop working if the Wi-Fi signal or any other wireless connection is suddenly disrupted.
Be aware of the distance you can place between the fish finder and the mobile device too.
Get the Power Supply Ready
The power supply you use for your fish finder should be checked properly. You will have to use some kind of battery that links up to the fish finder itself. This comes as the kayak will not have its own dedicated motor in most cases.
You can always add a portable marine battery into the inside part of your kayak if desired, but you would have to keep that battery from being far too heavy if it is going to work well enough.
Also, some batteries might be included with a fish finder to help you use it without having to connect to anything larger. But those batteries can run out quickly and will have to be recharged after a bit. Keeping the fish finder linked up to a larger battery for a while might be the best thing to do when trying to keep things running well.
You can get a GPS setup ready in your fish finder in some cases. A GPS unit will help you to monitor where you are in particular. It may work with map data loaded onto your fish finder, thus giving you a detailed idea of how the water looks.
You can also save waypoints on your unit. This lets you save information on where you might be going.
For better performance, you can use the Lowrance hook2 4x with a Bullet Skimmer transducer.
Be advised though that the GPS functionality on a fish finder will use up more battery power. You do have the option to turn off the GPS feature on most fish finders. In such a case, you would have to get the battery turned off.
Our post about the best GPS fish finder combo may be convenient for some of you.
What Is the Operating Temperature?
The operating temperature for your fish finder should be good enough for most of the environments you plan on getting out into. A fish finder can work at temperatures from around 0 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
This should be enough for a majority of fishing activities, including any ice fishing events you want to get into during the kayak fishing offseason.
Batteries May Be Needed
Sometimes a fish finder might link to a larger marine battery, but in other cases, it might simply need a few disposable alkaline batteries. Smaller models use AAA batteries while larger choices come with AA batteries. A proper model should have the option to be tied up to a larger battery so you will always have power on hand.
Rechargeable batteries can also be used on some models. These include options that can be recharged through a dedicated charging port or even through a USB link depending on the model you utilize.
Check on how well your fish finder operates based on such a battery before using it or getting it charged up. Also, such a unit that features a rechargeable battery would require you to fully charge up the unit before you use it for the first time; you cannot get such a device to work out of the box immediately.
It can take a little longer for the battery on a fish finder to recharge than what you might expect. You might have to spend about six to eight hours on average to get it fully charged up again. Take a look at how well the recharging feature on your fish finder works before using it.
More importantly, you would have to avoid keeping the fish finder in a charging station for far too long. By keeping a unit in a charging spot for too long, you risk overheating the battery and possibly reducing its capacity.
Take a look at how well the screen on your fish finder is laid out. The problem with some fish finders is that they have screens that might be hard to read while in the sun. They might produce huge glares that make it harder for you to see what is out in a space.
The best fish finder for kayak should have a screen that can resist glare and create a good layout that you can see in any light. A model that has an adjustable brightness feature might also work. This lets you adjust how the display looks while also keeping the battery usage down when you dim it by a bit. The adjustable brightness setup would have to be accessed through a separate control layout.
What About a Floating Unit?
An interesting thing about some fish finders is that they use little bobbing devices that float on the water. Such a device works by using a floating item on the back end of the boat. This might come with a ball shape although the design will vary based on where you go for it.
The floating item will emit signals to the bottom to help identify what is in a spot. It can be trolled along the back of the boat to create a larger readout that covers more information. This can even be linked to either a standard fish finder readout or onto your own mobile device. The control setup offered here adds a good design that you will want to utilize.
You are bound to get way on your fish finder, what with your kayak being so close to the water. But the best fish finder for kayaks can be made with a great waterproof body that keeps you from struggling with water getting in the way and hurting the inside components of your unit.
The seals and openings on your fish finder should be secure and capable of keeping water out of the way. This point is critical to see if you plan on going on any saltwater surfaces that might disrupt the components inside your fish finder.
Working With a Mobile Device
As you read earlier, some of the fish finders available for your use can work with your existing mobile device. These include items that link to a smartphone or tablet through a Bluetooth connection.
These items can work well provided that you have a close enough link between the fish finder and your mobile device. It might be difficult to get a Bluetooth link ready if the distance between your item and the reader is too great.
Also, many of these fish finders will work with most mobile devices. Check with your individual device to see how well it might work for you in any situation and that you can get a good enough link ready on it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where on the kayak should the fish finder be mounted to?
Although you can get a fish finder mounted anywhere on your kayak, you should keep it in the middle part of the vessel if possible. This is to keep the boat from tilting in one direction.
The transducer part should be affixed to the back part of the boat. The wires leading from the transducer to the display can move along on the inside part of the kayak cabin. The display should then appear on the front part so you can see it while moving forward in the water.
The key is that the fish finder is in a safe spot while still being easy to read. You have to keep it visible so you will not lose track of anything you are trying to manage at a time.
What will you need when getting your fish finder installed?
To install the best fish finder for a kayak, you would have to get a few bits for securing holes inside your kayak. These holes are needed for getting wires, bolts, and other items secured inside the kayak.
All holes should be smaller than the bolts and screws you plan on using. A waterproof seal should be produced when those units move through all the way. You will also require the transducer and display among other items that you have when getting it installed.
What steps work in the installation process?
The installation process can vary based on what you are using, but you should look at how well you can get it to work for you. Several steps must be followed when trying to install your fish finder the right way:
- Start by getting the transducer around the back part of the ship’s hull.
- Move the cable for the transducer into the hull. The sensors and cables around the transducer should straddle the bottom of the kayak and not hang off.
- After everything is tightened well enough, the transducer wires can link to power cables.
- You can get the power cables connected to a battery. Sometimes they can attach to the battery with clips, but you might have to solder them together if needed or if you simply prefer that option.
- Add the display screen to the unit. You would have to link the battery and transducer wires to the fish finder display, but some models come with Bluetooth features that let you operate this without any extra wires.
- You should turn on the display and battery to get the unit to start working.
This is only a sample of ideas of what you should do when getting your fish finder ready. Check the instruction manual with your fish finder and transducer to see what you have to do with it.
How big do the fish have to be for your fish finder to actually identify them?
A fish should be at least 10 cm in size for your fish finder to read it. Each fish finder works differently over how it can identify such fish, so look at the specifics for whatever you are using to get an idea of how it can work.
How big can a fish be?
A fish finder should identify fish around three to six inches in size. Some models might struggle to find larger fish.
Is a fish finder capable of distinguishing between one large fish and a group of fish?
Some fish finders might include detailed readouts that show how big fish are, but others might simply generalize the results and just show that there are fish in one spot.
The limitations of the fish finder you are using will make a big difference regarding how well it can work and how you can find fish in any case.
How does the sensitivity feature on a fish finder work?
The sensitivity feature will work by allowing you to adjust how well the unit can identify fish in a spot. This would require you to adjust the unit by having it review the sizes of fish and by eliminating results that are within a certain size. This helps you to keep the results you find under control while keeping you from finding anything that might be too small or unnecessary for your fishing desires.
Can a fish finder identify motionless fish?
A fish finder will typically not identify any fish that isn’t moving. These include baitfish and any dead ones. The lack of vibrations from a motionless fish ensures that your finder will not produce any false alarms off of those fish.
Does the control unit have to include lots of buttons?
Some of the larger or more detailed fish finders on the market can come with a good number of buttons for your control needs. Not all of these devices need to have all of these buttons though. Be aware of what you are using when getting these buttons ready for any situation you run into.
The problem with fishing is that it can take a while for you to find the fish that you want to catch. You need a good tool that will help you with getting the fish that you want sooner. Working with a quality fish finder will make a world of difference when you consider how well it can work for catching fish in any space.
Be advised when getting out on the water that you will need to get an appropriate fish finder ready for your use. A great fish finder model makes it easier for you to go outdoors and find all the fish you want to catch. It should be compact without adding lots of weight to your kayak.
More importantly, it should not be tough to set up. Be sure when looking at a quality model that you have something that fits perfectly into your space without being a challenge to use.