Best Fish Finder for a Kayak

Best Fish Finder for a Kayak

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Garmin Echo 551dv
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Humminbird Helix 5 DI and GPS
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Garmin Striker 4DV
Price: $$$Price: $$$Price: $$
Display Size (Diagonal): 5"Display Size (Diagonal): 5"Display Size (Diagonal): 3.5"
GPS: NoGPS: YesGPS: Yes
Frequency: 77/200 kHzFrequency: 455/800/200Frequency: 50/77/200/260/455/800
Sonar Coverage: N/ASonar Coverage: 16°, 28°, 45°, and 75°Sonar Coverage: N/A
Power (RMS): 500 wattsPower (RMS): 500 wattsPower (RMS): 300 watts
Max Depth: 2,300 ftMax Depth: 600 ftMax Depth: 1,750 ft

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Garmin Echo 551dv Fish FinderEDITOR’S PICK – Garmin Echo 551dv

Kayak fishing is a sport that is increasing rapidly in popularity, and fisherman are outfitting their kayaks with top of the line equipment to get on the fish. Having a good fish finder is integral to success in a kayak today, as they will help you locate the fish so you can catch them. Learn more about how to choose a fish finder by clicking here, otherwise read on to learn more about the best fish finder for a kayak.

Garmin Echo 551dv

Garmin Echo 551dv Fish Finder best for a kayak

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The Garmin Echo 551dv is about perfect for kayak fishing. It’s 5 inch screen is not too big to get in the way, but still plenty for easy visibility. As far as features go, Garmin has a system called Smooth Scaling that allows the fish finder to easily transition between shallow and deep water without you having to let go of your paddle and pressing buttons. It’s also easy to snap in and out, so you can take it with you, and the tilt and swivel base allows you to view it from anywhere. The interface is very simple and easy to use, saving you time from trying to find various options in the menu.

The 551dv comes with DownVu, which is Garmin’s down imaging that gives clear pictures of the bottom. This makes it easier to find structure to fish. The frequencies that this fish finder uses are 77 and 200, making it great for both deep water and for shallow water imaging. Another feature is the sonar rewind feature, which allows you to rewind back through images you have viewed to see if you missed anything. The max depth is 2,300 feet, making it a great choice for those fishing deep freshwater lakes. The transducer can be mounted on either the transom or trolling motor.

The only thing this fish finder doesn’t have is GPS, so if you are looking for something to download maps on or see where you are at in relation to structure, move on to the next fish finder.


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Humminbird Helix 5 with Down Imaging and GPS

Humminbird Helix 5 DI GPS Fish Finder

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$$$

The Humminbird Helix 5 is another great option for kayak fishing. This fish finder is ideal for those kayak fisherman who are fishing shallow water, as the max depth is only 600 feet, but it is very detailed where it is designed to be used. The base for this is a gimbal system, so it does swivel on that as well. The display size is 5 inches.

Like the 551dv, this does have Down Imaging to get clear pictures of the bottom under you. It reads in three different frequencies – 200, 455, and 800, which are all great detail frequencies. The images on this should be very clear. Humminbird also has a feature called DualBeam, which allows two frequencies to combine to get great detail as well as a wide search area – normally, you would get one or the other.

The GPS allows you to add waypoints or track your route so you can come back and fish the same area later. It comes stock with their UniMaps software, so you can use it straight out of the box or upgrade to another software like Navionics. This also will track your speed in case you are trolling.

All in all, if you are a shallow water kayak fisher and want to track your journey, this fish finder is the way to go.

Garmin Striker 4DV

Garmin Striker 4DV Fish Finder

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$$

For the kayak fisherman on a budget, the Garmin 4DV is a great option. With a swiveling base and small size, this will fit well on your kayak. It can even be used for ice fishing with a built in flasher! The screen size is only 3.5″ diagonally, so if you are looking to conserve space and money, this fish finder is your best option.

The frequencies are many with this fish finder, and that gives you a lot of options. You can fish deep, up to 1,750 feet freshwater or 830 feet saltwater, or fish shallow with their higher frequencies for better detail. All the options give you a great fish finder for finding fish and structure, using the lower frequencies, then dialing in on exactly what the bottom looks like with their DownVu technology. Using 800 kHz, the images should basically be a picture of the bottom.

The GPS on this is very basic, as it doesn’t allow you to use a lake map but rather just tracks your speed, journey, and waypoints. This means you can come back to the same spot, but it won’t show you any maps of the lakes you fish. Marking waypoints will allow you find hotspots and return later.

The built in flasher means this could be a year round investment for kayak fishing in the summer and ice fishing in the winter, and at this price, it’s a bargain. The only difference between this fish finder and much more expensive ones is the screen size.

Conclusion

All these fish finders are great options if you are a serious kayak fisherman. It depends on which features you want at which budget, so choose the one that you believe will fit your fishing style and budget and get the best fish finder for a kayak. Good luck choosing and good luck fishing!

 

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