Here, fishy, fishy! Every angler has muttered this phrase at one time or another, but beckoning fish can only get you so far—it helps to know with certainty that there are actually fish in the general vicinity. That’s where the best kayak fish finders come in handy.
A fish finder is a great way to illuminate what lies beneath the water. Rather than fishing blindly, hoping you’re in the right spot, this handy piece of tech makes the best use of your time and helps you locate fish easily. And when you pair that fish finder with a kayak, you have one of the more relaxing ways to catch fish as you angle away from the crowds and cover a lot of water at the same time.
Fish finders are small sonar devices that emit a sound wave through the water. When the sound waves bounce off objects beneath the surface, such as fish, they measure the distance and give fishermen a measurement of how deep the fish will be. There are hundreds of fish finders on the market—they’re more ubiquitous than fish these days— and different models offer a wide variety of features and options. Dedicated anglers can easily spend more than $1,000 on a high-tech finder.
With that in mind, the following seven fish finders are top picks in their respective categories, all selected for anglers who love fishing from beyond the shore. Find the best fit for your boat and catch to your heart’s content. And while you’re shopping for a fish finder, be sure to review our preferred selection of kayaks that make it easier to spend time on the water.
- Best Kayak Fish Finder Overall: Hawkeye Fishtrax Paddlesport Fish Finder
- Best Touchscreen Kayak Fish Finder: Garmin Echomap Fish Finder
- Best Bargain Kayak Fish Finder: Venterior Wireless Sonar Sensor Fish Finder
- Best Lightweight Kayak Fish Finder: Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder
- Best Smartphone-Compatible Kayak Fish Finder: Deeper Pro Smart Sonar Castable Fish Finder
- Best Compact Kayak Fish Finder: Lowrance Hook2 4x GPS Fish Finder
- Best Image Kayak Fish Finder: Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp Fish Finder
How We Chose The Best Kayak Fish Finders
We relied on research, expert advice and independent reviews when selecting the best kayak fish finders. We fish ourselves and use fish finders often, and we’ve cross-referenced our personal experience with various kayak fishing professionals. We talked to fish finder manufacturers and asked them questions specifically about kayak fish finders, and we performed in-depth research on what’s available, taking a look at the latest technology technology, designs and specific features that set each fish finder apart from the rest to ensure this list encompasses the best of the best.