Best Fish Finder for Small Boats

Best fish finder for small boats has a display of fewer than 6 inches.

Fishing is a hobby. Fishing is a passion. I am sure most of you enjoy fishing. The relaxing surroundings, peaceful environment, and a bottle of chilled beer are the best parts of fishing.

Imagine you head off towards your fishing spot with your boat. It is a perfect day with fantastic weather. You set up your gears and wait. You wait and wait and wait, but you cannot catch a single fish. You get frustrated and ruin your weekend. This is one of the worst feelings one can achieve.

This is where you need to consider getting a fish finder. Fish finder makes your fishing experience better. You will catch more fish with a fish finder. Not only that you need to learn how to read the Fish Finder. If you have a small boat or a kayak, it is complicated to choose the best fish finder. There are many things to consider while buying the best fish finder for small boats.

Fish finder not only increases the amount of fish you catch but also develops your fishing skills. A fish finder is a device that locates fish (obviously). In this article, I am going to talk about 7 best fish finders for small boats.

7 best Fish Finder for Small Boats (tested in real fishing experiences)

NameGPSDepth capacityweightDisplayImagePrice
Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinderyes1600/750 ft0.5 lbs3.5 inchesGarmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder review Check Price
Humminbird HELIX 5 Fish Finderyes2500/1500 ft2 lbs5 inches Check Price
LUCKY Handheld Fish Finderno3 to 300 ft1.06 lbs2 inches Check Price
Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finderno3 to 328 ft1.09 lbs2 inches Check Price
Humminbird 410150-1 PiranhaMAX 4 Fish Finderno320/600 ft2 lbs4.3 inches Check Price
Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonaryes260 to 330 ft3.52 ouncesNo display Check Price
iBobberyes135 ft0.16 ouncesNo displayiBobber review Check Price

1. Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5″ GPS Fishfinder

Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer, 3.5" GPS Fishfinder review

Description:

Garmin Striker is the best fish finder for small boats and kayaks. I personally am a fan of this fish finder. It is small, portable, and accurate. The scanning sonar is reliable. This fish finder comes with a high-frequency sonar. You can fetch photographic images which have detailed representations of objects that are underwater.

This device performs well in a maximum depth of 1600 feet in freshwater. The maximum depth for seawater is 750 feet.

User interface and design:

This device is easy to operate and install. It comes with dedicated buttons and proper user interface. The keypads are convenient and include a proper indexing. The 3.5 inch display makes this fish finder ideal for your small boats and kayaks. It has every quality to be the best fish finder for small boats.

Navigation:

This device comes with a waypoint map. It is easy to use, and you will face no complications while navigating through water. You can mark your location and stroll through bushes, docks, or slumps. This fish finder comes with a high-sensitive GPS system.

Transducer and Sonar:

This fish finder consists of a CHIRP sonar that continuously sweeps the water with high frequency. It gives a wide range of information in a detailed manner. It includes a 77/220 kHz sonar transducer. These types of technology offer your increased accuracy and detailed indexing. Your fishing will improve, as you will get your sonar data in a classic flasher format.

Pros

  • Waypoint map makes it easy to navigate and return to your dock
  • Check the speed of your boat
  • Contains a rechargeable battery
  • Only 3.5 inches display
  • Smaller in size and portable for your convenient use
  • Better user interface
  • Color image
  • Best portable fish finder for small boat
  • You can also upgrade to higher sonar specs
  • Water rating of IPX7
  • Compatible with ice fishing as well

Cons

  • Does require a 12 V supply to operate

 

2. Humminbird HELIX 5 Fish Finder

Humminbird HELIX 5 Fish Finder review

Description:

Humminbird is one of the leading companies when it comes to fish finders. This company has been manufacturing fish finders for years now. And a quality product is what they promise to provide. This fish finder comes with dual-beam sonar with a quality picture. The indexing is excellent, and there is a 2.5 inches of target separation. This fish finder is available in the select model as well.

It works well with a maximum depth of 2500 feet for freshwater. In case of seawater, the maximum depth is 1500 feet.

User interface and design:

This device is easy to install. The user interface is excellent, and it is very smooth to operate. There are no complicated signs and buttons. It has a 5 inch color WVGA display which displays a sharp image.

This device has, simple dedicated buttons to navigate. It comes with a micro SD card slot for saving waypoints.

This device consists of a split-screen zoom as well. It has custom view selection and large digit view.

Navigation:

You can save your waypoint and mark your location. This device allows for smooth navigation and proper mapping. It has a high-sensitive GPS tracking system. You will not lose your way while you are on the water.

This device has a built-in Anima Cartography. As a result, you get a precise GPS chart plotting system. This is one of the best GPS fish finders. It comes with an auto chart live and Humminbird’s own base map.

Transducer and Sonar:

This fish finder for small boats come with a CHIRP dual beam Sonar. This digital sonar is reliable and can reveal the lake bottom. The 2D sonar offers excellent visibility and guarantees a positive result.

This device includes a transducer that allows a wide range of search underwater. The imaging sonar shoots high-frequency sonar below the surface. In return, you will get a sharp image and indexes.

This device allows you a fisheye view below your boat. It also offers you side imaging technology. There is no place to hide for your prey when this bad boy is around.

Pros

  • Color WVGA display
  • CHIRP dual beam sonar
  • Micro SD card slot
  • Side imaging and bottom imaging
  • Split-screen control
  • Best GPS fish finder
  • Portable and reliable
  • Switch fire control that lets you choose how detailed you want the image
  • Temperature and freeze alarm
  • Real-time sonar imaging

Cons

  • No cover

 

3. LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder

LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder review

Description:

This is a cheap fish finder for small boats. It is small, portable, and easy to operate. It has an excellent user interface. The display is not top class. But looking at its price, it is reasonable.

It detects and displays water depth, any objects at the bottom, and approximate fish location. This is a handy fish finder, which can be taken anywhere. You can hang it around your neck for better access.

It can be used in kayak fishing, ice fishing, offshore fishing, and sea fishing as well. This multi-purpose fish finder is the best value for your money.

It can detect objects at a depth of 3 to 330 feet. It works well in the surrounding of -14 to 122 F.

User interface and design:

This fish finder has a basic design. It is smooth to operate. There are not many buttons for you to confuse over. Plus the indexings are simple. It has a 2 inches anti-UV LCD display with LED backlighting. This fish finder comes with a 25 feet long cable and a 1.81 inches diameter transducer sensor.

Navigation:

This device does not come with the waypoint technology. It can discover fish properly, but cannot mark your location and direction.

Transducer and Sonar:

This fish finder comes with a 1.81 inches diameter transducer sensor. The sonar sensor is able to detect at a 45-degree cone underwater. It comes with a removable transducer float as well.

This device is powered by 4 AAA batteries. The sonar sensor detects fish, rocks, and weeds at the bottom of the water.

To fully utilize this device, keep your kayak in a steady motion and under 5 mph.

Pros

  • Best value for your money
  • Small in size and portable
  • Allows you to hang it around your neck
  • It comes with five different sensitivity options. This allows different angler to use this device in a different fishing environment.
  • You can distinguish different contours at the bottom
  • Simple user interface
  • Ideal for all kinds of fishing

Cons

  • It does not come with the batteries
  • No mapping system

 

4. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder review

Description:

This portable fish finder can be held in your palm perfectly. It feels comfortable and hangs around your neck properly. Besides fish finding, it can be used to detect water depth, sands, rocks, and weeds as well.

It can be ideal for all kinds of fishing and around different surroundings. It can detect in water depth ranging from 3 to 328 feet.

It comes with a 25 feet cable and removable transducer float.

The package includes fish finder, transducer float, sonar, side-scan adapter, and stainless bolt.

This device does not offer high-end technology like other brands. But when we consider its price, this device is more than reasonable.

User interface and design:

This fish finder for small boats comes with a 2 inches LCD display with LED backlighting. This portable fish finder is ideal for fishing at night as well. The user interface is simple. There are three soft buttons. The display does not offer high-end pictures.

The device offers five user selectable modes. Which includes the battery save mode as well. An alarm system is also available in this device. It can be adjusted or turned off as per your requirement.

Navigation:

Unfortunately, this fish finder does not come with GPS memory. This does not allow you to mark your location or map your way.

Transducer and Sonar:

This cheap fish finder comes with a 4.6 cm round transducer sensor. The sensor is capable of sensing at a 45-degree angle. You get a side-scan adapter. Simply attach the transducer to the adapter and start finding fish.

Pros

  • Ideal for boat fishing, ice fishing, and shore fishing
  • This device comes with 5 different sensitivity option.
  • LED backlight for fishing at night
  • Small and portable
  • Simple user interface
  • Best value pack
  • Operating temperature of -4 to 158 F

Cons

  • Does not include batteries
  • No mapping technology available

 

5. Humminbird 410150-1 PiranhaMAX 4 Fish Finder

Humminbird 410150-1 PiranhaMAX 4 Fish Finder review

Description:

This fish finder for small boats is another fantastic product from Humminbird. It includes fish alarms, depth alarms, and zoom. The user interface is simple and handy. You can easily change your viewing angle with this fish finder. This device has a dimension of 3.9″ W x 6.8″ H x 3.6″D. It is a small fish finder which is highly portable.

It offers you better down imaging. You can smoothly stroll through water. The down imaging will show any objects below you.

There are multiple options for you to choose from.

User interface and design:

This fish finder comes with a 4.3 inches display. This is an ideal screen size for a perfect fish finder. The slick design looks nice on your boat or kayak.

It has a simple user interface. This device comes with 4 dedicated buttons. The buttons have simple indexing. It is easy to install and operate. You don’t need vast technical knowledge to operate this fish finder.

The LCD display offers a sharp and detailed image. It has a target separation of 2.5 inches. This way, you can easily identify your vision.

Navigation:

Unlike its older brother, there is no mapping system available in this device.

Transducer and Sonar:

This waterproof fish finder consists of a highly sensitive transducer. It has a dual-beam sonar. This dual-beam sonar sends back accurate data and images. You can identify the objects properly as the image is sharp and clear.

This sonar has a coverage angle of 28 degrees and 16 degrees. With a depth capacity of 320 feet at 455 kHz to 600 feet at 200 kHz, this sonar is the real deal.

The down imaging technology is best applied to determine what is beneath you.

Pros

  • Portable and slick design
  • Dual-beam sonar
  • Sharper image
  • Adjustable viewing angle for your convenience
  • Compatible with all kinds of fishing environment
  • Color LCD display

Cons

  • No mapping system

 

6. Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar review

Description:

This portable fish finder is nothing like your other fish finder. First of all, it does not have a screen to display. This is a versatile and portable fish finder that generates its own wifi. It connects to any smartphone easily.

This fish finder for small boats is easy to install. It charges in just 2 hours. Always make sure that you have this fish finder fully charged. The charge will last for 5 hours with continuous usage.

Take this fish finder in any type of fishing trip. This device helps you to get a clear image and distinguish the objects below.

User interface and design:

This is a small fish finder without any display. Rather it connects with your smartphone. This device generates its own wifi, and your smartphone can connect to it. This device turns on as soon as it hits the water surface. You can view its result in the deeper app. This app is free and easy to use.

The app is smooth to operate, as well. Make sure your deeper app is up to date. Your smartphone becomes your fish finder display. Make sure you do not put your smartphone inside your pocket. This might interrupt the signal.

Navigation:

The deeper pro is one of the best fish finders for navigation. It includes a built-in GPS tracker. This allows you to save your mappings and mark your locations.

You can save plottings and sonar readings on your phone as the device scans through the water. The deeper app offers a lake book. You can save all your images, plotting, and scans in the lake book.

Also. you can save your locations and maps on your phone. This allows you to analyze the maps from your home.

Transducer and Sonar:

This wireless device has a dual beam sonar. It scans at a wide angle of 55 degrees at 95 kHz. The narrow-angle is 15 degrees at 290 kHz.

The sonar scans up to a depth of 260 feet and casts up to 330 feet.

Deeper pro transfers all the images and scans to your phone. You can determine the size of fish, vegetation, and other objects underwater.

You can determine the depth and temperature of the water as well.

Pros

  • Generates its own wifi
  • Easy to use and portable
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Built-in GPS
  • Bathymetric mapping system lets you save all your maps and scans into your smartphone
  • User-friendly deeper app
  • Ideal for all kinds of fishing

Cons

  • This can be slightly expensive for many

 

7. iBobber

iBobber review

Description:

This is another fish finder without a display screen. The iBobber is a portable, flexible, and small fish finder, that connects with your smartphone. The built-in Bluetooth connector connects to your phone.

This fish finder connects to iPhone and android mobile phone. It comes with an LED beacon and charge indicator light. It offers a 10 hours battery life.

User interface and design:

A free bobber app is available for you. This app is easy to use and user-friendly. This device is easy to install and operate.

The iBobber fish finder has a Bluetooth smart sync. You can choose between fish tagging or raw sonar views.

The fish tags are in-depth color for better visual and details. This device allows you to determine the water depth and temperature via its app.

You get an instant social media sharing option as well.

Navigation:

This device comes with a built-in GPS tracker. It contributes to better mapping and navigation. It includes a lunar calendar and weather as well. You will be able to determine the temperature and humidity.

You can access the app and manage the trip log with a date. You can save your locations and maps.

Transducer and Sonar:

This device includes an accurate sonar with reading down to a depth of 135 feet. It works on a patented sonar fish finder technology. The sonar scans for different objects and targets underwater. Then it sends clear imaging and data via Bluetooth to your phone.

Pros

  • Built-in app for both ios and android
  • LED beacon
  • Built-in GPS and interactive mapping
  • Contains lunar calendar and weather
  • Ideal for all kinds of fishing environment
  • Fish alarm and strike alarm
  • Instant social media sharing option

Cons

  • No wifi

 

The ultimate guide to buying a fish finder for small boats

There are certain things to consider before buying a fish finder for your small boat. You cannot just go and buy the first device you see. You will regret such decisions when the time comes.

The best fish finder for small boats must be smaller in size. It must be portable and must weigh less.

Make sure you buy the best fish finder for you, weather it is ice fish finder or fish finder 200 dollars, and never hesitate to research properly. Here are some important features to look on a fish finder for small boats or kayaks.

Device size and Display:

The best fish finder for small boats has a display of fewer than 6 inches. This is one of the most important features to look for. You do not want a fish finder that has a larger dimension and does not properly mount to your boat.

All the devices mentioned above has a display of around 4 inches. Some do not even have a display. Your fish finder must be portable. It is more likely to pack light if you are going fishing on a small boat or kayak.

Transducer:

Probably the most important thing beside the display of the fish finder is Transducer. I suggest you buy a fish finder that includes a transducer. You may know how to install fishfinder transducer. It interacts with the sonar to send or receive the frequencies.

You need to get a fish finder that comes with a transom mount transducer.

Frequencies:

I have mentioned different devices with different frequencies above. Just how important is frequencies? Well, the answer is simple. Higher the frequency, the better the signal. If possible, get a fish finder with higher frequency. The signals will be clearer, and the scans will be detailing.

High frequencies are better for shallow water. However, if you are fishing on other types of water, I suggest you buy the device with multiple frequencies.

Power:

Power is another important factor in a fish finder. All fish finders are portable, but it highly depends on the power source.

Most fish finders work on a 12 V source. You need to install a voltage source on your boat or kayak. Do not forget to keep it in a waterproof case.

You need to consider the watt power before buying a fish finder. Also, it depends on the type of water you are fishing. You will get better readings and sharper image if your device has a higher watt power.

A fish finder with higher watt power will go deeper in the water as well. You will be fine with a lower watt power device if you are fishing on shallow water.

Why use a fish finder?

As the name suggests, a fish finder helps you find fish. It will make your fishing trip better. You are guaranteed to catch fish with a fish finder.

A fish finder not only increases the amount of fish you catch but also improves your fishing skills. You will be able to show off your catch.

A fish finder allows you to determine the depth of the water as well. It is useful to determine what is beneath your boat. Especially a portable fish finder is more convenient and easy to use.

You will be able or navigate through water properly, and determine the weather as well. There are lots of benefits of a fish finder.

My verdict:

All the fish finders mentioned above are good choices for your next fishing trip. There are some of the best cheap fish finders like the LUCKY handheld fish finder. It gives you the best value for your money. I would recommend this fish finder if you are to stay on a budget.

Finally, if I had to choose any one of these 7 fish finders, it would be the Garmin Striker 4. This fish finder is reliable. It performs extremely well and does not cost a fortune. The manufacturer is trustworthy. It is simple to use, and the result you get is reliable.

The navigation is excellent, and it has a wide range of sonar capacity. It is the overall best fish finder for small boats.

And remember to keep the environment clean. Do not pollute the water with plastics and other wastages. Do not fish illegally.