The Top 5 Fish Finder Options to Consider for Your Boat

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Video best portable fish finder for shore fishing

Want to level up your fishing game by locating catches and ideal fishing conditions? Purchasing a fish finder for your boat helps you do just that.

Not only do these nifty devices detect schools of fish, but they provide a wide variety of underwater information – including water depth, fish distribution, the condition of the seabed, and so much more.

So, how do they work? Well, fish finders transmit ultrasonic waves directly underneath the boat. If the waves hit a school of fish — or something similar — weak reflections return where the waves were transmitted. Those reflections are converted into electrical signals, and the processor transforms the signals into display images on the screen.

While all fish finders use similar technology, many additional features and capabilities exist. Therefore, choosing the best fish finder for your boat depends entirely on your needs and circumstances.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Fish Finder

As we mentioned, all fish finders measure depth and locate fish. However, many experienced anglers opt for additional features like side imaging and 3D sonar. When looking for the best fish finder for boats, here are the primary considerations to keep in mind:

  • Transducer: This part of the fish finder sends and receives sonar waves. Transducers come with different types of mounts, but the transom mount is the easiest to install.
  • Screen resolution: When looking at displays, consider the resolution and number of pixels. The more available pixels, the more detailed the display can be.
  • Frequency: Opt for fish finders with higher frequencies (192 and 200 kHz) if fishing in shallow waters. For professional and commercial use in deep water, 50 kHz transducers work best.
  • Power: Devices with low wattage are slower (which means they perform better in shallow water). If you want your unit to provide faster and deeper readings, get a high-wattage unit.
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5 Best Fish Finders for Your Boat

Ready to purchase a fish finder for your boat? Here are our top picks:

1. Deeper Sonar Pro+

The Deeper Sonar Pro+ is the ultimate portable fish finder. Not only does this device have built-in GPS, on-shore mapping, and four fishing modes – but it boasts an impressive casting range of 330 feet and scans depths of up to 260 feet. Because it’s relatively affordable, we recommend the Deeper Sonar Pro+ as a fish finder for kayaks, boats, on-shore fishing, and even ice fishing expeditions.

Learn more about, Deeper Sonar Pro+, priced at $200.

2. Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4

This versatile, budget-friendly fish finder has a high peak power output of 300 watts. With modern styling and a 4.3-inch color LCD, it offers a fresh perspective on what’s floating beneath the water. Thanks to its user-friendly interface, Fish ID+, fish alarms, depth alarms, and zoom has never been easier. Therefore, we recommend this device to fishermen of all skill levels (even novices). Learn more about Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4, priced at $119.

3. Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7sv

The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7sv is a fantastic fish finder for boats. Boasting a high-contrast color palette, this device makes it uber-easy to see what’s lurking beneath the surface. The highly sensitive GPS allows anglers to mark hot spots, plan routes, and view their boat’s speed. Additionally, fishermen can create and save maps using the built-in Quickdraw Countors real-time mapping feature.

With all the necessary bells and whistles, we recommend this fish finder to intermediate and experienced anglers. Learn more about the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7 online, priced at $419 to $519.

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4. Lowrance Elite FS 7 Fish Finder

The Lowrance Elite FS 7 Fish Finder provides immediate access to an impressive array of fish-finding tools. Notable features include Active Targeting™ live sonar, Active Imaging™ 3-in-1, and preloaded C-Map® Contour™+ charts. And with compatibility across a wide range of charting options, this fish finder has everything you need to find (and reel in) the big ones.

Learn more about the Lowrance Elite FS 7 Fish Finder online, priced at $899.

5. Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP GPS G4N Fish Finder

Intuitive design and elite performance make the Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP GPS G4N Fish Finder/Chartplotter an angler’s dream. Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar provides a detailed description of what’s below. And it includes both wide mode (for maximum coverage) and narrow mode (to hone in on even the slightest details).

Not only that, but the Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP GPS G4N Fish Finder’s enhanced built-in base map provides a clear view of the underwater terrain and points of interest. Featuring charts of more than 10,000 lakes and complete coastal coverage of the continental U.S., this advanced fish finder has the most comprehensive offering of premium chart options on the market.

Learn more about the Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP GPS G4N Fish Finder, priced at $2,199.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>