Fishing Canoe

Best Portable Fish Finder

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Fishing is always a challenging sport. You’re at the constant mercy of the elements, nature, and worst of all, the fickle nature of fish and their appetites. Having the right fish finder goes a long way to ensuring your next trip is one that you can enjoy.

Fishfinders are an aid to both beginner and professional anglers alike. They can be installed on kayaks, boats, fishing canoes, etc. to improve your efficiency and catch rate.

In this article, we review ten of the best portable fish finders available. We also include a buyer’s guide to help give you context. We’ll start with the Best Portable Fish Finder, the iBobber Smart Fish Finder.


Best Portable Fish Finder

Preview
Top Choice!
ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder for iOS and Android devices,Classic,Small
Runner-Up
Lowrance FishHunter PRO - Portable Fish Finder Connects via WiFi to iOS and Android Devices
Budget Pick
LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer Kayak Fish Finder Kit Portable Depth Finder LCD Display for Kayak Boat Ice Fishing
Best For Ice Fishing
Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
Name
iBobber
Lowrance FishHunter PRO
Lucky Wired Transducer
Garmin Striker 4
Price on Amazon
$75.08
$199.00
$43.98
$198.12
Top Choice!
Preview
ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder for iOS and Android devices,Classic,Small
Name
iBobber
Price on Amazon
$75.08
View on Amazon
Runner-Up
Preview
Lowrance FishHunter PRO - Portable Fish Finder Connects via WiFi to iOS and Android Devices
Name
Lowrance FishHunter PRO
Price on Amazon
$199.00
View on Amazon
Budget Pick
Preview
LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer Kayak Fish Finder Kit Portable Depth Finder LCD Display for Kayak Boat Ice Fishing
Name
Lucky Wired Transducer
Price on Amazon
$43.98
View on Amazon
Best For Ice Fishing
Preview
Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
Name
Garmin Striker 4
Price on Amazon
$198.12
View on Amazon

Our Top Pick: iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder

iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder

Key Points at a Glance

  • Lightweight and Compact
  • Fish and Strike Alarm
  • 135 ft Depth Capability
  • Works 100 ft away from your mobile device
  • Uses Low powered Bluetooth for more natural connection

Dimensions

  • Item Weight: 0.16 ounces
  • Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 1 inches
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium-Ion battery

The Details

iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder

As you might have experienced, most devices that use Bluetooth or a wireless connection can drain your phone battery very quickly. Fortunately, the iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder uses less power and requires an easier to achieve connection than comparable products. This results in the battery lasting longer, and you can continue to use it throughout your trip without needing to charge it.

Fishermen like the iBobber because of its ability to create accurate descriptions of wild fish. Once the iBobber spots a fish, it creates a mark based on its size. Fish are separated into two size categories: over 15 inches in length and under 15 inches in length.

This fish finder has additional features that even novice fishermen can enjoy. For example, it comes with a lunar calendar which gives you detailed information on the temperature, atmospheric pressure, chance of rain, and wind speed. These are all important things to know when you’re fishing so you can determine the best times to fish and when to return home.

Serious fishers who like to prepare will find a use for this fish finder. It allows you to create GPS mark spots of fallen trees, drop-offs, weed beds, and other underwater structures that can destroy or weaken your baitfish.

If you have a mobile device, then you’ll have no problem setting up the iBobber. It can scan up to 135 feet underwater and can communicate even if you’re 100 feet away from your cellular device. Thus, allowing you to scout for fish with better accuracy and achieve better results.

The iBobber smart fish finder is the Best Portable Fish Finder available.

Sale
ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder for iOS and Android devices,Classic,Small
  • Patented sonar fish identifier technology
  • LED beacon
  • Rechargeable battery and charge status indicator...
  • 10+ hrs battery life.Syncs with iOS (Apple) 10.0...
  • Accurate sonar readings down to a depth of 135'

Our Runner Up: Lowrance FishHunter PRO

Lowrance FishHunter PRO

Key Points at a Glance

  • Integrated LED Light
  • Creates custom maps
  • Multiple Fishing Views
  • 150 ft Depth Capability
  • 10 Hour Battery Life

Dimensions

  • Item Weight: 5.9 ounces
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion battery
  • Dimensions: 1.9 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches

The Details

Lowrance FishHunter PRO

The Lowrance FishHunter Pro is compact enough to accommodate anglers in salt or freshwater. Its sonar technology can be controlled through a smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi.

Anglers can see how fish react to the changes with the 3D Fishing View. It allows you to check the location and water depth of the fish near the FishHunter PRO. The Ice Fishing View is perfect if you need to see if there are fish lying under ice, making it a great tool for ice fishing.

This fishfinder has an average battery span of 10 hours. It has an enhanced display action that can detect fish up to 150-160 feet underwater. You’ll have to place it 4 feet underwater to ensure that it works properly.

Having issues with getting solid data connections while fishing in remote areas? No problem! The Lowrance FishHunter PRO does not require an internet or cellular connection to work. This allows you to use the mobile app offline while still getting accurate information on the fish nearby.

The reason why this device placed second is due to its requirements. When in use, it pesters the user to download GPS. For Android users, the app will not run unless you have both GNSS and Gapps installed. So consider this small setback before buying.

Lowrance FishHunter PRO - Portable Fish Finder Connects via WiFi to iOS and Android Devices
  • A FISH FINDER ON YOUR PHONE: The FishHunter PRO...
  • NO DATA CONECTION REQUIRED: Better than Bluetooth,...
  • MULTIPLE FISHING VIEWS: See fish as fish symbols...
  • CREATE CUSTOM MAPS: Create custom color contour...
  • INTEGRATED LED LIGHT: FishHunter PRO is easy to...

Best Budget: LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer

LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer

Key Points at a Glance

  • 4-5 hour battery life
  • 328 ft Depth Capability
  • Fish Alarm
  • Battery Saving Mode
  • Accurate depth reading

Dimensions

  • Item Weight: 1.26 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.3 x 4.9 x 3.6 inches
  • Display Size: 2 in

The Details

LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer

Seeking a FishFinder that delivers the most bang for your buck? Then look at the LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer. This fish finder has a wireless range of about 45 meters and has enough depth to be used for deep fishing.

There are five assistant settings that come with the device: backlight mode, battery save mode, battery indicator, and fish and fish school modes. Anglers find it easier to detect fish with these settings, as it allows them to utilize what this device has to offer fully.

However, its LCD detector has made it a third choice amongst the previous devices. Some users were skeptical that it could distinguish between small and large fish when out in the water. There were a few complaints regarding the power supply usage, so expect to use a LOT of batteries when buying this fishfinder.

For Kayak fishing, this is your best bet. It’s small enough to fit easily in your kayak and has a backlight, which allows you to read the information at night easily. And with a maximum depth range of 328 meters, you won’t have issues finding fish swimming along.

Even though it has minor issues, you can’t go wrong with the LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer. It has an adjustable sensitivity feature, which allows you to calibrate to your environment and attract more fish. So consider getting this product if you want something that’s price-efficient and seems to be on the money when it comes to accuracy.

LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer Kayak Fish Finder Kit Portable Depth Finder LCD Display for Kayak Boat Ice Fishing
  • Lucky New Arrival Fishing Fish Finders: This...
  • Muti Functional Fish Finders: Five assistant...
  • Detecting Depth: The portable fish finders works...
  • Long Working Time Fishing Fish Finder: This...
  • Wide Applications Portable Depth Finder: This fish...

Best for Ice Fishing: Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit

Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit

Key Points at a Glance

  • Waypoint Map
  • LCD Display Technology
  • Ideal for Ice Fishing and Vertical Jigging
  • Easy to mark, navigate, and view locations
  • CHIRP Sonar Technology

Dimensions

  • Item Weight: 8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 inches

The Details

Simplicity is key when looking for a fishfinder, and the Garmin Striker 4 is designed just for that. It has a keyed interface with dedicated buttons. And it has a 3.5-inch screen with easy-to-read fonts while the color changes throughout the day.

It features an in-built flasher which is useful for vertical jigging or ice fishing. This allows you to see sonar data in a flashier format. For a long lifespan and increased durability, this device has standard quality components that are built to endure the longest trips.

Users will find it disappointing when attempting to position the Garmin Striker 4 on their boat. It’s only usable if it can be attached via kayak or boat. If this issue persists, we suggest getting a separate ice transducer.

The CHIRP Sonar technology is the Garmin Striker 4’s highlight feature. It allows anglers to find their target by sending a number of continuous frequencies underwater. It helps you get better views on the display screen while the GPS helps with tracking your current position.

For basic kayak fishing, the Garmin Striker 4 is a great option. It allows anglers to create waypoints, making it easier to keep track of fish that’s within their location. Since it is IPX waterproof, anglers will be able to use it to enhance their fishing experience. The Striker 4 was our favorite fish finder under $300.

Sale
Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
  • The power of simple - offers a keyed interface...
  • Waypoint map - use the waypoint map to easily...
  • Chirp sonar - chirp sends a continuous sweep of...
  • Built-in flasher - view your sonar data in the...

Best for Beginners: LUCKY Portable Fish Finder Transducer Sonar

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Key Points at a Glance

  • Fish Alarm
  • Adjustable Sensitivity Levels
  • 147ft Depth Capability
  • 4-10 hour battery power
  • Waterproof sonar sensor

Dimensions

  • Item Weight: 8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.3 x 2.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium-Ion Battery

The Details

No products found.

The LUCKY Portable Fish Finder is designed for novice and professional fishermen. It controls the number of details that are shown on display. You can adjust the sensitivity to 1 to 10. The higher the sensitivity level, the more details it will detect.

On the left hand of the device is an antenna that needs to be pulled out. It has a depth detection range of 147 feet and a wireless operating range of 197 feet.

With its fish attractive lamp, fishermen will find it easier to detect fish. This includes a transparent replacement cover, which helps find the sensor even if its dark outside. Due to its versatility, it can be used for sea fishing, river fishing, ice fishing, kayak fishing, night fishing, and offshore fishing.

While the sonar sensor is waterproof, the fish finder itself is not. We suggest that you don’t spray or submerge the wireless fish finder with water or use chemicals to clean it. Keep it away from water at all costs when taking it outdoors.

Still, we believe that the LUCKY Portable Fish Finder is a great asset for fish detection. It’s incredibly accurate, and it can tell the difference between fish and other debris, so you don’t have to worry about false readings.

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Best Portable Fish Finder Buyer’s Guide

Who Should Buy a Portable Fish Finder

Novice anglers should consider a Fish Finder because it makes tracking potential targets far easier and allows you to focus on your individual approach. Previously, fishermen had to spend hours blindly looking for fish underwater or hoping there was fish present. With the help of fish finders, it displays the fish while you’re out, increasing your chances of finding that quality catch you can be proud of.

And if you’re a professional angler, fishfinders help with keeping track of your favorite locations. Some devices have a built-in GPS system, allowing you to save your favorite spots and return to them at a later date as well as find other’s favorite spots.

For ice fishing, it saves time by finding fish deep below, in some cases at depths of over 100 ft, allowing you to catch even the most elusive of prey.

Important Features to Consider

Water Resistance

If you’re going to mount your fish finder on an open finder, water resistance is necessary. Always check for the IPX or JIS ratings. While both ratings are interchangeable, each of them determines a unit’s level of resistance to water.

An IPX/JPS rating of 4 means it’s safe from water splashing, making it difficult to use on a kayak. With a rating of 5-6, it can withstand high and low-pressure jets of water. With a 7 rating, it can remain submerged underwater for about 10-30 minutes. 8 is the highest rating, meaning it can stay underwater for hours.

Power

Before buying any fish finder unit, you have to look at the power that it provides. If you want a unit that has accurate and quick readings, then look for a unit with a higher wattage. Low wattage devices are slower and work better in shallow water.

This occurs because the fish finder converts the sonar waves created by the transducer. With lower watts, the readings aren’t accurate, and the sonar waves are slower. When the device has more power, it provides accurate readings and delivers faster waves.

Note:

  • For 100 watts of power at 50 kHz, the fish finder will show readings of 400 ft.
  • For 100 watts of power at 50 kHz, the fish finder will show readings of 100 ft.

Most fish finders in the mid-range use dual-range frequencies. That way, you can view the frequencies from a split-screen mode.

Transducers

Transducers are an important part of every fish finder. They transmit and receive sonar waves. Once the waves are emitted in the water, they bounce off objects and show their location. After this, the waves are picked up by the transducer.

Once the data comes back, it will be sent to the transducer unit. Then the signal is processed and creates a picture that’s easy to read and understand.

Transducers have different mounts for different occasions. If you want one that’s simple to install, consider getting a transom mount. But if you want something more advanced or have a larger boat, then you can go for a thru-hull mount.

Transducer Material

Depending on the boat you’re operating, you’ll have to find the right transducer material. For casual fishing purposes, a plastic transom mount will work. They are compatible with virtually any boat and kayak.

If you have an in-hull or thru-hull mount, metal or fiberglass hulls will need plastic housing. Steel or aluminum hulls will need stainless steel housing. Bronze housings are required for wooden hulls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Change the Batteries Myself?

The answer depends on what batteries are compatible with your fishfinder. For instance, if your fish finder uses AAA batteries, then you’ll have to replace them when they run out. However, if they have lithium batteries than you can recharge them once the power is low, check the battery type of your fishfinder to ensure it gets the battery power, it needs to operate smoothly.

How Deep In The Water Can You Fish?

Look at the depth range of your fish finder before buying. If you’re fishing for a hobby, then a fish finder with a depth range of 100-140 is good for you. For serious anglers, there are fish finders that have a depth range of 150-320 feet.

Does the fishfinder work with Amazon Kindle?

Check the compatibility of your device. Most fishfinders work with iOS and Android systems. Since mobile software is changing, check which version of your phone system it supports. This will ensure that you get the right fishfinder for your fishing needs.


Other Products We Looked At:

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar – GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder
Sixth on our list is the Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar Fish Finder. Like half of the fish finders found in the market, the PRO+ uses a Wi-Fi connection to deliver signals. When in use, it delivers a connection range of 260 feet, giving you enough coverage to find fish within the area.

Additionally, it comes with a dual-band sonar transducer. The first band gives a signal in 90 kHz through a 55° sonar cone, which helps when scanning large areas for fish. Once the fish is located, anglers can switch to a higher-powered sonar band at 290 kHz throughout a narrow 15° cone.

For serious shore anglers looking to up their game, the Deeper PRO+ is a great choice. It’s built-in GPS can be used to create bathymetric maps, which can be used to mark frequent fishing spots, retrieve, save, and even analyze all of your maps and scans.

The Deeper PRO was our runner-up favorite fish finder under $200.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Built-in GPS
  • Enhanced connectivity through a long casting range
  • Lakebook web platform included

Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder
Next on our list is the Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder. Included in the package is 25 feet of cable and a rubber float. This makes it good for a kayak or small boat. The Venterior VT-FF001 is a suitable device for anglers that want to fish in saltwater and freshwater environments such as lakes, creeks, rivers, and ponds.

When you turn on the device, it allows anglers to adjust their battery settings and sonar sensitivity. When fishing in low visibility conditions (such as foggy areas, bright sun, night fishing, etc.), use its backlight to help see fish that are far away.

There is an option that allows users to customize the unit measurements (meters or feet). To change it, press and hold the ENTER key for about five seconds. Unfortunately, once the device is turned off, you’ll have to reset your previous settings. For those wanting a replacement fish finder, don’t hesitate to get this device.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Simple Installation
  • Adjustable Backlight
  • 330ft Depth Capability

Humminbird 410170-1 PiranhaMAX 4 PT Portable Fish Finder

Humminbird 410170-1 PiranhaMAX 4 PT Portable Fish Finder
Next up is the Humminbird 410170-1 Portable Fish Finder. It features a dual-beam sensor that allows anglers to choose from a wide to narrow beam for generous coverage of areas or more detailed readings. This helps with identifying fish, contours, and structure.

Some of its readings can be inaccurate, causing a slight problem for professional fishermen. Sometimes the color line isn’t adjusted correctly, and it will jump from 2ft to the depth of water the user is in. Request a replacement if these issues persist, as it can cause a lot of issues with your fishing experience.

Due to its redesigned interface, users appreciate its ease of use. It allows anglers to use their own depth alarms, fish alarms, zoom, and Fish ID+ in a simple and intuitive way. Thus, it is useful for novice anglers who want a simple system to work with. Thanks to its portable carrying case, this is a flexible device that can be used for virtually any fishing occasion.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Dual-Band Sonar
  • Portable Carrying Case
  • 4.3-inch Display Size
Humminbird 410170-1 PIRANHAMAX 4 PT (Portable) Fish Finder
Humminbird 410170-1 PIRANHAMAX 4 PT (Portable) Fish Finder
Display Size Diagonal - 4 3-Inch; Dual Beam Sonar; 2400 watts PTP/300 Watts RMS; Depth Sonar 320 ft (20) 455 kHz 600 ft (20) 200 kHz

LUCKY Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable Fishing Sonar

LUCKY Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable Fishing Sonar
The Lucky Fish Finder is known for its powerful castable sonar system. It scans deeper and casts further and can view detailed graph data. And it can be used for ice fishing and trolling, making it a versatile choice amongst anglers of all skill levels.

While its depth finder works, there are some issues with the sonar system. The manual can be difficult to read, meaning that users have to take time and test the settings to ensure they are correct. This can be annoying for some professional anglers, as its installation process can take a few hours getting used to.

We believe that the Lucky Fish Finder is suitable for kayak and boat fishing. It has a rechargeable battery that allows for 10 hours of use on a single charge. With its screen protector included, you won’t have to worry about water getting into the device’s system. So think about this device if you want something simple to use for salt and freshwater fishing.

Key Points at a Glance

  • 328ft Depth Capability
  • 2.8 inch LCD
  • 10 Hour Rechargeable Battery
LUCKY Portable Fish Finder,Smart Handheld Depth Finder with Sonar Sensor,Wired and Wireless Fishing Finder for Ice Fishing Sea Fishing Kayak Fishing Boat Fishing,Waterproof,Black
LUCKY Portable Fish Finder,Smart Handheld Depth Finder with Sonar Sensor,Wired and Wireless Fishing Finder for Ice Fishing Sea Fishing Kayak Fishing Boat Fishing,Waterproof,Black
Find fish, water depth,water temperature, bottom contour; Depth Capability: Cable 328feet(100m); Wireless 147feet(45m)
$165.99

Humminbird 410060-1 Fishin’ Buddy MAX DI Fishfinder

Humminbird 410060-1 Fishin' Buddy MAX DI Fishfinder
Coverage is necessary when fishing outdoors, and the Humminbird 41060 has a lot of it. With over 320 feet of depth detection, you won’t miss a fish floating around underwater. In fact, you’ll get better sonar coverage with its 28°, 16°, & 74° at -10 dB.

The Humminbird tends not to work unless fishing under 15 feet. And the device will go from 20 to 6 feet on its reading, which makes it difficult to get an accurate description of the fish underwater. Because of its inaccurate readings, its a clear reason why it’s not in the top 5 on this list.

With its imaging system, you’ll have no problem with viewing the fish in your area. Thanks to its down imaging feature, you’ll be able to determine the difference from a fish, branch, or debris. This allows you to have a crystal clear image of your target fish, making it easier to leave home with more trout in your bucket.

Key Points at a Glance

  • Portable clamp included
  • 24″ – 40″ Telescopic pole
  • 320 feet depth perception
Humminbird 410060-1 Fishin' Buddy MAX DI Fishfinder
Humminbird 410060-1 Fishin' Buddy MAX DI Fishfinder
Display 3.5-INCH Color TFT; Down Imaging and Dual Frequency Sonar; Depth Capability:320 ft. DI & 600 ft.

Conclusion

That concludes our review! If you’re looking for the best overall fish finder, check out the iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder. The Lowrance FishHunter PRO is great if you want a fishfinder that hits the mark of being in the middle of the price range of fishfinders whilst providing premium quality. Lastly, the LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer will give you the most value without putting a strain on your wallet.

Sale
ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder for iOS and Android devices,Classic,Small
ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER iBobber Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder for iOS and Android devices,Classic,Small
Patented sonar fish identifier technology; LED beacon; Rechargeable battery and charge status indicator light
−$24.91 $75.08