Which Fish Finder to use Kayak Fishing?

3-minute read

Many kayak anglers like to use a fish finder so they can see water depth, major structure and some of the fish that are in range. We asked a few of our Ambassadors and ProStaff to tell us about their favorite fish finder.

angler's hands holding up a fish, sitting in his kayak on a lake 

Rob’s fish finder set-up (photo courtesy of Rob Wright)

There are several fine brands on the market that make fish finders ideal for mounting on fishing kayaks. Some of them are Garmin, Raymarine, Lowrance and Hummingbird.

What you choose will be determined by your budget and preferences. Here are a few to consider…

Branches Team Member Picks

Rob Wright, Michigan

Rob Wright is on our National ProStaff team. He loves the way kayak fishing can take him into hard-to-reach waters bigger boats can’t access. He said, “I’ve always been a Lowrance guy. I think the 7-inch model is the perfect size for my kayak. It’s easier to read the screen and see your maps than with the 5-inch and doesn’t take up as much space in a smaller kayak as the 9-inch.”

Lowrance makes three levels of fish finders: for casual anglers, avid weekend anglers and tournament or serious anglers. They range in price from $329 to $4,899 (2023 prices), so there’s a fish finder for everyone.

Courtney Bennett, Tennessee

Courtney Bennett is another on our National ProStaff team. Her go-to fish finder is the Garmin Striker 4. “It’s so simple and easy to use!” she said. “The screen clarity is fantastic and best of all, the unit will run all day on my Nocqua battery. I’ve used more expensive fish finders, but have had the absolute best luck with my basic Garmin Striker 4.” The Striker 4 retails for just $139.99 USD (2023 price).

Courtney Bennett in her fishing kayak, fish finder in front 

You can see Courtney’s fish finder set-up in the foreground (photo courtesy of Courtney Bennett)

Garmin’s Striker series fish finders range from $140 to $620 (2023 prices).

Your Garmin can move with you if you have more than one kayak like Courtney does. “I’ve used [my Garmin Striker 4] on a Crescent Kayak, a Hobie Lynx, and a Hobie Compass. I purchased extra transducers and mounted them to all of my kayaks. This allows me to move the fish finder from one kayak to another by using a Yak Attack mount, and I'm set,” she said. “I really like to keep things straightforward on my kayaks and the Garmin Striker 4 fits my needs with no fuss. As a bonus, I have found some really amazing fish using it!”

Brad Hicks, Ohio

Brad Hicks is one of our Regional Ambassadors. He’s another Garmin fan: “I like the Garmin Echomap Plus 73SV. That fish finder works well with kayaks and is very user-friendly right out of the box,” he said. “The fish finder mount I prefer is the Yakgadget heavy duty Fish Finder Mount.”

Garmin has discontinued the Plus 73SV, but there are many current Echomap models available, starting at $399 and up to thousands of dollars.

 anglers' legs and fish finder in the bow of his kayak

Brad’s fish finder set-up (photo courtesy of Brad Hicks)

Alternatives: Phone Apps & Castables

Regional Ambassador Robert Brown, an Alabama resident, uses a different method. “I don’t use a fish finder on my kayak because I either fish in shallow creeks and rivers or saltwater marshes. I use the Navionics app on my iPhone for the maps if needed,” he said.

Navionics is a subscription-based app for your Apple or Android smartphone. Its features include nautical, sonar and government charts, satellite and shading overlays, customizable options, daily updates, an active community and more.

Another option is “castables” like the Garmin Striker Cast GPS and models made by Deeper Sonar. These castable sonar devices turn your smartphone into a fish finder. Prices range from $100 to $400, but you can take them anywhere and use them with any kayak. No mounting required.

We hope this info gets you on your way to finding your favorite fish finder.

Do you have paddle questions our friendly Customer Service Team can help you with today? Contact them: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

More for you...