Fishing is more fun when you can pinpoint the position of the fish. Using a top-rated fish finder you are able to navigate and find the type of fish you wish to catch.
The best fish finder for boats is the Lowrance HDS-7 Gen-3 with built-in Bluetooth, WiFi, CHIRP sonar and impressive 7-inch display. If your budget cannot stretch that far, the best fish finder for the money is the Garmin Striker 7SV.
A Fish Finder detects reflecting impulses of sound energy from fish and then displays the information in a range of graphics on the display.
Such information is the location of fish, depth of the water, debris and the bottom structure.
Table of Contents
- Best Fish Finder GPS Combos
- Lowrance HDS-7 Gen-3
- Garmin Striker 7SV
- HOOK2 5 – 5-inch Fish Finder
- Deeper Portable Wireless Fish Finder
- JOYLOG Portable Wireless Bluetooth Fish Finder
- Fish Finder Buying Guide
Best Fish Finder GPS Combos
|Fish Finder||Screen Size||Our Rating|
|Lowrance HDS-7 Gen-3||7 Inches||4.9|
|Garmin Striker 7SV||7 Inches||4.9|
|HOOK2 5||5 Inches||4.8|
|JOYLOG Portable||4.3 Inches||4.7|
The market for a high-quality fish finder is fairly saturated with many brands and models claiming to be the best.
Choosing between sonars, transducers and other features can become fairly troublesome.
The ultimate package comes equipped with GPS that allows you to mark certain coordinates for the future in case you have found a golden spot.
In addition to this, it allows you to navigate your boat through the waters with simple instructions.
Using a fish finder will transform the way you fish and certainly increase the number of fish you capture.
Below is a list of the best fish finders that provide intuitive user interfaces, GPS combos, and many other features.
Lowrance HDS-7 Gen-3
The Lowrance HDS-7 is the latest generation that has seen many improvements over the previous second-generation model, which was very popular and more expensive.
Improved multi-touch display, processing power, and additional features are just some of the new updates found in this third-generation model.
It is a high-end fish finder but for those enthusiasts that can afford this model, it certainly justifies its price tag.
The HD resolution on the 7-inch display is the main feature as it can be operated by touch or the buttons for when wearing gloves.
It terms of functionality, the HDS-7 is able to connect to the internet to broadcast data, update to new software, upload information such as marked coordinates and more.
This Lowrance model uses the latest advanced technologies such as CHIRP sonar, Broadband sounder, StructureScan HD, DownScan imaging and Trackback view for the ultimate fish-finding experience.
For mounting, it is very easy and it is compatible with a range of transducers for both downward and forward-facing as well as displaying information from both at the same time.
Overall, it is the best fish finder you can buy for fishermen wanting to go all out to improve their fishing experience.
Garmin Striker 7SV
Garmin is a huge and reputable brand with any technology that makes use of GPS functionality.
The Striker 7SV offers great value for money considering the number of features, brand backing and the price of the competition.
It has a smallish display compared to the competitors but with 800 x 400 resolution, all graphics are crisp clear.
It uses a Chirp sonar that sends continuous frequencies for a wider range of information.
Once you have found the fish, you can use the GPS to store your location and navigate back to it using the waypoint map.
Garmin has designed the Striker model to be very user-friendly and easy to use.
All the buttons are intuitive and you are able to capture the sonar images in three different viewing angles at once on the screen.
Overall, the Garmin Striker 7SV is the best fish finder for the money at a reasonable price and a large number of features from a reputable brand.
HOOK2 5 – 5-inch Fish Finder
The motto is: “Just turn it on and fish!” And with this product, it is as easy as it says.
If you are looking for a wide range to cover with your fish finder, make sure to consider this product WIDER SONAR COVERAGE: The HOOK2 5 offers a wide-angle CHIRP sonar cone giving you double the coverage of traditional fish finders.
Also, if you are looking for accuracy, The HOOK2 5 Fish Finder comes preloaded C-MAP US Inland Lake Maps with 1-foot contours for over 3, 000 lakes plus standard coverage of an additional 9, 000 lakes.
Deeper Portable Wireless Fish Finder
The Deeper model is a smartphone fish finder that makes use of an Android/iOS application to find fish and display it on the smartphone.
It uses WiFi to create a connection but does not use any cellular or require internet whatsoever.
No matter if you are in the waters in an inflatable kayak or a large boat, it is perfect for all styles of fishing.
With the WiFi connectivity, it has the best connection range with 330 feet where you have the ability to mark anything up to 0.5 inches in size in water up to 260 feet in depth.
The current era that we live in means everything is done via your smartphone and this is now true with fish finders thanks to the Deeper device.
It provides instant information of underwater structure, fish, depth, temperature and much more.
It is the best smartphone fish finder available and due to the connectivity, it has become highly popular worldwide.
JOYLOG Portable Wireless Bluetooth Fish Finder
If you are looking for the top wireless portable fish finders, make sure to consider the JOYLOG Portable Wireless Bluetooth Fish Finder Smart Sonar Depth Finder with iOS & Android Phone APP for Kayak/Ice/Boat Fishing.
This sonar fish finder integrates a high-precision miniature sonar system that can detect the location, size, depth accurately, within the range of 40m underwater, as well as an underwater topographic map, water depth, water temperature, and other information.
They even have an app to use, JOYLOG APP enables you to grasp the underwater dynamics in real-time on your mobile phone.
Fish Finder Buying Guide
Choosing the perfect fish finder for your requirement is hard with many features such as imaging, power and more.
The main purpose of a fish finder is to catch more fish with the screen displaying the fish and underwater structure and physical objects.
Other information such as water temperature and depth are common on the majority of devices with many high-end fish finders providing much more.
In terms of how a fish finder works, it uses a transducer, which transmits signals back and forth using sonar technology (CHIRP is commonly used).
The sonar detects all these objects such as rocks, sea beds and of course fish, which then gets transmitted back to the fish finder.
The way in which the data is ingested and displayed on the display is varied with many showing multiple views at once.
With an understanding of the technology and how a fish finder works, below are some considerations before parting with your money.
The transducer of a fish finder is the component that transmits and receives sonar signals underwater.
For small boats, you will want a transducer that sends sound waves at a wide-angle whereas if you are going out far to sea, you will want a powerful transducer that goes deep into the ocean.
Transducers are often mounted to the transom or the trolling motor but the transom is the most desirable because they will not be under any heavy vibrations or other interference.
There are also many portable transducers that can simply be cast into the water, which are becoming popular over the last few years.
Wide and Narrow Beam Angles
Unless you are an experienced fisherman, you will only use one type of beam in order to find fish.
A wide beam transducer covers a large area but provides less bottom detail and often has a less powerful frequency of around 50 kHz.
Narrow beam covers less underwater but provide more detail and bottom definition from the additional frequency around 200 kHz.
The two main scanning methods are the side-scan and the down scan.
The latter is more powerful and focused but has the drawback of potentially missing fish that aren’t padding directly underneath the boat.
The side-scan will scan much more around the boat but are not as effective, especially in deep water.
For this reason alone, you may feel the need to buy two separate fish finders but some premium models have both side and down scanning capabilities.
This means you can usually view both at the same time for a very detailed scan around the boat in all directions.
The ability to mark the areas you have been to is a huge bonus for future outings.
GPS fish finders are an excellent investment as they double up as a navigation tool that will save the requirement of another device.
Screen Sizes and Smartphones
As technology has had many advancements, it has become cheaper to have full color and high-resolution displays.
You will want to be able to clearly see the information and graphics on the screen with larger screens making this happen.
Many fish finders now include an Android or Apple smartphone application that allows you to connect via WiFi.
Once connected, you can share marked points of “golden” areas where fish are located to your friends as well as store them for personal use.
The higher the power ratings, the faster the sonar transmitter can operate and provide live results back.
As a general guideline for fish finders, per 100 watts of power, a fish finder should show readings of up to 400 feet.