5 Best Portable Fish Finder 2021 (Reviews)

Best Portable Fish Finder. Portable fish finders are very suitable for someone who wants to catch fish efficiently. These devices can make the fishing experience enjoyable and fun.

You can use the portable fish finder for ice fishing, kayak fishing, boat fishing, and shore fishing. Their portability is the main focus for most people looking for a fish finder.

You must find the best portable fish finders to get accurate readings and depth.

In this article, we have carefully research and collect some accurate information about fish finders. We have come up with this buying guide for readers looking for the best portable fish finders. Check out our best portable fish finders comparison and review, so you can make the buying decision with confident.


Our Quick Overview

  1. Best For Beginner: Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 with Transducer
  2. Best Budget: Lowrance FishHunter 3D
  3. Best Overall: Lucky Fish Finder Wired & Wireless
  4. Best for Shore Fishing: Humminbird 410170-1 PIRANHAMAX 4 PT
  5. Best for Advanced and Professional Anglers: Deeper Pro+ Smart Sonar Gps Portable

Our Top Picks

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Model  Depth Price Rating Quality
Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 with Transducer 1,600 feet freshwater, 750 feet saltwater $$$ 4.7 9.0
Deeper Chirp Smart Sonar Phone Castable Wireless Fishfinder 330 feet $$$ 4.5 7.6
Humminbird 410170-1 PIRANHAMAX 4 PT Portable Fish Finder 320 feet $$$ 4.5 8.8
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Portable Fish Finder 2,500 feet $$$ 4.5 8.0
Venterior Portable Rechargeable Fish Finder Wireless Sonar Sensor Fishfinder 262 feet $$ 4.3 8.4
LUCKY Portable Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable Fishing Sonar 328 feet $$$ 4.1 8.2
Lowrance HOOK2 4X – 4-inch Fish Finder with Bullet Skimmer Transducer 300 feet $$$ 4.1 4.4
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display 300 feet $$$ 4.1 8.8
RCANK Fish Finder, Portable Wireless Fish Finder 650 feet $$ 3.8 8.2
Garmin Striker Vivid 4cv, Easy-to-Use 4-inch Color Portable Fish Finder and Sonar Transducer 1,600 feet $$$ 4.7 8.6

What is a portable fish finder?

A fish finder is one electronic device used by boatmen or fisherman to locate and find fish in the sea or lake, or water. The Sound Navigation and Ranging or SONAR system is the backbone of a fish finder. If you are a fisherman, a fish finder is an essential device in the fishing process. The CRT or LCD digital screen will display fish location information.

Today’s fishfinder technology comes with GPS, electronic compasses, and radar. With these up to date technology, the fish finder device is reliable. The device is an echo sounder designed to detect the appearance of fish underwater. It also measures the depth of the water.

The device uses echolocation to echo electronic pulses off fish and converts this information into an LCD screen or graphic rendition. The screen displays individual fish with an icon to identify fish targets and lures or lowers the baits to the right depth. A fish finder transmits an electrical impulse that will be converted into a sound wave by a hydrophone or transducer attached to the hull’s underside. The transmission will be sent into the water.

While the boat is running, the fish finder displays fish underwater, their exact location, their size to the ocean floor. This device will provide efficiency and enjoyment as well as commercial and leisure fishing.


Benefits of a fish finder


How to use a fish finder professionally

  • All fishfinder models can operate using the Sonar system. During World War II, the technology was developed that uses sound waves to detect or discover or view objects located underwater. A fish finder uses a sound wave and sends the wave through the water. As the sound wave penetrates more in-depth, it spreads, creating a cone, or known as a beam.
  • When it confronts an object within the beam, it will bounce back to the fish finder. It will calculate the distance of the item and draws the object on the display screen. The sound wave will reach the bottom if it does not encounter an object. A low signal will be reflected when the bottom is soft, like the mud. At the same time, hard bottoms will reflect a stronger signal back.
  • The cone angle is the angular measured on the degree of the sonar beam. A 16-degree beam is not broader and does not cover more areas than a 24-degree beam. They are measured at -10db for consistency and accuracy of measurement from one transducer to another. That angle may vary by fishfinder manufacturer and model.
  • Many models use one sonar beam. Few models have advanced multi-beam sonar technology that sends out two, three, or six sonar beams to cover a wider area with much better detail.

Types of portable fish finder


Factors to consider when purchasing a portable fish finder

There are many portable fish finder models to choose from that can make you feel lost at sea looking for the right portable fish finder device for your purposes. By knowing the features that you require and which devices not essential to find a fish finder device that meets your standards, you can discover the right fish finder!

  • 20 degrees – 0.35 or roughly 1/3 of depth
  • 24 degrees – 0.42 or roughly 2/5 of depth
  • 30 degrees – 0.53 or roughly 1/2 of depth
  • 40 degrees – 0.72 or roughly 3/4 of depth
  • 50 degrees – 0.93 or roughly 9/10 of depth
  • 60 degrees – 1.15 x depth
  • 70 degrees – 1.4 x depth
  • 73 degrees – 1.48 x depth
  • 80 degrees – 1.68 x depth
  • 90 degrees – 2 x depth
  • 100 degrees – 2.38 x depth
  • 110 degrees – 2.85 x depth

FAQ portable fish finder

Do you need a fish finder?

Yes, if you want to fish, you need one. A fish finder can detect water that has no active fish. You can also detect large baits in schools or nearby feeding fish. You can see what depth the fish. It can tell you what baits are most likely to work.

Do you need GPS for a portable fish finder?

If you are serious about fishing, you need GPS. If you are fishing from a small boat or kayak, you should have a GPS. With GPS you can mark hotspots and then return to the exact spots at a later day.

Do you need a transducer for a fish finder?

The transducer can help identify different types of underwater structures. These fish finders are suitable tools for reading depth, finding underwater features, and seeing the bottom contour.


Best Portable Fish Finders Reviews

We researched online to put together the top portable fish finders available on the market today. Combining mostly on consumer reviews and product information, we recommend our favorite products.


Best For Beginner

Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 with Transducer

Best Portable Fish Finder
Buy At Amazon

Average Ratings: 6.55

  • Portability: 9.4
  • Easy to use: 5.8
  • Thickness: 5.6
  • Accuracy: 5.4

Our tips

  • We think that this Garmin Striker 4 fishfinder has an affordable price tag that is suitable for beginners and finds fish from small boats. The fish finder features built-in GPS, a user-friendly interface, and side-imaging. It4 is a small device with a 3.5-inch display that comes in a 480 x 320 resolution pixel matrix, a backlight, and an HVGA color display. You can read the display in direct sunlight.
  • This fish finder will not be damaged by rain or water splashes or immersion of three-meter in freshwater because of its IPX7 waterproof. You can use a data cable to transfer waypoints between this device and any echoMAP device. You can mount the device using a tilt or swivel mount. This fish finder by Garmin is equipped with the 010-10249-20 transducer that is 77/200 kHz capable, two cones beams, and uses a four-pin connector.
  • One 15° beam for 200 kHz and one 45° beam for 77 kHz. If you try to find fish in bigger depths, you can use a 50/200 kHz control unit transducer capable of only using Mid and High CHIRP. You can find fish and scan to a top depth of 228 meters in saltwater; while in freshwater, the top depth is 487 meters. If you use a 50 kHz transducer, it can scan to a top depth of 244 meters.
  • The CHIRP sonar is powerful to provide a clearer picture, less clutter on the screen, a better view of the bottom, and better-defined targets. The powerful CHIRP has a great separation of targets. There are many useful functions, such as different alarms, Fish Symbol ID, A-Scope, UltraScroll, Flasher, Auto Gain, and Split-Zoom.
  • The Fish Symbol ID adds different fish icons to the sonar and shows every target fish’s depth. The Flasher mode provides information on targets like the inner rings and outer rings found by the sonar beams. This Flasher mode function comes in handy for stationary fishing or ice fishing. The A-Scope provides information in a vertical layout of recent returns from the sonar.
  • The Auto Gain function helps users allow the unit to filter out rejected noise with no need for manual adjustment. The Ultrascroll function can scan while moving at high speeds, faster scrolling, and deliver better image quality for under 40 Mph of speed. Striker 4 has a GPS module with high-precision that provides accurate coordinates to your recent location and tracks your boat’s speed.

Why we like it

  • LDepth capability: 228 meters in saltwater, and 487 meters in freshwater
  • Transducer: 77/200 kHz CHIRP
  • Internal, and high-precision GPS
  • 200 Watt of transmit power (RMS)
  • 5,000 max waypoints
  • 3.5″ diagonal, 480H x 320V pixel resolution, backlit, HVGA color screen
  • CHIRP dual-frequency sonar
  • 2D Sonar: 200 kHz / 15° and 77 kHz / 45°

Drawbacks

  • The voltage cannot not fall below the recommended level
  • No navigational map
  • Durability issue
GTIN or UPC 753759147013
Transducer 77/200 kHz CHIRP
2D Sonar 200 kHz / 15° and 77 kHz / 45°
Resolution 480H x 320V pixel
Transmit Power 200 watt
Depth Capacity 228 meters in saltwater, and 487 meters in freshwater

Best Budget

Lowrance FishHunter 3D – Portable Fishfinder Connects via WiFi to iOS and Android

Lowrance FishHunter 3D - Portable Fishfinder Connects via WiFi to iOS
Buy At Amazon

Average Ratings: 6.1

  • Portability: 9.2
  • Easy to use: 5.6
  • Thickness: 5.0
  • Accuracy: 4.6

Our tips

  • This FishHunter Directional 3D is a fish finder device with five highly reliable transducers to get comprehensive coverage and highly detailed images. The device provides a range of sonar view modes and a fish finder for the float tube.
  • This portable depth finder or fish finder device comes with colored solutions to show well-defined images on the smartphone screen for a compelling cast to reel in the best fish. The FishHunter Directional 3D device yields the target and excellent resolution with the range from 381 kHz to 675 kHz.
  • We think that you will catch fish easier, get transparent information and detailed images of the readings. You can create your lake maps with the FishHunter app.
  • The FishHunter fish finder uses its WiFi (60-meter range), which syncs to your device, and there is no need for a phone signal and other connectivity. The five transducers create a 3D panoramic contouring to create a lakebed view, complete with the fish and the depths.

Why we like it

  • Quick
  • Reliable
  • Easy-to-use
  • Ice Fishing view or Directional Casting View
  • Integrated LED light
  • Five tri-frequency transducers, supporting 675 kHz, 475kHz, and 381 kHz frequencies
  • FishHunter app

Drawbacks

  • Feedbacks can fail
  • Will not work with newer apple devices
GTIN or UPC 9420024169124
Transducer 675 kHz, 475kHz, and 381 kHz
Depth Range Up to 160-feet
WiFi Range Up to 200-feet
Max Trolling Speed 2-mph
Illumination LED Light
Battery Life Up to 10 hours
Operational Temp -22°F to 95°F
Weight 0.39-pounds
Compatibility Apple and Android tablets and smart phones
Dimensions 1.87-inches x 3.23-inches x 3.23-inches

Best Overall

Lucky Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable Fishing Sonar For All Fishing Types

Lucky Fish Finder Wired & Wireless Portable Fishing Sonar For All Fishing Types
Buy At Amazon

Average Ratings: 8.3

  • Portability: 9.4
  • Easy to install: 9.2
  • Battery life: 8.6
  • Accuracy: 8.6
  • Easy to use: 8.2
  • Value for money: 6.0

Our tips

  • This Lucky FF718LiC Fish Finder is a castable fish finder device that can provide ten-hours of continuous use with only one single charge. You can consider purchasing this device for saltwater and freshwater fishing. After analyzing, we think that this is one of the best portable fish finders.
  • In many different situations, you can use the fish finder to scan deep and cast far. This Lucky FF718LiC Fish Finder provides a good casting range, with castable sonar to yield the best range than other models.
  • It is easy to pick up the portable fish finder designed to be used by beginners. The portable fish finder is durable enough to withstand many uses, and it is reliable without any problems in the way. You can be sure about the versatility of this portable fish finder device. It is suitable for ice fishing, kayak fishing, shore fishing, and boat fishing.

Why we like it

  • Can provide information on fish, water depth, water temperature, and bottom contour
  • Has cable depth to up to 328 feet (about 100 meters)
  • Can reach wireless depth to up to 147 feet (about 45 meters)
  • 45 degrees beam angle in 200 Khz of cable sonar coverage
  • 90 degrees beam angle in 125 Khz of wireless sonar coverage
  • Has a 2.8 inch LCD with blue, red, and gray color tone

Drawbacks

  • Durability issue
  • It would not display anything about 15-inches from the bottom
GTIN or UPC 696575676353
Display 2.8 inch LCD with 3 color tone
Depth Capability Cable 328-feet (100-meter);
Wireless 147-feet (45-meter)
Sonar Coverage 45 degrees beam angle in 200Khz(Cable);
90 degrees beam angle in
Wireless
Operational Range
328-feet (100-meter)
Power 3.7 Volts rechargeable lithium battery
Wireless Sensor
Battery Requirement
One replaceable CR2032 battery

Best for Shore Fishing

Humminbird 410170-1 PIRANHAMAX 4 PT

Best Portable Fish Finder
Buy At Amazon

Average Ratings: 8.9

  • Easy to install: 9.6
  • Value for money: 8.8
  • Easy to use: 8.8
  • Accuracy: 8.6

Our tips

  • The Humminbird PiranhaMax 4 PT is a portable fish finder that comes with DualBeam sonar that can operate at 200 kHz or 455 kHz. Even with the DualBeam sonar, it can only run one beam at a time.
  • It does not have Down Imaging sonar, but the standard (2D) DualBeam. We think that it is the best fish finder for shore fishing, so you can use it as shore fish finders. The portable fish finder is equipped with the basic XPT 9 28 T transducer and 6 meters of cable. The transducer can reach up to 600 feet or about 183 meters using the 200 kHz mode.
  • When using the 455 kHz, the transducer can reach 320 feet 97.5 meters. The trolling speed is 10 MPH with a recommended boat speed between one to six MPH for getting the best Bottom reading and for a maximum of targets. Some functions include Whiteline, Bottom View, Selective Fish ID+, Structure ID, and several alarms.
  • The Fish ID function replaces the fish with small fish icons. The Structure ID is a function that shows the strong returns dark pixels) and weak returns (light pixels). The Whiteline function shows the best sonar returns in white with a distinctive outline. The Bottom View function highlights the sonar’s view onto the Bottom. We think that you can get expected results when there is a detection of a small, medium, or large fish with the Fish Alarm when the Fish ID is on.

Why we like it

  • It comes with 4.3″and 356-color screen with 480×272 resolution for better view
  • 320′ down imaging
  • 600 feet Dual Beam
  • 2,400W PTP power output
  • Dual-frequency
  • Convenient tilt-mount base
  • Portable configuration

Drawbacks

  • Not accurate when it reach more than 36′ in calm water
  •  Hard to set depth back to auto
GTIN or UPC 974567083977
Display 4.3″ LCD 256 Color
Display Picture Matrix 272H x 480V
Sonar Coverage 28° and 16° at -10dB
Sonar Frequencies
Supported
200/455kHz
Depth-Sonar 320 ft (20) 455 kHz, 600 ft (20) 200 kHz
Water Surface Temp Built-In Transducer
Gimbal Mount Dimensions 3.91-inches x 7.34-inches x 3.62-inches
Transducer Mounting
– Standard
Inside Hull or Transom
Depth Capability 600 ft (2D) 200 kHz; 320 ft (2D) 455 kHz

Best for Advanced and Professional Anglers

Deeper Pro+ Smart Sonar Gps Portable Wireless Wi-fi Depth Fish Finder

Deeper Pro+ Smart Sonar Gps Portable Wireless Wi-fi Depth Fish Finder
Buy At Amazon

Average Ratings: 7.7

  • Portability: 9.6
  • Easy to use: 8.4
  • Accuracy: 8.2
  • Light weight: 7.6
  • Value for money: 6.8
  • Stretch: 6.0

Our tips

  • The Deeper Pro+ Smart Sonar is a castable and wireless fish finder device that is versatile and has a range of built-in features. You can use the portable fish finder remotely with a built-in GPS to find fish efficiently. It is a portable fish finder with GPS.
  • The great thing about this fish finder is that you can make bathymetric maps from the shore. It is equipped with the dual-beam sonar frequency used by the device to casts down to 260 feet and cast up to 330 feet.
  • You can connect the device with your smartphone, and uses its own wifi signal. You can see the maps you create on your smartphone with direct communication between the device and your phone.

Why we like it

  • Dual-beam Frequency (Beam cone) 290 kHz (15°) or 90 kHz (55°)
  • The max depth of 260 feet (80 meters)
  • The min depth of 2 feet (0.5 meters)
  • Up to 15 scans per second of sonar scan rate
  • Operating temperature: -20°C to 40°C/-4°F to 104°F
  • L1 48 channel GPS receiver, and high [email protected]% accuracy of GPS positioning
  • Lithium polymer, 3.7 Volt rechargeable, 850mAh battery
  • Micro USB B type, 5 Vol DC, 450mA max
  • Connection range of up to 330 feet (100 meters)

Drawbacks

  • Battery may fail
  • Expensive
  • May not compatible with newer iOS
  • Sfatey strap issue
GTIN or UPC 765028540654
Good For Advanced and professional anglers
Connection Type Wi-Fi
Casting Range 330feet
Scanning Depth Range 330-feet
Weight 3.2oz
Scanning Cone/Angle Three angles (47°, 16°, 7°)
Target Separation 0.4-inches
Operating Temperature -4°F to 104°F

What does a portable fish finder use for?

1. Underwater fishing

Portable fish finders can display what is happening below the surface. It can help you see underwater. They are actually can not help you with underwater fishing.

2. Saltwater fishing

You will find your portable fish finder handy to give accurate sonar readings in saltwater. Almost all portable fish finders are adapted for saltwater fishing.

3. Sea fishing

Portable fish finders are portable scanners for sea fishing. It would be best to fish when the sea is calm. Because the waves may interfere with transducer readings. When you set up the scanner, turn on the side of the boat, the seats, and the floor.

4. Kayak fishing

Even though portable fish finders are popular during kayak fishing, not all models will work on a kayak. Find a fish finder that is rechargeable battery-powered or models that are 12-volt battery-powered.

You need to mount the portable fish finder on the kayak. Find a spot on the floor to set them up.

5. Ice fishing

For ice fishing, you need to start cutting a hole for the portable fish finder to find a good area. When the area is good, cut a new hole for your fishing line.

You can also place the fish finder on top of the ice sheet, but you need to ensure there are no cracks or bubbles in the ice. If the sonar readings confirm a good spot, cut a hole and go fishing.

6. Paddleboard fishing

Bring along only the SUP fishing gear basics since you do not have much storage space. When you are trying to find a good spot, you can only hold the fish finder and start scanning in the area. When you do no get the area, move to another area and start scanning until you find the best spot.

Bungee cords can be handy for securing your fishing rod and tackle. Bring along a paddle board anchor, in case you find a good fishing spot with your portable fish finder.

7. Rock fishing

Since you stand on rocks, you will not be able to use your fish finder. Your fish finder can not help you find the best fishing spot.


Fishfinder accessories

1. Fishfinder mount

Fish Finder Mount will help you have a successful fishing trip out on the water. A universal fishfinder mount will work with any brands such as Garmin, Lowrance, Simrad, and Humminbird fish finders and chart plotters. You can adjust it with just one hand.

Some models are constructed from marine-grade aluminum for durability. There is a hole pattern for easy installation.

The mount can be installed on the dash of a plastic boat. You can also replace it with an aluminum-plate cut to size. The sturdy fishfinder mount is the gimbal-mounted fish finder.

2. Sun covers and protection

You need to protect your fishfinder’s lens from damage, bumps, and scratches with a protective cover. Some models are made of neoprene material stretches to provide the protection and a cool look. You can roll or fold the cover to store it in small spaces.


Fishing boat equipments

Instead of a fish finder, there are parts of the boat to make a fishing boat ideal and suitable for catching fish. This is the list:

  • fishing rod storage lockers
  • baitwells or live wells to keep the bait or the catch kicking and alive
  • fish boxes or coolers to keep food, drinks, or fish chilled
  • integrated tackle boxes
  • swiveling fishing seats
  • fishfinders
  • electric trolling motors
  • chart plotters, radar, and long-distance navigational gear
  • toe-rails
  • coaming bolsters
  • raw-water washdowns
  • rocket launchers and trolling rod holders
  • outriggers
  • elevated upper stations
  • stand-up rigging stations

5 Best Portable Fish Finder 2021 (Reviews)
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