10 of the Best Portable Fish Finder 2019 – Top Models Reviewed
Whether you like fishing with a jig, below the ice, or from a boat, a portable fish finder can be a great addition. You can throw it in your tackle box and cast off a kayak, bass boat or dock without having to sacrifice much functionality for portability. However, with so many portable fish finder models and brands, it can be difficult to find the best for your needs. To help you, we have prepared a list of top 10 portable fish finder reviews with a range of features.
Best Portable Fish Finder Models On The Market in 2018 – Comparison Chart
Top 10 Portable Fish Finder Units in 2018
1. Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
Garmin Striker 4 is considered as one of the most portable fish finder options you will find anywhere. It is a very well made device that is both easy to use and install. If you like fishing from a canoe or a kayak, this fish finder offers great fishing experience. It is also one of the best fish finders on the market for ice fishing.
The most important feature of this device is its Chirp sonar technology with a frequency of 77/200 kHz. As such, the device is able to provide higher level of clarity, visibility and detail for fish. The CHIRP sends range of frequencies continuously from low to high and later interprets them.
Want to take your Garmin Striker 4 with you everywhere you go with your boat or kayak? With its portable carrying case, it is possible. Apart from helping you to carry the device, the case protects it from being damaged. Featuring a 3.5 inch color display, you can easily monitor your boats speed on the screen. This ensures you troll at the right speed especially in wake controlled areas. The keypad has an intuitive interface with easy to use and dedicated buttons. In addition, it is also available in 5 inch and 7 inch display sizes to choose from. Equally important is its GPS with high sensitivity feature. This feature enables you to mark waypoints on a map so you can easily locate where you are. It also helps you find great fishing spots where you can drop anchor. The GPS also comes handy when you want to view and navigate to areas like docks, brush piles and stumps. Besides its rechargeable battery, this portable fish finder has a built in flasher format option. You can therefore use it vertical jigging or even ice fishing.
- check Has an impressive depth capability
- check Measures water temperature
- check Includes a suction cup transducer mount and float so you can mount it anywhere
- check Color LCD screen that offers a lot of information
- check Allows you to mark your favorite fishing spots
- check Does not provide better clarity for bottom contours especially at higher speeds
- The power of simple - offers a keyed interface with dedicated buttons. The device is easy to use and easy to install. Available in 3.5-, 5- and 7-inch...
- Waypoint map - use the waypoint map to easily view, mark and navigate to locations such as brush piles, stumps and docks.
- Chirp sonar - chirp sends a continuous sweep of frequencies which provides a wider range of information. Chirp sonar is able to create crisper fish...
2. Venterior Portable Fish Finder
Looking for a simple, well-built fish finder that is budget-friendly at the same time? You should definitely have a look at this portable fish finder from Venterior. Forget about the “cheap is expensive” mantra because this device has a plethora of great features. At glance, this fish finder does not seem any fancier compared to other models. But on trial, you’ll realize it’s quite a nifty little gadget which makes it among the best portable fish finders.
It features a round transducer with a 25 ft cable and removable transducer float. You can thus mount it inside the water or to your boat hull. In addition, you can mount it on a pole then push under water. But for ice fishing, simply create a hole on the surface of the ice and place it underneath the water.
With a LCD display, you can monitor every activity in the waters. It displays water depth, rocks on seabed, the approximate fish location as well as weeds. The display features a green LED backlight, which allows you to use the device at night. The only downside though with the display is that it is not waterproof. So you should not attempt to submerge or spray it with water.Another thing that sets this model apart from the competition is its features settings. Venterior Portable Fish Finder is equipped with five different sensitivity settings. This feature comes handy if you want to know the size of the fish. Like other similar fish finders, this one comes with an audible fish alarm and a unit of measure. It boasts wired sonar sensor transducer that works in depths of up to 100 meters. With the sonar sensor, this fish finder is able to provide you accurate water depths.
- check Covered by a one year warranty
- check Backed by great customer support
- check Has a waterproof transmitter
- check Includes a neck strap so you don’t lose it
- check Provides accurate water depths
- check Cannot be used detect fish smaller than 20 cm
- check Screen display is not waterproof
- Shows you what is in the water: Detects and displays water depth, approximate fish location (suits for all sorts of fish), short & tall weeds, sand &...
- Easy to Use: Toss the transducer into water and turn on the display unit, it will show you the water depth and approximate fish depth if fish schools...
- Very portable that you can take it anywhere: It comes with neck strap that allow you to wear it around neck when you are busy on the kayak. It also...
You may also like to check out another article of ours, that we’ve already reviewed the Best fish finder under $100, Best Fish Finder Under $200, Fish Finder Under $400, Best knife for fishing and Best Side Imaging Fish Finder.
3. Deeper Smart Sonar Fish Finder 3.0
This fish finder was built with the tech savvy fishermen in mind. It is one of the most well rounded portable fish finders available on the market today. Compatible with Android devices and iOS devices as well as tablets, it features Bluetooth wireless technology. You can therefore use the device even if you don’t have mobile data or Wi-Fi connection at your fishing spot.
The device comes with an App that is compatible with most Android and iOS devices. You can use the app whether you are in online or offline modes. The Deeper App contains features like weather forecast, fishing notes, social media sharing and solunar forecast calendar. It also comprises of a camera, offline maps, day/night screen color mode and other useful features.
Featuring dual frequency sonar, finding fish has never been easier with this portable fish finder. The dual frequency includes a narrow beam of 290 kHz and wide beam of 90 kHz. Narrow beam allows for improve accuracy while wide beam is for extended search area. The sensors provide real time photos of what is happening under the water. You can also track water temperatures to know the best biting conditions. Whether it is ice fishing, kayak fishing, shore fishing or boat fishing, this device has it all. Deeper Smart Fishfinder can function from 1.5 feet to 130 feet depths below the surface water. It does not matter if it is fresh or salt waters. The device also includes a neoprene carrying pouch, rechargeable battery with up-to 6 hours battery life and quick guide.
- check Has a small and ultra light design for easy maneuverability
- check Provides accurate and detailed fish finding data
- check Can float on the water surface
- check Zoom and vertical flasher feature for much better real-time lure
- check Bluetooth connection is not strong
- Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
4. Vexilar SP200 T-Box Smartphone Fish Finder
Designed for both professional fishermen and beginners alike, Vexilar SP200 is very easy to operate. In fact, it is one of best portable fish finder kind to your wallet. It may not have some of the technology more expensive models boast but has many great features. First, it features sonar technology that uses sound waves to help you navigate oceans, lakes or rivers and find fish. It also allows you to see bottom contours. Apart from helping you locate fish, it lets you know water depth as well as water temperature.
It is equipped with 2.4 inch TFT LCD display with a detachable neck strap. The screen boasts a white LED front light for easy readability during those early morning fishing trips. It is also readable in bright sunlight and shows 512 colors. The display features a multi-language menu for ease of use.Another notable thing about this fish finder is the sensitivity settings. It comes with up to 100 level sensitivity settings as well as multi levels depth range to choose from. The settings can be adjusted to suit different water conditions and show you different sizes of fish. Vexilar SP200 Portable Fish Finder also includes an audible fish and depth alarm. The alarm functions up to the depths of 99 feet. Powered by four triple “A” batteries, you can use the finder for up to 3 hours on a single charge. The fish finder is built to be waterproof for IPX4 standards. Therefore, if it drops in the water accidentally, you don’t have to worry. Aside from fish finder, you also get a transducer, a manual and screw in the package.
- check Offers decent battery life
- check Clearly displays fish location and water depth
- check It is adjustable to user needs
- check Boasts easy operation
- check Some have complained of image quality
- Carries a two year warranty
- One year battery warranty
- Pre-drilled holes for optional accessories
5. Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+, 2.55 Inches
If you’re looking for a lightweight and ultra-compact portable fish finder, Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ is a great choice. Though premium priced, it has rich features for just about any style of fishing. Unlike other models that uses Bluetooth connectivity, it uses Wi-Fi connection which is more dependable. This makes it compatible with most Android and iOS devices.
It features advanced high frequency technology for more accurate information. As such, it can capture faster moving objects as well as the smallest objects. Thanks to its 0.5 inch target separation feature, you can monitor every action in real time. Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ includes a built in GPS that allows you to create maps as you make casts.
You are therefore able to avoid missing any targets. The GPS uses bathymetric technology which allows users to map every bottom contour. It also boasts onshore GPS function for viewing bottom contour maps while off or onshore. Another notable feature is the dual beams. It has a narrow beam with 15 degrees cone to help you pinpoint targets. It also includes a wide beam with 55 degrees cone for scanning large areas. So no more guess work when finding fish. With its advanced sonar technology, this device is able to scan and mark the entire water column. Consequently, it provides data on water depth, water temperature, underwater vegetation, fish location and bottom contour. It then stream the information to your phone or tablet. If you want to plan your next fishing trip early, there is solunar calendar, maps and weather forecast functions. You can also review every data you capture in the device’s History mode.
- check Includes fully adjustable sensitivity levels
- check Works in depths range of up to 260 feet and 330 ft connection range
- check Does not need any cellular data or internet to operate
- check Comes with a neoprene carrying case
- check Wi-Fi signal is easily distorted by waves
- HIGH SPECS AND ROCK SOLID CONNECTIVITY: Casts out up to 330ft and scans down to 260ft. Precise 0.5in target separation. Compatible with iOS and...
- BUILT-IN GPS: Create bathymetric maps from the bank, boat, canoe, kayak. Access all your scans, maps, points of interests, photos and notes on the...
- REAL-TIME DATA: Two beam frequencies with 15 scans per second. View depth, see bottom structure and consistency, vegetation and fish.
6. FishHunter PRO Portable Fish Finder
The FishHunter PRO markets itself as “the world’s fastest wireless portable fish finder.” But how true is this? We find out shortly. First, it provides a reliable Wi-Fi casting range of more than 150 feet. This is basically four times faster compared to Bluetooth connectivity. It also includes tri-frequency wireless connection for super fast and high-resolution data.
Like some of the models discussed in this review, this fish finder is castable. It floats on the water in the ice hole with weather conditions as cold as -30 degrees Celsius. Featuring a flasher view that uses two powerful and ultra-high sonar frequencies, ice fishing could not be any better.Additionally, FishHunter PRO can be trolled up-to 2.5 MPH and casted behind your boat. This makes it easy to take it with you during every fishing trip. With its three sonar frequencies 381 kHz , 474 kHz and 675 kHz, you can locate fish up-to a depth of 150 feet.Another feature worth noting is the raw view function. This feature provides you with everything you need to locate and catch more fish. It also boasts split screen view as well as full screen view. The split screen view shows you flasher and raw data while full screen is for raw data only.
- check Provides accurate depths and temperature
- check Rechargeable Li-ion polymer battery that lasts up-to 10 hours
- check Boasts three easy to use and functional views
- check Easy to set-up and floats on water
- check FishHunter’s customer service is not the best
7. Humminbird PiranhaMax (409680-1) Portable Fish Finder
Humminbird has great reputation of producing reliable and high quality fish finders. This portable fish finder is one of their best innovation and does not disappoint on quality. It packs a lot of unique and great features while still being easily portable. To begin with, it has an easy to use interface. So you don’t need to be a tech geek to operate it.
It features a color LCD display with ability to zoom in one areas of great interest. The display size is quite small but offers detailed and clear view of bottom composition. With the Fish ID+ feature, you can easily view the size of fish detected. You also get to see the different depths to find them.
The Humminbird PiranhaMax uses dual frequency sonar. Consequently, it is able to capture a lot of information compared to basic fish finders. And with its Down Imaging function, you can clearly see what is below your boat or kayak. Last but not least, this portable fish finder is powered via a single rechargeable 12V battery. A charger is also included. Like most portable fish finder, this device comes standard with a suction cup transducer. It also includes depth alarms and fish alarms for the best fishing excursion.
- check Includes separate transducer that can either be casted or mounted
- check Equipped with a great technological chomp
- check Offers great and clear images
- check Quality craftsmanship
- check Screen is very small
- Portable configuration
- 3.5" Display
- 240H X 320V Resolution
8. BooTaa Portable Fish Finder
Most portable fish finders tend to be limited in functions. But not for the case of BooTaa Portable Fish Finder. This fish finder can be used on different fishing environments. You can use it off the dock or on canoes and boats to fish on the sea, lake or river. It is also a great finder for ice fishing.
It features a bright LCD color display that unfortunately is not waterproof. The display size is decent enough with a backlighting to allow great readability at night. Its key pad features nice and easy to use buttons.
This makes this fish finder both professional and beginner friendly. Featuring wired sonar sensor transducer, it sure provides a lot of detailed and accurate information. It easily detects and then displays the data on the screen. It usually captures approximate fish location, water depth, rocks on seabed, temperature and weeds. The transducer comes with a 32ft cable and a removable float. And that’s not all. The device boasts a 45 degree bean detection angle. Depth ranges from 1 meter to 100 meter. This is more than enough for an affordable and portable fish finder. It also comes with a neck strap to ensure you don’t lose this small device while you are out and about. For easy mounting on the boat or canoes, the manufacturer has been kind enough to include a mounting hardware. A fish alarm as well as battery save mode also comes standard with this device. It runs on four AAA batteries that provide a long battery life on a single charge. It also has waterproof transmitter to complement the its quality performance. The finder is built to automatically shut itself off in case the depth display is blank for five minutes continuously.
- check Light and compact fish finder
- check Indicates accurate fish location
- check Easy to operate even for beginners
- check Offers wireless connection
- check Should not be used in conditions at less than zero degrees Fahrenheit
9. FishHunter Directional 3D Wireless, Portable Fish Finder
FishHunter Directional 3D is another great fish finder in this best portable fish finder. With five powerful transducers working at tri-frequencies, this device has a lot to brag about. The transducer’s 381 kHz, 475 kHz and 675kHz frequencies provide ultra-high resolution. It boasts five times better coverage area than any other portable fish on the market.
It is equipped with wireless connectivity which is four time faster and reliable than Bluetooth. With the Wi-Fi connectivity, you can use the device up to 150 feet. You don’t need a cell-phone tower reception.
Another thing that sets this device from the competition is its Directional Casting feature. The feature directs you where to cast in order to catch more fish. You can cast it from your canoe, kayak, boat, use it from the shore or even troll it up to 2 MPH. Available in five unique sonar view options, it is no doubt you really get what you pay for. The view options include 3D structure mapping, bathymetric mapping for contours, ice fishing flasher view, 3D fishing and directional casting. With the 3D Bottom Contouring Technology, you can easily create customized 3D maps of all your favorite fishing spots. Just toss the device into the water and drift, reel or troll it. The feature also allows you to see underwater contours up-to 160 feet below water surface. Ice fishing is however limited to up-to 100 feet.This fish finder is compatible with most Android and iOS devices. There is also an App that allows you to share information with your friends and family. The App is updated regularly for better user experience. Nothing is left to chance.
- check Color display screen for clear images
- check Durable and waterproof
- check Packs a lot of useful features
- check Small enough to fit in your pocket
- check Powered by long lasting Li-ion batteries
- check Wireless signal is not stable
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10. HawkEye FT1PX FishTrax Portable Fish Finder
Simple and relatively affordable, this is a great fish finder if you are not ready to spend a lot. It is light, small in size and handheld. This makes it more of a beginner finder but professionals can also benefit from it. It features a Dot Matrix LCD display that is customizable. You can customize it show to FishTarget program, or natural sonar data. There is also a backlight for better readability at night.
The device uses icons to show where the fish are located. However, it does not show you the different fish sizes like it is with other fish finder models. Equipped with dual beam sonar including 200 kHz and 83 kHz frequencies. You just need to tweak the device to adjust it to whatever fishing technique you would like.
In addition, it has a completely waterproof housing and a fish alarm. It additionally combines auto switching with different level depth ranges and a 10 level sensitivity. The level sensitivity allows you to adjust to either a lower or higher sensitivity so you can catch more fish. Included with the device is also an auto zoom base tracking system for better prey targeting.With a built-in expandability feature, you can add more accessories to this finder so it can adapt to different platforms. Be it a dock, kayak, float tube, boat, and canoe, this device works great. Like most portable fish finders, this too is powered by four AAA batteries.
- check Backed by two year warranty
- check Perfect for ice fishing
- check Flasher mode allows jig fishing
- check Easy to fine tune sonar readings in both shallow and deep waters
- check Boasts great water depth detection capabilities
- check Although it is mountable, it does come with mounting hardware
- check Buying Guide- Which is the Best Portable Fish Finder for You?
- FishTrax intelligent sonar uses SONAR sound waves to detect depth, locate fish, and define bottom contour, composition, and structure
- Glare-free VirtuView dot matrix display on the LCD screen with LED backlight provides excellent readability
- Sonar sensor is trollable, boat mountable, and floatable to achieve unmatched, go anywhere, portability
Different Types Of Bait For Fish
Once you’ve found the fish, the biggest thing is to reel them in. However, you can’t do that without the proper tools. Here are a few of the most common types of bait to use:
Jigs are a great way to attract different types of fish. They have anchored heads and consist of feathers, hair, plastic grubs, and other things that are alluring to fish. Furthermore, jigs are inexpensive, which is perfect for people who fish often. The only downside is that you have to keep moving the jig around in order to catch the fish. Otherwise, it sinks if you allow it to sit too long.
If you’re a rookie at fishing, spinners are a good option to start with because they are simple to use. They generally have a hook design that attracts fish, and it comes as either a covered or uncovered hook. To make the blades spin, you have to pull it through the water. The vibrations and sounds that it makes catch the fish’s attention—which is great for fishing in muddy water.
Plugs are appealing because they look similar to baitfish, frogs, and other water creatures. It consists of plastic and hollow wood and comes with a couple of hooks. This kind of bait will either float or dive in the water. Plus, they will either shake, wiggle, or gurgle to be more life-like.
Worms are classic fishing bait Luckily, they’re effective on different types of fish—both large and small. Not to mention, you can get them from most outdoor and fishing shops, and they’re inexpensive. You can use the whole worm or half of it when you’re fishing, depending on the size of the fish you’re catching. Unfortunately, worms tend to fall off the hook, so you’ll need a large container of them to last you during your session.
Crickets aren’t the best bait for every kind of fish, but they’re perfect for bass, crappie, and panfish.
One of the other popular baits is minnows. Fish of all types love them, and they’re a great live bait option. Plus, minnows come in various sizes, and you can purchase them from the store or use a trap to capture them yourself.
What Bait To Use
If you plan to catch a certain type of fish, it’s a good idea to learn which bait is best to use. Some bait works better on some fish than others. Therefore, knowing what pulls in the most fish will help you get a big catch. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the species of fish in your area, try a standard bait like jigs or worms.
Final Thoughts On Different Types Of Bait For Fish
Your portable finder will help you find where all the fish are, and all the baits on the list are effective. If you’re looking to score a big catch, you need the best bait available. It’s not enough just to find the area where the fish are, you have to pull them in as well.
Buying Guide- Which is Best for you?
Type of Sonar
The best sonar should help you find every possible single fish in the water. A fish finder without a quality sonar is therefore useless. To find the best sonar, you should check out for frequencies available. Most portable fish finders tend to have dual sonar frequencies. But some more advanced have tri-frequencies. Just bear in mind that the higher the frequency, the more details will show up on your screen.
Ease of Detachment
It is important that you are able to easily and quickly detach the device. You should be able to mount on the boat without having to make so many changes. Some portable fish finders come with suction cup transducer mount for easy mounting. Others include mounting hardware in the hardware hence can be used with different platforms like canoes, kayaks or boats or sup.
Wireless or Wired Connectivity
Traditional portable fish finders required to be wired into an existing electrical system. They also draw power from the boat to be able to operate. While wired portable finders can be less expensive, wireless models are more convenient and portable. If you love fishing on the shore or using a kayak, a wireless fish finder is the perfect choice. You will not need to plug it to anything.
Additionally, wireless fish finders come either in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. But Wi-Fi connectivity is faster than Bluetooth.
A portable fish finder should not weigh too much. It should be light weight and compact enough for easy maneuverability. Light weight models tend to weigh around a pound or less. This makes them perfect if you like fishing in remote places or even off a kayak. But if you are going to be installing it on a boat, you can always compromise on weight.
A wider degree of cone angle means you get better and bigger view of what is underneath the water surface. Most portable fish finders with dual frequency transducers usually have better cone angles. They mostly come with 20 and 60 degree cone angles. If you like fishing in a variety of depths, a fish finder with a cone of 20-degrees is perfect.
Portable fish finders really do offer great convenience and ease of use that you cannot get from traditional finders. So if you’ve never tried a portable fish finder before, it may be time to include one in your tool-box. And if you are a pro angler, you will definitely find a great fish finder for your needs in this list. The important thing is to choose the best portable fish finder that matches all your fishing ambitions.