August 23

Best Fish Finder For Small Boat

The Ultimate Guide To Buying Fishing Gear For Cheap!

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If you have read through the previous blog posts that highlight the Top 10 Best Fish Finders Under $1000, you will know what the best choice is already.

Just because you are on a small boat doesn’t mean that everything has to be small unless you want it to be. Personally, I am getting holder and I need to be able to see what I am doing.

boat electronics

I need bigger buttons as well so I won’t hate the fish finder I got instead of actually catching fish.

For these reasons, I have named the following Humminbird fishfinder to be the best for small boats. Humminbird is well known in the fishing industry.  

have late to have been making great strides toward giving all fishermen what they need on the water. When I was young hummingbird was the fish finder to have and today that is still true.

Humminbird HELIX 8 CHIRP MEGA DI GPS G3N

As I mentioned in the blog post the top 10 best fish finders under $1,000 that this is the best you can have. One of the reasons for this is the fact that it has a huge HD screen.

If you enjoy your HDTV you will enjoy this. You will also enjoy the fact that you won't have to empty out your bank account to have a decent fish finder. what I mean is that it actually does what it says it does. It helps you catch fish.

Humminbird HELIX 8 CHIRP Mega DI GPS G3N

You will find that it has the chirp sonar, GPS, and the AutoChart Live. all of these things are something that I believe you should have on the top of the line fish finder.

What I really love is the AutoChart live. This enables you to make charts while you're actually fishing. This means you can finally record where you are and catch a ton of fish and the fish finder will remember.

if you remember Linder's outdoor Show he was a big component of Lakemaster maps. it is one of the biggest database in maps you can find and if you can't make your own then by the best. 

LakeMaster Maps

Go try out a LakeMaster Maps!

Below you will find all of the major features within this fish finder. Each one has a special thing about it that makes it important for you as a freshman.

However, how important it is to you is up to you and your situation. You may find that you don't need all of this fish finder and get something a little cheaper.

However, I want you to think not about now but about the future. How many times do you want to buy a fish finder? I for one like to buy for the long-term which is buying hold.

  • Autochart Live - Create real-time maps with 8 hours of recording

  • Mega Down Imaging (MDI) - 3x stronger than standard down imaging and can see 125ft down

  • Global Positioning System (GPS)

  • Lakemaster Maps

  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP

Best Fish Finder For Bass Boat

For those who like to primarily go bass fishing, you need the best of the best. Going after a popular sport fish like a largemouth or smallmouth bass can be a big endeavor.

you have to know everything about how fast I think and live their life. You also need to know all about the environment and how will they interact with it.

You also need to know about the types of forage that they consume and what that means for your style fishing.

There's another thing you need to think about when you're getting a fish finder for your Bass Boat. you have to make sure you the coolest guy on your body of water with the best fishing electronics.

Why do you say this? the reason is a lot of people want to be a professional bass fisherman. It's their way of living that dream life. Being a professional is extremely hard and time-consuming.

you may not be able to be a professional, but at least you can fish like one.

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What's this information out of the way we can now focus on what fish finder will help you be like the fisherman you have been idolizing.

For me, I always wanted to be like Bill Dance. I watch him every Saturday. I even had the song memorized to the point of singing it “The Sun just came rising over the treetops, it’s going to be a beautiful day that’s plain to see!”.

Honestly, it feels like it was just yesterday that was a young kid watching Bill Dance so I could use his tactics at my local lake.  Unfortunately, only one time happened where I caught as big of a bass is he did.

Lowrance HDS-16 LIVE

In my previous blog post, I stated that the Lowrance HDS - 16 live was the best fish finder of 2020. Like I just mentioned you need the best of the best.  

we can always use your own skills and ingenuity but that will take time and a lot of information from the locals. The best way to figure out where the fish are is to use your skills about the environment, the fish, the forge, and then use your fish finder to verify all of them at once.

What are the things I like about this screen is that it's huge. You won't find a lot of empty space for buttons around it because it's highly optimized to like your TV.

You'll also be able to do multiple things from the screen and not make it look tiny and unuseful. One of the huge things in the past was the fact that fish finders were hard to see and hard to figure out how to use.  

if you've been waiting for a more compact Fishfinder forget about it. nobody wants something that they can't see. Also most people who buy very expensive fishing electronics are either professionals or they're much older and can't see it very well.

Lowrance HDS-16 LIVE

Go try out a Lowrance HDS-16 LIVE!

you look at all your usual features like the chirp sonar and C-Map. however, you will get a few more features that you may not have thought about. This unit is virtually waterproof.

You would think that every fish finders waterproof but that's not actually true. you also have programmable keys so you can do what you need to do and you're a certain situation like a tournament.

It has active Imaging that's three and one which is all those screens I showed you about. it has a quad-core processor like your home computer to make all of this fun stuff happen at the same time.

  • Active Imaging 3-in-1

  • Smartphone Notifications

  • C-Map

  • Dual Channel CHIRP

  • Quad-Core Processor

  • Water-Resistant

  • LiveSight

Garmin EchoMap UHD 93sv

This unit actually reminds me of a Raymarine fish finder. I have a lot of respect for Garmin because I have used it with my workout gear.

The GPS built into my watch is fantastic and has served me over the decades. If you can handle the salt provide about 8 then they can handle the salt water that you're going to be dealing with saltwater out on the open seas.

Garmin EchoMap UHD 93sv

Nobody will say that Garmin isn't reliable.  I just wish it was a 400 by 800 pixel screen. This day in age everything should be done in HD or more. Right now 8K TV is out and I'm still using a regular HD TV.

I feel like one of those people who just won't give up their plasmas but hey if it works it works. because of this it's also a great fish finder for small places for small vessels.

  • Dual-Channel CHIRP

  • Chartplotter

  • LakeVu Mapping

  • NMEA 2000 Autopilot

Humminbird HELIX 12 With CHIRP

One of the best fish finders that you can get for under $2,000 is the Humminbird HELIX 12. Right after the Lowrance HDS-16,  this is the best of the best for fishermen.

One of the main features is a side view where you can see 200 ft the port and aft of the boat. this is huge especially on a smaller river or tributary where you can't spend all your time going back and forth to get a good mapping of the area.

Humminbird HELIX 12 With CHIRP

you will also see that they have a narrow and wide mode. the narrow mode sees a smaller area but with great detail. The wide load will see a wide area but if not the greatest detail.

Depending on your needs to can use either one. First, you can go wide to scan the biggest area you can to see where there might be something.

then when you know there is something in a certain area you can hold it on it with an arrow mode and actually see the fish sitting where you thought they were. After that, you can cast your line in and catch them.

  • Dual-Channel CHIRP

  • Lake Maps

  • AutoChart Live

  • Narrow/Wide Mode

Best Fish Finder For Kayak

Kayak fishing is all the rage across the United States. People other countries are starting to do it now because it's so accessible.

tags don't cost too much and people can go out alone and not have to carry a big boat somewhere or have it at the local Yacht Club. I thought very long and hard about getting a kayak but I came upon a problem.

I fish with my children sometimes and they can't go kayaking with me. They also can't maneuver their own kayak currently either.

If you are in the situation didn't you know the problems that I have. I had to go for a bigger boat that was inflatable. it can be a pain in the butt but it gets me out in the water.

If you don't have that problem, then yes, getting a kayak and make sure you get the best fish finder you can find because you're going to be able to get right on top of the fish.

Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2

But this particular fish finder you see that smaller doesn't always have to be worse. You still have a big enough screen to work with but you can do three in one.

However, you can do a pretty decent split screen. You can have your math up anything also I read that finder working at the same time.

This way you can stay on the channel that also looks to the side to see where their structure and where those fish.

Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2

You won't find anything different from the ones above but you will find it in a smaller package. The screen won't be HD. The screen will be smaller.

however, if you'll still have chirp sonar an GPS. You will still be able to use a lot of the functionality of the bigger fish finders for a smaller price in a smaller package.

This will enable you to put it easily on your kayak. I will say that this particular type doesn't have a suction cup device on it or something else to make it work seamlessly.

Do you will have to create a contraption to make that happen but it is worth it.

Lowrance HOOK2 7 SplitShot

One of the things I always wanted when I was younger was a fish finder. I thought that all the rich people use fish finders because it found in the fish.

I was foolish and the people who bought it for probably foolish as well. However, the advertisements for so good you just had to buy.

Those advertisements are still saying the same thing but now they're actually delivering on that promise. A lot has changed in 30 years.

there are two things that are really cool within the Lowrance HOOK2 7 SplitShot. This feature is called FishReveal. it is a piece of technology that uses the chirp sonar along with an Imaging system to pinpoint fish on the screen and show them to you.

No longer do you have to think is this little curve miraculous green a stick or a fish. The days of guessing are over and with this price point, it's worth it because we don't have time to guess.

Lowrance HOOK2 7 SplitShot

The second great thing about it is the split shot screen. Beforehand fish finders splitting the screen was using a method that was not really useful to fishermen.

this is one of the few fish finders that actually integrates the split screen to be a useful feature. I do enjoy the fact that you have a 7in screen to work with.

This is key when you're on a kayak and everything is moving around and you can barely touch the screen about shaking. Yes, I said it, you need a bigger screen on a kayak if not everywhere.

Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro

This is one of the first fish finders that I am recommending that has an easy adaptation for going on a kayak. It's meant to be platformed on something with screws or even a suction cup if you can adapt it to that.

What I don't like about it is that it has a small screen. however, it only has a few buttons to use so it's easy. Sometimes easy just doesn't help.

What is actually cool is the Imaging system is just like the big boys. It's just compressed and hard to see which is the main complaint from years ago.

However, you are on a kayak and you don't care that much and that's okay. has your built-in chartplotter which is very important when you're floating down a river and that exactly sure where you are.

You can see structure underwater like a fallen tree or something else weird that I shouldn't be at the bottom of the water. Most importantly he could see that there's fish on the structure and you can try to catch them. 

Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro

The reason that the small fish finder can see so well underwater and display that on a small screen is the fact that it uses multiple frequencies through its transducer.  

This allows you to take the all the levels of density is hardness in the water so that you can see what's down there better.

This takes more power and a little more processing time for the computer but it's all done for you right here in a small little unit. all you have to do is melted on and get fishing.

Best Portable Fish Finder For Small Boat

You might wonder if a small boat is the same as a kayak and you'll be wrong. play kayak is a different shaped vessel and it moves differently.

You're also trapped in one spot and on the water I can't do anything about that. You don't have bench seats and you can't mount a trolling motor or any other kind of motor easily upon it.

I would like a small boat too many different things from a Jon Boat to an inflatable boat or a tricked out jet ski.

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now that we have explained a small boat can be many things let's get down to what the best fish finders are for them. You will see a lot of the same names here and in the subsequent section.

For this reason, I will cut down the number of words that I will write because you would have already read them. We talked enough about new fish finders that haven't been mentioned already.

always, if you want to learn more you can go to the manufacturer's website, and there you will have up-to-date information about what does offend these great fish finders and how you can purchase them.

Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2

Yet again, this fish finder pops up as a favorite. it's a rather large Fish Finder for being compact and you can mount it in several places.

Just because he can work on a fish finder or even a bass boat doesn't mean it can't work on a small boat where you go fishing on.

Now if you saw me on my 16-foot inflatable boat with a Lowrance HDS-16 live you may think I'm stupid. Nobody needs that size screen on an inflatable boat that isn't a RIB

Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP DI GPS G2

for this reason, I think that you can use a 5 to 7-inch display that's hopefully HD with the chirp sonar and the GPS and the great Imaging system to get what you need to be done on a small boat.

Make sure you don't spend too much either because you need to save money to buy fishing lures and other electronics that you might need in the future.

Lowrance HOOK2 7 SplitShot

I was kind of torn when I had to make the decision between this and the Humminbird. I'll even go as far as to say that that they are even.

They will both work very well on your boat and the extra 2 inches might serve you well if you are not able to see very well. you can read more about this above where I first mentioned it.

Lowrance HOOK2 7 SplitShot

Garmin Striker 4

This fish finder is small and cheap. that is its name positive. But I was young and had a small boat I had a small budget. I haven't talked about budget to the point that I know it's important when you move to people who have smaller boats.

They either don't have time to deal with a big boat or they don't have the money to get one. for a mere $120 you can get a load of features and an extremely small package.

Garmin Striker 4

Go try out a Garmin Striker 4!

If you can't see that package that is something you're going to have to do with yourself. The ones above will help you with that but this will not be your choice.

It's only 3.5 inches in diameter. however as chirp sonar and a dual-band system. The mapping system isn't great looking but at least the sonar looks good if you're looking for how to find structure and may be suspended fish.

You're also able to mark your areas and return to them easily which is an old feature.

The real plus here is the fact that you can see the fish clearly on the screen unlike many other cheap models. You get a high-quality soda and I'm very small package for a very small price.

This will be for people who only want to see the fish and nothing else. Absolutely no fancy features on the side.

Best Depth Finder For Small Boat

The three fish finders below have been well documented but the best is the Humminbird Helix 5. if you read above you'll find out why but just to remind you this is only about depth finding.  

You want an accurate depiction of not only the ground but what type of ground it is. Is it soft? Is it hard? Is there structure? Are there rocks? Are there weed? 

These are the questions that are very important when you're fishing along the bottom and you're looking for a certain type of fish in an area.

All of these fish finders have the ability to help you do this but Humminbird is the best. Seeing the area from different angles will help you did a full grasp of are your fishing.

This will help you with a variety of things. You able to see points easier and pathways that Bass will take from the shallows to the deep.

You'll be able to clearly see clips or steep drops where fish may hang out waiting for bass fish to come over the top. This is no different from the canyons that tuna will do what's the baitfish being bunker or menhaden.

Best Fish Finder For Small Aluminum Boat

What is the difference between a small boat in a small aluminum boat. One of the best features of aluminum boat that doesn't rust when it's sitting outside.

Fiberglass boats need to be protected inside of a shed because they're coating will fall off.  What does this have to do with a fishfinder though?  The real reason is where your store in it.

If you plan to use the full effects of aluminum boat and keep outside you will need a fishfinder that is near waterproof or at least water-resistant.

Many people like to cover up the console and keep the wheel area from collecting all kinds of junk in there that might get into the steering wheel ball bearings and make for a very expensive repair. 

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To be honest you can use the same fish banners that I said you could use on a bass boat. The problem is you're keeping us outside where someone can steal it.

I don't know if you're like me but I work hard for my money and when someone steals my stuff, especially my fishing stuff I got a little upset.

do you spell all of your hard-earned money on the best possible this Friday you can use and someone steals it because they want to have the best so that's not right.

this reason I've decided to show a slightly cheaper model of the best that you can buy and leave outside without too much fear of someone stealing it.

There's always some pesky kids around but you can file an insurance claim and get your stuff right back. more expensive it is the more insurance companies going to ask questions about how you protect your stuff.

Best Fish Finder For Small Jon Boat

Fishing on my friends Jon Boat was one of the first times play I remember being on a boat. I used to go fishing in my father's boat but I don't remember a thing.

I only remember it sitting there in the backyard rotting because it was a wooden boat. My father didn't have a lot of time to go fishing because he had to work hours away as a carpenter for a construction company.

maybe he would have been better off of a little boat that wouldn't rust or rot but they didn't have good ones besides Jon Boat back then.

If you are just looking to get one to your local lake or pond or even a small river a Jon Boat is perfect. It has a flat bottom which means it's easy to put on a trailer or put in the back of your pickup.

You also find that it's easier to put on a small outboard they get to where you want to go super fast. This will enable you more time to use your fish finder at the best spots.

Best Fish Finder Under $100

Humminbird PiranhaMax 4

The piranha is not unlike the Garmin Striker 4. I need to be mounted with screws and it looks more like a iPhone than anything.

The graphics aren't as good as my phone but it shows you what you need to see. It's not quite as good as the Garmin Striker 4 I believe.

this is based on the fact that it doesn't have a great display of the bottom or the fish. However, the price is under $100.

Humminbird PiranhaMax 4

You would be hard-pressed to find a fish finder for under $100 that gives you the features of the PiranhaMax 4.It has a 4.3 inch screen which is bigger than a Garmin Striker 4.

It also has a Fish ID system along with fish alarms and depth alarms. you'll be happy to know that there are only four buttons on the device.

You will still have a dual beam sonar which will give you just enough information to find out what structure is down there and where the fish are. However, this is all that you are going to get for this price.

Best Fish Finder For Under $200

Once you bring your price point up to $200 you will start to see better Imaging. Yes, just $100 will take you for the land of obscurity to the land of clarity. this is where you should really start.

If you have a very low budget and maybe a small boat in the Garmin Striker 4 is the cheapest you should go to.

However, I am for you it's a go for something just a little bit more pick up all these great features that you can take from a small boat to a large boat to a kayak and still have the same system that you know very well.

Not having a lot of money the problem for many fishermen. We all want to buy more fishing gear in we don't want to tell our significant others about it.

However, you discover if you're truthful about your fishing obsession you will get what you need to be happy. Try telling the truth for a while and you will find out that your love for fishing isn’t unnoticed.

What Is The Easiest Fish Finder To Use?

Lowrance specifically designed there fish finders to be easier to use for the public. the reason that they focused on this is because of complaints.

That has complained about their own product but about all fish finders. Many people have any hopes and dreams on a new fish finder like the big professional fishermen use.

However when I get home and wrap their Christmas present they have no idea what they are doing. Even if they do get all the screen to work and all the options to turn on they don't know how to utilize that information. 

This doesn't mean that other fish finders aren’t user-friendly. you will find that many other times are getting better. They have a ways to go but they are trying to serve their clients well.

when you voice your opinions about your problems to the manufacturers they will listen eventually. no one wants a customer to be unhappy.

What Is The Best Low Cost Fish Finder

I went about my definition of a low-cost Fishfinder differently in this section. There is cheap and there is a budget. I'm going to speak to the people who are on a budget but do you have money.

If you want to spend your hard-earned money well you will want a bigger and better fish finder for less money.

You will find us in all varieties across the market. however you will have to weigh your needs to what is available. Is my humble opinion the Lowrance HOOK2 9 SplitShot is the best option available.

Lowrance HOOK2 9 SplitShot

I am pretty sure you remember the Hook2 7 SplitShot by Lowrance. you may not have known that they have a 9-inch model and it's even bigger and better and filled with maps.

The reason I say this is one of the best for your money is because of the price point at around $900. You could pump up to 12in but it will cost you $1,600. Obviously there's just the price is something called the premium.

People see good stuff but then they want the best even if it's double the price. you can get something that's a 7-inch for much cheaper.

Lowrance Hook2 9 SplitShot

you will find over four thousand lakes built into this fish finder. you also get a triple shot transducer that will look in all directions all at once and display it to you so you can easily see on its huge screen.

Did I also mention that this is one of the easiest fish finders to use. Going big doesn't have to mean going broke or getting angry because you don't know how to use it. 

what's the split shot you'll be able to see fish, your bait and the structure all at once. this will enable you to give the proper presentation to the proper fish at the proper time in the proper place.

it's hard to get all those things working at once but with this fish finder you can do it.

What Gauge Wire Should I Use For My Fish Finder?

If you are as safety conscious as me, you will go big and get a 14 gauge wire. However, most fish finders don’t draw too much power unless there is a spike during transducing.

Otherwise, you will find that even a 20 gauge wire will work.

The reason you want to use a larger gauge wire is to remove the possibility of damage. If you use too small of a gauge the wire will overheat and burn through.

When this happens a fire could ensue. This will cause damage to your boat and possibly the other things that are nearby. This will also make your insurance company very happy.

Do yourself a favor and use the biggest gauge you can use for your fishfinder.

100Ft 14 Gauge Wire

Go try out a 100Ft 14 Gauge Wire!

What Gauge Wire Is The Best?

I believe that 14 or 16 gauge wire is the best you can use for a fish finder. You will be able to provide consistent power to your fish finder through all the surges of the transducer.

You also prevent the wire from getting overheated and melting. This will protect your assets the boat and yourself from any harm, hurt, or danger.

What Happens If Wire Gauge Is Too Big?

The only thing that happens if your wire gauge is too big is the fact that it won't fit through why are holes in your boat.  it will not cause your fishfinder to work with a lower performance.

is simply a way to properly carry current from one place to another without being lost in between. If you use a small gauge wire you will find that it overheats and energy can be lost.

This energy loss results in a burn on The Wire which could cause a fire.

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