What is a good fishfinder for use in a kayak?

I’m an avid kayak fisherman, and I’d like to add a fishfinder to my boat. The kayak is a polyurethane sit-in model, and I want a fishfinder that is relatively compact with a transducer that can be epoxied to the inside of the hull. The hull is somewhere between 3/16″ and 1/4″ thick.

Color is not an important feature for me, but a grayscale screen would be preferable to strictly black-and-white. The unit does not need an internal battery; I’ll provide power for it. I would like a model that has fairly high wattage to the transducer. A narrow-beam or two-beam transducer is preferable to a wide-beam one, since I’ll be moving slowly and stealthily. The unit does not need a cover, as I’ll be removing it when not in use.

I’m sorry about all of the specifics. If you know of a good unit that’s compatible with kayaks, I’d be interested to know about it even if it doesn’t match all the specifications. I’m more interested in identifying depth, bottom structure, and thermoclines than I am in spotting actual fish, although a unit that reliably can identify suspended fish would be great.

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2 thoughts on “What is a good fishfinder for use in a kayak?

  1. To be honest, any higher powered Finder can be used well on a Kayak. It just depends on your budget and the features you NEED.

    Here is a list of features I suggest looking at while making your decision:

    1. Screen size- Screen size can be a VERY important feature when buying a finder. Even the finest Finder can be a hassle to own if the size of the screen is minute. ALWAYS go for the bigger screen!

    2. GPS/Mapping technology- I’m a tournament Bass fisherman. Me and my partner went from 2 Garmin 240 finders to a $1200 Humminbird. Although we like the side-finding feature, we ended up using the Navionics mapping technology MUCH more. The Navionics/GPS maps allow you to mark structure, (within FT), know at all times where you’ve been and EXACTLY where your going. It opened-up new offshore structure & fishing opportunities we THOUGHT we had already visited. I can’t express enough how amazing it is to have this technology. It has helped us find fish AND win tourneys…….
    If you can afford a unit with GPS or Mapping; DO SO!

    Remember this- The more powerful the unit, the better it will shoot through the hull AND find suspended fish. I suggest only buying a unit that has (at least) 2000 watts of power or more. This is to ensure good reception. As you get a lower wattage unit, you take the chance it won’t work well after it is installed.

    Here are a couple suggestions, going from cheaper to more expensive:

    1. Humminbird 570- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_10210564_999050514_225000000_999050512?cmCat=CROSSSELL_PRODUCT#prodDescription

    2. Humminbird 597 GPS/Uni-Maps- http://www.basspro.com/Humminbird-597ci-HD-DI-Internal-GPS-Fishfinder-Combo/product/10210562/-1764755#prodDescription

    3. Humminbird 798 GPS/Navionics maps included- http://www.basspro.com/Humminbird-798c-HD-SI-Sonar-GPSWAAS-Chartplotter-Combo/product/10209878/-1751535#prodDescription

    Because your saving money by fishing out of a Kayak, you could REALLY splurge on a nice finder……

    Hope this helps ya?

  2. Hi Dave,
    Check out this Humminbird http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QD5T4G/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=the00b0-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B002QD5T4G

    I use mine for ice fishing in the winter, and I’ll be using it on my Dagger Delta kayak this summer. It did great for finding suspended crappies and don’t see why it won’t work for the summer months. It is also self powered with a battery.

    There’s video of it on youtube. Look up The Lure Tour and they have some videos of it.

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