Best Offshore Fish Finder GPS Combo

best offshore fish finder

Looking for the best offshore fish finder GPS Combo?

I tested out six of the most popular fish finders and found that the Simrad Go9 XSE is the overall winner. We recommend going with the package that includes the Active Imaging 3-in-1 Transom Mount Transducer.

If you don’t have radar already, I suggest adding this fish finder to your marine electronics onboard.

Who doesn’t like a bundle? Even though Flo from Allstate has worn that question out, it is still a big win, saving money and buying everything you need in one purchase. Check out this fish finder, transducer, and radar bundle below.

Radar Bundle
Simrad GO9 XSE Chartplotter Radar Bundle HALO20+

The revolutionary HALO20+ pulse compression dome radar delivers industry-leading 360-degree sweeps every second at close range, for the ultimate in collision avoidance of stationary and fast-moving targets.

Shop on Bluewater

Guiding clients on deep-sea fishing trips have been a big part of my career. I’ve led trips targeting everything from tuna to marlin, depending on the client. Without a quality fish finder on my boat, I’d never have been anywhere near as successful as I’ve been. A cheap fish finder can ruin a trip. I know because I’ve seen it. Marking fish that aren’t there, seeing the clients get excited, only to be disappointed when they don’t catch anything. Spend the money to make sure what you see on the screen is actually under the surface.

I thought the Simrad Go9 XSE was fantastic. I opted to buy the bundle package and take it a step further by also buying radar at the same time. The features it has and the upgrades you can add are excellent. It can even alert you to feeding birds on the surface. It’s an incredible fish finder and really does provide everything you need. Likewise, it’s a winner, and if you choose this fish finder, you’ll most likely enjoy it.

An offshore fishing trip can be overwhelming. The ocean is a huge, vast playground, just waiting to be explored. The question is, where to start? The best offshore fish finder will help answer that question. With the right fish finder, you’re going to be on the fish in no time.

Here are my five best offshore fish finder picks:

Best Offshore Fish Finder – Reviewed

Simrad Go9 XSE Fish Finder

What You Get

  • Designed for Offshore
  • Amazing Touchscreen
  • Great Value for the Money
  • CHIRP Sonar

The Simrad Go9 XSE is an excellent fish finder for offshore fishing. First, it’s designed specifically for offshore fishing, so it’s ready for the depths of the ocean. Second, it’s a steal at the price. It does so much more than most at its price point and more than a lot of those available at twice its price.

One of my favorite addons is that it will alert you to birds feeding in the area, allowing you to get to fish quickly. That will make clients happy, and happy clients mean more clients.

Keep in mind that this finder doesn’t come with the XDR transducer, so be sure to pick it up when you order this fish finder.

This fish finder will connect to your phone, allowing you to navigate without having to watch the finder constantly. It also helps navigate harbors and rough seas. The sonar capabilities on this fish finder are impeccable and offer fantastic views with their proprietary Fish Reveal Technology.

The touchscreen is also one of the best I’ve used. It’s easy to read in direct sunlight and smooth to the touch. It’s a 9-inch screen, making it perfect for both small and large boats.

Overall, the Simrad Go9 XSE fish finder wins the top spot because it has so many great features for such an incredible price, even with the transducer sold separately.

Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv Fish Finder

What You Get

  • 12” Touch Screen Display
  • CHIRP sonar sensors with great side and down imaging
  • Coastal Charts Included/Incredible Mapping

The Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv is probably the top fish finder I tested. The only reason it didn’t make the overall winner is the cost. This fish finder is definitely on the higher end of the price spectrum. For that price, you get an incredible finder that offers all the bells and whistles that you could ever want, plus a bunch that you didn’t even know were possible.  

The ECHOMAP is known as the best series of Garmin Fish Finders for good reasons. Even though it’s discontinued, it is still touted as a reliable and high-performing series.

It’s an easy-to-use, extremely versatile finder that has exceptional imaging quality. The 12” touch screen shows the most detailed images in ultra-hi-def, and the proprietary Garmin ClearVü and SideVü imaging will leave you thinking you’re looking at actual pictures instead of sonar. The limitations are there because the distance is limited with UHD engaged. The SideVü only extends 30’, while the ClearVü covers 200’. Turn those off, and you’re covering a more respectable 800’ down.

Add in the Garmin coastal charts, and your navigation is on point. The Garmin software integrates with Navionics data. It also syncs with your other ECHOMAP fish finders, so you can keep all your charts updated.

This fish finder also offers connectivity to the Garmin Community, allowing you to connect to fellow anglers, share maps, waypoints, etc. You can even use your phone or tablet as a display for the ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv.

I really enjoyed the Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126sv and would recommend it to everyone who can jump into its high price point.

Lowrance HDS 12 Fish Finder With 3-in-1 Active Imaging

What You Get

  • Preferred by Professionals
  • The Very Top End
  • LiveSight Sonar

The Lowrance HDS-12 fish finder has a reputation as the go-to offshore fish finder for professional fishing boats. With the incredible quality of this fish finder, durability and reliability are a given.

Lowrance has included their proprietary LiveSight sonar, which shows an image so detailed that you can literally see your bait move in real-time. Set the screen, so you can view the chart and the bait simultaneously. The sonar also provides incredibly detailed images at distances much farther than any other finders on the market today.

Now you’re probably wondering why this isn’t the overall top pick. The reason is that it starts out well over $2000.00 higher than the top pick. For that price increase, you could buy three of the Simrad fish finders. They might not perform as well, but they will get the job done efficiently and without near the investment.

That being said, if you want the best of the best and don’t mind spending the extra cash, this is definitely the fish finder for you.

If you want to pony up the money for the Lowrance HDS-12, you’ll be happy that you did. If not, the other fish finders on this list are excellent options for you.

Raymarine Element 9 HV Fish Finder

What You Get

  • Great Price
  • HyperVision Super Hi-Res
  • NMEA 2000 Ports and Wi-Fi
  • CHIRP Sonar 

The Raymarine Element 9 HV fish finder comes with proprietary HyperVision super hi-res sonar. It takes the DownVision, SideVision, and RealVision 3D sonar of Raymarine and adds an entirely new level of preciseness and fish ID. Structure, vegetation, pilings, and fish show with near photo clarity.

The 9” screen is very clear and allows you to make bathymetric maps on the go. The screen is also able to redraw charts and render 3D images in real-time while running due to the quad-core processor.

I found this finder to be easy to use and intuitive. The SideVision does a great job of covering up to 100’, and the DownVision can scan up to 600’. Ledges, channels, and all the other contours you’re hoping to find jump out and show up on the screen clearly.

The Element 9 fish finder is one of the most affordable options on this list, coming in around $1500.00, which makes it very popular among anglers who are looking for a great fish finder without breaking the bank.

If you want one of the most reliable fish finders, the Raymarine Element 9 HV will get you where you need to be.

This is a superb fish finder for those looking to get into one of the best fish finders on the market for such a low entry price.

Humminbird SOLIX 10 Chirp MEGA SI Fish Finder

What You Get

  • 10” Cross Touch Display
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP Sonar
  • One-Boat Network Compatible

The Humminbird SOLIX 10 Chirp MEGA SI is an angler’s best friend on the water. With the One-Boat Network, you can program your Minn Kota and Cannon products to integrate and work seamlessly with this fish finder. This gives you the ability to navigate your pre-programmed trolling routes without having to do much more than enter the route on the touch screen. Setup is simple, and you’ll love the ingenuity of it.

The 10” touchscreen is fully customizable so that you can set up multiple technologies at the same time. Don’t miss the bite while checking engine status, speed, weather, or anything else on your finder. The Humminbird MEGA Imaging+ gives you incredible clarity that is almost unheard of.

This fish finder is definitely professional-grade, and as soon as you hit the water, you’ll see why. Buy the add-ons, and you’re looking at quite the investment, but in the end, it’s certainly a fish finder worth every penny.

How to Select the Best Offshore Fish Finder

fishing rods offshore

Buying an offshore fish finder isn’t quite as easy as picking up some line for the next trip. You don’t want to pick up the cheapest, or the one you’re used to. Stay away from the one that’s been recommended by that one friend who keeps saying it’s the best he’s ever used, even though he comes back to the dock with no fish every time.

Not all fish finders are the same. Some extremely expensive models aren’t worth the box they come in, while some far less expensive models are worth far more than they cost. Doing your research and being prepared before going to the store will save you money and heartache when you hit the water.

The Simrad Go9 XSE checked most of the boxes for me. I added the transducer at checkout and wasn’t too bothered about having to do that. It still came in significantly cheaper than the other models for what it offered. For the price, I couldn’t recommend it any higher.

Let’s look at some necessary features to check when buying a fish finder intended to be used during offshore fishing trips. There are certain features that make or break a successful day on the water.

Depth

Be sure you check maximum depth capability. Most fish finders are going to be targeting lake anglers. Lakes can get deep but pale in comparison to the ocean. Fishing at 1200’ isn’t easy to do if your finder maxes out at 600’.

If the area you fish isn’t super deep, you can get away with something that will work in that depth but remember that. If you decide that you want to travel to a new area, will your finder still provide enough coverage?

Transducer

Make sure to get a quality transducer with CHIRP sonar. Higher frequencies will give you higher quality images in shallower conditions, while lower frequencies are better for deeper scans. Be sure to get one that offers a strong lower frequency.

Sonar

Sonar is the primary purpose of your finder. You need good quality sonar with CHIRP sonar. You shouldn’t settle for anything that doesn’t offer side and down imaging standards. Check out the cone to find out the imaging types. A wider cone gives you a larger area to scan. In that case, you’ll want more beams. The more beams, the more expensive the fish finder will be.

Screen

The thing about having a great display is that it’s where you see all that data your transducer and sonar find. A terrible display makes the best sonar worthless. It’s vital to have a great screen to view everything. Bright colors, touchscreen, high resolution, and flexibility all make for a great screen. Flexibility entails being able to customize the layout.

If you can, spring for the most expensive screen you can afford. If you can opt for the 12” screen, do so. This is one of those times where bigger truly is better.

FAQ’s

Is Lowrance good for offshore?

Yes, Lowrance is generally a very good brand for anything that they have to offer. They are especially well-known for their Active Imaging and will be the chosen fish finder brand for many anglers because of this.

Are Garmin fish finders better than Lowrance?

There is no definitive answer to this question as both brands have their own strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, it depends on what you are looking for in a fish finder and what you deem to be the most important features.

What is the best fish finder brand?

This is a difficult question to answer as there are so many brands of fish finders, but there are some major brands that are more popular than others. Some of the more popular brands include Humminbird, Lowrance, Garmin, and Simrad.

What are the Best Fish Finder Features?

Some top fish finder features to look out for include Active Imaging, Down Imaging, Side Imaging, Sonar quality, Screen quality, and Depth capabilities of the including transducer if there is one included in the package. Make sure to compare different fish finders before making your choice.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are probably hundreds of fish finders that will do the job. If you’re like me, you don’t just want to do the job. You want to excel at it. The top fish finders will help you do just that.

Check out this video below from the winners themselves:

The Simrad Go9 XSE is one of those elite finders. It does almost everything that others do at twice the price, and it does it well. If money keeps you from springing for a $3500.00 fish finder, this is the perfect alternative. You can purchase it here, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy every hour on the water you spend with it. Now stop reading and GO Fishing!

For more pages on choosing the best fish finders, check out some of the pages below:

Eric Larson

Eric Larson

Hi, my name is Eric. I am a contributor for A Fellow Fisherman and a former charter captain who has been saltwater fishing since before I can remember. I grew up in New Jersey, fishing mostly the Delaware Bay and River, as well as many offshore charter trips. I have had an enormous passion for fishing my whole life, and am lucky to have done it as a profession. I am confident when it comes to telling people about the best techniques for catching fish, but am still open to a good debate.

We have partnered with Bass Pro Shops to offer the best deals on high-quality fishing and outdoor gear to our readers. If you click on the button below, we will take you to their exclusive discount page.