Are you looking for the best portable fish finder? If so, you’re in the right spot.
In this article, we will list our picks for the top five options available today, the three different types of fish finders that are considered “portable”, the best uses for each, where to buy your next fish finder and much more.
Without further ado, our pick for the best portable fish finder is the Humminbird Helix 7 G3N-All Season.
By nature, Ice Flashers are portable and the Helix 7 All Season is no exception while also an excellent option for the open water. All of the mounting hardware, batteries, and transom mount transducer is included.
So not only does this unit offer portability, it is also flexible and will save you money by not having to purchase a separate flasher for ice fishing.
Our Best Portable Fish Finders
This portable unit is an ice fishermen’s dream, but it works really well out on the lake or wherever you may be fishing for bass too. Moderately priced, with a lot of features this device comes in three basic configurations.
Types of Portable Fishfinders
- “A portable fish finder” is exactly what the names describes
- They typically include a carrying case, a mounting base or bracket, portable transducer, and a small rechargeable battery
- Usually between 3″ and 7″
- Versatile in nature they can be used for open water, ice fishing, or on small vessels
Castable Fish Finder
- The most versatile type of Fish Finder
- Can be used from the shore, on a boat, or on ice
- Connect wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet
- Great for shore fishing
Mountable Fish Finder
- The name says it all
- Temporarily mounts transducer to your boats’ transom
Best Portable Fish Finders Reviewed
1.Humminbird Helix 7 G3N-All Season-Best Overall
Just because this portable fish finder is a jack of all trades doesn’t mean that the quality is sacrificed.
2.Garmin Striker 4 Portable- Best Value
The Striker series is very popular for a reason as it falls in line with all Garmin Fish finders as it is easy to use, dependable, backed by great customer support from Garmin.
The Striker 4 utilizes CHIRP sonar but does not provide imaging
It also has internal GPS but no mapping capability
This unit can be a servicable option for ice fishing as it includes a flasher mode and a floating transducer
The keypad buttons are big enough to operate while using gloves when ice fishing
3.Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder-Budget Pick
This unit is very affordable and easy to set up and start fishing
Does a good job of showing accurate depths with easy to read fish markings
One downside we found with this unit is that it is not waterproof or even water resistant so opt for the option that includes a water proof carrier
4.HOOK² Ice Fishing and All-Season Pack
Offers built in GPS but no mapping capability
Offers “Ice Mode” and includes a suction cup transducer for small boats
Easy to set up
Great option for kayak fishing
5.Humminbird Pirahna Max 4 PT
This is a budget option for Humminbird fans who don’t want to spring for Helix 5 but still want the Humminbird name on board on your boat
No GPS, Maps, or imaging allows you to see enough detail to identify structure, weeds, and bottom
2D CHIRP Sonar
Castable Fish Finders
Castable fish finders are becoming more and more popular for shore fishing as manufacturers have released much improved options in the recent years
If your main outlet to fishing is on a boat or kayak, I would stay away from castable fishfinders and choose on the traditional portable fish finders that we covered above
These portable fish finders connect wirelessly to your smart phone or tablet which makes them even more convenient and easy to interpret
There are just three units we feel should make the cut on our list of castable fish finders.
Best Castable Fish Finder?
6.DeeperPro+- Best Castable
The Deeper Pro+ Smart Sonar is one of the most versatile and impressive portable fish finders available on the market.
This portable fish finder is the ONLY castable sonar device with built-in GPS
It’s about the size of a tennis ball and pairs with your smartphone or tablet.
Capable of showing depths of 300′
It has dual beam sonar technology, giving you the option of scanning the water with either a wide or narrow beam.
The device doesn’t just indicate how deep a spot is, but it also gives you the accurate position of fish.
The built-in GPS system gives you a lot to play with.
You can create bathymetric maps from the shore, map out certain spots of the lake, and look at them later when you’re home.
7.Garmin Striker Cast GPS
You can’t mention the word Best….GPS and not mention Garmin
They utilized dual beam sonar and their expertise making apps to come up with one of the best portable fish finders that you can cast or tow behind your kayak
As with any Garmin unit this one is no exception to being convenient, easy to use, and dependable
All you need is a USB to charge this up for your next fishing trip
8.Lowrance Fish Hunter 3D
Features 5 directional sonar cones creating different zones and displaying them on your smart phone- essentially telling you where to cast
Bathymetric custom mapping
Great app that lets you log your catches, save waypoints, and even live stream from your favorite fishing spot
Always great customer support from Lowrance
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best portable fish finder for kayak fishing?
The best portable fish finder for kayaks is the Humminbird Helix 7 G3N-All Season
The features on this device are perfect for kayak fishing, as you are able utilize the MicroSD card slot and upgrade your maps
This portable fish finder comes with a suction cup mount for the transducer making it easy to take on and off the bottom of your kayak
What is the best portable fish finder for shore fishing?
We mentioned that a castable fish finder is your best bet for shore fishing
So yes, you guessed it- The Deeper Pro+ is our choice for shore fishing
What is the Best Portable Fish Finder for Ice Fishing?
As we mentioned earlier, this fish finder features an ice fishing flasher mode
The battery life for this portable kit is another reason this is an ideal fish finder for the ice
The integrated GPS makes it easy finding your favorite ice hole
Do portable fish finders work?
Yes, most of the time.
The reason we only say most of the time is because we have had many experiences with castable fish finders not getting the job done because of connectivity issues.
These portable units most often rely on Wi-fi or bluetooth to connect to your smartphone or tablet
When the connection is poor the performance of the fish finder can be poor
Why should you get a portable fish finder?
- Versatility- They are usually mounted with a suction cup so in the summer you can have it on your boat one day and the next day using it while shore fishing and during winter time use it for ice fishing trips
- No Holes in Your Boat- There is no need to drill any more holes in your boat
- Affordability- You an easily find a portable fish finder for under $300 compared to a traditional fish finder that can become rather expensive
- Connection issues- When using castable fish finders anglers often find themselves in remote places where the Wi-fi is not strong
- Average Performance- These units are are tough to fine tune and enhance the results because of the constant movement and different fishing spots you will find yourself in
What transducer do you need for a portable fish finder?
Each fish finder is different but for most of the traditional portable fish finders, they will include a suction mount transducer that you easily remove
Castable fish finders are the transducer while the display is your phone or tablet. Castable fish finders can be tied down either using braided fishing line or a rope when towing behind a kayak or small boat
Do I Need GPS on a Portable Fish Finder?
If you are shore fishing, then no a GPS is not necessary
If you plan on using your portable fish finder from small boat or kayak, then yes a GPS will be mightily useful for marking the coordinates of fishing spots you’ve had luck with and also making custom maps
We hope you’ve found this article helpful and that it has helped to clear up some of the confusion surrounding portable fish finders.
Be sure to check out our other articles on the best finders. Links are below.
- Best Fish Finders Under $500
- Best Fish Finder GPS Combo Under $1000
- Best Fish Finder for Shallow Water
If you’re in need more information or just want to chat, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.