Best Fish Finder for Shallow Water

best fish finder for shallow water

Looking for the best fish finder for shallow water?

We’ll take a look at what makes side imaging so important for shallow water, and then we’ll discuss three of the best options on the market today.

After testing displays from all the best fish finder brands, we noticed how superior the Humminbird models are for shallow water. We found that the best fish finders for shallow water are the Humminbird SI Series all of which have fantastic side imaging.

The three SI models that we recommend are Humminbird SOLIX 10, HELIX 7, and HELIX 5.

Let’s take a deeper look into why these Humminbird units are the best fish finders for shallow water.

Best Fish Finder For Shallow Water Reviews

Hummingbird SOLIX 10

Who wouldn’t want a 10″ screen with MEGA side imaging?

MEGA Side Imaging provides spectacular views up to 200′ on both sides of your vessel

MEGA Down Imaging adds excellent underwater clarity up to 200′ below your boat.

CHIRP provides long, easy-to-see fish arches and a clear view of the structure and the bottom.

SwitchFire Sonar gives you the ability to customize by adding or deleting detail within 2 display modes, factor in water depth, temperature, and wind

The built-in Humminbird Basemap gives you a clear view of underwater topography and surrounding points of interest, so you can fish and navigate with total confidence. Identify buoys, hazards, and more.

NMEA 2000 networking connects your SOLIX to an NMEA 2000 backbone to gather a complete view of your vessel, including available information like engine gauges, fuel information, and all other NMEA 2000 connected accessories.

Share this information to any other Humminbird unit onboard that is connected via an Ethernet network. Built-in Bluetooth connectivity enables wireless software updates from the Humminbird FishSmart App, and also helps you keep your phone out of the water and in your pocket by displaying notifications directly on your Humminbird.

The Humminbird SOLIX 10 CHIRP MEGA SI+ G2 includes the transducer, mounting hardware, power cable, gimbal mounting bracket, and cover.

One Downside

We found that the screen was hard to read at times due to its design, which does not allow different colors on different objects like many other models.

Need any more reasons to be convinced that this is the best fish finder for shallow water?


Humminbird HELIX 7 CHIRP MEGA SI

This 7″ display provides all of the clarity and features one could ask for.

MEGA Side Imaging provides crystal-clear views out to 125′ on both sides of your vessel

MEGA Down Imaging provides a visual down to 125′ below your boat.

CHIRP provides long, easy-to-see fish arches and a clear view of the structure and the bottom.

SwitchFire Sonar gives you the ability to fully customize both of the display modes, by adding or deleting certain details while taking into account water depth, temperature, and wind

Humminbird Basemap provides a clear view of underwater terrain and surrounding points of interest so you can fish and navigate with total confidence, identify buoys, day markers, and more

Includes charts of more than 10,000 lakes, plus coastal coverage for the U.S. Other map packages are available

AutoChart Live creates real-time maps of your fishing spots, with access to patented Humminbird LakeMaster features

The Humminbird HELIX 7 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G3 Fishfinder/Chartplotter includes the transducer, mounting hardware, power cable, and gimbals mounting bracket

Considering the price point and performance, this is the best fish finder for the money.


Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2

Budget Pick
Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2
$630.43

With a built-in base map, the Helix 5 is ready to fish as soon as you open the box.

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The Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 packs a whole lot of power into a 5″ display

Built-in CHIRP SONAR allows the unique selection of Low, Medium, and High-frequency ranges, giving clean returns and exceptional target separation

MEGA Side Imaging extends up to 240′ on each side of your vessel

MEGA Down Imaging delivers depths down to 100′

SwitchFire sonar makes it easy to customize your display modes

The built-in high-sensitivity GPS saves rigging time and makes installation easy

If you’re looking for the best fish finder in a compact design, you just found it. The Humminbird HELIX 5 raises the bar for displays in this range.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a fish finder work in shallow water?

shallow water fish finder

A fish finder will work in shallow water, but you may have to rely on the sonar’s side imaging for better results. Side images provide more area coverage, a clearer view of what is beneath the boat, and can spot schools of baitfish that are hiding just below the surface.

Side Imaging provides wider coverage than down imaging because it shows two separate views at one time, as opposed to just a single cone below. This allows us to see fish that might be trying to hide by swimming away towards the bottom of your screen.

We recommend dual displays or split-screen to have the ability for down and side imaging together

Does Side Imaging Work in Shallow Water?

Side imaging, while not the best for deep water fishing, is perfect when you want to fish the flats.

For a visual on what side imaging is and how to read it watch this video below.

Why is Side Imaging Important for Shallow Water

best fish finder for shallow water

Advantages of Side imaging are:

  • You scan more area at once with two separate views
  • If you buy a fish finder with side imaging you will almost always have down imaging as well
  • Resolution tends to be clearer when compared to down imaging

Disadvantages of Side Imaging are:

  • Forced to move at slower speeds to achieve clear scans
  • Does not provide images beneath the boat

Side imaging is also the best way to spot schools of baitfish and chase them down with your boat. This is because it can show you where they are on a horizontal plane, which makes sense if you think about how far away those fish might be from your vessel when you’re trying to catch them.

What is the best transducer for shallow water?

transducer

This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on what you are looking for. There are many types of transducers available, and each one has its strengths and weaknesses.

Some have better depth capabilities while others provide higher resolution imaging that can show more detail in the underwater environment.

Transducer for HELIX models

We recommend a Humminbird 710282-1 XM 9 HW to pair with the HELIX series. This ducer will help you get the most out of your HELIX fish finder, as it will give you better target separation in shallow depths and offers the best sonar frequency for shallow water. Pair this shallow water depth sounder with a Solix 10 and boom you have the best fish finder for shallow water set up.

Transducer for SOLIX models

We recommend a Humminbird 710292-1 XM 14 HW. This ducer will help you get the most of the 10″ screen for both side and down imaging.

Best Trandsucer for Trolling Motor

If you are using a trolling motor in shallower water this is the ducer you will want to pair with your HELIX.

Additional Humminbird Products

Which Fish Finder Should you Buy?

It’s all about value, right? Yeah, we think so too. Without breaking the bank, this fish finder checks all the boxes and has a transducer included. If money is an afterthought for you, and you drool when you think about MEGA SI on a 10″ screen, then opt for the SOLIX 10. If you think ah I don’t know about spending over $600 on a fish finder then choose the Helix 5 or check out our guide on the Best Fish Finder Under $500.

Best Fish Finder for Shallow Water Conclusion

man fishing during sunset

All in all, when fishing in shallow water is your focus you should go with a fish finder that has side imaging capabilities and fits your budget

It’s important to consider all these factors before choosing what setup might work best for your needs!

We hope you’ve found this article helpful in your search for the best fish finder

There are many models, so it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. So we’ll leave that decision up to you!

If there’s anything else our team of experts here at A Fellow Fisherman can help with, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email at info@afellowfisherman.com. We love hearing from new and returning readers.

If your criteria is all about budget, then check out our guides based on price.

Best Fish Finder Under $500

Best Fish Finder Under $1000

For even more reviews on fish finder’s, check out the pages below:

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