Best Portable Fish Finder in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Portable Fish Finder – Fishing has long been thought to be only in the patient’s best interests; however, this is no longer the case. Even if you aren’t patient, an excellent portable fish finder can help you enjoy fishing.

A fish finder will show you where the fish are and whether or not there are any fish in your area. To put it another way, you can have fun fishing and get it over with as soon as possible while catching a tone of fish.

Investing in a fish finder might be a fantastic decision, especially if you do a lot of fishing. A fish finder, for example, will significantly assist you in determining the optimum location to cast your bait if you plan to go fishing at sea.

However, with so many online options, it’s simple to pick and buy a fish finder that isn’t right for you. This blog will walk you through the characteristics to look for when purchasing a fish finder.

We’ve put together a list of the top portable fish finders on the market, but first, let’s go through all of the essential criteria so you can make an informed decision.

A portable fish finder can go where traditional fish finders can’t. When you can’t permanently put a unit on a boat, portable fish finders are ideal. They’re suitable for temporary mounting on small ships, going on trips, and fishing from the beach.

After reading our in-depth guide to the most acceptable portable fish finders, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on which design and model will best suit your fishing needs. A mobile unit can help your fishing expeditions be more effective, whether you fish from beaches, piers, kayaks, canoes, or float tubes. Let’s get this party started!

Portable Fish Finder Types

Portable Units: This is how a portable fish detector is traditionally made. They usually consist of a nylon carry box that holds all of the portable kit’s components: A compact fish detector with a screen that ranges from 3 to 7 inches, a plastic mounting base, a portable transducer, and a small rechargeable 12V battery. They can be used for both open water and ice fishing, but they perform best in tiny boats.

Castable: The next generation of portable fish finders takes advantage of the power that already resides in your pocket: your smartphone. The castable fishfinder comprises a small floating transducer that connects with an app on your smartphone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth instead of as self-contained fish finding equipment. This is the most effective method for bank fishing, but it may also be used from a boat.

Portable depth finders that can be temporarily mounted to the side or transom of a small boat are known as mountable depth finders. They’re also the only fish finder we know of using a float tube (with the float tube accessory).

Buyer’s Guide to Portable Fish Finder

Before we go over the top portable fish finders on the market, it’s essential to grasp the significant distinctions. This buying guide was created to assist you in understanding exactly what all of the marketing jargon represent so you can buy with confidence.
Quality of the Transducer

To get accurate readings, you’ll need a fish finder with an appropriate transducer. The transducer sends out and receives sonar waves, which inform you if there are any fish around. When these sonar waves are launched into the ocean, they bounce off of everything they come across.

The transducer then receives these waves. When the data is received, it is sent to the central unit, where it is processed into an image that you can see and comprehend on display.

Transducers for fish finders come with a variety of mounting. The transom mount is the most straightforward to set up. However, you can choose for a different type, such as a thru-hull mount, if you want something more severe or if your boat is larger.

Material of the Transducer

The sort of transducer you choose is mainly determined by the type of boat you’ll be using. A plastic transducer is a fantastic choice for casual and enthusiastic anglers. However, these transducers are suitable for nearly all types of boats.

Metal hulls or fibreglass hulls require plastic housing if the transducer has an in-hull or thru-hull installation. On boats with fibreglass or wood hulls, bronze housing is typically used.

Most fish finders already have transducers with transom mounts or trolling motor transducers, so recreational users are well catered for. If you follow the installation instructions to the letter, these transducers will operate with practically any type of boat. If you’re interested in a thru-hull transducer, you can pick between bronze and plastic.

Angles of Beams and Cones

The cone angle is an essential factor to consider when choosing a transducer. The cone angle indicates the width of the beam emitted into the water by your fishing boat. The area covered is proportional to the width of the cone. As the shaft descends, the cone angle grows, but the sensitivity decreases as the beams reach deeper waters.

The cones of transducers range from 9 degrees to over 60 degrees. Most of the existing devices have cones that vary from 16 to 20 degrees. A 20-degree cone is an excellent starting point.

Transducers are notable for their capacity to emit above one cone from a single point. This is because a traditional transducer has only one beam, while more modern ones can have many beams.

Some have a wide beam, while others have a twin beam, triple beam, etc. Every new shaft increases the area that can be covered. More rays are suitable for larger bodies of water, such as lakes.

Some units feature single beams, while others have many possibilities. The price of a device is determined by the number of beams it has. Dual beams are far superior to single beams while fishing in shallow seas since they cover a larger area.

Screens in Color vs Screens in Black and White

Colour screens have progressively become a norm in electronics throughout the years. Colour displays include many details and millions of hues, whereas black and white shows have just 265 shades of grey. On a colour screen, the information produced by the transducer will be much easier to read and comprehend.

More colours make it much easier to see what’s going on. Furthermore, black and white displays are more challenging to view in direct sunlight. When the weather is gloomy or dark, black and white collections are equally difficult to read.

Resolution of the Display

Consider how many pixels and resolutions your screen requires when selecting a fish finder. A pixel is a single dot on your computer screen. The more pixels there are, the more details the display can display.

Aim for a fish finder with a resolution of at least 240 x 160 pixels. The resolution of your screen impacts the long-term picture quality of your fishfinder. When shopping for a fish finder, the goal is to get the most excellent quality and largest display that money can buy.

All of the figures and data will be displayed on a larger screen and in greater depth in this manner. When there are a lot of readings to say, smaller screens can get cluttered.


When looking for a fish finder, you should think about how powerful it is. If you want a unit with faster and more detailed readings, go for one with a higher wattage. The more power available, the quicker the waves will travel, and the more accurate the tasks will be.
If you’re fishing in shallow water, you won’t need as much force. If you plan to fish in deeper areas, though, you should invest in a fish finder with as much power as you can afford.


A higher frequency fish finder will generate more sonar waves into the water, providing you with more information.

Types of Fish Detectors

There are two sorts of fish finders: those mounted on your boat and those that have a transducer that is cast into the water and transmits a signal to your phone or display.

Portable Fish Detectors

A small boat’s transom or side can be temporarily installed with a mountable fish detector. They can even use a float tube if necessary.

If you want to troll behind your boat and need to read information while moving, these are the better option.

Castable Fish Detectors

Your smartphone is used to cast the castable fish finder. It has a small floating transducer that uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to communicate with an app on your smartphone. For bank fishing, it is the most acceptable option.

When in motion, they are more challenging to utilise.

Do You Require GPS?

If you’re asking whether or not you require a GPS, the answer is yes. Drawing maps, creating waypoints, and marking your favourite areas are all possible with GPS. However, it may not be as crucial if you want to use the fish finder from the bank, where there are apparent, visible marks.

The 8 Best Portable Fish Detectors on the Market

I’ve gone over all of the top portable fish finders on the market right now to try and explain the benefits and drawbacks of each device so you can buy with confidence. I’ve only included fish finders that are of sufficient quality to be included on this list.

1. Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder

Garmin Striker Fish Finder


One of the most popular options on the market today is the Garmin Striker Fish Finder. It’s the brand’s tiniest device yet, with new and improved features that make it well worth the money.

This scanner employs CHIRP sonar technology, which means it transmits a continuous sweep of frequencies to search the area for fish. This gives you a much clearer and broader image of what’s going on beneath the surface.

The 3.5-inch screen, despite its small size, is easy to read. It also makes it much easier to find fish because it employs colours.

The inbuilt GPS is perhaps the best feature. When you’re out on the water in a boat, having navigational aids is always a plus. You may see where fish are while also seeing your geographic location using this scanner. Even better, you can make your personalised paths around the lake to visit your favourite sites.

Surprisingly, this item is reasonably priced. It’s one of the most cost-effective gadgets on the market, at $119.99. It’s awe-inspiring when you realise that it has GPS.

Main features:

  • Integrated GPS system
  • Clear color image showing the fish position
  • Mark specific points on the map
  • Waterproof IPX7 system
  • Good quality transducer


  • Must be plugged into a 12V battery

2. Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar Fish Finder


The Deeper Smart Fish Finder is a similar device, but it works much better. For less than $200, you can purchase a scanner that fits in the palm of your hand and works well with your smartphone.

You can do a lot with the built-in GPS. For example, you can make bathymetric maps for the beach and map out specific areas of the lake and examine them when you get home.

You get a clear vision of what’s beneath the surface by scanning fifteen times per second. The widget does more than show how deep a hole is. It also provides you with a rough idea of where the fish are. You can also pick between a broad or narrow scan, thanks to the dual-beam technology.

The battery may last up to eight hours on a single charge. To ensure that it doesn’t run out of power while you’re fishing, charge it right before leaving the house.

Main features:

  • Connects to your phone using WiFi (as a hotspot)
  • Uses dual beam sonar technology
  • Has a built-in GPS
  • Maps out the water depth for shore fishing
  • All maps are saved on the app and can be transferred to the Cloud


  • The battery life is not the best

3. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

Venterior VT FF001 Portable Fish Finder


Good luck in your search for a less expensive but yet functional fish scanner. That’s fine; we’ll wait. Interior is a one-of-a-kind model. It takes a more straightforward approach to its job, yet it nevertheless performs admirably.

The scans will not be displayed in colour on the monitor. This is because there aren’t any elaborate methods for displaying the data. Instead, you’ll get black-and-white information. However, this does not have to be a disadvantage. On the contrary, we feel that reading the scans this way is considerably more accessible, as there are no strange blotches on the screen.

This equipment is capable of much more than simply scanning for fish. It can tell you how deep the water is and where rocks, sand, and tall vegetation are located.

At night, you can use the Interior fish finder. Switch on the screen’s backlight setting. The fish alarm is also useful for night fishing or ice fishing.

Main features:

  • Uses disposable AAA batteries
  • Works even at 0ºF temperature
  • Has a built-in GPS function
  • The screen lights up at night


  • The screen is not waterproof

4. Humminbird PiranhaMAX with Protective Cover

Venterior VT FF001 Portable Fish FinderCHECK LATEST PRICE

The Humminbird PiranhaMAX, with its 4.3-inch display, is falling behind, but it’s fighting back. This instrument gives you an accurate and easy-to-understand indication of where fish are.

A dual-beam sonar is included in the Humminbird device. You can use a large or narrow sonar beam as a result of this. You’ll better understand what’s going on beneath the surface if you go with the first option. If you choose the latter, this device will provide you with extensive information about what is happening in your immediate vicinity.

It may appear to be a straightforward model, but it is far from it. For a more personalized experience, you can play around with fish alarms, depth alarms, and zoom.

It does, however, come with a transport case. It safeguards your gadget against water and wind splashes. It’s also a lot easier to transport on fishing expeditions.

Main features:

  • Works with a dual-beam sonar
  • Entirely waterproof
  • Uses rechargeable batteries
  • Good quality transducer


  • Lacks an integrated GPS system

5. Humminbird Fishing Buddy MAX

Humminbird Portable Mountable Fish Finder


This is another Humminbird fish detector, but this one can be mounted on almost any boat, canoe, or kayak. It’s ideal for those who prefer a more hands-off approach to fishing.

The mounting method of the Humminbird MAX is, in our opinion, its best feature. The LED display is mounted on a lengthy metal structure with a clamp that may be adjusted. You can tighten or loosen the screw’s grip on your boat, kayak, or canoe.

It also includes dual beam sonar technology, which is a significant benefit. Depending on your demands, you can receive a restricted or comprehensive view of what’s beneath the surface. Shallow-water fishing benefits from vast sound waves, while deep-water fishing benefits from tight waves.

Its 3.5-inch colour display makes what’s on the screen simpler to read. This device can also tell the difference between a rock and a fish. This will come in helpful because it will prevent you from wasting time looking for pebbles and rocks.

Finally, this item will require AA batteries to operate. That’s a good thing, in our opinion, because you won’t have to charge it before going fishing constantly, and you won’t have to plug it into a 12-volt power outlet when using it.

Main features:

  • Uses disposable AA batteries
  • The 3.5-inch color screen is easy to read
  • The clamp lets you mount the device on most vessels


  • There have been complaints of factory defects, so beware (and get warranty)
  • It doesn’t always work for depths over 15 feet

6. RICANK Handheld Portable Fish Scanner

RICANK Portable Fish Finder


The last item on our list is quite simple and inexpensive. It only goes to show that an excellent fish finder doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive!

Sure, the RICANK screen is monochrome and lacks any fancy display options. That, however, is not a terrible thing! On the contrary, it is, for the first time, much easier to read and comprehend than other fish scanners. Moreover, it will indicate the depth of the school of fish.

The transducer is easy to notice in the water, thanks to the yellow float attached to it. So you won’t lose sight of your valuable sonar whether you’re fishing in a lake, river, or along the coast.

The depth range of this instrument is up to 300 feet. Thus, it may be used in both shallow and more bottomless glasses of water. The emitted sound wave cone is 45 degrees. While you don’t have the option of narrowing or widening it, it’s still a good angle for most fishing trips.

Finally, both the handheld scanner and the transducer’s batteries may be recharged. They both have a battery life of up to 5 hours, but you may extend it by turning on the battery-saving mode.

Main features:

  • Affordable and easy to carry
  • Uses rechargeable batteries (5-hour battery life)
  • Easy-to-read black-and-white display
  • Has great reviews on Amazon


  • Doesn’t offer integrated GPS for a more thrilling experience

7. LUCKY Portable Fish Scanner with LCD Screen

LUCKY Rechargeable Portable Fish Finder


The LUCKY fish scanner is also a cost-effective choice, coming in under $80. It’s smaller than other units, making it easier to travel, yet it’s just as effective.

When compared to other fish scanners on the market, you’ll notice that this one has a significantly smaller screen. However, although it is only 2.4 inches diagonally, it is large enough for most persons with normal vision to view the readings.

Water depth, underwater contour, water temperature, and, of course, fish location are all tracked by the device.

The beautiful fish lamp is a one-of-a-kind characteristic. The transducer is yellow and has two light beams at the bottom to attract fish. If you go night fishing, it also helps you see the transducer in the dark.

The handheld scanner and the transducer may both be recharged. For this purpose, they come with two USB cords. The scanner’s battery lasts for about four hours, while the transducer lasts for up to ten hours.

Main features:

  • Uses rechargeable batteries (4-hour and 10-hour battery life)
  • Suited for night fishing because of the two light beams
  • The small and compact design makes it easy to carry
  • The color screen shows a wealth of information
  • It’s waterproof


  • In some cases, it may mistake suspended particles and rocks for fish

8. ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Sonar Fish Finder

ReelSonar Wireless and Bluetooth Portable Fish Finder


The Reel Sonar Wireless scanner is another standard option. It differs from the others we’ve looked at so far in that it uses your phone to show you where the fish are.

This is the pinnacle of portability. The transducer (the component that generates sonar waves) is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It has the shape of a bit of ball and transfers the image of what it scans to your phone. The two can be connected via Bluetooth.

In addition, the unit lets you mark fish, map depth contours and underwater structures, preserve water temperature, and remember your exact location. Then you can share everything you’ve learned on social media.

As if that weren’t enough, you can also use the device’s GPS capabilities. As a result, you may mark your favourite sites, a dock, water depth, and much more on the map.

The iBobber also comes with a built-in LED beam as well as a strike and fish alarm. All of this makes it an excellent choice for ice fishing or fishing at night.

Main features:

  • Shows the image on your smartphone screen
  • Has a LED beam and alarms for ice fishing
  • Fits in the palm of your hand
  • Works with the GPS system


  • The battery only lasts 8 hours
  • May disconnect to Bluetooth with some phones

What Is a Portable Fish Finder?

A portable fish finder is a small gadget that detects objects beneath the surface using sonar technology. It is pretty effective at detecting all types of fish, both small and huge.

The most excellent part about these devices is that they don’t require a boat to function. Traditional fish scanners need a ship to be hardwired. You can fish from the shore with these and not have to worry about logistics.

As you may expect, they’re pretty light. The tiniest ones are small enough to fit in your pocket and connect to your phone. Even the most significant models, however, are small enough to carry into a small backpack.

How Does a Portable Fish Finder Work?

Portable fish finders, like many other devices, rely on sonar technology. The transducer emits sound waves. If an object stands in its way, the waves will collide with it and bounce back. When the waves reach the transducer, the software estimates the distance between the object and the transducer. This is accomplished by calculating the time it takes for the waves to bounce back off the obstruction.

You won’t have to worry about doing any math, thankfully. That is taken care of by the fish scanner. Based on the transducer readings, you’ll be able to see how deep the fish are on the screen. So you can pretty much assume it’s an excellent fishing site if there are many impediments in the path of the gadget.

How a Sonar Works

Do Portable Fish Finders Work?

They certainly do! The higher-end devices are capable of detecting little fish with great accuracy. They can also distinguish between a rock or a bank of sand and a school of fish, ensuring that you are never misled. Even the less expensive models will reliably tell you where the fish are. They are, however, not as sensitive as other objects and can only detect medium-sized fish (larger than 10 centimeters).

Who Should Get a Fish Finder?

Fishing fans can benefit a lot from getting one of these devices. For starters, fish finders lead you to good fishing spots. Pick an area of the lake or shore that’s home to a larger amount of fish. No more waiting for hours for something to bite.

How to Use a Portable Fish Finder

Technology might be intimidating at times, but it doesn’t have to be in this case. All models are unique and provide readings in a variety of ways. Regardless, to use most fish scanners, you must do the following:

  1. Turn on the scanner and pair it with your smartphone if necessary.
  2. Change the settings to your liking.
  3. With the transducer fitted, cast the fishing line into the water.
  4. Keep a close eye on the screen and wait for fish to appear.

The models begin to diverge at step four. Some will display red-and-yellow botches to indicate the presence of fish. Others will simply show a fish icon at the depth they are currently at. That’s why reading the instruction manual when you first obtain your gadget is so important. Overall, the screen shouldn’t be difficult to read.

Where to Use a Fish Finder?

A portable fish finder can be used almost everywhere where fishing is permitted. You name it: lakes, peaceful beaches, and slow-moving streams. Waves and suspended particles are to be avoided at all costs. The readings will be thrown off and erroneous as a result.

What Can I Use My Fish Finder For?

Portable fish finders are useful in a variety of scenarios. You can carry your gadget to more places if it has more added functions.

Ice Fishing

With a portable fish scanner, you can go ice fishing. After all, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could bore a hole in the ice sheet near a school of fish?

You can use the scanner in two different ways. The first is to make a separate hole for the fish finder and make sure it’s in a decent location. If it is, go ahead and drill a second hole for your fishing line next to it. The second method is to clear snow from on top of the ice sheet, inspect it for fractures and bubbles, and then place the scanner there. If your sonar indicates that cutting a hole there is a good idea, go ahead and do it. While other models’ readings may not be as accurate in this case, it is the most convenient means of looking for a decent fishing site.

Ice Fishing with portable fish finder

Kayak Fishing

One of the most common applications for portable scanners is this. However, the installation might be complicated, and not all devices will function on a kayak.

To begin, check to see if your fish scanner uses rechargeable or disposable batteries. Suppose this is the case, congratulations! Some types require a 12-volt battery, such as that found in a boat or car. You won’t be able to go kayak fishing with those.

Second, figure out how to attach the scanner to the kayak. Suction cups on the bottom of larger, clunkier variants can be attached to the kayak’s front. You could also be able to put up your fishfinder on the kayak’s floor. You may also connect your phone to the fishing pole if you’re using a scanner that feeds the readings to your phone. There are ways to make this situation less difficult. You could, for example, purchase a phone mount and secure it to the pole.

Kayak Fishing with portable fish finder

Sea Fishing

Sea fishing is a natural application for these portable scanners. When you’re out on the water, there’s plenty of area to set up the scanner: on the side of the boat, one of the seats, the floor—get creative. All you have to do now is keep an eye out for waves. These obstruct the precision of the transducer readings, resulting in a false readout. If the sea is calm, however, it’s a terrific spot to test out your new gadget.

Saltwater Fishing

In saltwater, you could be concerned about the accuracy of your sonar readings. Don’t be that way. The majority of portable fish finders may be used in both freshwater and saltwater.

Underwater Fishing

Portable fish finders are utilised to see what’s going on beneath the water’s surface. They’re your second pair of eyes, but they’ve only been trained to look underwater. So they’re not suitable for underwater fishing, as beneficial as they are. After all, you’d be looking for your following catch with your own eyes.

What’s the Difference Between a Portable Fish Finder and a Marine GPS?

Only marine GPS systems can tell you where you are geographical. They’ll plot your location on a map for you. You can use them to save specific areas on a map and, if desired, to create a custom route. When you’re out on a large lake and want to get back to the port where you left, they’re instrumental. They will not make water depth maps for you, despite all of their excellent features. They won’t be able to tell where schools of fish are either.

You’ll need a portable fish finder for that. These gadgets can be simple or sophisticated. The simplest models will (only) show you where to look for fish. They won’t show you your location on a map or anything. The most advanced models, on the other hand, frequently include a built-in GPS! That implies you might have the position of schools of fish on the screen at the same time as your location on a map. The most excellent part about these cutting-edge gadgets is that you may bookmark your favourite fishing places for future trips. They’re also reasonably priced.

Different Types of Portable Fish Finders

There are three basic types of fish finders. The one you should choose is determined by which technology you think you’ll get along with best and what you want from your device.

Portable Units

The most prevalent models are portable finders. They’re a little bigger than your hand but still small enough to carry around with you. The readings are sent to a screen—some models have sophisticated colour LEDs, while others have far more basic displays—and you may fiddle with the settings by pressing a few buttons.

These units are tough to beat. They’re dependable, provide precise readings, and, in most cases, have long battery life. They’re also simple to read when it comes to graphs on the screen.

If we had to pick a flaw, it would be that they aren’t particularly compact. As long as you have room in your fishing equipment pack, carrying them around isn’t too tricky.

Castable Units

Portable finders are the most common type. They’re slightly larger than your hand but still managed to take about. The readings are displayed on a screen—some models have sophisticated colour LEDs, while others have considerably more rudimentary displays—and the settings can be fiddled with by pushing a few buttons.

These units are tough to defeat. They’re dependable, give accurate readings, and, in most cases, last a long time on a single charge. When it comes to graphs on the screen, they’re also easy to understand.

If we had to point out a flaw, it would be that they aren’t very compact. However, carrying them around isn’t that difficult as long as you have room in your fishing equipment pack.

Mountable Units

These are the units that are the least common. Their display is identical to that of any other portable fish finder. But there’s a twist: they may easily be put semi-permanently on a boat or kayak. To modify the grip, they come with a c-clamp that you may tighten or loosen. They’re ideal for kayak fishing, boat cruises, and canoe fishing because of this.

Important Add-Ons for Fishing

Not all fih finders are created equal. Some are inexpensive since they merely use sonar technology, while others are more costly because they have fancy add-ons. These upgrades can help you take your fishing to the next level.

GPS Fish Detectors

As previously stated, certain fish finders include a built-in GPS. It still discovers schools of fish, but it now displays your current location on a map at all times.

These units can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, you can use GPS to save the location of a favourite fishing area. Then, the next time you go fishing, you can tell the GPS to take you to your fishing hotspot. Likewise, if you’re on a lake, you can plan a route and save it on the device that will take you from the dock to some new places you haven’t seen yet, then back.

Scanners for Fish on Their Own

These are the scanners that have been pared down to their core essentials. Their sole purpose is to locate schools of fish and indicate how deep the water is. This isn’t to suggest they aren’t effective units; they are. They’re ideal for a more traditional, off-the-grid fishing experience. Those who have trouble getting along with technology will appreciate the simplicity (but accuracy!) of these devices.

Fish Finder with Connectivity

The connection portable fish finders are the cream of the crop. These devices usually have a GPS built-in, but they also have additional features. Their main goal is to make fishing a more exciting activity.

These scanners can be connected to your phone. Make a depth map of the lake, use digital pins to mark your favourite fishing spots on a map, and then save it to your phone. It’s that simple. You can also upload all of this information online if that isn’t enough. For example, you can send an email or post on Facebook to your fishing mates about your most recent fishing trip.

What Should I Look for in a Portable Fish Finder? : The Complete Guide

It’s critical to get a fish scanner that’s right for you. Because these aren’t inexpensive devices, it’s crucial to pick the one you like right away.

With so many units available on the internet, it’s easy to become lost. That’s why we created our portable fish finder buying guide: to help you narrow down your options. Look for these qualities when you’re exploring online or in a store. Most of these criteria will be checked by the best fish finder.

The Transducer’s Quality

A suitable transducer is essential for accurate readings. It’s what produces sound waves (sonar) and tells you whether or not there are any fish around. A shoddy transducer is useless. Companies don’t always make a big deal about how amazing (or horrible) their components are. Look for references to “correct readings” in customer evaluations. Hurrah if you discovered a lot! You may go to the next step.

Rating of Strength

The power rating of all fish scanners is specified in watts. Some models are rated lower, while others are ranked higher. The most significant devices feature a high wattage while they both work. In addition, they can get reliable readings at greater depths. So, if you’re planning on going deep sea fishing, acquire the most powerful machine you can afford.


There are three different ways to power your device. It can be powered by a rechargeable battery, disposable batteries, or a 12-volt power source. First, look into the specifications of the scanner you’re considering to see how it’s powered.

Make sure you pick the right one. While 12-volt scanners are often the most affordable, they must be plugged into your yacht at all times. Isn’t this going to make them a lot less portable? We suggest obtaining one with disposable batteries (which can be recharged with a different device). It’s what’s most effective in the long run.

Transportation Portability and Ease

How helpful is a portable fish finder if it’s too cumbersome to carry with you when you go fishing? You’ll want to look for a unit with a small footprint that’ll be easy to pack and transport. On the other hand, maybe that’s not the model for you if lugging it about seems like too much of a hassle.

Aesthetic Appeal

For the ideal fishing experience, you must thoroughly evaluate the readings. As a result, investing in a high-quality display is a wise decision. Will colour graphs make it easier for you to see where the fish are? Do you have vision problems and require a larger screen? It’s entirely up to you!

Also, keep in mind that many (if not all) of your fishing outings will be in the sun. As a result, you’ll need a screen that doesn’t dim while it’s bright outside. A screen with a backlight is also required if you wish to fish at night. You won’t be able to utilise your priceless device otherwise.

Dimensions of the Display

The majority of the screens we’ve seen had a diagonal measurement of at least 3.5 inches. Some versions have larger screens, while others have even smaller panels. Which one you get is determined by your ability to perceive things. What screen size do you think you’ll be most comfortable with?


If you enjoy 21st-century technology, a scanner that can be coupled with your phone is likely a wise buy. You’ll be able to tell your buddies about your fishing trip and subsequently evaluate maps from the comfort of your own home.

Connectivity isn’t a must-have feature. Keep in mind that this increases the cost of this equipment. A fish detector that can’t link to other devices, on the other hand, does the job just as well as a more expensive one.

The angle of the Cone

Transducers produce cone-shaped sound waves that reveal what is under the surface. We’ve already highlighted how important it is to get a decent transducer. But it isn’t the end of the narrative.

Vast cone-shaped waves, i.e. 60 degrees wide, are required for a wide underwater image. For deep fishing, narrower angles (such as 20 degrees) are better. Unfortunately, only dual beal finders allow you to select whether you want a broader or more limited view of what’s beneath you. That is why they are more costly. When it comes to their waves, most other scanners only use a 20-degree angle.

A dual-beam fishfinder is recommended so you may experiment with the wave-degree settings. It’s more adaptable to any fishing you wish to do.


The frequency of the sound waves emitted by the transducer can be adjusted in some devices. When you want to conduct both deep sea and shallow water fishing, this is useful. It allows you to get a clearer, more detailed image of what’s going on beneath the surface. Higher frequencies—190 kHz and 200 kHz—work in shallower areas. Low frequency (50 kHz, for example) performs better in deeper places.


Surprisingly, not all fish finders are water-resistant. Transducers are usually waterproof. However, sprays of water can damage LED screens. So it’s best to invest a bit more money on a waterproof device. It’s the most effective technique to get the most out of your money.


Finally, create and stick to a budget for your portable fish finder. Units can be found for anything between $50 to $350. On the lower end of the spectrum, you’ll find simple units with no GPS or connectivity. The teams on the higher end of the scale will have a lot more fancy settings. Nonetheless, they all catch fish after the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to find fish with a handheld fish finder?

Yes! We recommend reading customer reviews if you’re not sure how accurate a certain fishing scanner is. After months of use, people generally publish updated reviews of how well (or how horribly!) their scanners have held up.

What is the best way to set up a portable fish finder?

Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this topic. It all depends on which model you choose. Unfortunately, we can only advise you to read the instruction manual. Alternatively, see if any consumers have posted instructional videos on how to set up their gadgets on YouTube.

Is it possible to use a fish finder instead of a map?

Unfortunately, no. If your fish detector doesn’t have built-in GPS, you’ll still need a map. If it does, you can leave the map at home and use this function instead.

Are GPS systems included with fish finders?

Not all of them, at least. However, the more expensive models do.

Is it true that all fish finders are waterproof?

They aren’t, unfortunately. Models that are less expensive aren’t waterproof or water-resistant at all. A squirt of water might scald the entire apparatus. Waterproof variants, on the other hand, are more expensive.

When ice fishing, how do portable fish finders work?

They function in the same way that they do in the water. All you have to do now is take some extra measures. For example, you should avoid using it in extremely cold temperatures. Temperatures of less than 0oF are frequently enough to destroy your gadget. Keep an eye out for the transducer when it’s submerged in icy water to avoid the ice sheet freezing around it.

How do fish finders get their power?

They can be powered by 12-volt batteries, rechargeable batteries (like phone batteries), or throwaway batteries.

Can a fish scanner tell you what kind of fish are underwater?

No, you won’t be able to. The sonar equipment will only notify you that a fish is beneath the surface, not whether it’s a bass, carp, or other species. You’ll have to wait until it bites to find out!


That comes us to the end of this guide; ideally, you’ve discovered a fish finder that matches your needs, or at the least, you’ve learned something new that will assist you in making your purchase.
Using a fish finder is a terrific way to take advantage of modern technology and catch more fish faster. I’ve spent hours fishing in a spot that appears promising on the surface, but that a fish finder would tell me isn’t holding anything.

If you need additional information, Humminbird also offers a beautiful guide about fish finders.

Would you mind leaving a comment below if you have utilized any of these portable fish finders so that all of our readers can benefit from your knowledge and experience? We enjoy interacting with our viewers.

Good luck with your fishing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *