Three Things To Look For In A Fishfinder

Find where the fish are with these tips

August 26, 2019

Anglers have long tried to find where the fish are. Thankfully modern technology makes it a little easier to see just what’s going on — and where the fish are hanging out — below the surface.

Here are three things to look for in a fishfinder.

Standalone…or Combination Fishfinder/Chartplotter?

Humminbird HELIX 5 Fish Finder
Combination fishfinder/chartplotters often offer the best bang for the buck, combining navigation with fish-finding capabilities on one easy-to-read screen. Courtesy Amazon

If you’re familiar with your body of water and just want to see what’s happening below your boat — or already have a separate GPS and want a large, fishfinder-only screen — a standalone fishfinder makes sense. Many boaters, however, will benefit from a combination fishfinder/chartplotter that can be used for both navigation and spotting your prey.


Consider The Specs

Lowrance HOOK2 5X
The more power a fishfinder has the better it “sees” in murky water, views lower depths and distinguishes targets and bottom features. Courtesy Amazon

Displays are measured in inches, measured diagonally across the screen face. In general, more pixels per square inch provides better detail all around, giving the viewer more accurate detail of what’s going on below. Color further helps distinguish objects. Higher frequencies work best in shallow waters, low frequencies in deeper conditions.

Widescreen displays often work best for split-screen applications, keeping important information readily at hand.

Simple Solutions For Kayak Or Canoe Fishing

LUCKY Portable Fish Finder
Small, portable fishfinders drop transducers below the water’s surface on a float or mount to the hull or pole. Courtesy Amazon

Fishfinders don’t have to be expensive, or feature space-hogging screens. Simple, affordable handheld fishfinders are ideal for kayak or canoe fishing and can detect and display approximate fish location as well as water depth and bottom features.


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