It would help if you first found the fish before you could catch it. A fish finder is the first accessory most anglers include in their fishing kayak. A simple sonar will display water depth. A kayak equipped with electronics will give you a wealth of information about navigation and fishing.
Today’s fishing kayaks make it easy to install electronics. Anglers can add electronics quickly and easily using mounting pads, sonar pods, and transducer pockets. Even boats that haven’t been set up for fish finders can be rigged. Any kayak can be made fishing-ready using aftermarket mounts, gear tracks, and battery boxes.
The hardest part of adding a fishfinder to a kayak is selecting the right one. You won’t find a kayak-specific model of the duplicate fish finder from any manufacturer. Like a motorboat, a fish finder and GPS are invaluable for safety and fishing. A fish finder is essential for kayak anglers who plan to travel further than they can walk back.
What size kayak fish finder is best?
Many people believe that a kayak needs a small fish finder. This is incorrect. Many professional tournament anglers have multiple nine-inch screens on their kayaks. You can evaluate your needs to determine the best size fish finder.
A four-inch fish finder is a popular choice for kayak anglers. It can fit into tight spaces and draws less power. The fish finder’s display size doesn’t necessarily mean it is less powerful. Four-inch models have high-power down scan sonar for the best view of fish and structures.
Even compact fish finders can be equipped with GPS and detailed maps. A four-inch sonar is easier to store and fit into a kayak. Many small units come with a quick release to allow the display to be removed from the base.
A four-inch screen can be challenging to view. A fish finder shouldn’t be installed in a way that blocks visibility. This means that the base should be mounted in a way that doesn’t hinder paddling, pedaling, fishing, or other activities. It isn’t easy to read the images and information if the fish finder is mounted beyond arm’s reach.
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Kayak anglers should choose between a 5-inch or 7-inch display for the best visibility. The seven-inch display is recommended if you intend to use the unit in split screen mode to see GPS and fish finder simultaneously.
The screen measures seven inches and is easy to read. I can also use the larger buttons to control the features with my slimy and wet fingers. Although larger models can be purchased with touch screen displays, I prefer the more reliable units with push buttons.
A unique fish finder base with an adjustable arm is used to mount the large screen. It is simple to adjust and take down a track-mounted base. For a more robust connection, however, I prefer a permanent base that I can attach to my kayak.
Nine-inch screens are the best choice for tournament anglers. They’re easy to see when standing up fishing. Pros flush the screen and run cables below the deck. These fancy units are a competitive advantage, but they are too large to be practical for weekend warriors.
What are the essential characteristics of a fishfinder?
A combination fish finder/GPS unit is a good choice if you plan to use electronics with your kayak. A simple fish finder is not enough unless you intend to limit your fishing to farm ponds. Modern electronics pack a lot into a small package. Kayaking anglers can access traditional sonar, side scan, down scan, and the new live view fish finders.
Properly fitting the transducer to your kayak is the most critical aspect of choosing the best fishfinder. Most kayaks designed for fish finders can accommodate a traditional puck transducer. Sidescan and live-view sonar require larger transducers and more space below the kayak. Live view transducers must be rotated 360 degrees to get a complete view of the water below. Shade-tree engineers attach the live view sonar to a kayak by mounting it on a pole they can move manually. Every manufacturer of fish finders has a different transducer.
While a fish finder is essential for finding bites, a GPS is the best tool for kayak fishing. The GPS is an excellent tool for kayak fishing. It allows me to track my drifts and map my fishing area. To find structures and potential fishing holes, I use detailed charts. By recording my track, I can return to the best spots. The top-of-the-line GPS units also include tide and current information. To plan my trips, I can link my GPS to my smartphone.
As I paddle to the fishing areas, my GPS is a great tool. It displays my speed and keeps me on track with where I am going. My GPS data allows me to monitor my power and adjust my stroke to conserve energy. This allows me to keep my course straight, regardless of wind or current. It also saves time. Simple plotters give adequate information about location, speed, direction, and other details, but GPS units that include detailed maps and navigation features make kayaking easier.
The next step after Buying a kayak, life vest, and paddle is to purchase a fishfinder and GPS. There is a fishfinder for every kayak angler, with compact units’ best navigation and fishing features.