7 Best Portable Fish Finders Reviewed

Fishing can take a lot of time and patience, which for some fishermen can be part of the fun, whereas for others can be downright aggravating. Finding the right fishing spot can be difficult because unless you put on goggles and go underwater yourself, you’re not able to see the fish, the water depth, or anything else underneath of you. 

That’s where portable fish finders come in. They do the work of finding the fish, measuring the water depth and temperature, and some even come equipped with GPS to help you find and save the best fishing spots. 

Fish finders come in a variety of sizes with a variety of features that can help you get the best experience and most success out of your fishing trip.  

Best Portable Fish Finders – Reviewed

Best Portable Fish Finder Screen

1. Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv Series Fish Finders

4.5 stars 

As screens seem to be getting smaller and smaller, it may be hard to catch important details of what’s below the water’s surface. The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7 Series Fish Finders features not only a larger 7-inch screen but vivid colors that help make fish and structure more distinguishable in ultimate clarity and contrast. There are seven different colors to choose from, now your fishing trip is more personalized to you. With a screen resolution of 800 x 480, you’ll have an easier time distinguishing between things like rocks and fish.    

The high-quality Garmin sonar provides a detailed look underwater, and the CHIRP technology transmits a large range of frequencies. The high-sensitivity GPS allows you to map out and create your routes, as well as track your boat’s speed. Up to two million acres of map can be saved and stored, and you can use the waypoint marking to mark hot spots. 

Built-in WiFi allows you to connect to the ActiveCaptain app where you can receive smart notifications, transfer waypoints, and access the Garmin Quickdraw community. Garmin is a reputable name in the technology department, and this portable fish finder only adds to it. Find it now on Bass Pro Shops or Amazon.    

Dimensions: 11.4″L x 8.9″W x 8.2″H

Sonar frequency: 200 kHz / 15° and 77 kHz / 45°

Depth range: 1,900 ft 

Pros: 

  • 7″ screen size, WVGA color, and backlit
  • Seven vivid colors and a great contrast help make fish and structure more distinguishable  
  • Garmin 2D sonar 
  • High-sensitivity GPS allows you to map and create routes and track boat speed  
  • Quickdraw Contours mapping 
  • Waypoint marking to mark hot spots 
  • Detects water temperature 
  • Built-in WiFi 
  • Compatible with ActiveCaptain app 
  • Included transducer for Garmin CHIRP sonar 
  • Included tilt/swivel quick install mount 

Cons: 

  • Pricey compared to other portable fish finders

View on Bass Pro Shops >>

Also Available on Amazon

Best Old School Portable Fish Finder

2. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

View on Amazon

4 stars

For every fancy fish finder, there is a more basic one that still comes equipped with useful features. The Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder may be for those minimalists who are looking more for function and less for looks. The display is in black and white, which could eliminate confusing spots on the screen. It’s small enough that you can strap it around your neck with the included neck strap and store it in your tackle box when you don’t need it. 

Although small, it can last for up to five hours, uses sonar to detect not only fish but water depth, size of the fish, plants, sand, and rocks. Whether you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater, this fish finder can measure over 300 ft deep in the water and comes equipped with a fish alarm. This is ideal for kayaks or small boats since the finder can detect when moving at up to 5mph. 

Fishing at night is no problem due to the backlight mode, and if you’re more into ice fishing, the Venterior fish finder can even withstand temperatures as low as zero degrees. This is a great option if you’re on a budget or are a beginner fisherman. Check it out on Amazon.

Dimensions: 10.63 x 6.65 x 2.48 in 

Sonar frequency: 200 kHZ    

Depth range: 328 ft 

Pros: 

  • Minimalist fish finder for beginners or budget cautious 
  • Budget-friendly 
  • Neck strap for convenient carrying 
  • Small for ultimate portability 
  • AAA Battery powered for up to five hours 
  • Detects fish, water depth, sand, rocks, and plants 
  • Fish alarm 
  • Night fishing is easier with backlight mode 
  • Can withstand temperatures as low as zero degrees 

Cons: 

  • The screen is not waterproof 

View on Amazon >>

Best Castable Portable Fish Finder

3. Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar

View on Amazon

4.5 stars 

Maybe shore fishing and relaxing in your chair is your type of fishing. The Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar is a castable fish finder that allows you to create maps on your smartphone by simply casting it out and reeling it back in. It is the only fish finder currently on the market that can make bathymetric maps from the shore since most work best on a boat. It also has a casting range of 330 ft, which is farther than any other castable fish finder. 

With dual beam sonar, the Deeper PRO sends 15 scans per second, so you can get the most accurate reading possible. It pairs with your android or IOS device in seconds, and the WiFi connection is 10x faster than Bluetooth. 

Three different color palettes help with visibility, and the advanced display outlines plants, structure, and the bottom contour and consistency. As soon as you start scanning, the water depth and temperature are measured, so you can find the best place to cast. You can mark fish and your favorite fishing spots to come back to. 

Once you finally get that perfect catch, you can log it with pictures and notes, as well as equipment, bait, and techniques used. Buy it now on Amazon

Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.32 x 2.95 in

Sonar frequency: Dual-beam Frequency 290 kHz (15°)/90 kHz (55°)

Depth range: 260 ft         

Pros: 

  • Castable fish finder that allows you to cast from a fishing line
  • Create maps from the shore on your smartphone and look at them on any device 
  • Casting range of 330 ft 
  • Dual-beam sonar for a narrow or wide beam 
  • Target separation of 1″ for accurate readings 
  • Sends 15 scans per second 
  • Color screen for visibility and structure 
  • Measures water depth and temperature 
  • Mark fishing spots, campsites, and other locations 
  • Log catches with pictures, notes, and details  
  • Lithium rechargeable battery 
  • Can withstand as low as -4 degrees

Cons: 

  • Need a smartphone to use it 

View on Amazon >>

Best Smart Device Portable Fish Finder

4. ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Sonar Fish Finder

ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Sonar Fish Finder

View on Amazon

4 stars 

Sharing your fishing trip just got easier with the ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Sonar Fish Finder. The iBobber does much more than just provide easy access to share your catches on social media, but that’s just one of the unique features you’ll get. This wireless fish finder is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and uses Bluetooth to link to your smartphone or smartwatch, making your fish-finding experience more convenient. Cast up to 100 ft away for accurate readings. 

The sonar technology detects up to 135 ft, and you can choose between raw sonar or fish tagging views. Fish under 15″ get an orange tag, but fish over 15″ get a green tag, so you can decide whether you want to go for it or not. 

A trip log can allow you to record everything from location, water temperature, types of fish caught, and more. Drop a pin at your favorite fishing spot, so you can come back again. With 10-hour battery life, you can be fishing all day. Check it out on Amazon

Dimensions: 2″ x 2″ x 1″

Sonar frequency: 118 kHz at 90 degrees  

Depth range: 135 ft 

Pros: 

  • The smallest, lightest portable unit 
  • Patented sonar fish identifier technology 
  • Choose between raw sonar or fish tagging views 
  • Different tags for fish under or over 15″
  • Links to your smartphone or smartwatch via Bluetooth up to 100 ft
  • LED Beam 
  • Rechargeable battery lasts up to 10 hours
  • Contour mapping of waterbed and structure 
  • Depth finder
  • ​Included carry case
  • Easy access to post on social media 
  • Mark the location of your favorite fishing spot 
  • Strike and fish alarm
  • Included charger 

Cons: 

  • Need a smartphone or smartwatch to use 

View on Amazon >>

Best User-Friendly Portable Fish Finder

5. Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 Fishfinder

4 stars 

Simple and effective is the best way to describe the Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 Fishfinder since it provides just enough of the qualities you need when fishing. With the user-friendly interface, Fish ID +, depth and fish alarms are simple. The dual-beam sonar allows you to choose from a narrow beam for more detail or a wide beam for a larger coverage of fish, structures, and ground contours. 

Although it doesn’t come equipped with GPS or live mapping, it can reach a depth range of up to 600 ft, so if you’re not shallow water fishing, this is a great option. The color display and 272H x 480V screen resolution help provide a clearer view of what’s underneath the water. 

The fish alarm can be set to small, medium, or large fish, so you won’t waste your time on catches you don’t want, and the depth alarm lets you know when the transducer hits the desired depth. A truly simple yet effective device for a range of fishermen, from novice to advanced. Find it now on Bass Pro Shops or Amazon.   

Dimensions: 3.6″ x 3.9″ x 6.8″

Sonar frequency: Dual-beam sonar 320 ft (20) 455 kHz 600 ft (20) 200 kHz

Depth range: 600 ft

Pros: 

  • Deep depth range 
  • Easy-to-use Fish ID interface 
  • Depth and fish alarms for specific depths and sizes
  • Color display to distinguish fish, structure, and waterbed
  • Included tile and swivel mount 
  • Suction cup for transducer
  • Easy for anyone to use
  • Budget-friendly 
  • AA battery powered for up to 10-hour battery life
  • Dual-beam sonar for narrow or wide reading
  • Included carry case

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come equipped with GPS, maps, or some of the features other fish finders do

View on Bass Pro Shops >>

Also Available on Amazon

Best All-Season Portable Fish Finder

​6. Lowrance Hook2 4x Portable

4.5 stars 

When you fish in the summer and in the winter, it’s understandable that you may not want to purchase two different fish finders. The Lowrance Hook2 4x Portable is great for all seasons, including winter when you want to go ice fishing. This simple yet powerful fish finder is designed to go anywhere as it includes an ice transducer and technology that adjusts sonar settings as the fishing conditions change. 

The wide-angle CHIRP sonar covers more water in less time and doubles the coverage of other competitors. A simple display gives you a one-touch access keypad, so you can spend more time fishing and less time messing with the settings. The high-resolution SolarMAX screen provides a clear display in any condition. 

With a high-sensitivity GPS antenna and GPS plotter, you’ll be able to save waypoints, follow trails, and travel to your favorite fishing spots. It comes with a portable kit for easy and safe storage when you’re not using it. Check it out on Bass Pro Shops or Amazon.   

Dimensions: 10.7″ x 9.5″ x 4.4″ 

​Sonar frequency: 200 kHz

Depth range: 200 ft 

​Pros: 

  • ​Designed by anglers for a simple and effective experience 
  • Includes ice transducer for ice fishing 
  • ​Adjusts sonar settings as the fishing conditions change 
  • Wide-angle CHIRP sonar doubles the coverage of other fish finders
  • Down imaging sonar 
  • One-touch access keypad 
  • High-resolution SolarMAX screen for sunlight-viewable brightness  
  • High-sensitivity GPS antenna and GPS plotter 
  • Save waypoints, follow trails, and travel to your favorite fishing spots 
  • Comes with a portable kit 
  • 4″ screen

Cons: 

  • The screen may not be big enough for some anglers 

View on Bass Pro Shops >>

Also Available on Amazon

Best Portable Fish Finder to Attract Fish

7. LUCKY Portable Fish Scanner with LCD Screen

LUCKY Portable Fish Scanner with LCD Screen

View on Amazon

​4 stars 

Throwing bait into the water isn’t the only way to attract fish; they can also be attracted through light. The fish LUCKY Portable Fish Scanner comes equipped with a yellow transducer that has two light beams on the bottom, making it easier to attract fish and see it in the dark if you go night fishing. The LCD screen helps keep the handheld fish finder last longer as it provides efficient energy. It also has LED backlighting, which may come in handy in darker conditions. 

The transducer can measure water depth, temperature, underwater structure, and fish size. It comes with an option to set the detection sensitivity between one and 10. One being detecting minimal detail, and 10 detecting the most detail. This small unit is extremely portable, making it easy to store and carry and helping you save room for other fishing gear. 

If the scanner or transducer runs out of battery, they can both be easily recharged with the included USB chargers. The transducer can last for up to 10 hours, and the scanner can last for up to four. You can find it now on Amazon

Dimensions: 5.12″ x 2.76″ x 1.38″

Sonar frequency: 200 kHz

Depth range: 147 ft 

Pros: 

  • LCD screen energy efficient and provides backlighting 
  • Measures water depth, temperature, structure, and fish size
  • Yellow transducer comes equipped with two light beams to help attract fish and see in the dark 
  • Small and extremely portable 
  • Easily rechargeable 
  • Two user modes: wireless/simulation 
  • 196 ft wireless operating range
  • Depth and fish alarm 
  • Set sensitivity to see more or less with a scale from 1 to 10 

Cons: 

  • 2.4″ screen may be too small for some users

View on Amazon >>

​How Does a Portable Fish Finder Work? 

Even though you now know some of the best portable fish finders out there, you may still be wondering how they are actually able to detect fish and other structures underneath the surface. Portable fish finders use sonar beams to transmit sound waves. The transducer tracks how much time between when the signal is sent to when it’s returned and uses that to measure the depth of the object the sound bounced off of. 

Like with any piece of technology, fish finders can take practice to get the hang of it. If you’ve never used a fish finder before, it may be more beneficial to go for a simpler model like the Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder or the Humminbird PiranhaMAX 4 Fishfinder. More advanced fishermen may need the Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7cv Series Fish Finders in order to have access to GPS and store maps for the best and their favorite fishing spots. 

All of the above fish finders have the ability to track fish location, and a lot of them have the ability to track the size and even alarm you when the desired size passes by. Ultimately, that is probably priority one when looking for a fish finder. Whether you want the extra bells and whistles is up to you. 

Final Thoughts 

Portable fish finders are great because they are designed to go anywhere your next fishing trip takes you. They don’t take up much room and are light enough to carry around. Depending on if you’re kayak fishing, shore fishing, or anything in between, you can find a portable fish finder that meets your needs. 

Aside from just finding fish, some fish finders can lead you to the best spots to get the most fishing success, so you won’t have to spend time waiting around for the fish to come to you. There are simple and more advanced models that each provide different features, so once you decide which features are most important to you, you can start enhancing your fishing experience with a portable fish finder.   

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