A fish finder is a tool that helps anglers to catch fish effortlessly; It’s a device that uses sonar technology to detect the presence of fish in water. It’s used for detecting, locating, and tracking moving objects such as fish underwater.
They work with a sonar device that sends out sound waves and listens for the echo as it bounces off an object, and then returns to the unit. The unit then displays on its screen the distance and direction from which the echo came.
Buying a fish finder shouldn’t be a difficult task to do; However, it can be challenging to know which fish finder is the best for your needs and what you should consider before purchasing one. When buying a fish finder, one should consider some factors before investing their hard-earned money.
This post will help you decide which type of fish finder is right for you, and we shall review the best fish finder for pontoon boats so that you don’t end up spending a lot of time searching.
What To Look For When Buying A Fish Finder
When buying a fish finder, it is important to consider its frequency; There are single, dual, and multiple frequencies available. The single frequency devices can only detect one type of signal at a time while the dual-frequency devices can detect two different signals at once.
And the multiple frequency devices can detect more than two signals. The frequency of the device will depend on how often it needs to send out signals. When buying a fish finder, you should look for one that has high frequencies so that it can detect more objects in the water at once.
Power is measured in watts; A higher power will allow the device to have more range and detect larger depths and stay on longer.
It’s important to check the power of your device before purchasing it; A good fish finder will have enough power to multiple frequencies at a time so that you don’t need to switch frequencies while you’re on the boat.
Should have a widescreen resolution
A good fish finder should have a widescreen resolution that can show you a wide view of the water and give you a clear picture of what is going on below your boat.
The digital screen should also be able to give you information about how deep the water is, how much light there is and if there are any obstacles in your path.
A good fish finder will also have an adjustable beam width that lets you adjust the beam width according to your needs.
This allows for better visibility when it comes to spotting small fish or when there are a lot of obstructions in front of your boat.
Should have a colored screen
A good fish finder should have a color screen as it helps you to navigate through the different options easily. The black and white screens are difficult to navigate as they can make it harder for users to find their way around.
It should be easy to use and have a good selection of different colors that would help you to identify the type of fish you are looking for. A good fish finder also has to have a clear picture so that it is easy for the fisherman to see what they are catching.
Fish size it’s capable of detecting
Fishfinders are designed for different sizes of fish and water types; For example, if you are looking for a small freshwater fishing spot, you will need to buy a smaller-sized unit that is designed specifically for that type of water.
Depth range of the device
Fishfinders are designed with different depth ranges in mind; They might have up to 6000 feet of depth range or they may only have up to 100 feet of depth range. The more depth range they have, the better it will be able to cover
These are some of the things to consider, there are still other factors but these are the major ones. In the end, you want to use a device that is effective and easy to use so that you don’t get confused when operating the device.
Read Also: Best Inflatable Pontoon Boats
How a Fishfinder work
A fish finder works in a similar manner to sonar; They use sound waves to detect the presence of fish in the water. Fishfinders work by emitting sound into the water and listening for echoes that return from surrounding objects like fish or rocks.
The speed of sound is dependent on temperature, so cold water will have a higher frequency (higher pitch) than warm water.
The installation process for a fish finder is not always easy, but it’s not impossible either. It requires the owner to know how to do so and also have the required tools. The process could vary from one type of fish finder to another, you need to follow the simple instructions provided by the manufacturer so that you can install it successfully.
There are many different places to mount a fish finder on a pontoon; However, the best place to mount the fish finder is at eye level, which will allow it to see any fish that swims near the boat.
Some people prefer mounting the fish finder on the back of their boat, while others prefer mounting it on top of their boat. You can mount it on the bow, stern, or middle of the boat.
Mounting a fish finder on the bow will give you an advantage in catching fish when you are close to shore. Mounting a fish finder on the stern of your boat will provide you with more information about what’s going on in front of your boat and what’s coming up from behind.
Mounting a fish finder in the middle of your boat will give you an idea of what’s going on around your boat at all times and allow for easy navigation.
#3 Best Fish Finder For Boat of 2024
#1. Garmin Echo 551dv With Transducer
The Garmin Echo 551dv Fish Finder with Transducer is a powerful device that provides many features for fish finding. The Garmin has a transducer that can provide a wide range of yards, this allows the user to be able to detect fish in deep water without needing to stay near the surface of the water.
The device also has an easy-to-use interface that can be operated by anyone from kids to seniors. It is one of the best fish finders for recreational use as it provides an easy-to-use interface and has advanced features that make it suitable for professional use as well.
The Garmin Echo 551dv also comes in at a reasonable price point and is available online on Amazon as well as other retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, etc.
- Zooming Feature; One feature that makes the Garmin Echo 551dv Fish Finder stand out from other devices is its zooming feature. This allows users to zoom in on the fish and get a much better view of them without losing their perspective on their surroundings.
- Multiple views; The Garmin Echo 551dv Fish Finder offers the ability to switch between multiple views, both horizontal and vertical views, this allows for more efficient viewing of the water for better fishing.
- Alarm System; It has an alarm feature that will let you know if there is any nearby fish. This is useful for people who spend hours fishing without catching anything.
- Split-screen mode; The Garmin Echo 551dv Fish Finder has a split-screen mode for down image and viewing sonar. This allows them to keep an eye on their bait, lure, or fishing line without having to constantly switch screens which saves time and energy.
- Smooth scaling feature; with its smooth scaling feature, this fish finder offers a gentle transition between depths that are perfect for beginners and experienced anglers. This is an excellent choice for anglers who love to fish for bass, trout, or walleye.
- Waterproof and durable display; It has a waterproof and durable display; it also has an easy-to-use interface with a bright screen. This device is perfect for people who love to fish in lakes, rivers, and oceans. It makes it easier for them to find their way back to the dock or shoreline if they get lost in the water.
Overall, the Garmin Echo 551dv Fish Finder is affordable because it costs less than $500, and it’s worth the investment for users who are looking for something reliable and easy to use.
It is a great choice for those who are looking for some impressive features. The sleek design is perfect for the outdoorsman or fisherman who wants to have a device that looks modern and professional.
The ease of use makes it perfect for anyone who wants to get into fishing without having to invest thousands of dollars in equipment.
#2. Lowrance HDS-9 Gen3 Insight
Lowrance HDS-9 Gen3 Insight is also one of the best fish finders on the market, it has an advanced sonar system that can detect fish in deep water. The unit has a wide LCD screen, which makes it easier to read and navigate through menus.
The unit also comes with a built-in GPS, so you can easily find your way back home when fishing in unfamiliar waters. This product is great for recreational fishermen who want to get more out of their fishing experience, or for commercial fishermen who want to use the device as part of their work process.
Lowrance HDS 9 Gen 3 Insight is designed with the angler in mind with features like an electronic compass on the top of the unit that allows you to keep your bearing on the fish, and you can use it in all types of water conditions and depths. The unit also has a built-in transducer that can be used with any compatible Fishfinder sonar (sold separately).
- It’s a simple device; The Lowrance HDS-9 Gen3 Insight is designed to be as easy to use as possible. It has a depth sensor, GPS, and battery-powered sonar to help you find all types of fish in the water at depths from 4 ft. to 2200 ft. This is a simple device with a depth finder, and fish tracker, and anyone can operate the device without prior experience.
- It’s optimized for deep and shallow waters; The HDS-9 Gen3 Insight is an advanced GPS and sonar unit that is optimized for deep and shallow waters. It offers the best of both worlds; great features, an easy-to-use interface, and affordability.
- Has a 10Hz GPS antenna; This means that the unit can give you more accurate readings than most other units on the market; this is a great unit to use when you are looking for accuracy in your fishing or boating adventures. It has an internal GPS antenna and it is also compatible with external antennas, so there are no limitations on where you can use it.
- It offers DownScan and SideScan simultaneously; This makes it easier for users to explore the depths of the ocean and find fish with their cameras. DownScan is a mode that sends the sonar beam straight down while SideScan sends out a 360-degree sonar beam. This allows users to see more than before and get more accurate readings.
- Built-in temperature function; The Lowrance HDS-9 Gen3 Insight comes with a built-in temperature function that helps you track the current water temperature and forecast the future. It is an excellent tool for fishing, boating, and kayaking.
The Lowrance HDS-9 Gen3 Insight is ahead of other devices in many ways. It has a better screen, better battery life, and more accurate readings than the competition. It also offers advanced features like dual frequency and dual antenna technology for improved performance on both land and water.
We can conclude that it is a great product for the money; It has a lot of features that make it an easy choice for anyone looking to get into fishing.
The GPS and sonar technology are great features to have, as well as the ability to mount it on your boat, this product is perfect for beginner anglers who are just getting started in the sport of fishing, or those who want an upgrade from their old model.
#3. Humminbird Helix 7 SI Fish Finder
The Humminbird Helix 7 SI is a great fish finder for both freshwater and saltwater fishing; It comes with advanced technology that allows the user to see a clear image without any lags.
Its waterproof design makes it durable for all weather conditions; The device also comes with remote control for easy usability and power-saving features like sleep mode and auto-shutoff when not in use.
It comes with a new and improved fish-finding system that boasts a lot of features. It has a built-in GPS, sonar, and Chartplotter that can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
It also has an updated color touchscreen display that makes it easier to use. This is great for fishermen who want to get more information on their catches as soon as possible.
- It has a clear resolution; This fishfinder provides a Clear resolution, you get clarity and vivid imagery. It has a large, high-resolution display for a clearer view of your surroundings. It offers 800 x 480 resolution and has a Clear resolution that makes it easy to see and identify the fish that you’re targeting.
- Innovative design and features; It has an innovative design that makes it easy to use and maintain while providing you with maximum performance, accuracy, and durability. It is an excellent option for any fishing enthusiast who wants to have high-quality performance in all conditions.
- Side-imaging and Down-imaging; The Humminbird Helix 7 SI comes with a down imaging mode which makes it easier to see the bottom of the water, it also has a side imaging mode which makes it easier to view what is going on around you.
- Faster loading times; It offers a faster and more comfortable experience for the angler. The screen is now brighter and clearer with an updated look that’s easy on the eyes, even in bright sunlight. The new external design offers increased comfort, as well as a more natural feel when casting or reeling in.
- SwitchFire sonar technology; this model is the latest in Humminbird’s line of sportfishing sonars; It features a built-in GPS that can be used for depth and bottom measurements, along with SwitchFire sonar technology operating at 83 kHz or 200 kHz, it also offers two-dimensional and color underwater imaging.
The Humminbird Helix 7 SI Fish Finder is a high-performing fish finder that can be used by recreational fishermen or commercial fishermen alike.
It has some awesome features that make it worth your investment, Humminbird has taken on the challenge of bringing this technology to market at an affordable price range, while still maintaining its performance standards.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Fishfinder
- Transducer Location
The transducer location of a Fishfinder is an important factor to consider when buying one; It determines the accuracy, range, and depth of the device. Before purchasing a fish finder, it is important to check if the transducer can be inserted into the fish finder.
If not, then there is no point in buying it because you can’t use it. The transducer has to be able to fit into the fish finder before you buy it. If not, then you should look for another model that has space for your transducer.
- Boat size
If you are considering buying a fish finder, it’s important to find out the size of your boat first. This will help you determine what size transducer cable you need to buy. You should compare your pontoon boat size with the length of your boat; If you are in doubt, contact a professional for advice on what size would be best for you.
Also, before you’re out shopping for a fish finder, you need to know your boat size, most fishfinders have specifications on the type of boat they can operate. Knowing your boat size will allow you to see if your fishfinder is suitable or not.
Boat size can also affect the device’s performance; Fishfinders are used in a variety of boats, from small kayaks to large fishing vessels. The larger the boat, the more difficult it is for a fish finder to find fish. Fishfinders are also affected by water depth, waves, and how close you are to the shoreline.
- Does the device have a GPS?
When buying a fish finder, it’s important to check whether it has a GPS or not. Some people might not need the GPS feature of their fishfinder because they are going fishing in an area where they know exactly where the fish is and they are well aware of the water bodies around.
However, for people who are new to fishing and don’t know the area well enough, having a GPS is crucial. It will help them find their way around without getting lost and find fish more easily.
Even though a fishfinder is useful as it can help you to find out where the fish are located and navigate in water, it is important to note that a GPS is not a requirement for the fishfinder to work.
The GPS system was designed to make navigation easier and more accurate in the modern world and the system provides the user with their location on a map, that’s why they’re installed on fishfinders. If you don’t need it, you don’t have to bother yourself about it either.
Get the right sonar
The sonar is one of the most important features of a fishfinder; It provides information on what is below the boat and how far away it is. Here are some important points to note when choosing your sonar;
- Down-scan-Sonar; It is considered to be the best option for deep water, but it can also work in shallow waters. This type of sonar works well when there are no obstructions in the water, like rocks or other objects. The down-scan sonar sends out sound waves and then records the echoes that bounce back from objects in the water. Down-scan sonars are usually used by commercial fishermen to find fish, as well as by military personnel for naval warfare.
- Side-scan sonars; they’re the best option for shallow water, but they will not work well if the water is deep above 75-feet. The technology has been used by oceanographers, scientists, and military personnel to study the seabed in shallow water. It has also been used as a navigation tool for ships and submarines. Side-scan sonars are not limited to shallow water depths because they can be used in any type of water depth that is within range of their transmitter.
- A combination of the two is great; Having both the side and down sonars is the best option as you get the benefits of all combined on your device. But you should expect any device that combines them to be expensive. You will get a significant increase in price if you want to have both down and side sonar equipped on the device. You’ll also find a lot of devices out there that have these two options. Even the ones we have reviewed, have these two options combined.
Having a fish finder equipped with both down-scan and side-scan technology is the best recommendation especially if money isn’t a factor in your decision-making process.
Screen size is an important factor to consider when buying a fishfinder device. The size of the screen has a direct impact on the usability of the device and its accuracy. In order to determine which one is best for you, it is important to keep in mind what type of fishing you are going to be doing and also your budget.
Fishfinders with smaller screens are generally easier to use and more portable than those with bigger screens. While the bigger screens offer more detail regarding the water; the bigger the screen size, the more detail it can provide on the water surface. The most common screen sizes range from 4-inch screens to 9-inch screens.
Fishfinders with a bigger screen provide a better experience for users and help them quickly identify fish in the water. They also help fishermen find more fish in a shorter span of time and improve their chances of catching one.
The advantages of these devices are not limited to just fishing and boating; even if you’re not an avid fisherman or boater, you can still benefit from these improved features they provide.
These are the important factors you should consider when you’re buying a fishfinder, in the end, it all comes down to your preferences, the features you’re looking for, and your budget.
Buying the right fishfinder can be a daunting task because there are so many options out there, and it can be difficult to know which one is the best option. When buying a fish finder, you should always consider your budget and needs;
If you want to buy an entry-level model with features that are not important to you, then go ahead and do so. But if you want something with more advanced features, then it’s probably worth it to spend a bit more.
Ever wondered how you can have a cruising boat without getting into financial problems? The answer is here. That is the reason why we set up this blog to share with you, safety tips, answers to questions that have to do with fishing and hunting. You are going to love it!
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