Best Portable Fish Finder: For a Lightweight Trip a Compact Finder is Important

Best Portable Fish Finder
Joe
Written by Joe

We reviewed and compared the top 10 of the best portable fishfinders on the market. We also explain how these devices work and why you need one.

Portable fish finders can prove to be very useful, especially if you are going to fish from two or more kayaks or you just don't like to permanently mount your finder to a fixed watercraft. They utilize sound waves to locate fish and find the best fishing spots.

They are a good investment for when you need to temporarily mount a unit on small boats, fish from the shore or go on trips. Our comprehensive guide on portable fish finders seeks to help you make a smart decision in regard to what model and style best suits your needs.

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Best Portable Fish Finder: Our Top Picks

Read on for our reviews about the best products on the market and pick your favorite!

The Wireless High Definition Portable Fish Finder from LUCKY

LUCKY Wireless Portable Fish Finder with Attracting Fish Lamp for Shore Anglers High Definition

Features:
  • Has a 2.4-inch screen
  • Shows fish location and water depth
  • Depth capacity of 147 feet

This wireless fish finder has an amazing 2.4-inch screen which shows you water depth, water temperature as well as the location of fish. The displays on-screen are very easy to understand because you can see fish icons.

Since it is super light, casting this fish finder is very smooth and it has an eye-catching design. This fish finder has a wireless casting range of 196 feet which is very impressive and it sends up to 3 scans per second.

This gives you some of the most accurate reading you can find on a fish finder. Lastly, one of its standout features is its ability to scan down up to 147 feet which is incredible.

Pros:
  • Super lightweight and powerful
  • Icons are visible on the screen
  • You can see water depth as well as fish size
  • Accurate reading
  • Wireless connection range if 196 feet
  • Scans down up to 147 feet 
Cons:
  • The screen size is very small for most customers

HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display

Features:
  • It is waterproof
  • Has an amazing Algorithmic software programming
  • You get FishArc and FishID fish finder indicators
  • The incredible VirtuView HD color
  • Has a FishTrax intelligent sonar

Second, on the list is the Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder from Hawkeye and this product has some incredible features that ensure you have amazing fishing experiences. With a reading up to 240 feet, it is one of the most powerful products you can buy.

You get amazing readability thanks to the VirtuView HD color displays it has. This fish finder is floatable, mountable as well as trollable making it one of the most versatile on the market.

With FISHID tech, you can tell the size of the fish as well as how far it is away from you. You don't have to worry about false reading with this product because it has incredible audio which alerts you to the presence of fish thanks to algorithmic software programming.

Pros:
  • Incredibly versatile because it is floatable, trollable and mountable
  • You get accurate readings all the time thanks to algorithmic software programming
  • Reading up to 240 feet
  • Provides an amazing fishing experience
  • HD color display
Cons:
  • Poorly designed

LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder Portable Fishing Kayak Fishfinder Fish Depth Finder Fishing Gear with Sonar Transducer and LCD Display

Features:
  • Can be used for offshore fishing, kayak fishing, ice fishing, lake fishing, and sea fishing
  • Can be used in handheld mode
  • 5 sensitivity options

Third, on the list is the LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder and it has the ability to detect as well as display water depth, fish location, weeds and more. You can use this product for a variety of fishing environments.

Anything from ice fishing, kayak finishing, sea fishing, shore fishing, and offshore finishing is perfect for this fish finder. It is a very easy product to use as well thanks to the user-friendly interface, effortless installation process and has a 25-foot cable.

What's also great about this fish finder is it has 5 modes sensitive options plus tt has depth detention of 328 feet. If ice fishing is your passion, this is a trusty companion to have with you because you can navigate to locations easily thanks to the waypoint map feature.

Pros:
  • Can hang it on your neck
  • Has 5 mode sensitive options
  • Has a 25-foot cable
  • Easy to install and use
  • Very powerful and offers an amazing depth
  • Open battery save mode
Cons:
  • Some customers find the screen small

Venterior Portable Rechargeable Fish Finder Wireless Sonar Sensor Fishfinder Depth Locator with Fish Size, Water Temperature, Bottom Contour, Color LCD Display

Features:
  • Castable as well as wireless
  • Detects as well as displays fish, water depth
  • No need for drilling

The Venterior Portable Rechargeable Fish Finder just like the one above offers you sharper images thanks to the color LCD. you will get a clear picture of everything that is under your boat.

You get clear notifications on things like depth, fish, structures, objects and more plus it is an amazing user-friendly interface. Venterior has been making top quality fishing products for well over 40 and their years of experience clearly shows in this product.

Lastly, this fish finder has a wireless distance range of 262 feet and a depth range of 131 feet. You can easily change your viewing angle with this product and this is a feature not found on many products of this nature on the market. There is no need to drill some holes on your boat to install this product.

Pros:
  • Sharper image quality
  • Allows you to identify contours, fish, structures and more
  • Has a user-friendly interface
Cons:
  • No GPS feature

LUCKY Portable Fish Finder Transducer Sonar Sensor 147 Feet Water Depth Finder LCD Screen Echo Sounder Fishfinder with Fish Attractive Lamp for Ice Fishing Sea Fishing

Features:
  • Wireless capabilities
  • 5 feature settings
  • Long-lasting battery

The LUCKY Portable Fish Finder Transducer is packed with amazing features and it is certainly one of the best on the market. It has a 2.4 inch LCD screen which helps display as well as to detect water depth, fish size, water temperature and more.

It has a wireless operating range of 196 feet and a depth detection range of 147 feet. You can take this fish finder with you when you go sea fishing, river fishing, ice fishing and fishing off the shore.

Lastly, this fish finder has feature settings which include language change, screen brightness, fish alarm, depth alarm, depth range, unit alter and detect sensitivity.

Pros:
  • Very easy to set up and use
  • Gives you double the coverage
  • Has various feature settings
  • Can be used for a variety of fishing activities
Cons:
  • Many customers feel the 2.4-inch screen is too small

RICANK Portable Fish Finder, Contour Readout Handheld Fishfinder Depth readout 3ft(1m) to 328ft (100m) with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display 5 Modes Sensitivity Options Fish Depth Finder Yellow

Features:
  • Has 5 sensitivity mode options
  • Detects fish, weeds, rocks, water depth and more
  • Amazing depth range
  • Perfect for a variety of fishing ways

The Portable Fish Finder from RICANK shows you everything you need while fishing from water depth, fish sizes, weeds, rocks, sand, and fish location. It doesn't matter whether it is river fishing, ice fishing, lake fishing or even kayak fishing, this fish finder performs very well.

It has an amazing detection depth range of between 3 - 328 feet which is very useful if you are new to fishing and it has good battery life. You can use a normal fish fisher for 4-5 hours straight if the batteries are brand new however, this one is different.

You can use it for even longer than that because it has a battery save mode on top of other functions like backlight mode, fish alarm, unit of measure and more. Below are the pros and cons of the Portable Fish Finder from RICANK.

Pros:
  • Shows you everything from water depth, fish sizes, weeds, rocks, sand, and fish location
  • Offer you more than the average 4-5 hour battery life of most fishfinders
  • Very powerful and has 5 sensitive options
  • Good depth range
  • Very durable 
Cons:
  • Most customers feel this fish finder has a very small screen

2-in-1 LUCKY Rechargeable Fishfinder Depth Wireless 147ft (45m) Transducer Depth 328ft (100m) Waterproof Fish Finder for Fisherman & Fishing Enthusiast

Features:
  • Wireless depth capability of 147 feet
  • Water depth capability of 328 feet
  • 20 hour running time
  • 3.7V rechargeable lithium battery

The 2-in-1 Rechargeable Fishfinder from LUCKY has a 2.8 color screen which makes everything around your boat look picture perfect. One of its standout features is the fact that it is a product that is waterproof.

It can float in water and will not get at all and it has a 3.7V rechargeable lithium battery that has a running time of 20 hours. Some of its other cool features include a wireless depth capacity of 147 feet and a transducer range of 328 feet.

Lastly, this fish finder allows you to zoom in and out, has an anti-clutter system, battery alarm and sonar coverage. Many people are massive fans of this product however, it does have a few pros and cons.

Pros:
  • Comes with 3.7 V rechargeable battery
  • Running time of 20 hours
  • Floats on water
  • Waterproof
  • Wireless range
  • Depth capacity of 147 feet
Cons:
  • The battery takes a while to charge

LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer Kayak Fish Finder Kit Portable Depth Finder LCD Display for Kayak Boat Ice Fishing

Features:
  • 5 assistant settings
  • Battery setting mode
  • Color LCD display
  • Good for various fishing occasions

The LUCKY Portable Fish Finders Wired Transducer is a fantastic product and a must-have for any fishing enthusiast. It has a color LCD display enabling you to see fish both in the day time and night time.

It has 5 assistant settings which include adjusting sensitivity, backlight mode, battery indicator, fish alarm, and battery save mode. To use this finder, you need to purchase 4 AAA batteries and thanks to the battery saving mode, you can use it for more than 5 hours.

Lastly, it has a 25-foot cable, a detecting depth range of 328 feet which is wonderful and you can use it for ice fishing, boat fishing, sea fishing, and kayak fishing.

Pros:
  • High resolution provides you with photographic images
  • User-friendly interface
  • Durable and wireless range
  • Can be used on various fishing occasions
  • Batteries last longer thanks to the battery save mode
Cons:
  • Need to purchase batteries

Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder, Handheld Fishfinder Fish Depth Finder with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display

Features:
  • Can be used in a variety of fishing environment
  • Displays fish, rocks, weeds and more
  • Has 5 feature setting

The VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder from Venterior can fully display rocks, weeds, water depth, sand and the location of fish. Not many fisher finders enable you to use them at night however, the VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder has a backlight mode. This means you can go fishing at night and still find the fish you are looking for.

You can use this in a variety of fishing environments like rivers, seas, and lakes. Irrespective of the type of fishing you're into as well. This fish finder works very well and is amazing for lake, ice, boat, sea and offshore fishing.

It has a detectable water depth range of 3 - 338 feet as well as a transducer that has a 25-foot cable and a removable transducer float. Below is a look at the pros and cons of this fish finder

Pros:
  • Works very well and is amazing for lake, ice, boat, sea and offshore fishing
  • Has a backlight mode which enables you to go fishing at night if you please
  • Display rocks, weeds, water depth, sand and the location of fish
  • Can be used in a variety of fishing environments like rivers, seas, and lakes
Cons:
  • Poor image quality

LUCKY Portable Wireless Fish Finder for Shore Fishing

Features:
  • Requires 4XAAA alkaline battery
  • Wireless operating range of 400 feet
  • Displays fish, rocks, weeds and more
  • Can be used in a variety of fishing environment

Last on the list is the LUCKY Portable Wireless Fish Finder for Shore Fishing. It is standard for any good quality fish finder to show you fish location, rocks, and water depth. You get all those with this product as well as the fish alarm settings and the ability to adjust the sensitivity.

It can be used in seas, lakes, and rivers however if you are looking for something perfect for shore fishing, this is the product to buy. It has a wireless operating range of up to 400 feet and the sensor will turn itself off when you take it out the water.

It requires 4 x AAA batteries to work and you also get a depth ability of between 3 - 130 feet when you use this fish finder. Below are the pros and cons one needs to know before they buy this product.

Pros:
  • Can be used in seas, lakes, and rivers
  • Shows you fish location, rocks, grass, and water depth
  • Wireless operating range of 40 feet
Cons:
  • Batteries need to be bought separately

What Are Portable Fish Finders Particularly Suitable For?

A portable fish finder is something you may have to look into if you are on a kayak, boat rental or small boat.

Kayak

You will certainly have a shortage of space if fishing on a kayak. All of the equipment will already be weighing down the kayak and any extra weight, however small, will make it more difficult to paddle. You will be forced to work harder and as such, you'll be more tired at the end of the day. A portable fish finder is a compact and lightweight and will allow you to enjoy your fishing trip without adding too much weight to your gear.

Rental boat

You will want to have a portable fish finder if you intend to rent a boat. The last thing you should do is permanently install a finder on a boat that you don’t own. It will just be a waste of your money.

Small boats

They suffer from the same issue as kayaks. While you won’t notice the difference as much when you add an engine and a few people, a portable fish finder can still prove advantageous on a small boat.

Types of Portable Fish Finders

There are three main types of portable fish finders i.e. mountable, portable and castable units.

Portable units are the traditional style of portable fish finders and usually include a nylon carry case that holds all of the components i.e. portable transducer, small rechargeable 12V battery, small fish finder and a plastic mounting base. These units are good for ice fishing and open water fishing and work best when used in small boats or kayaks.

Mountable fish finders can be temporarily mounted to the transom or side of a boat. They are the only type of portable fish finders that can be used with a float tube. Castable units are the new generation of fish finders. They feature a small floating transducer and communicate with an app on your smartphone via Bluetooth. Castable fish finders are best for bank fishing, but can also be adapted to boat or kayak use.

Criteria for Choosing a Portable Fish Finder

Now that you know when to use a portable fish finder and the different types available, it is time to explore other criteria for choosing a model that best suits your fishing needs. There are plenty of features to look for choosing a fish finder. But when it comes to portable units, below are the special things to think about.

Detachment

One of the most important things is to make sure that your portable fish finder is easy to attach and detach without major damage to the boat. There won’t be a way to permanently install the finder on a kayak, and this can prove a problem for some anglers. There are some quick release options you can purchase, but that’s not the limit of your choices. Plenty of companies have found easier ways to detach portable finders.

Power

Greater wattage offers clear and deeper readings more quickly. Go for a unit with the highest power you can afford, especially if you plan on fishing in deep waters. A minimum of 50 kHz for 100 watts of power will scan depths of up to 400 feet.

Sonar

Dual sonar systems allow you to see near and far areas at varying detail levels. Higher frequencies provide more detailed information and are good for deep water fishing. In addition to frequency, you'll also need to look at the angle of the sonar. There are options up to 120 degrees that give you a wide field of view. Make your decision depending on how deep the water you are fishing in.

Conclusion

Regardless of what your needs are, the 10 portable fish finders reviewed above are the best you will find. They are easily the most interesting gadgets for anglers, and their ease of use is something you won’t get with traditional fish finders. There are plenty of options out there and we hope you now have a better understanding of them to make the right choice.

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