Top 11 Fish Finders

Every serious angler needs a fish finder. This sonar instrument not only detects all underwater fish life by reflective sonar sound waves but it also provides you with a clear image of the waters bottom structure as well as the depth measurement. As the electronic impulses reflect off the fish in sonar waves, these waves are converted into a graphic display of information on your fish finders monitor screen. Being aware of the activity occurring underneath the water's surface can be extremely helpful during fishing excursions for many reasons, such as avoiding harmful underwater debris as well as avoiding zones with scarce fish bounty (see Fishing Guides and Charters).

However, shopping for a fish finder that is right for you can be an intimidating chore. There are numerous fish finders available on today’s market all equipped with a variety of manufactured options. Finding the best fish finder for you will depend on the location of which you fish. Think about your personal fishing style and review the list of the top 11 fish finders below. You are sure to find an option that will work best for you.

Garmin Echo 551DV - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

11. Garmin Echo 551DV
Fresh on the market is the technologically advanced model of the Garmin Echo 551DV. This fish finder is one of the best models you will be able to find for under three hundred dollars. Not only does this model offer a high quality fishing sonar, it is also equipped with a clearly viewable five inch monitor display that comes with dual screen mode, zoom, as well as vertical and horizontal viewing options. With a transducer utilizing 500 watts of pure power this finder has sonar wave capability up to two thousand three hundred feet. The Garmin Echo 551 DV's accuracy rating is sure to be top notch as it originates from the echo fish finder line. Your experience will feel photographic as you view the fish activity on the water's bottom with this waterproof, transom mount, easy tilt-swivel, and low profile motor fish finder.

Lowrance Elite-5x HDI - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

10. Lowrance Elite-5x HDI
Utilizing brand new HDI technology combined with original Downscan Imaging and Broadband Sounder, the Lowrance Elite 5x HDI fishfinder has improved its high resolution imaging. Not to mention the device has also combined traditional sonar with downscan location monitoring to create an unmatchable accuracy of the water’s floor. As the Downscan locates structure, the sonar locates individual fish and together they create the entire picture of the water’s bottom structure complete with all active wildlife. You will be able to view every fish, debris, and rock imaginable. With the Lowrance Elite 5x HDI clear three panel viewing display, it is guaranteed that you won’t miss a thing. This user friendly fish finder is completed with two hundred and fifty watts of power and fifty kHz which allow it to read up to one thousand feet under the water's surface.

Lowrance Elite-7x - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

9. Lowrance Elite-7x
As one of the top regarded fish finders, the Lowrance Elite-7x, comes equipped with one of the largest monitor screens available on the market. All seven inches of this widescreen provide you with superior contrast, brightness, and resolution. Plus, the monitor as well as the keypad feature an adjustable backlight that allows a higher viewing quality in the direct sunlight as well as nightlight. This device is also equipped with two hundred and fifty watts of power and an 83/200 kHz frequency. Plus, it's Down Scan sonar frequency of 455/800 kHz allows for a deeper and wider imaging zone. These advanced Down Scan features provide a photographic view of small details such as fish species, thermoclines, and weed pockets.

Humminbird 859ci HD GPS - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

8. Humminbird 859ci HD GPS/Sonar Combo
Similarly to the Lowrance Elite-7x, the Humminbird 859ci features a seven inch widescreen display monitor. The LCD display monitor is complete with an LED backlight that provides you with excellent clarity for easy exploring. The Humminbird 859ci contains 4000 watts of power as well as an additional dual beam plus which allows you to view a larger area of the water’s bottom. Not to mention this fish finder is also a GPS. The device's internal GPS feature comes fully equipped with pre programmed cartography with an optional dual SD card port.

Garmin Echo 100 - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

7. Garmin Echo 100
For under two hundred dollars, the Garmin Echo 100 features one of the top target tracking technologies available on the market. The tracker provides you with detailed data on the water’s bottom structure and fish wildlife. The Garmin Echo 100 fishfinder is best for freshwater lake fishing because of its lower sonar power of 100 watts allowing for a depth range of 600 ft. This extremely small and portable unit is ideal for smaller boats. Its easy installation and quick release tilt mount will have you wondering why you didn't purchase the Garmin Echo 100 sooner.

Raymarine Dragonfly Fishfinder Sonar GPS - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

6. Raymarine Dragonfly Fishfinder Sonar GPS
The Raymarine Dragonfly Sonar GPS fishfinder retails for around six hundred dollars but offers features that can be found on fishfinders priced around one thousand dollars. The device utilizes next generation CHIRP technology that provides photographic quality with high resolution imagery on its five inch display monitor. The monitor also features a dual sonar display. Not to mention, this fish finder comes with a built in internal GPS complete with fifty channels and fast acquisition technology. The Raymarine Dragonfly Sonar GPS fish finder has an easy installation process due to its transom mount and quick release swivel bracket.

Humminbird 140C Fishin' Buddy - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

5. Humminbird 140C Fishin' Buddy
This extremely portable fish finder is perfect for dock, kayak, commercial or leased boat fishing as you can take it anywhere. It does not permanently mount, rig or wire to the boat. Unlike other fishfinders, the Humminbird 140C utilizes an extendable transducer housing tube. With a depth reading up to two hundred and forty feet and a two hundred and fifty six TFT color screen you are ensured a vibrant and easy viewable depth perception. It includes a battery charge of thirty hours, so you can spy under the water's surface during an all day fishing excursion. The Humminbird 140C is equipped with one thousand watts of power as well as a temperature reader.

Humminbird 898C HD - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

4. Humminbird 898C HD SI Combo
The Humminbird 898C is a more expensive fish finder that comes equipped with several extra features for the price. Whether or not this product is worth the price all depends on your fishing experience and location (see Top Saltwater Fishing Locations). The device features a seven inch LCD display monitor equipped with a vivid LED backlight for high quality and clearly visible imagery. In order to efficiently identify the water’s bottom structure the Humminbird 898C features Down Imaging and Switchfire technology which targets fish effortlessly and scans up to two hundred and forty feet on either side of your fishing location. Not only is the Humminbird 898C a fish finder, but it also comes equipped with a built in GPS to chart plot. Its Contour XD map technology includes the entire United States Coastline as well as all inland rivers and lakes. So, no matter where you travel within the United States, you will be able to view and explore your location with accuracy through the chart and plot your favorite routes.

Humminbird 698ci HD SI Internal GPS - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

3. Humminbird 698ci HD SI Internal GPS + Sonar Combo
This technologically advanced HD Side Imaging fish finder provides a powerfully high resolution display monitor complete with LED backlight and 2D sonar frequencies that allow depth readings up to one thousand and five hundred feet. Its four thousand watts of power offer two hundred and forty feet worth of side view scanning on either side of the watercraft. The device also features internal GPS, GPS tracking, Chart Plotting, Dual Sonar Views, Temperature/Speed readings, and UniMap Cartography complete with an SD card port. The Humminbird 698ci is easy to install as it effortlessly disconnects from its quick swivel and tilt mounting system.

NorCross HawkEye F33P - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

2. NorCross HawkEye F33P
As one of the most popular fish finders for under two hundred dollars, the Nor Cross HawkEye F33P is simple but also ingenious. This highly portable device is great for the angler on a budget. Designed to for depth readings of up to one hundred feet, this device provides symbols for fish, debris, and underwater structures it may encounter. This model is ideal for the beginner angler as a more experienced fisherman may find it general. The NorCross HawkEye F33P is so compact that it could fit into the palm of your hand which makes it perfect to lug around in your tackle box or even your pocket. Mounting the fishfinder is optional as it floats effortlessly but the packaging does include mounting tabs if your prefer.

Humminbird 4086401 PiranhaMAX 175 - Texas Gulf Coast Fishing

1. Humminbird 4086401 PiranhaMAX 175
As the least expensive fish finder on the list it is highly innovative. The device’s dual sonar beam capabilities allow it to read depths up to six hundred feet with a 200/455 kHz frequency. With a four inch black and white display monitor, this fish finder is extremely portable. Do not be fooled by the Humminbird 4086401's non color display as it still provides a clearly viewable grayscale monitor that works well even when placed in directly in the sun.