Fish, fish everywhere, yet not a single fish to catch. There’s nothing worse than coming empty-handed from a daylong fishing excursion, mainly because you decided to rely on your guessing ability to locate the elusive target.
Fishing has evolved into a game of chess which means you will checkmate your target, the desired fish, only with the help of the best fish finder.
It has a powerful transducer supporting advanced sonar functions and software for navigation and mapping. Together they enable you to reach productive territories without delay and make calculated moves to seize the prey instantly.
The displays are also of admirable quality and clarity to ensure you have got a clear and bright view of everything the sonar gathers about the aquatic environment.
Best Fish Finder 2021 Reviews
To err is human, but you cannot afford a wrong judgement here as not only will it cost you money but also the whole adventure; it will be a “Tai Tai Phiss”.
To keep you from such distress, this article includes comprehensive reviews of the top 10 best fish finders that money could buy along with a thorough buyer’s guide. Upon reaching the last word of this article, hopefully, you’ll have found the model of your dreams.
Top Best Fish Finder Comparison Table
1. Humminbird 410940-1 Helix7 – Best Pocket-Friendly MDI Fish Finder
Humminbird Helix7 Chirp MDI has set the bar so high for what to expect in a best mid-range fish finder. You get to experience a top-class like fishfinder without having to squander a huge sum of cash. The gadget is perfectly capable of detecting a fish or fish school even when they are camouflaged near the bottom.
Fish, structure or planation, you wouldn’t miss anything or mistake one for another because Mega Down Imaging along with mirror-like clear coloured screen is at play; they work together to present before you information about the underwater landscape and creatures loitering at a 125ft depth with astounding clarity.
Besides, you can exert full control over sonar scans through Dual Spectrum Chirp sonar to decide whether a general sweep of a large area will work better or an in-depth search of a narrow section should take place.
In case your target proves to be more cunning and elusive than you thought, you can gather more information about water temperature, its depth, turbulence as well as lure to come up with an inescapable strategy.
Humminbird has put everything in the package to make sure you cannot resist the deal; a transducer and a mounting gear are present in the box, the only thing missing is your will to prepare a watercraft and let the game begin.
- Excellent quality structure supported by crystal clear large display.
- Mega DI and Dual Spectrum Chirp ensure you get accurate detail about the underwater landscape.
- Adjustment to gain additional data.
- Transducer and mounting accessories are included.
- The unit has no warranty.
- Lacks colour choice.
Getting a taste of deluxe-like fishfinder with user-friendly setup will not exhaust your savings if you choose Humminbird Helix7 MDI. The unit doesn’t come with a warranty but the brand insignia alone is an assurance of it being the best fish finder GPS combo under $1000.
2. Humminbird Helix7 NAV (410950-1) – Best Overall Top Pick MSI Fish Finder
Humminbird Helix7 MSI came runners up on our list because like our top pick, that’s also a model of Helix7 series, this one is also one of the best Humminbird fishfinders. Instead of just searching area beneath a boat, HELIX7 MSI can expand the thorough search to either side of the vessel up to a 125ft distance, thanks to Mega Side Imaging.
The display is also the same 7-inch wide and equally flawless as the above model. Its TFT screen promises you enchanting images of the beauty beneath the water surface.
The sonar scans return with such precise and sharp identification of fish and bottom landscape that you can instantly do the math about the target’s whereabouts. On top of that, you can decide how much more or less sonar information you want to be presented on the screen simultaneously to prevent cluttering.
To help you seize the day, the unit comes equipped with GPS, built-in maps and software for personalised mapping to make sure you means available to directly approach productive regions or highlight those waypoints and fish hotspots that you deem important.
- Chirp sonar reveals data with astounding clarity and detail.
- MSI can travel up to 125ft underneath as well as on sides of a vessel to track fish.
- Easy-to-comprehend settings for sonar returns and split-screen.
- Bright and vibrant viewing window.
- Basemap charts are a bit disappointing.
- Less-experienced anglers will find its learning curve a bit vexing.
Humminbird Helix7 MSI (410950-1) has all the tricks up its sleeves to ensure hardcore anglers have everything at the tip of their fingers to successfully seize a fish. The unit lacks in certain areas but that doesn’t bring down its overall great value.
3. Humminbird Helix9 + G3N – Best 9-Inch-Display Fish Finder
One look at this gem will help you discover how Humminbird is monopolizing the fishfinders’ business. From price to the last inch of its pristine construction, every aspect mirrors “top-notch”.
The unit comes with highly-desired Mega Side and Down Imaging, which there’s nothing that’s beyond your range. For a 200ft radius, the territory is yours to explore, either it’s straight downwards or on sides of a boat.
Dual Spectrum Chirp sonar permits you to either initiate a general scan of a large segment or fixate on a narrower portion for maximum details. The good thing is you’ll get sharp and well-identified fish arches and bottom structures to ensure no confusion allows the target to elude your snare.
If you’re an aesthetic person like me, the 9” large, sleek and shiny display complemented with the easily-intelligible keyed menu will instantly make you head over heels in love with this unit. The images are revealed in such a bright and real-life manner that one could easily get drowned in their vibrancy and most likely forget about the hunt altogether.
Seasoned anglers who’ve had used this model will vouch for its high rate of target detection because of its high-precision built-in GPS and Humminbird Basemap. Together they not only keep you abreast of your present coordinates but also make you aware of the surrounding territory. Finally, you can sketch contour maps with AutoChart Live software to fill in the missing information, if there’s any.
- Top-notch fishfinder suitable for multiple applications.
- Variable Chirp sonar functions including Mega SI+ improve the outcome.
- The display is 9” and complemented with true-life like pictures and easy-to-use keyed interface.
- Built-in GPS and Basemap help anglers conveniently reach productive fishing zones.
- Comes with necessary hardware including transducer and mounting gear.
- Navigating the keyed menu is pain at first.
- The unit glitches in rough or bumpy water.
- Mounting transducer to trolling motor is tricky.
Humminbird Helix9 Mega SI+ costs a fortune but it’s a fabulous fish finder nonetheless, proven from its accurate Mega SI+, detailed Basemap and high-precision GPS. navigating through the keyed menu might be a pain at first, but remarkable performance is worth the effort.
4. Lowrance Elite-9 Ti2-9 – Best Active Imaging 3-in-1 Transducer Fish Finder
Lowrance has almost reached the epitome of perfection with its premium model Elite-9 Ti2-9. The price tag is no doubt high but so is the list of majestic features that it bring to the game.
First, its gigantic, plasma-like screen supporting Solarmax quality and high-resolution imagery is hands down the crowning jewel of this model. Day in, day out, it exhibits a crisp and distinguishing view of the marine landscape, containing structure and objects of your interest in vibrant colours for instant recognition.
I would advise you to leave all the doubts and scepticism at home because in the presence of chirp sonar paired with efficient downscan and sidescan, missing a fish or confusing it with weed or structure is not possible.
Speaking of doubts, there’s no place for doubting your navigational prowess too as the unit comes integrated with detailed maps of thousands of lakes and software, C-Map Genesis Live, for personalized mapping carrying secret fish hotspots and important waypoints.
The good thing is that it has wireless connectivity too. So, you can share information regarding important waypoints and routes to fill in other fishers.
- Gigantic display with sharp and bright viewing in every lighting situation.
- Improved chirp sonar with sidescan and downscan imaging make structure and fish identification a piece of cake.
- Built-in comprehensive maps and customized cartography help narrow down productive spots.
- Wireless connectivity adds more to the user’s convenience.
- Exorbitant price.
- Operating process is a bit complex.
- Customer service issues.
Lowrance Elite-9 Ti2-9 belongs to the deluxe-like range of fish finders, which is an ideal option for seasoned fishers who love to explore offshores regularly. Among other things, its huge screen with remarkable clarity and multiple chirp sonar functions help you garner optimum information about the underwater terrain.
5. Garmin UHD 94SV – Best Value EchoMap Fish Finder
When it comes to manufacturing pristine-looking, top-end fish finders, Garmin doesn’t shy away from giving a tough competition to its rivals; one living proof of that is EchoMap UHD 94SV.
The first thing that stands out is the key-assisted sleek touchscreen that promises stunning pictures of everything that sonar is gathering underwater; thanks to split-screen format, you can observe optimum information at once.
This fish finder stands for sonar powerhouse as its Chirp sonar captures on-goings of the world underwater with astounding clarity and detail. Eliminate the possibility of returning empty-handed from your life altogether because the SideVu and DownVu will reveal a life-like film of the surrounding territory. As far as 700ft on either side of the boat, the fish is bound to show up on your screen, if there’s any present in the water.
More peace of mind is coming your way because the GPS and BlueChart G2 charts are not simple like those in some competing models. They’re stellar in a sense that not only you get updated coordinates but also make reaching the desired location a walk in the park; just punch in the specific location and the unit will pave way for you to reach there. Not to mention, you can create customized maps for further assistance.
The only thing that you might not like is the absence of networking features. Oh, and also the sky-high price.
- Stellar quality and endurance.
- Key-assisted touchscreen boasts of a stunning view.
- SideVu and DownVu show a 180-degree view of underwater activity.
- GPS and G2 charts help reach a location without trouble.
- Software for drawing personal maps.
- Deprived of networking capabilities.
- Not suitable for newer entrants.
Garmin EchoMap 94SV is an elegant-looking fish finder entailing a high price. Its huge screen and multiple sonar views, including Side Vu and DownVu, allow you to have all the information required to successfully ensnare a fish at the tip of your fingers.
6. MarCum LX-9 – Best Digital Sonar/Camera System Fish Finder
There’s nothing as exhilarating as the feel of diving deep into the water to observe fish activity and general bottom terrain live. That’s what MarCum LX-9 Sonar/Camera, rated as the best camera system fish finder, promises: Live film with stunning clarity and lucidity.
The camera with video recorder not only enable you to stalk fish but also film its activity for later reviewing or sharing.
Besides, the cam has a temperature sensor and can also measure the depth at which it’s lurking. On top of that, it can compare sonar signals with the live footage to give you an effective analysis, helping you predict the outcome of the trip. You will not face any obstructions from neighbouring sonar waves because the IR key (Interference Rejection) of the unit will help you overcome the barriers.
Moreover, the display is also equally impressive. It’s 8-inch large and laden with four colour palettes and multiple settings, allowing anglers to experiment to get the desired outcome.
However, there are a few complaints found regarding haziness of camera glass and low life-expectancy of the battery. Rest assured, it does the job better than expected.
- Clear camera with recording capability.
- Large screen with multiple colour palettes and setting arrangements.
- Live and bright view of marine activity.
- Capable of tracking fish and overpowering obstructing signals.
- User-friendly setup.
- High-power dual-beam transducer.
- Complaints about hazy images.
- The short life expectancy of the battery.
- Quality of protective cover is not good.
If you want to stalk fish and at the same time enjoy live filming of the underwater terrain with stunning brightness, go for MarCum LX-9 digital sonar/camera system. Regardless of the few gripes, the unit is rated as one of the best fish finder camera cum video recorder, attribute of crystal clear large LCD and multiple user-friendly adjustments.
7. Furuno FCV558 – Best Operating Frequency Fish Finder
Humminbird might be the king of fish finder industry but that doesn’t mean a well-designed, top-end fish finder from a less-famous brand cannot challenge the throne. Furuno FCV558 is a worthy candidate for the slot; delve deeper and you’ll also reach the same conclusion: the best top-end fish finder under $2000.
The unit doesn’t come with a transducer, which makes things costlier, but it’s compatible with a 600W or 1000W transmitter thereby giving you the liberty to choose the equipment according to your fishing plans. Just a bit of temptation though, the unit has a reach of admirable 400m when powered by a 1000W transducer.
Moreover, it’s not a chirp-induced device, rather works on dual-frequency (50/200kHz) sonar which is so good in bringing desired results that you don’t feel any loss. At 50kHz, it’s going to work wonderfully in offshore fishing, bringing back astounding details about bottom and fish.
It comes with an 8.4” screen, that in my opinion is perfect; not frustratingly small nor ridiculously large. The size is good to let you enjoy the underwater show in sparkling colours.
Note that it’s not a chart plotter so navigational features aren’t included. But, there are other amazing functions like Zoom, bottom determination and lock to give you all the information you want to know about the world below. A few tweaks and taps, and BINGO!
- Dual-frequency sonar with a swift transmission.
- Multiple settings for acquiring data regarding the target and bottom landscape.
- Compatible with high power transducers.
- Large screen portrays sharp and coloured imagery.
- Perfect match for offshore fishing.
- Unduly high price.
- Lack of chirp and navigation features.
- Additional cost on the transducer.
Furuno FCV558 will cost you a fortune especially with the extra cost of a transducer, but its rapid and unerring data transmission through dual-frequency sonar make it an excellent fish finder for offshore fishing. It’s not a chart plotter but high target-acquisition rate and superb image quality bring it on top of the priority list of commercial-grade consumers.
8. Garmin Ultra 106sv – Best Top Rated EchoMap Fish Finder
Here is another magical creation by Garmin specially crafted for those hardcore anglers who are looking to upscale their arsenal. Just a heads up though, it’s steeply-priced, which makes it a cup of tea of restricted affluent consumers.
Fish here, fish there, fish everywhere because it’s a versatile unit that not only supports ClearVu and SideVu sonar scans but also Panoptix Livescope sonar system. In simple English, explore freshwater or Oceania, it will show you everything present in the vicinity with astounding precision and detail, including fish and other living creatures.
I would call it a sea guide in flesh and blood, figuratively speaking because the unit comes loaded with diverse means of navigational guidance – built-in inland maps and Garmin’s special g3 coastal charts. On top of that, the unit has a unique Auto Guidance feature to help you plan the smartest route to a specific location while QuickDraw Contours software gives you a freehand to give commands for personalizing cartography.
Another crowning feature lies in its display that’s 10” in size. It comes in a combination, touchscreen with keyed assistance, and is vouched for offering unmatched vibrant and sharp visuals regardless of the outdoor situation.
To fully seal the deal, the unit employs Wi-Fi and NMEA 2000 connectivity which gives you easy access to updates and ActiveCaptain app for additional help if needed.
- Tremendous sonar features and performance.
- Versatile device.
- Loaded with LakeVu inland maps and g3 coastal charts for smooth navigation.
- 10” touchscreen paired with keyed menu offers ultra-large and clear scene.
- Connectivity arrangements for added convenience.
- Transducer needs to be purchased separately.
If you want to have an exhilarating ocean fishing experience with a top-of-the-line feature packed fish finder, Garmin echoMap 106sv is the safest and reliable dude for the challenge. Its remarkable sonar technology and imagery will help you see and capture whatever you’re looking for.
9. Garmin UHD 93sv – Best Brand Echomap LCD Fish Finder
Garmin Echomap UHD 93sv is like an identical twin of the above-reviewed UHD 94sv of the same EchoMap series with a slight difference in the price, this being a few bucks less expensive but the best of Garmin’s craftsmanship nonetheless.
Since its a twin, so the size and display quality are almost the same; the touchscreen has an easy-to-navigate keyed menu and boasts of life-like vibrant pictures of the scenes below the water surface.
Such high-definition clarity and precision of the view are attributed to its GT54 transducer that supports chirp traditional sonar and SideVu scan. Meaning, you don’t have to twist and turn to get a wholesome scan of the surrounding territory, the given sonars will let you know about everything present on sides of the boat.
Let your inner explorer free because the device has built-in LakeVu inland maps containing contour data of over 17,000 lakes. It’s just a matter of selecting a waterbody, reaching there will be as easy as a walk in the garden because the preloaded maps cover vital information, helping you reach the designated location without any trouble.
Last but not the least, EchoMap 93sv supports networking functions and also allow you to jot down waypoints and map routes to your favourite fish hideouts, increasing productivity remarkably.
- GT54 transducer supports multiple sonar scans including SideVu.
- Compatible with all-seeing Panoptix system.
- High-definition, brilliant imagery.
- LakeVu inland maps cover over 17,000 lakes.
- Built-in support for networking features.
- Financially not feasible for on-budget anglers.
- Doesn’t offer depth warning.
- The transducer is a bit bigger.
EchoMap 93sv is one of the best Garmin fishfinders under$1000 but it’s an excellent exchange for the money due to the powerful transducer and detailed Chartplotter. It has a large touchscreen with easy-to-use keys that will instantly let you see everything present around you.
10. Simrad Go-9 XSE – Best Active Imaging Fish Finder
We have reached the final product on the list that will have your attention in a blink of an eye. The unit is no doubt costly but the rewards are twice the price. First, its sleek and shiny 9” touchscreen with user-friendly navigation will make up half of your mind because it’s not every day that you come across such deluxe devices that even a newer entrant could easily operate.
The unit will help you fish like a pro because of Chirp sonar and Structure Scan (Side and Down Imaging). This means that from general aquatic terrain to the last fish present in the vicinity, everything will be unravelled for you with precision and clarity.
What makes it an awesome fish finder is its commitment and dedication to the user’s convenience. Along with high-speed GPS and built-in cartography, this goes a mile further and implements TripIntel technology to help you plan a safe and sound trip, not to mention a fruitful one too.
Finally, you can gain access to software updates and save a whopping amount of data as Wi-Fi connectivity and dual MicroSD card slots are present.
- High-quality backlit display with user-friendly multi-touch interface.
- Multiple navigational features to ensure smooth sailing.
- Chirp sonar paired with Down and Side Imaging reveals the fish location and the aquatic environment with unerring clarity.
- Wi-Fi connectivity and SDcard slots for updates and data storage.
- Absence of keyed menu might perturb some anglers.
- The transducer is not as good as expected.
Once you get past its shortcomings, Simrad Go-9 XSE will leave you speechless with its easy-to-navigate touchscreen and high-precision multiple sonar views. Also, the unit features a high-seed GPS and other performance-grade features to help you travel through any terrain with zero trepidation.
Buyer’s Guide: By Getting to The Best Fish Finder in 2021
There are a few ingredients that are vital for making a fish finder the best. Knowing about them is as crucial as having a fish finder in the first place because only then will the selected unit survive the applications you have in mind. These are:
The transducer is the heart and soul of the whole product as it houses sonar beams that garner the information. Power of the transducer and sonar frequencies will determine the depth and shallowness range of the unit. A transducer up to 300W will work best in shallower waters. Anything above that power will be safe for deeper exploration.
Similarly, the frequency range also helps determine the appropriate use.
Frequency describes the power of the sonar rays. High-frequency means sonar waves will not delve deeper but will carry large detail. This is good for shallow water fishing. On the other hand, low-frequency rays can travel hundreds of feet deep, near the seabed, but the scan returns with lesser details. Such units are suitable for deepsea fishing. Many models employ dual-frequency to help you get the most out of a single unit, wider coverage and optimum details at once. Buying such a unit will diversify the functionality.
No matter how powerful the transducer is or how impressive the sonar functions are, a fish finder without a brilliant display is just a piece of junk. The size of the viewing window and the image quality will make or break your game. A fish finder with 5” or larger screen laden with coloured palettes will exhibit a bright and intelligible view the activity below water. Also, the backlit screen will make sure that image visibility doesn’t get compromised due to outdoor lighting situation.
It’s always helpful to look for a feature-loaded fish finder, especially when you’re willing to spend hundreds of bucks. Performance-grade features like GPS, built-in charts as well as networking support will enable you to get the optimum outcome of every excursion without enduring unpleasant incidents.
It’s simple math, the higher you will go the fish finders’ class range, the higher the price will go. It will be wastage of precious bucks if you spend hundreds of bucks on a feature-loaded device, half of which you’ll not even have an opportunity to use, for occasional getaways. However, if you’re in fishing business or a hardcore angler, high-costing unit laced with cutting-edge technology will keep you at the top of your game.
Now that we have established the fact that fish tracking isn’t an arduous task as long as you’re assisted by the best fish finder; the only onerous challenge is to find a unit that talks the talk. Lucky for you that our above reviews cover a diverse range of fish finders, all designed to supersede each other in quality and performance. You will have no confusion whatsoever about picking the appropriate product once you go through the buyer’s guide given at the bottom.