Hoping to have a fruitful fishing trip without the assistance of a fish finder seems far-fetched and bizarre.
But, the most noticeable brands have either too low-priced models or too steeply priced ones, both of which are deal breakers.
There’s only one name that provides a middle ground: “Garmin.”
The best Garmin fish finder ensures you enjoy top-end models with advanced features without going overboard with your budget.
Garmin with its famous Striker and echoMap series is taking positions at the forefront because these are neck and neck with Lowrance’s Hook series and Humminbird’s Helix series without the scourge of unduly high prices.
They are well-built and contain better sonar technology with GPS and mapping systems to help you get the best experience on waters, not to mention return with prized possessions every time.
Since we know how easy it is, especially for novice anglers and inexperienced fishermen, to get lost in the vast collection of Garmin we have done the basic homework for you.
Table of Contents
Best Garmin Fish Finder 2023 Reviews
This article carries 10 best Garmin fish finders that are fully adept at scanning large bodies of water and locating desired targets for you in record time.
To know which fish finder will actually prove best for you in terms of fishing plans, fishing location and budget, take assistance from the buyer’s guide added at the end of reviews.
We can promise that by the end of this article, you will have found the unit of your interest.
Top Garmin Fish Finder Comparison Table
Plus 5 Ice
1. Garmin Striker 4 – Top Pick Overall Garmin Fish Finder
Garmin has rightfully called this a “Striker” fishfinder because at such an affordable price there’s hardly any portable fishfinder that performs as amazingly as this one.
We have placed on #1 as its photographic imagery of fish, bottom contours and objects with remarkable clarity is worthy of earning 5 out of 5 stars.
The impressive part is, you don’t have to wait for long for underwater details to appear because the Chirp technology delivers sonar images in a flash.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you delve deeper into its making, you’ll find features that will attract you more towards it such as different display sizes ranging from 3-7 inches, user-friendly keyed buttons and easy peasy installation.
Beginners will cherish this user-friendly interface above all others.
You can search as deep as 1600ft in freshwater or up to 750ft in salt water to make it clear to your prey that no matter how deeper it goes to hide, it cannot escape your sight.
Moreover, taking help from its waypoint map and built-in GPS system will help you mark fish hideouts and reach the nearest hotspot without getting lost.
More importantly, fish flasher mode with its better lighting can make you the master of this chasing game even when it’s nighttime or a more challenging ice fishing situation.
- Compact design.
- Multiple display sizes with ultraclear imaging.
- Highly quick and efficient sonar functioning.
- Fish flasher mode for nighttime and ice fishing.
- Doesn’t come with a carrying bag.
- Display isn’t water-resistant.
Garmin Striker 4 is a striker of a fishfinder as in a compact body it houses remarkable strength to quickly search deeper into fresh and saltwater and provide detailed information about underwater activity. Additionally, its crisp imaging and fish flasher mode help it reach the category of best ice fishing fish finder as well.
2. Garmin Striker 7SV – Best Brand with transducer Garmin Fish Finder
Garmin Striker 7SV is really one of the best of Garmin’s Striker series fishfinders.
This isn’t our personal opinion, in fact, this is what everyone concludes once he/she sees all the embellishments the device is housing; and when you compare them with the price tag, you’ll also end up calling it the best Garmin fishfinder.
With Striker 7SV around, you’ll never have to go through the horrible experience of getting lost in uncharted waters just like Hansel and Gretel got lost in the forest, because it’s built-in GPS along with waypoint map will be your personal guides, letting you mark important spots along your way so you could easily find your way back when it is time to return home with your prized possession.
Speaking of possession, the visuals are so crisp and photographic-like that for a second you’ll get the illusion of experiencing underwater activity live with the naked eye.
Now think for yourself how come one cannot capture a fish when you’ll know exactly where the fruitful spot is?
Besides, it’s highly unlikely to miss a fish when you’ve display size options of 3.5-, 5- and 7-inch with strong waterproofing ability, each boasting of unmatchable clear viewing even in bright sunlight or rain.
With that being said, what’s actually responsible for such a high percentage of successful fish capturing is its high-frequency chirp sonar.
It not only provides birds eye view of a wider area but also delivers distinguishing fish arches and sharp target separation. You can even use it for ice fishing or vertical jiggling, courtesy of fish flasher mode.
- Various display sizes with waterproofing.
- Accurate navigation with waypoint map and built-in GPS.
- High quality visuals even in sunlight..
- High-frequency quick sonar scanning.
- Fish flasher mode for ice fishing.
- Competitive pricing.
- Doesn’t have built-in maps.
- Complaints about infrequent glitches in functioning.
Despite a few instances of glitches, Garmin Striker 7SV is the best fishfinder, available in different display sizes. Finding such a great gadget loaded with high-tech features at such a competitive price is once in a blue moon chance.
3. Garmin Striker 7 inches 7SV – Best SideVu Scanning Sonar Transducer Fish Finder
Here is another striking model for your consideration of the noteworthy Striker series.
Whether you’re a pro angler or novice fisherman, Striker 7SV with its top-end-model like feel and relatively reasonable price will leave you hooked.
Its 7-inch large screen is arguably the most distinguishing feature of the device because it displays information in high resolutions and with such unprecedented clarity that one can easily read it even in sunlight.
Moreover, the sonar scanning with Chirp ClearVu and Chirp SideVu gives you a sharp view of everything passing beneath and beside your vessel along with a wider image of the overall underwater environment.
The target separation is so sharp that you can easily tell where the fish, vegetation, structure or other object is. On such attentive watch how can you expect a fish to escape your snare?
Besides, you’ll not have to wander around in a huge waterbody looking for a specific fish hotspot because you’ll have far superior knowledge of the selected waters than your fellow fishermen.
It happens because this unit features a highly active built-in GPS with QuickDraw Contours mapping which keeps trails of the routes you’ve already taken while trolling.
Furthermore, you can use its wifi connectivity to gain more information through ActiveCaptain app or QuickDraw Contours Community for a more fruitful fishing trip.
- Rugged design can survive harsh conditions.
- High-resolution 7” screen with sunlight readability.
- User-friendly controls.
- Better target separation and general viewing of the underwater environment.
- Built-in GPS and personalized mapping for better navigation.
- Lacks microsSD card reader.
- No user manual.
A great number of users call Garmin Striker 7SV better than Humminbird 7 mainly due to the responsive nature of the gadget when put to actual use and its user-friendly operation. Even the price is also reasonable compared to other rivalling models.
4. Garmin Striker Plus 5cv – Best Design Garmin Fish Finder with CHIRP Traditional
Garmin striker Plus 5cv has only one aim: to let you get in the driver’s seat of your fishing game and win it with flying colours.
It makes that possible with its active Chirp ClearVu sonar scanning which is able to provide you with a comprehensive knowledge of what’s living under the water.
Such detailed picture is when displayed on its 5-inch large screen in a vivid manner, you know you’re on a path to becoming a fishing guru.
You know what else can make you a guru? Its built-in GPS and cartography systems, QuickDraw Contours mapping, that let you effectively mark routes, waypoints and landmarks of your surroundings to let you know where you’ve been all day and save your favorite spots for later visiting.
In addition, its portable and rugged design along with easy installation and operation mechanism really leave you with no choice but to add it to your fishing arsenal.
- Rugged and portable.
- In-depth detail of underwater with ClearVu sonar scanning.
- The 5-inch screen displays information vividly.
- Sunlight-readable screen.
- Built-in GPS and customized cartography.
- Easy installation and operation.
- There’s no instruction manual.
- slot for SD card is absent.
- GPS issues.
Garmin Striker 5cv has a few glitches but that doesn’t bring down its overall utility and functionality. It can still be regarded as one of the best affordable Garmin fishfinder due to its rugged and compact structuring.
5. Garmin Striker 4cv – Best Value Garmin Fish Finder with transducer
Garmin Striker 4cv is the predecessor of above mentioned 5cv and the best option for bridging the gap between affordable and top-end fishfinders.
The unit comes in a compact and portable design with a smaller 3.5-inch screen thereby making it a cinch to carry it on ice fishing trips or kayaking.
Don’t brush it off as low-end junk because the compactness of design doesn’t rob you of bells and whistles.
As mentioned, the screen is small but you can split it in two windows to get speed data and pictures of the underwater activity at once without compromising the readable nature of the information.
The GPS system isn’t as advanced as on the latest offsprings of the Striker series but it still is a handy source for marking routes and slipways to ensure you return to fish hotspots without getting lost.
Your long faces will return to their eager and excited modes because its Chirp ClearVu sonar scanning is better than other budgeted models when it comes to quick detection of fish and detailed viewing of the underwater world.
Finally, it comes with a transducer which calls for another “yay moment” as you’ll not have to spend extra bucks.
- Split screen displays all information at once without compromising visual quality.
- Built-in GPS for navigation and customized mapping.
- Suitable for kayaking and ice fishing.
- Instruction manual is useless.
- Smaller display.
We recommend this model to all those anglers who are looking for a best budget-friendly Garmin fishfinder. Its compact design has a few embellishing features which make it a great value option for kayaking and ice fishing.
6. Garmin Striker Plus 5 – Best Pocket Friendly Garmin Fish Finder
As it is evident from the name that Garmin Striker Plus 5 is the antecedent of Striker Plus 7. The main difference is of course of price and screen size.
It can be taken as the best affordable ice fishing fish finder because the 5” screen makes the unit quite compact without bringing down the picture quality and number of nifty features.
The most striking characteristic is that the screen is clearly visible even in bright sunlight.
I called it the best ice fishing transducer for a reason. This model is not only effective in performance but it’s also very cost-effective as it comes with a GT8HW-IF transducer, making it the perfect weapon for fishing on the ice.
It’s adept at separating different species of fish as well other underwater objects so anglers can easily isolate their desired catch.
Also, thank fish finder’s built-in ClearVu sonar scanning for a successful catch as it gives such a detailed view of the on-goings in water that catching a fish becomes a child’s play.
In addition, you can monitor the activities of your jig and know the depth of the fish with its built-in ice flasher thereby getting an opportunity to adjust the angle of your bait on time to put a seal on your success.
This one also houses built-in GPS and mapping systems to help you save your favorite spots so you could revisit them in the future too.
You can nicely pack the fish finder along with the transducer and mounting gears in the carrying case that’s included in the package once your trip is over.
- Cost-effective and portable model.
- Transducer and built-in flasher make it ideal for ice fishing.
- 5” screen is easily readable in sunlight.
- Built-in GPS and custom mapping.
- Contains a carrying case.
- No preloaded maps.
This portable and affordable fish finder, containing a transducer, is the best cost-effective ice fishing fish finder available in the market. The flexible design will give you an enjoyable and successful summer fishing experience when used with a different transducer.
7. Garmin – Best echoMap Chirp 53cv Garmin Fish Finder with Transducer
Garmin has added another name to their captivating combo of portable and affordable fish finder for pocket-conscious fishermen.
Those who have carried this along on water cannot stop raving about it is adorned with features yet the price is contained.
Installing and operating it is a cinch. It is specially designed for freshwater and contains detailed maps of 17000 lakes in Canada.
Meaning, most of your homework is already done so just select a lake and Go Fish!
Its sonar system is magical because it gives you a wider picture of what’s in the water around you through ClearVu sonar scanning while chirp sonar shows crisp fish arches with distinctive identification marks for structure and other objects.
As if that’s not enough, it possesses sonar recording and sonar rewinding options which help you look for a specific spot again in case you missed a target.
All this information is revealed on a bright screen in photographic-like images. No brainer why this unit has a higher percentage of capturing the finned target.
Users call this unit a steal for the price because it also features a highly sensitive GPS mechanism that continuously updates positions to let you mark accurate waypoints for convenient revisiting.
- Reasonably priced.
- Extraordinary sonar performance with features for rewinding sonar information.
- Preloaded high definition maps of lakes.
- GPS updates positions for accurate marking of spots and waypoints.
- Instructions are incomprehensible.
- Only for freshwater.
This portable fish finder is like a small miracle because at such a price getting a unit so adept at its job is highly unlikely. It’s really one of the best Garmin fish finders for ice fishing and kayaking because of its remarkable sonar and GPS functioning.
8. Garmin Striker Plus 7Cv – Best Easy to Carry Garmin Fish Finder with Cv20-TM Transducer
Most of the novice anglers and hobbyists get confused between Striker Plus 7sv and 7Cv.
While both are almost identical twins in many aspects, the major difference is in the sonar feature.
This Striker Plus 7Cv features traditional sonar along with Chirp ClearVu sonar to provide you maximum details about the on-goings in the nearby water.
Like 7sv, this one also houses a bright 7” display where information about fish, contours, vegetation etc. appears in such crisp and sharp images that you cannot mistake one for another.
This means your chances of turning your chase into a successful catch are increased significantly.
For fishing enthusiasts including myself, the deal-sealing factor is its easy controlling mechanism.
After all, no one wants to spend precious time tinkering with keys instead of actual fishing. It further makes things convenient by featuring a built-in GPS system and QuickDraw Contours software.
They let you save important routes, landmarks and waypoints to ensure next time you directly stop on the exact spot.
Anglers also love the built-in wifi connectivity which quickly syncs with a phone and allows easy access to ActiveCaptain app and previously loaded mapping details by other fishermen to help you reach a fish hotspot without wasting time.
- Comes with a transducer that supports Chirp Clearvu sonar scanning.
- Clear and detailed information about fish, bottom contours and objects.
- Built-in GPS and QuickDraw Contours save personal notes.
- Built-in wifi connectivity.
- No built-in maps.
- Unable to load maps.
Regardless of the level of your fishing expertise, this fish finder will allow you to catch fish on every fishing trip. It comes with a transducer and contains pretty nifty features yet the price is relatively affordable, making it one of the best Garmin fish finders for money.
9. Garmin – Best echoMap Chirp 54cv Garmin Fish Finder
Garmin echoMap Chirp 54cv is an echo of the superior craftsmanship of Garmin. It beats many of even Garmin’s own models with its captivating combo of durability, affordability and utility.
The unit contains Clearvu sonar software to inform you about the activity under your canoe.
Besides that, your screen will stay updated with information about fish, underwater structure and vegetation even when your boat is continuously on the move.
This is because its chirp sonar continuously shoots frequency beams to ensure the scanning process remains uninterrupted.
Anglers and fishermen find this a trustworthy companion for accompanying on water because its preloaded maps and charts don’t let you get lost in uncharted waters while its built-in GPS mechanism ensures you accurately return to that same spot where you imprisoned fish on your last trip.
Things get more peachy when you find excellent customer support of manufacturers and a 30-day warranty.
The only deal breakers are that neither it features Wi-fi connectivity nor does it come with a carrying.
- Rugged construction can withstand the harshness of the marine world.
- Sonar technology provides accurate information and keeps updating it.
- Preloaded maps and charts.
- Highly active GPS mechanism.
- Screen is comparatively smaller.
- Carrying bag needs to be purchased separately.
There’s hardly any model in Garmin’s arsenal that echoes manufacturers mastery as profoundly as echoMap Chirp 54cv. The screen is smaller but what you lose here you gain through its overall solid build and superior fish tracking ability.
10. Garmin echoMap Plus 43cv – Best Top Rated Garmin Fish Finder
The last product on our list is a compact model named echoMap Plus 43cv. Don’t let its small size deceive you into thinking Garmins is toying with you.
This small thing is laden with innovative features to ensure you get the best possible experience on water.
You’ll not return empty handed because its screen will provide you with the brightest images regardless of the small display.
Sunlight that otherwise makes it hard to read what’s displayed on the screen will not be a hindrance anymore because you will be able to read the display even under blazing sun.
Its chirp sonar together with ClearVu sonar delivers crisp and sharp images of fish, contours and objects as well as better detail of the surrounding waterbody.
It also features preloaded HD maps and charts of over 17000 US coastal to ensure you get on the water with all the necessary knowledge available beforehand.
To ensure your next fishing trip is also a success, it parents the much-coveted QuickDraw Contours and GPS – these help you create your personal maps about a specific waterbody so you could easily locate fish hotspots on future getaways as well.
And if you feel charitable, you can share your personal maps with the Garmin community.
In short, this unit is a real manifestation of “less becoming more.”
- Bright screen can be read even when it is sunny.
- Impressive sonar performance.
- Preloaded HP maps.
- Customised cartography.
- Display is small.
- Hard-to-learn for beginners.
- Inconsistency in GPS location.
If you’re a budget-conscious fisherman looking for a best inexpensive Garmin fish finder loaded with features, then Garmin echoMap Plus 43cv is what you should consider purchasing. Its compact size containing preloaded maps and Built-in GPS make it perfect for kayaks and small boats.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing Best Garmin Fish Finder in 2023
You’ll wander for hours in Garmin’s wide collection of fish finders if you don’t know the criteria through which you could easily isolate the model right for your needs.
This buyer’s guide highlights those vital features that you need to assess first to ensure you don’t waste money on something that’s beyond your needs.
Type of Fishing:
What type of fishing you are planning will determine the type of fish finder you should invest in. If you’re kayaking or own a small canoe, then a portable unit like echoMap 43cv will be better.
On the other hand, for ice fishing you need a unit along with a transducer that can work perfectly under sheets of ice, like Garmin Striker Plus 5.
Next step is to check the type and size of the display screen of a fish finder.
We’re putting emphasis on this factor because it can make or break your game. Smaller displays often don’t show much information at once and even if they do, the screen is so cluttered that it becomes hard to distinguish one information from another.
The larger screens reveal information in a more comprehensible and clear manner.
Apart from size, visual quality is also of great importance. Always pick a unit with higher resolutions and more pixels for a crisp and bright image. Plus, make sure the screen can be easily read in sunlight as well as at nighttime.
A handy feature in many display units is the split-screen setting. If the monitor can divide into two or multiple sections, you will witness different information simultaneously to get a wholesome image. That will help you devise a better strategy promptly.
The actual scanning process is done through a transducer so it needs extra attention. It gets a bit troubling to find a transducer that’s compatible with the model you’ve.
Therefore, it will save you time and money to pick a unit that has a transducer included in the package. A small note, ensure the transducer is suitable for both ice fishing and summer fishing.
The above list has models containing traditional sonar functioning with some possessing more sonar viewing.
Additional sonar scannings like clear viewing and side viewing provide more details and wider scan of an area to let you become fully aware of the activity beneath your vessel as well as on its side.
Going for such a unit will ensure that you never miss a catch present nearby your boat.
An important and my favourite sonar feature is the rewinding and recording options. These options help you revisit a particular scan to ensure you don’t miss any vital information. Besides, you can replay the recorded sonars to enjoy them later.
Finally comes the deal-sealing factor. Your budget range will narrow your choices. There are many inexpensive and reasonably priced Garmin fish finders that are adorned with handy features to allow budget-conscious buyers to have a great fishing experience.
Pro fishermen prefer high-end models, especially when they can afford to spend an extravagant amount of money.
So if you’re planning to play in the big leagues, then go for a top-end model laden with a myriad of innovative features.
It is mandatory to investigate how deep your chosen unit can search the underwater area. The maximum depth capacity of the device indicates whether it’s suitable for shallow or deep water.
An easy-to-remember rule: a fishfinder promising a depth range below 600 feet is suitable for shallow-water fishing; beyond 600 feet is good for deeper-water fishing ventures.
Another thing associated with depth is the waterbody type. Check whether your tool is for freshwater or saltwater. An effective trick is to pick a unit capable of functioning in both, just like Garmin Striker 4.
Fish Detail & Alarm
A fish icon isn’t enough, especially if you play to win. If you have a choice, pick a unit that exposes detail about the fish size, species and depth. As a result, users can directly go after the desired target instead of wasting time on unwanted species.
Furthermore, I always advise customers to select a unit housing a fish alarm. The main reason is that it informs you about the targets it tracks to ensure you don’t miss a golden opportunity.
Any seasoned angler will tell you how vital GPS, chart plotting and built-in mapping features are. Not only will you never forget your way around, but you will also have prior knowledge about the bottom topography and fish hideouts to keep you on the right trail. Navigational features also allow you to keep a diary of critical points, routes and hotspots for future assistance.
Also, if your selected unit lacks built-in maps, then make sure it has Wi-Fi connectivity to help you import maps from an external source or get assistance from Contours Community or ActiveCaptain App.
Ambitious anglers often sacrifice user-friendliness for features. It causes more harm than it does good to your task. If a unit is affordable and feature-packed but has a complicated use, look the other way immediately. It will become a liability if you aren’t a seasoned fisherman. Pick a model with such a low learning curve that even beginners and intermediate-level anglers can operate it effortlessly.
Which Garmin fishfinder has the best value for money?
Garmin Striker 4 and 4CV have the best value for money among all Garmin units under the affordable range. If you want a best-value-for-money product in relatively high-end models, then Striker 7SV and 7CV are worthy candidates.
Which Garmin unit has the best maps and GPS?
Garmin Striker 7SV and echoMap 53cv claim to have the best GPS and mapping facilities; I have found them the best among the brand’s mid-range units. Many high-end models of the same series also have remarkable navigational features, but they cost a fortune that isn’t feasible for on-budget and occasional users.
Which Garmin unit is best for ice fishing?
Garmin Striker Plus 5, including a GT8HW-IF transducer, and Striker 4CV are rated the best for ice fishing scenarios. It is also a great cost-effective option due to its pocket-friendly price and the addition of a powerful transducer.
What are the Names of the overall best Garmin fishfinder?
- Garmin Striker 4 and Striker 4CV are overall the best for small boats, kayaks and canoes.
- Garmin Striker 7SV and Striker Vivid 9SV are said to be the best mid-range fish finders for enthusiasts and weekend warriors.
- If you are looking for a fishfinder best for professionals and tournament-grade anglers, consider Garmin echoMap Ultra 126SV.
Which Garmin fishfinder is the easiest to use?
Garmin Striker 4 and 5cv models are the easiest to use. Their installation mechanisms are also uncomplicated. Besides, their utility and functionality are commendable compared to others in the low to mid-price range.
The above reviews will have revealed that Garmin fish finders have a lot in common, which is natural especially when you’re looking at models of the same brand. However, they are quite different from each other based on their displays, sonar functioning, mapping and GPS system. You can easily get confused while deciding which unit to buy because the above 10 models are undoubtedly the best Garmin fish finders. However, the choice gets easier once you have gone through the buyer’s guide and evaluated the pluses and minuses of each unit while keeping in mind your budget and fishing plans.