Fish finder is a game changing device that eliminates all the guesswork and directs you straightforwardly to the fish productive locations on water.
However, not every fish finder will be best when you’re perched on a small boat like a kayak or a Jon boat due to their limited space.
Best fish finder for a Jon boat will be the one that will easily fit in the small vessel to let you row with confidence and fixate all your focus on reaching a fish active spot.
Instead of juggling between securely holding the gadget and paddling simultaneously.
Portable fish finders designed for small boats have a myriad of nifty features including improved sonar functions, GPS navigation mechanism and preloaded mappings, etc to ensure you don’t feel any loss due to shrunk size of the device.
The screen might not be plasma-like big but the image representation is crisp and sharp so you don’t have any trouble reading information about the world beneath your boat in any kind of lighting condition.
That’s why instead of shooting an arrow in the dark, you know the exact spot for casting the line in order to successfully hook a prey.
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Best Jon Boat Fish Finder 2023 Reviews
We know it’s frustrating to go through dozens of fish finders in order to find the perfect match for yourself. That’s why we’ve put together a brief buying guide for your convenience.
Skimming through it along with reviews of these best fish finders will allow you to immediately isolate the right model for your needs.
Top Jon Boat Fish Finder Comparison Table
Hook2 4X with
1. LUCKY Handheld – Top Pick Overall Jon Boat Fish Finder
Our #1 product is a ridiculously low-priced fish tracking device, LUCKY Handheld fish finder, because we want to ease you into the wide market of the best jon boat fish finder for money.
This small and portable gadget will hurl all your biases regarding cheap fish finders out of the window with its laudable performance, be it during challenging ice fishing, kayak fishing, inland fishing or deep sea fishing.
Its sonar sensor can search up to a depth range of 3ft – 328ft to make operose fish tracking in deeper water a breeze.
You can fish for however long it takes to land your desired target because the battery has a runtime of 4-5 hours, which you can further expand in case you need more time on the water to catch your object of interest.
Moreover, due to backlight mode coupled with fish and fish school alarm options even the night is yours to fish to your heart’s content as the low visibility will not hinder screen viewing and you’ll get notified through an alarm whenever the unit will detect the presence of a target.
Alluding to earlier, the size of this gadget is compact so it will conveniently fit on a jon boat or a kayak. The unit isn’t weatherproof, but you can overcome this limitation since you’ll experience great value from such a small device.
- Multi-purpose fish finder.
- Sonar can scan up to a depth range of 3ft-328ft.
- Many user-friendly settings.
- It isn’t weatherproof.
- Casting range is restricted.
If you’re low on budget yet want a highly functional fish finder, then Lucky Handheld fish finder is the most practical option for you. The portable unit isn’t weatherproof, but overall it’s a great value option for jon boats due to its high-accuracy fish detecting ability.
2. Deeper PRO+Smart – Best Design Sonar Jon Boat Fish Finder
Whether it’s the best fish finder for small boats or the best portable fish finder for ice fishing and offshore fishing, the competition seems incomplete without a winning-worthy contestant like Deeper Pro+Smart Sonar.
For a portable model of this category, the unit might seem expensive but it’s still well within the bounds of affordability. T
he slight elevation in price is due to featuring wireless connectivity – no need to unduly burden your canoe with internet devices and stuff. Phew, what a relief!
More relief is coming your way with its dualbeam sonar. Wondering how? Simply cast it in selected water and it will scan into depth as well as horizontally across the waterbody simultaneously – sonar rays travel up to 330ft horizontally and 260ft deeper – to give a wholesome scan of huge swathes of water column.
The presence of in-built GPS ensures you not only navigate through the waterbody accurately but also take notes about fish, bottom contours, weeds, rocks, etc in light of the personal observation.
These personal documents will be saved in Lake Book from where you could easily review them whenever you want.
Ice fishing, dock fishing or offshore fishing, choose any fishing expedition with confidence because you’ll always return with at least a few catches to grill.
- Inconsistent results when the watercraft is standstill.
- Battery isn’t long-running.[/joomdev-wpc-cons][/joomdev-wpc-pros-cons]
Deeper Pro+Smart Sonar is a pro at detecting fish in deeper waters. The unit is portable yet features powerful sonar which earns it a secure place among excellent value fish finders for Jon boats.
3. Lowrance Hook2 5 – Best Brand 5-inch Jon Boat Fish Finder
When you want a middle ground between cheap and top-end fish finders containing the assurance that fish will fall hook, line and sinker for your bait, then you’re indirectly asking for Hook2 5 by Lowrance.
Whether it’s a trout, crappie, catfish or any other finned target, you’ll have the location of the desired object in a short time due to efficient and wider sonar coverage.
Sonar together with Tripleshot transducer will give detailed insight in the depth as well as up to a 300ft area on both sides of the vessel to make sure not a single fish is missed from your search.
Another best thing about this device is its Built-in GPS and preloaded inland mapping of 4000 lakes.
This means either you can take assistance from already available data about a waterbody or create charts by marking your personal favorite fish spots and keeping a record of your trails to ensure you have the required coordinates for revisiting a specific fruitful location.
Lastly, its restricted viewing options stick out like a sore thumb but the availability of high quality images on a decent size backlit screen quell the annoyance to a significant degree.
- Undemanding setup and use.
- Clear and readable image in low lighting situations.
- Highly efficient and accurate side and depth sonar scans.
- Built-in GPS and pre-installed inland mapping of 4000 lakes for better navigation and performance.
- Upsetting customer support.
- Restricted watching modes.
We recommend Lowrance Hook2 5 fishfinder to all those owners of jon boats who want a close-to professional grade premium fish hunting gadget without breaking a bank. The efficient sonar functions along with an active GPS mechanism keep it at the forefront among the best inexpensive fish finders for small boats.
4. Humminbird 410950-1 Helix 7 – Best MEGA Side Imaging Jon Boat Fish Finder
Only wizards at Humminbird can craft a masterpiece like Helix 7 Chirp MSI (410950-1) in a mid-tier price range.
The device’s wizardry with detecting fish is attributed to coveted Mega Side Imaging and Mega Down Imaging along with chirp sonar functions.
They function side by side to perform an actual in-depth scan of about up to 125ft deep in water as well as around 100ft on either side of the watercraft to give you a detailed insight into the surrounding waterbody.
Everything from structure to fish arches will be revealed on a 7” broad screen in a lickable crisp and bright picture.
We know how cluttered the screen gets when multiple pieces of information is projected on it at once. Well, you will not have to solve the jigsaw puzzle of distinguishing one type of data from another anymore because of SwitchFire sonar mode.
It will let you decide which part of the information – from turbulence, depth, water temperature and lure drawing – you want to be displayed on your screen.
Finally, like expected from such a deluxe category, the Helix series, this one also comes equipped with a Bluetooth system and map charts to help you either move directly towards productive waters or save personal charts and waypoints regarding fruitful spots of any waterbody for convenient revisiting.
- Mega Side Imaging and Mega down Imaging increase the possibility of detecting fish tenfold.
- 7” display offers a bright and intelligible image of underwater activity.
- Multiple information can be viewed at once through split-screen mode.
- Personalized cartography for conveniently revisiting of fruitful locations.
- Setup and operation is demanding.
- Pre-installed basemap charts lack necessary details.
Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp MSI (410950-1) has retained the manufacturer’s superior artistry despite the competitive price. We call it one of the best top-end fish finders for jon boats due to its magical fish tracing ability.
5. Garmin Striker 4 – Best Top Rated Jon Boat Fish Finder with Transducer
Not everyone fancies fancy gears carrying revolutionary features and eye-popping high prices.
Those who prefer simplicity and comfort both of use as well as of their pockets will love to get their hands on this straightforward and budgeted fish finder – Garmin Striker 4.
The compact size allows it to comfortably position on a jon boat while the sonar frequency shoots rays without interruption to gather maximum information regarding the underwater world.
The screen is kept small to retain portability yet the information is revealed in a pretty clear and intelligible manner, ensuring you don’t mix symbols of structure, vegetation and fish.
However, bear that in mind that the screen isn’t made impervious to water so subjecting it to heavy rain will end the fishing trip ahead of your targeted time.
Besides, neither low visibility nighttime nor testing ice fishing will allow the desired target to escape your clutches because its flasher mode will notify you of fish presence immediately. Very peachy!
Additionally, the availability of waypoint mapping lets you draw personal maps containing fish hotspots and schools that you found while trolling to help you come back to them whenever you want without meandering unnecessarily.
- Portable model.
- Crisp and clear display of data.
- Uncomplicated installation and use.
- Customized charting helps save favorite fish schools and hotspots.
- Cannot survive rain and turbulent waters.
- No protective case.
Garmin Striker 4 is a simple yet best fish finder because of its user-friendly interface and capability to accurately trace fish under vegetation or sheets of ice. Its portable and compact structure is suitable for jon boats and kayaks.
6. Lowrance Hook2 4X – Best Value Jon Boat Fish Finder with Bullet Skimmer Transducer
Buy cheap to weep; it’s true for the majority of cheap fish finders but not in case of Lowrance Hook2 4X.
The unit is considered an anomaly among traditional cheap and trashy products with its impressive quality and sonar performance.
You’ll receive accurate information about structure, contours and fish to help you cast line in a manner to easily outmaneuver your cunning and agile prey.
The unit comes with all the moves required to counteract the tricks of your gilled target yet the setup and keyed mechanism is kept to the basic to ensure that even novice fishers get it ready for real action in a flash.
Since it’s a portable as well as a bargained device so you’ll have to compel yourself to work around a smaller screen, no other size is available.
However, the brighter side of the picture, both literally and figuratively, is the Solarmax display as not only will you receive a clear picture of the underwater environment but also comfortable readability of the screen in glaring sunlight.
Additionally, it carries a bullet skimmer transducer and a 2-year warranty to soothe those who got annoyed with the shrunken screen.
- Use and setup is simple.
- Portable unit designed for small boats and kayaks.
- High coverage sonar frequency.
- Solarmax display provides a bright and readable view in sunlight.
- Screen isn’t just small, it’s also available in only one size.
- Extra expenditure on charger and carrying case.
Lowrance Hook2 4X has a few shortcomings yet it enjoys massive appreciation from fishers, especially novice anglers, mainly because of its simple use and active sonar scan. The shrunken size of unit and price tag make it a great economical fish finder for jon boats and kayaks.
7. Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4 – Best Dual Beam Sonar Jon Boat Fish Finder
Lowrance and Garmin aren’t the only ones adept at providing best budget-friendly fish finders, Humminbird is equally a pundit in this regard.
Piranhamax 4 (410150-1) is Humminbird’s way of appeasing on-budget customers.
The unit features dual-beam sonar so you get a choice to decide whether you want a general broader scan of an area or target your focus on a specific spot to gain in-depth insight about it – you’ll be able to easily identify and mark the bottom structure, weeds and fish.
Sonar waves can reach as deep as 320ft to search for a target for you.
You’ll know what the fruitful spot is for throwing a line because the information revealed on the screen will be crystal clear and large, courtesy of a relatively bigger screen.
In addition, you can modify the mounting angle to some other position in order to achieve improved results if the previous mounting position didn’t land you any significant information.
What if you still miss a fish? Well, that would be sheer bad luck or your lack of skills because there’s no chance of missing a target once it sets foot within your search parameter.
This confidence is gifted because of a fish alarm that goes off like a trumpet when it senses the presence of the desired target.
Coming towards the bleak side of the picture, it doesn’t come with a GPS system but you’ll have to work around this loss for its a low-priced gadget.
- Compact and easily transportable device.
- Diagonal screen is comparatively larger and offers a bright view.
- Features fish alarm and mounting angler adjustments for enhancing performance.
- Dualbeam sonar offers detailed depth scan and general wider scan.
- Comes without a GPS mechanism.
Humminbird’s Piranhamax 4 (410150-1) lands top rankings among best value jon boat fish finders due to its efficient sonar scanning and crystal clear viewing at an economical price. The absence of GPS mechanism is understandable since it is a budgeted unit.
8. iBobber – Best Wireless Smart Jon Boat Fish Finder
If your main purpose is to have an enjoyable getaway on the water with a fish or two to grill later or introduce your younger one to the sport, then go for a simple and basic fish detecting device like iBobber Wireless Smart Fish Finder seems like the most practical choice.
It’s also pretty economical so your mission will be accomplished without splashing a serious amount of cash.
Coming with wireless and bluetooth connectivity is for the purpose of keeping up with its promise of simplicity and convenience.
It is a huge convenience as you will not have to fuss with cables and the push of just a few keys will sync the unit to your phone.
We know taking out your phone while paddling is risky but there’s a waterproof phone case included in the package, ensuring your phone survives accidental falls and water splashes.
Unlike other low-end devices, this one has the smartness to sense a fish’s presence in the water.
Furthermore, you’ll not find much loss to fret over since it can gather sufficient information regarding the underwater activity, regardless of an absence of embellishing features.
Pick any fishing type, dock fishing, kayaking or paddling your jon boat in rivers or lakes, this one will find a catch for you to capture.
- Simple and basic setup and use.
- Wireless and bluetooth connectivity make things convenient.
- Contains a waterproof phone cover for keeping your phone safe.
- Suitable for novice and weekend warriors.
- Device disconnects from phone when casted far away.
- Not suitable for professional fishers.
- Not compatible with deep sea fishing.
Beginners and occasional anglers will be able to capture a catch or two with iBobber wireless fish finder because of simple use and active sonar scan. It doesn’t come with any bells and whistles yet offers great value with its rugged built and precise fish tracking ability.
9. Hawkeye – Best Value Fishtrax 1C Jon Boat Fish Finder
This is truly the best portable and affordable fish finder because the name itself says it has a hawk-like vision when it comes to detecting the presence of gilled prey deep in water.
We know crowning it as best just because of its name is irrational but there’s a huge crowd of fishermen who’ll support this claim as they’ve landed quite a few catches with this little monster.
It actually is a monster that doesn’t miss any fish as long as it’s within 240ft search parameters. Speaking of missing, you’ll also not miss a catch because the fish alarm will go off to let you know that it’s time for hooking a target.
This has been made possible due to its active and powerful sonar that delivers crisp and sharp fish arcs along with information about its whereabouts and bottom landscape.
The screen is of standard size but what makes it stand above common folks is the LED backlight that provides an anti-glare superior quality image regardless of the lighting situation.
Anglers as well as weekend warriors call it the best portable jon boat fish finder because mounting it is a breeze, not to mention it’s floatable and trollable too.
Meaning, it has enough versatility and flexibility to have your back on any type of fishing expedition without compromising its accuracy.
However, the glorifying features end here because now we’ve got a catch-22 kind of situation. It has excellent value no doubt but some fishers still find it a bit costly, considering it’s a portable model.
- Flexible device is floatable, trollable and easily mountable.
- Backlit display offers high quality anti-glare viewing.
- Sonar can travel up to 240ft to detect targets.
- Fish alarm alerts you of fish presence.
- A bit costly for a simple and portable gadget.
- Mount for the transducer isn’t included.
Hawkeye Fishtrax fish finder has a vision of a hawk to trace fish presence up to a considerable depth no matter whether you’re fishing along shoreline or going for offshore fishing. The unit has a few pitfalls sticking out like sore thumbs yet you cannot deny that overall it’s the best portable fish finder for small boats.
10. Venterior VT-FF001 Handheld – Best Pocket Friendly Jon Boat Fish Finder
Venterior will have your jaws dropped and your eyes popped out in shock with its ridiculously low price.
This cheap device might make you weep but be sure those will always be happy tears because you’ll have a highly functional fish tracker without the bane of the unduly expensive price.
Jon boat or a kayak, offshore fishing or ice fishing, it is cut out for all. Thanks to the compact structure, you’ll have it on board on any of the mentioned fishing ventures without any fuss.
Just hurl the transducer in selected water territory and see what’s going on beneath your vessel within a depth range of 3ft-328ft.
Anything from bottom contours to weeds and reef, rocks on seabed and fish within the given bounds will be projected on the screen to give you a wholesome picture of the aquatic world.
Though the screen is small, the icons of multiple objects are so clear and sharp that you’ll feel like you’ve turned into Aqua Man and witnessed the marine world with a naked eye.
Moreover, integrating multiple user-friendly modes like battery saving mode, fish alarm, backlight format etc have only one aim: to give you as much time on the water as it takes to fish to your heart’s content. 4-5 hours is a pretty huge window to land a prey even when your expertise level is in the initial stages.
So how come you’ll return empty-handed when the fishing time will be expanded up to 8-9 hours?
What I mean is, your vessel will always have at least one prized possession when returning home.
- Cheaply-priced portable device.
- Clear and detailed information about the underwater environment.
- Variety of user selectable formats.
- Accurately detects fish school within depth range of 3ft-328ft.
- 2-year warranty.
- Batteries need to be replaced at regular intervals.
- Erratic results on a fast moving boat.
- Cable is a bit short.
Venterior VT-FF001 is by far the best economical and value fish finder for kayaks and small boats. It’s simple design is without any fancy embellishments yet works as good as big and bulky opponents even when subjected to challenging ice fishing.
Buyer’s Guide: By Selling to The Best Jon Boat Fish Finder in 2023
Purchasing the right fish finder for jon boats is a tricky decision that needs an insight into the units available.
To make sure the chosen model is appropriate for the type of fishing you’ve planned, you’ll have to know what specs it should carry.
For gaining such insight we have underlined a number of vital features in the guide below.
Type of Fishfinder
Since portability and compactness are requisites for a Jon boat due to its limited space, you may make a better choice if you have an idea of the variations portable units offer.
Fishfinders with screens as small as 3-inches and as broad as 7-inches fall under this group. Usually, they are cost-effective products containing all the essentials alongside a carrying case.
More often than not, you will find each unit having a versatile application, such as open-water fishing, ice fishing and kayak fishing.
These fishfinders come with mounting gear and tools to help you build the setup on small vessels, canoes and trolling motors. The entire setting is temporary and can be taken off when the trip ends or you want to shift it to another watercraft.
Mountable units are ideal for boats because of their stability.
These closely resemble mobile phones and usually aren’t bigger than your smartphone. Thus, one can conveniently grasp a handheld fish detector in his hand or tuck it inside a pocket. The handheld fish tracer is suitable for fishermen who like to fish offshore on a small boat or prefer shore fishing.
Castable fish finders are ultra space-efficient – no receiver head, cables, batteries and other junk. Nada. These only contain a floatable transducer that you hurl in the water within the casting range. So, when you sync your phone to the transducer via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, it starts acting like a receiver head. The information about the fish and surrounding structure appears on your cellphone’s screen.
This latest invention is best for dock fishing scenes or fishing from the bank.
While purchasing a fish finder, you should have a clear picture in mind about the kind of fishing you’ll subject it to. If you’re interested in offshore/deep sea fishing, then select a unit with wide sonar beams.
On the other hand, lakes and rivers are comparatively shallower thereby a narrower beam will work adequately for you.
Fancy and bulky fish finders seem very appealing due to their larger screens and high-tech features. But these larger models also occupy huge space that’s not available in kayaks and flat-bottomed boats – jon boats.
Go for a model that’s quite compact and portable to be easily accommodated on such smaller watercraft.
Portable models have reduced the number of innovative features but the above list has some names that set the bar very high for portable and compact devices. Finding one with the right amount of bells and whistles will not be an overwhelming task.
The transducer is the part that comes in contact with water and throws frequency waves to travel into water and garner required information.
Therefore, knowing the frequency is extremely important. If you have to fish in shallower waters of lakes and rivers, higher frequencies of 192kHz or 200kHz will be able to scan accurately up to a 100ft depth.
On the other hand, for commercial-grade deep sea fishing, prefer a model with as low as 50 kHz frequency as it can travel beyond 1500 feet depth parameter to help you gauge even the deepest seas and oceans.
It is advisable to go a mile extra and verify the quality, power and reliability of the transducer since many fail to accumulate accurate information in turbulent or murky water or from a moving vessel.
The data gathered by the transducer is revealed on the unit’s screen so its type and picture quality is of equal importance.
Since kayaks and jon boats are short on space, going for high-end models with as big as 12” displays doesn’t seem a practical option. Anything within 3”-7” range will have ample room to reveal multiple information clearly at once.
Similarly,screen resolution and pixels also need equal attention. Higher resolution will result in better and clear graphical representation on the display.
Also, colored screens and LED backlights will improve screen readability even in direct sunlight or nighttime darkness.
Among other necessary features, the GPS mechanism comes at the top because it provides better navigation while meandering around the water looking for a target.
Built-in GPS will not only enable you to save trails, waypoints and fish active locations for revisiting but also help you return to shore without getting lost.
Adjustments & User-Friendly Control
Whether low-end or high-end, a fishfinder with multiple adjustments and a straightforward setting menu is more welcome than its counterpart. One, you can modify sonar, mounting angle, sensitivity, depth and screen settings according to the need of the hour.
Second, it enhances the accuracy and precision of the scans, which directly amplifies your chances of victory. This boosts your confidence, especially when you are at the initial stages of the skill.
A golden rule is “choose functionality over complexity to enhance utility.’’
What is the best fish finder for small boats?
The overall best fish finder for a Jon boat, kayak, canoe or float tube is Deeper Pro+ Smart. It is followed by none other than the famous Garmin Striker 4. Next in line are the iBobber wireless unit, Lowrance Hook2 5 and Humminbird Piranhamax 4.
If you want something a bit fancier irrespective of a higher cost, then nothing can beat Humminbird Helix-7 MSI G3 and Garmin Striker 7sv in the mid-tier range. However, these aren’t suitable for ultra-confined vessels like float tubes, canoes and kayaks.
Which portable fish finder has the best value for the money?
Deeper Pro+ has undoubtedly the best value for the money. IBobber also has a higher value along with a lower price point. If you want a value unit of a famous brand, consider Garmin Striker 4, Humminbird Piranhamax 4 and Lowrance Hook2 4x and Hook Reveal 5.
Are low-end portable fish finders worth it?
The answer is a definite ‘Yes’. Units like Lucky Handheld, iBobber, Venterior VT-FF001 and HawkEye Fishtrax 1C cost less than Deeper, Humminbird Helix, Garmin Striker and Lowrance Hook models, yet their accuracy, sensitivity, and bottom details are laudable. Their readouts in shallower areas are some of the most precise you may find in budgeted fish finders.
Which fish finder offers more versatility and functionality, castable or traditional portable fish finder?
My bet is on castable fish finders. Their performance, versatility and options range are 2-3 times better than regular portable fish finders. Instead of sticking to your side like traditional portable fish finders, castable units can be set into motion quite far away from your current position to scan that area in advance.
Some fishermen may not agree with my opinion as functionality and practicality of needs influence the choices.
As the name suggests, a fish finder will help you locate fish easily irrespective of the depth of the waterbody. Whether you’re dock fishing or planning to row your jon boat towards deeper waters, having a right fish finder will enhance the possibility of capturing fish even if you’re new to the sport. Finding that perfect device could be confusing but we’ve compiled a short yet comprehensive buyer’s guide that will help you reach the best fish finder for small boats without getting confused.