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Best Portable Fish Finders Under $200

As our society makes great advancements in technology, we learn new ways to be more efficient and maximize our productivity. The development of the fish finder not only helps us locate fish, but it prepares us for a better fishing experience. Fish finders are now used by both commercial and sport fishermen. It allows the sport of fishing to grow and provides information to undercover new secrets. 

Finding the best portable fish finder on the market can help discover the best fishing spots in your area. Portable fish finders are easy to use almost anywhere and can deliver great results. You not only want a low-cost device, but also one that actually works. Let’s uncover the best portable fish finders that all cost under $200.


Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit

Key Features:
  • Sonar history to review older sonar images
  • Mark and return to fishing spots
  • Works in 750 feet of saltwater
  • CHIRP sonar technology that can show crisper fish images with enhanced targets

Garmin developed the Striker 4 as a small easy-to-use 3.5-inch device to better locate fish. Not only does it feature a high-sensitivity GPS, but it also has a carrying case for fishing expeditions everywhere. Anglers have used Garmin for kayaks, small boats or finding fish. This fish finder offers the ability to mark fishing spots on the map in order to visit at a later date. This device works in saltwater as deep as 750 feet! That is one of the deepest ranges for all portable fish finders.

For those needing more detail on their fish finder, Garmin offers a CLEARVU scanning sonar as an add-on. For those ice fishermen, Garmin offers dedicated flasher circuit. A great tool for ice fishing! Its padded case makes it easy to transport and usable in all types of conditions. The entire kit only weighs 10.8 pounds, so it won’t be too heavy in your kayak.


Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar – GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder

Key Features:
  • Smartphone friendly
  • Research data while you are away from the water
  • Cast directly from your fishing rod
  • Captures vegetation and bottom contour

For those who want to sync their fish finder to their phone, the Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar is for you. I tend to actively use my phone during my fishing trips as I am continuously researching locations and fishing conditions. I love being able to see my fish finder directly on the screen of my smartphone. Once synced to your phone, you do not need the internet. So there is no need to worry about the device not working when fishing offshore. 

The fish finder allows for great analysis on the device’s application. You are able to modify, review, and research prior to going out on the water. Using the Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar can be defined in three short steps: Cast, Scan & Target. As you cast the device, you immediately will know the depth and environment in which you are fishing. Scanning the device captures the vegetation areas and bottom contour. Reviewing and analyzing this data will help target your preferred fishing spots. Don’t worry about gathering all this data, it will all be saved to the cloud.


ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder

Key Features:
  • Smartphone friendly
  • Perfect for areas by the shore
  • 2 snap swivel connections for use as a bobber
  • Free app on both the iOS and android store

To continue on the topic of fish finders available on your smartphone, ReelSonar introduces their iBobber patented sonar technology. This device is recommend for those fishing closer to the shore in locations such as a bays, lakes, rivers, canals or beaches. It is ideal for analyzing environments that a larger boat cannot reach. iBobber offers an application that syncs to the iBobber device through bluetooth. While on the app, you can mark fish locations, review depth contours, browse structures, save water temperatures and even share directly on social media.

For a relatively low price compared to its competitors, this device works great in locations by the shore. No reason to waste money on a fish finder that works in 500+ feet water when you typically fish is more shallow waters. Its lightweight feature and ability to easily transport makes it a great tool to bring with you wherever you decide to travel. You never know when you might find a great spot to fish. iBobber is also suitable for all ice fishing occasions.


Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

Key Features:
  • Accurate Depth Reading
  • Easy To Use
  • Lower-budget fish finder
  • 5 user selectable sensitivity

Venterior created an easy-to-use product at a very fair price. Its shows all the details in the water from fish, vegetation, and rocks. Perfect device to use on a moving kayak below 5mph. To get started using, toss the transducer device into the area in the water. Next, turn on the display unit to witness the depth, fish and other specific details. Its portable neck strap allows you to take it almost anywhere, making the device a popular choice for ice fishing.

The fish finder offers a sensitivity function to not display smaller fish. This feature is extremely helpful when fishing in waters with many baitfish in the area. Also, the battery life lasts 4-5 hours on AAA batteries. I would recommend using this fish finder when helping find the best locations but to turn off once you are fishing in order to preserve the battery life. Finally, Venterior’s portable fish finder is back by a 2-year warranty. Venterior has a strong support team to respond to any problems that you may have with the device.


FAQs

Q: How does a portable fish finder work?

A: A fish finder works through sonar technology that is able to detect fish through the use of sound waves in the water. The fish finder device is able to communicate these signals into the water and display its results on the screen. Portable fish finders are unique because they don’t need to be wired and connected to a boat. They are easy to transport and can be suitable for almost all different types of fishing experiences. A portable fish finder can run on batteries and be stored in your tackle box.

Q: Castable Fish Finder vs. Portable Fish Finder?

A: It really depends. While the portable fish finder is more common, it really comes down to what you are comfortable with. Personally, I try to avoid a castable fish finder while I am on a kayak or canoe because I want to have my fish finder close to me. Usually when you are on a kayak or canoe, you do not need to cast far away from your location, so a portable fish finder is perfect for me in identifying what is currently swimming under my kayak. However, both have been proven to work.

Q: Are portable fish finders waterproof?

A: Unfortunately, not all fish finders are waterproof. While most fish finder devices can handle water splashes, they weren’t made to be completely submerged under the water. They should be able to handle rain and waves, but try to avoid dropping these expensive devices in the water. In the worst case scenario, rice has been an effective method in reviving portable fish finders that fell victim to falling into the water. Dry rice is an effective way to absorb the moisture in the device. 

Q: Are portable fish finders weaker in power compared to a traditional fish finder on a boat?

A: Given the difference in price, you may think so but the power is fairly similar. Outside of the lower quality portable fish finders, most are just as powerful as the typical fish finder that you may find on a fishing boat. The sonar technology between the two does not change. The way that the information is displayed on the screen can vary between products, but the power remains constant. 

Conclusion

While a portable fish finder can help yield better results when you are fishing, the most important determinate is the angler. Fish finders help create a strategy but they don’t necessarily produce the end results. They will help you better understand the waters that you fish, which should eventually improve your fishing abilities. If you haven’t tried a portable fish finder before, imagine knowing exactly where the fish are around you. Not only is it great for fishing, but the principal itself is pretty cool.