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KAYAK FISH FINDER: INTRO
One of the most frustrating parts of any type of fishing is trying to “get on” the fish. Luckily, there is a solution for this problem, and it is relatively simple to implement. You can greatly improve your ability to locate fish with a Kayak Fish Finder. Implementing kayak fish finders into the kayak fishing routine isn’t for everyone.
This post is dedicated to explaining the use of a Kayak Fish Finder. The goal is to help you, our community members, learn more about this useful tool. As a result, you should be able to decide whether or not Kayak Fish Finders are for you.
KAYAK FISH FINDER: ULTIMATE GUIDE
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Learning about kayak fish finders can be a complex task. There are several different products, but they all serve the ultimate goal of helping you find more fish. Let’s get started learning more about these wonderful pieces of technology!
Kayak Fish Finder Overview
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A Kayak Fish Finder is an instrument that uses sonar to help detect and find fish underwater. It starts by sending a sound wave below the kayak. These sound waves bounce off of objects, and the fish finder then displays the results on the digital monitor. You can then interpret the visual results to determine if there are fish, and where they are located. It can take time to master the intricacies necessary to tell the difference between debris and schools of fish. The technology has greatly improved in the last 10+ years, and newer models make it easier to discover fish (if they are there!). Anglers that are experienced can discern types of fish (i.e. bait fish vs bass), but, depending on the equipment, it can take time to get to this level.
Portable Kayak Fish Finders
As mentioned above, there are many different types of fish finders. The best kayak fish finders are battery powered and portable. This makes it easy to move them around and mount them to your kayak (see mounting section below). Some of the portable kayak fish finders are rechargeable, but many take regular batteries. You should definitely look at the power source and battery life for these instruments. Models that take a few AAA batteries may only last a few hours, so you will have to bring extras on your fishing excursions. It is best to know this ahead of time!
Kayak Fish Finder Price
As with most technological instruments, the price can vary widely depending on the age and features of the Kayak Fish Finder. Even kayak fishers on a budget will be able to afford a new model with less features. There are models that I recommend that are currently priced ~ $40. Price-conscious fisherman that want more features should consider purchasing a used model from a reputable vendor. If you decide to purchase a used model, try to purchase one with some sort of warranty, or at least a limited warranty. This will help protect you in case your used model malfunctions. This is also true for those of you that consider purchasing a “refurbished” model.
If you would like to see my favorite models, check out my Best Kayak Fish Finders.
Kayak Fish Finder: Latest Technology
If you are currently in the market for a new Kayak Fish Finder, the technology is pretty impressive. Many of the newer fish finders will actually have the ability to link to your smart phone (via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) and provide real-time info in the palm of your hand. The kayak fish finders with their own displays are much more detailed and have better resolution than the older models. I personally only pull my smart phone out for bank/shore fishing. I’m way to clumsy to routinely pull it out when I am on the water! These new fish finders also use built in GPS technology to provide accurate location information. Reputable models with these features usually run between $100-$200 brand new, but motivated shoppers can find better prices during sales.
Mounting the Kayak Fish Finder
Once you have purchased (or borrowed) a Kayak Fish Finder, you have to figure out how to attach it to your kayak. Many Kayak Fish Finders include their own mounts as part of the initial package. Other finders don’t include mounts or have mounts that are low quality. Luckily, there is an entire product category dedicated to solving these issues. These solutions are called transducer arm mounts, and many of them are “universal.” This means that you can attach any model of fish finder to your kayak using these mounts. You can buy a decent Kayak Fish Finder mount for around $20-$30, and that is a small price to pay to protect your valuable instrument.
Custom Kayak Fish Finder Mounts
I have seen duct tape used in some pretty creative ways, but I don’t recommend using it to mount your precious finder. Using a quality mount helps ensure that your equipment doesn’t end up at the bottom of a lake, pond, or ocean. There are definitely some DIY options, for those of you that are gifted in this field. I still recommend just purchasing a mount because they work really well and are relatively cheap. Remember, an improperly mounted Kayak Fish Finder is an accident waiting to happen. Take it from me, you should spend the money or time to own one that works.
Kayak Fish Finder: Changing the Experience
Many kayak anglers hesitate to add tech gadgets to their craft. It can feel like placing a barrier between yourself and nature, and I definitely understand that. Kayak Fish Finders aren’t for everyone, and you need to decide if it is worth it to you. I was actually apprehensive at first, then I tried one. I borrowed my friend’s (shout out to Todd!) kayak, and he had the latest fish finder installed. I quickly found the fish and won the big fish bet with my friends. In my experience, it didn’t take away from my experience, it enhanced it! Do you typically fish with a kayak fishing pedal kayak? Don’t worry, your kayak fish finder will work well with pedal kayaks and standard paddle kayaks!
Side Note: If you are here, you are looking for convenience and comfort on the water. See why a Kayak Paddle Holder Clip is such a popular kayak fishing accessory! We’ve even written a short guide teaching you How to Install a Kayak Paddle Holder!
As stated above, I was initially apprehensive to add technology to my peaceful kayak fishing experiencing. The quote “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” came to mind. My kayak fishing excursions were already extremely enjoyable, so why complicate things? I’m thankful that I was introduced to Todd’s Kayak Fish Finder, but it is important to set boundaries. Just like a smart phone, you can (and some people do) remain glued to the screen all day and miss out on your surroundings.
I promised myself that I would prioritize my bond with nature on my kayak fishing trips. This means that I actually turn off my kayak fish finder for extended periods of time. Some of you may care less about nature, so your boundaries may be more loose. That is perfectly fine, and more power to you! Each individual is different, and I still recommend analyzing your priorities before you add technology to your kayak. Heading to the water soon?
Want to become involved in a different side of kayak fishing? See if joining a league would make sense for you!
I hope that this post has helped you discover the Kayak Fish Finder basics, and whether or not this technological instrument is right for you. I definitely recommend trying one out, especially because they can be a very useful (and fun) tool. Each brand/model has unique specs, and it important to choose the correct finder that fits your needs and budget. If you have any questions about a Kayak Fish Finder, please contact me or leave a comment below. If you have a question, chances are someone else has a similar question. I love interacting with members of the KFC Community; it is one of the main reasons that I built this website! One last thought – nothing is more fun than kayak fishing with a friend! Use a kayak fish finder while tandem kayak fishing with your friend. You’ll be sure to have a better outing!
Do you have a Kayak Fish Finder? What brand do you use? Has it impacted your bond with nature during your excursions? Please share your product reviews and experiences in the Comments section below. Thanks for helping the KFC Community grow!