Fish Finders?

This is more of a curiosity than a plan, I was just wondering how they work on a kayak?

I have never used a fish finder/depth finder, I also have never been on a boat with one, I have seen kayaks with them on the river and got curious if this was an advantage or just a cool toy.

If it’s an advantage and something to seriously consider what is a decent model/brand? how do you install and power it? I have a lot of questions to that need answered to sooth my curiosity.

I walk in the store and see 20-30 different kinds and I am lost. :wink:

I searched back and found no threads relating to this one so maybe a fish finder on a yak is more of a joke or maybe not.


Eric G

I’m Sold!!!
After reading several pages of info on installing fishfinders and all the different brands and the options they offer I am sold on the idea.

I decided the Humminbird 343C FishFinder is the model I will go with and yes the color display had a little influence on my decision, I know I could get the same features in a black and white model for $100 less :slight_smile:

Now to figure out which battery I will need. I want a battery that will last atleast 24 possibly 48 hours for long trips, this will all depend on size and weight but if the battery only last 6-8 hours it turns to dead weight after that. If I pack this thing it will be for more than a day trip.

Be Safe

Eric G

god deal
A color machine under $200 is a good deal. You need a RAM mount to put it on. A sealed battery of at least 5 amps and a dry box slightly larger then the battery to mount it in. I dont have time now to describe the whole install but Im finshing up and article for a small fishing mag right now and will post it when finished the editing. I install around 125 fish finders in kayaks a year.

Looking forward to the artical
I plan to install the battery in my rear dry storage, it will serve as a charger for other devices as well when camping. The only thing I have to figure out is what size battery I want/need to suit my needs. One question about the single and dual beams, I read you shouldn’t use a dual beam in less than 200ft of water, Is this true? If so can the fishfinder be changed from dual to single by changing setting? I could not find an answer to that question on google.

Cuda 300
I have installed a Cuda 300 on my kayak and you won’t beleive the battery I use. I use the 12 volt batteries from a 12 volt skil cordless drill I wasn’t using. They have a 3hour charge time and one will last me from 7 am until about 10 pm and the best thing is the two together weigh a little over a pound. The fish finder was good to use most all will tell the depth and water temp which is handy and the chart of the fish and bottomis very useful. My buddy says he don’t believe in gadgets but he is constantly asking how deep is it or what is the water temp. It to me is very worth wile, giving useful info even if you are not fishing.The install was fairly easy I followed the instructions in a kayak fishing book and it works great. Happy fishing and have some fun.

fish finder
I’ve run my dual beam humminbird for a long time. Had a color garmin but switched over to the B&W, I can see it clearer,my opinion only. I heard of the dual beam not working here or there or working best in deep water but I get great bottom shots on the lcd with the dual in medium lakes I fish. The hardest part is getting the transducer mounted firmly. I mounted mine on a easily removable stable downrod in the middle of the canoe having a double ender. I slow troll backwards when i’m fly fishing and I float right into the fish. personally I wouldn’t trade the dual beam.

in your menu, you can select narrow or wide beam only. I am not sure why you would want to, even in shallower water than 200’. I have a hummingbird tribeam and haven’t experienced any difficulties with it. Like most kayak fisherman, I am fishing anyhere from shoreline to 40-50’. Deeper than than that, you need some serious heavy duty jig or downrigger equipment that wouldn’t be much fun in a kayak.

I use a cabela battery. It’ll fish two sessions easily without recharge. My session are usually 4-6 hours, covering 2-3 hours on either side of a tide change to catch the tidal current/movement in select (ambush) spots.


They’re great
Really help in finding structure and contour to fish over, which for me is key because I like to drift over reefs.

One thing I would recommend - DO NOT get a smartcast product. they are the ones Hummingbird makes where the transponder is wireless, a little green submarine-like bobber. They are really unreliable. I got the one where the reciever straps onto you like a wristwatch, and sent it into the factory almost as soon as I got it, got a replacement, which proceded to malfunction in exactly the same way. I have heard other people on this board and elsewhere say they have the same problem, not just with the wristwatch model, but with all the smartcast products. I have never heard anyone say anything good about them. Definitely get a unit with a traditional transponder attached to the receiver by a physical cable. The rest of Hummingbird’s products are great, as are Garmin’s.

Fish finder
I agree on the Smartcast product. I know i had one and it was a total waste of money. I now have a small hand held unit( HAWKEYE FF3355P) which is approx. 2 5/8X5" and runs on either 4 or 6 AAA batteries. It’s a real basic unit but gives me depth, shows structure and dropoffs,fish. Not sure how accurate it is but it works for me. Under $100. Actually i donot have enough space for anything bigger as i have other equipment mounted on the front and rear deck both.

Zebco Fishfinder
I have a Zebco portable fishfinder. The graphics are super lame but it does what it says-shows you fish, the type of bottom, and the depth. It runs on 4 AAAs and has options like a tone for fish presence and a batt. save feature that makes the most of the batt level. It also has sensitivity settings and a light feature and a lanyard. I’ve had it for a few years now and am eager to use it on my kayak having used it on jonboats the past few summers. For under a $100 it can’t be beat.