Hawkeye Portable Fishfinder

I searched paddling.net and found various fishfinder posts, but didn’t see anything recent on the Hawkeye Portable Fishfinder. It looks like it’s been updated considerably since the most recent posts (unless I missed something).

Does any one have any experience with recent models that you could share?


Any fish finder can be a portable,
I power my Eagle Cuda 168 off 8 AA batteries, others use 12 volt deer feeder batteries, some use rechargeable AA’s. Haven’t used the one you mention, though I’ve seen it mentioned on texaskayakfisherman.com by at least one user, he liked it.

Hawkeye–first hand experience
I received a Hawkeye fishfinder as a Christmas present two years ago. First, I am basing it on my model, so an updated model may differ. I believe they run about $60 retail.

The Hawkeye is very easy to set up and use. Even after reading the instructions, the user features are about the same as when I tried them before reading them–easy to figure out.

The Hawkeye does NOT provide a fish readout. What it does is move either a large fish indicator or a small fish indicator across the screen (radar cone), depending on the sensitivity setting (high or low) and the size of the fish. It does give a pretty accurate depth and water temperature readout.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find this effective for kayak fishing. Knowing that there was something down there was informative, but not knowing how to interpret “big” from “small” on the high/low settings was frustrating. Also, there is no rigging included for the transducer, so I had to rig my own. I settled on an 18-inch piece of 1-inch PVC pipe. I taped the transducer to the bottom of the pipe, and stopped the float at the top. Since the Hawkeye includes about 20 feet of cable, I didn’t really see any point in checking water temperature in deep water.

I have found the Hawkeye to be much more useful ice fishing. While I fish a lake that I know pretty well after 15 years, it is very comforting to know that even if something is not hitting right away, there are fish down there. Plus, the “big/small” fish indicators are much more informative, as “small” means “bluegill/crappie” and “big” means “pike or bass.” My results have shown this to be pretty accurate. When there are no fish showing, it is time to move. I use an army surplus fanny pack to transport the readout, the transducer, cable, float, and PVC. This helps keep it off the ice and, hopefully, insulate the batteries a bit from the cold.

So, I am still looking at sonars for fishing warm-weather, but I will keep the Hawkeye for ice fishing.

Inexpensive depth finders are best
at identifying depth and structure. Most don’t have the the sensitivity for good fish finding. Depth and structure, though, are actually more important than identifying fish. That’s where you find many species. Should I accumulate the funds for another fish finder, it will probably be something like the Eagle 250, more pixels, more sensitivity.

I agree !
Find the structure and the fish will come . That said ,I use a 168 Cuda on my kayak and use manual settings because i think auto to be too sensitive.I had a “fishin’buddy” for a number of years when they first came out and used it on every thing except my yak.

My finder is a Cuda 168 powered by
8 AA batteries. I need to find a container to put the battery pack in, it tendes to get wet and rust/corrode.

Mixed review
I bought a Hawkeye 3355P last summer to use in my kayak and also when wading. I use it to fish salmon in extremely silty water. I was hoping for a narrow transducer beam that I could “point” ahead of me and see if fish were passing or lying in deeper water in front of me. I wanted more features than the flashlight style.

My connection between readouts and results in catching fish are inconclusive.

There is a lot of debris in the water and sometimes I think it is showing silt or debris. Sometimes it shows lots of fish and yet I catch nothing, which may just mean I’m missing hooking the salmon. I’d hoped it would tell me how far from shore they were lying in front of me but that has been the least helpful, very difficult to know how to interpret the readouts. I wish now I had waited or modified a full feature screen model such as Hummingbird has, that sketches bottom, shapes of objects and mid water fish or other items.

Nice toy, has not been as useful as I’d hoped for my purpose.

I wish one of the top notch detail showing ones would reduce their size to hand held capacity. I almost bought a compact Hummingbird till I realized the huge plastic base was essential to its operation. Like attaching a serving platter to a nice hand held pocket sized electronic item. Bizarre.

The ideal item isn’t here yet, but the technology is. (I haven’t chekced on new models in eight months). I talked by phone with the Hummingbird designers and told them they are missing a huge market of people who fish from shore or tiny boats. He sounded doubtful, but we will see a full feature hand held soon from one of the major companies I predict.

I really liked dealing wiht the Hawkeye people, wish them the best.

As has been stated, low end finders
identify structure, but aren’t much good for finding fish. I’d guess with salmon, structure isn’t something you look for, its fish you need to locate.

Cuda 168 problem.
I have a Cuda 168 that was working great the last time I used it, about 2 years ago. It has locked up on depth. I can change the range, but it will just go to the upper limit and stay there. Does anyone know how to repair this, if it can be repaired. I tried going back to the facory settings, but that did not work. I can hear the clicking in the transducer. The dispaly seems to be working fine and the temperature works too.

Don’t know, they’re relatively
inexpensive, so don’t think anyone repairs them. Eagle may repair it if you send it in, but the shipping would probably be 1/3 the cost of a new one.

jerlfletcher, I think your right about that. I will probably end up getting a new one if I can find one. I got my old one from Wal Mart. They do not carry it anymore.

Bass Pro has the 168, though its higher
than I"ve seen at other stores, $80. BPS has sold it for as low and $64, so it may be cheaper at the store if one is in your area. Stay away from Humminbird.


I saw the Cuda 168 at the BPS site. it was a little higher than you remembered, but it wasn’t on sale. I wish I could find one locally, evn if it cost a little more. I may have to get one from BPS, or some other web site if i can’t find one locally. The closest BPS is in Hampton VA. That is about 3 hours from us. My broken Cuda only lasted me a couple of fishing trips, but i had it at least 3 years.

I’ll sell my Hawkeye for half retail

– Last Updated: Jul-24-07 8:29 PM EST –

I've been on the road and missed some of this. On a whim this morning I decided that I will sell my Hawkeye for half of the price it is listed at Norcross. I've used it one season, less than two months. It is listed at $89.99 so that would be $45 and you play the actual shipping. Model FF5533P.

If I used it from the kayak more it would be far more useful, reading what is below me. It has worked well for that. But I mostly wade fish with it in relatively shallow water with flat sloping shore lines and it does not work as well in that application. Will write it off as money well spent on research. And I am gathering money for a new set of binoculars...

Edited to add: used only in fresh water, never salt water. Carried around in a day pack and pocket of waders much more than it was used.

Don’t know if they are closing it out,

– Last Updated: Jul-24-07 7:31 PM EST –

or Eagle will no longer make it, but here's a good deal, more pixels than the 168, on the 242 at Cabela's:


These guys don’t know what portable mean
Thanks for the link, Jerlfletcher. If you are gong to mount a unit fixed on a boat, then the Eagle Cuda 242 looks pretty good. It apparently has the option of running from batteries other than a 12 volt, but for the life of me I could never find out anything about that option, how many batteries, what size, etc. I looked at the Eagle site as well as Cabela’s. The manual for it spends most of the time showing you how to drill holes etc. to mount the transducer on the hull, etc.

At least the entire Hawkeye, including batteries, cables, transducer, everything, fits in a large pocket and if you don’t want to mount the transducer, you float it on the surface or hold it and point it to read water in any direction that you want. That’s portable.

There is a massive assumption among all of the manufacturers except for Hawkeye, that the unit will be mounted in a fixed bolted or glued position on a boat hull.

What flabbergasts me is that they still call such a unit a “portable!”!!!

Maybe we should start another thread but none of the major fish finder manufactuerers have a clue what portable means in common English.

And yes, this is a bit of rant, though not with heat but rather a snort of laughter. Portable means to me that I can put it all in my pocket or at least a daypack and take all of it, including batteries anywhere in the world and use it from a beach or from a dugout canoe in Liberia. How is anything bolted or glued to a boat portable?

One of these days, someone will make a pocket sized fish finder that is mostly screen, with a zillion pixels and 600 foot depth ability, that will show detailed shapes of what is in the water, none of these fish shaped or rock icons etc. It will run off AA or AAA battereies and have a transducer capable of mounting on a hull or holding by hand to direct the sonar beam. Hawkeye is the closest so far, but is not sophisticated enough in the detail it shows to satisfy my use.

Most fishfinders are portable.
While it takes 12 volts, it doesn’t take a lot of amps. My Cuda 168 operates off 8 AA batteries in a battery pack from Radio Shack, it cost less than $4, and a 9-volt pig tail…the battery pack has snap connections like a 9 volt. The pigtail is wired to the finder. Many kayak fishermen use a 12 volt rechargeable deer feeder batter, about $19. Fry’s sells a 12 volt battery that’s rechargeable, puts out 1.5 amps, and is 1/2 or less the weight of the deer feeder battery, also several other rechargeables with more amps, but still smaller in size/wt. Some operate their finder off rechargeable AA’s, though it seems to take 10…one eight batter pack, one two battery pack.

For mounting the tansducer on a SOT, do a search on texaskayakfisherman.com. It will work on a sit inside too, but not a polylink or supelink like the OT Loon. I use a suction cup transducer mount I got at Gander Mountain. THe cup doesn’t stick the best to my Loon, but its only a slight pain to restick it every once in a while. Sticks like glue to my royalex canoe.

Batttery pack
jerlfletcher, I useed a piece of half inch PVC, cut to length, with a slide on end cap at each end for my 8 AA batteries. I got some springs off of an old 6 volt dry cell and put them in the end caps. I drilled a hole in each end cap for the wores and seled them with silicone sealer. The end caps did not come off and al the voltage was there. That partworked great for me. I am sure someone can think of some better ways, but this did OK for me for now. It should be waterproof.

You gave me an idea to better water
proof my battery pack. Think it will fit in 1 1/4: PVC, if not 1 1/2 " and, with end caps (one not glued), a hole for the wires…very small, it should work a lot better than the tupper ware sandwich container I have.

better idea
jerlfletcher, you’ve given me some more ideas also. Does the battery pack you speak of have all the batteries in a row? Did ytou say Radio Shack has it?