Portable Fish Finder


W hile fishing might be your favorite pastime as you get to relax, all while inhaling fresh, clean air, admiring the beauty of nature, and even getting the chance to cook healthy food you worked on procuring yourself, it is undeniable that there are some downsides to this activity. Obviously, the major downside is having to wait for hours to catch a fish, or ending up finishing your fishing expedition without a single catch. To exponentially increase your chances of actually returning home with a full bag of fish, you need the help of a convenient portable fish spotter that finds groups of fish for you. Next, we will show you what are the fish finding devices you can confidently rely on, so stick with us if you are interested in making this purchase.

Top 5 Portable Fish Finders Comparison

1. Deeper PRO+ 2. Garmin Striker 4 3. Venterior VT-FF-002 4. Lucky FFW-718 5. Venterior VT-FF001
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General Info
Manufacturer Deeper Garmin Venterior Lucky Venterior
Dimenions 2.5″ Ø 3.6″ x 5.9″ x 1.6″ 9.3″ x 3.9″ x 2.6″ 5.12″ x 2.95″ x 1.18″ 9.6″ x 2.2″ x 5.9″
Weight 3.5 Oz. 8.1 Oz. 0.3 Oz. 5.47 Oz. 17.6 Oz.
Battery Type Rechargeable Lithium Polymer 3.7V Rechargeable 12V, 7Amp Rechargeable Lithium-Ion 3.7V 3V CR2032 4 x AAA
Specifications
Display
Type N/A HVGA Color Dot Matrix LCD Dot Matrix FSTN LCD LCD
Size N/A 3.5″, 5″, 7″ 1.97″ x 1.77″ 1.61″ x 1.89″ N/A
Resolution N/A 480 x 320px 128 x 96px 128 x 64px N/A
Backlight
Performance
Waterproof Rating Watertight IPX7 IPX4
Sensitivity Adjustable Adjustable 10-Level Adjustable 5-Level Adjustable 5-Level Adjustable
Zoom N/A
Temperature
Operating Range -4°F – 104°F 5°F – 131°F 14°F – 158°F 14°F – 122°F -4°F – 158°F
Unit Celsius, Fahrenheit Celsius, Fahrenheit Celsius, Fahrenheit Celsius, Fahrenheit Celsius, Fahrenheit
Depth
Maximum Depth 260 Feet 1600 Feet, 750 Feet 120 Feet 135 Feet 328 Feet
Unit Feet, Meters Feet, Meters Feet, Meters Feet, Meters Feet, Meters
Sonar&Radio
Wireless Operating Range 330 Feet N/A 328 Feet 394 Feet N/A
Dual-Beam Capable
Frequency 290 kHz, 90 kHz 50/77/200 kHz 125 kHz 125 kHz N/A
Beam Angle 15°, 55° 15°, 45° 90° 90° 45°
Features
Water Temperature Log and Graph
Water Temperature Sensor
Depth Alarm
Integrated GPS N/A
Additional Features
Battery Level Display AutoGain Technology Bottom Contour 4-Level Chart Speed Anti-UV Coating
Self-Adjusting Depth Scale A-Scope Depth Scale Live-Update Water Bottom Contour Battery Save Mode
Real-Time Bathymetric Mapping Split-Screen Zoom Display Fish Icon Battery Indicator Removable Transducer Float
Unlimited Data History Fish Symbol ID 10-100% Adjustable Display Contrast Display Fish Icon 25-Foot Transducer Cable
Sleep Mode Ultrascroll Saltwate and Freshwater Compatible Anti-Clutter System Fish Alarm
Classic and Day/Night Screen Color Modes Adjustable Depth Line Built-In Smart Chip Bottom Contour
Ice Fishing Mode Mark Waypoints Simulation Mode
Solunar Forecast Calendar Course Over Ground
Fishing Notes Tilt/Swivel Mount
Depth, Temperature, Fish, Bottom Structure Location Supports CHIRP Frequencies
WiFi Powered Connectivity
Warranty&Support
Product Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year
User Manual
Customer Support
Telephone Support 1 904 204 4808 44 (0) 23 8052 4000
E-Mail Support [email protected] buydeeper.com N/A [email protected] hotmail.com [email protected] hotmail.com
Online Chat Support

Fish Finders Reviews

1. Deeper PRO+

If you want to step up your angling game, this is the best castable device you can rely on. Its generous casting range and scanning depth, alongside the numerous features make it a must-have for the modern angler. It even features an inbuilt GPS that makes mapping and other actions possible, while the Wi-Fi access point grants connectivity between the fishing device and your smartphone or tablet. Sure, it might be a tad expensive, but seeing how it comes with all of the modern features you could ever ask for, it’s a price worth paying.

Scanning

As it can scan down to over 260 feet, deeper than what most wireless models are capable of providing, you are sure to increase in fish catching proficiency. What makes it so effective at scanning is the powerful dual-beam transducer it comes with which sends up to 15 scans per second to ensure an updated overview of the situation underwater. There’s the target separation feature that helps as well, the 0.5-inch separation provided ensuring that even the smallest catch won’t escape you.

Bathymetric Mapping

Bathymetric maps are maps that you can access offline and that make underwater exploration a cinch as, through gradually shaded color changes, they help identify depth transitions. With this device, all offline maps can be archived so that you may later access them whenever needed in order to improve your efficiency as you try to locate good angling points. They also help you create your own maps and make countless layers of unlimited information.

Mention Worthy Features and Specs
  • Puts 4 modes at your disposal – Standard, Ice Fishing, Onshore GPS, and Boat.
  • There are 3 different display color options that you can choose between.
  • Helps you plan your trips beforehand as it features 3 useful functions – Maps, Weather Forecast, and Solunar Calendar.
  • Can be used for fresh, as well as salt water angling.
  • Features an internal Wi-Fi access point that you can connect to your smart device.
All-Year Fishing

One of the most appealing traits of this smart sonar is the fact that it helps you catch fish professionally all year long, regardless of the season. Due to the fact that it can be used to mark fish, find structures, and that it provides a great range and scanning depth, it makes for the perfect companion when you go shore angling. It’s equally great for kayak fishing as it maps and marks targets easily, and it is easy to attach it to the kayak with the help of a flexible arm. What recommends it for boat angling is the fact that it can be cast out to scan areas that are normally hard to reach, all without disturbing the targets. Lastly, it can be used even for ice fishing, its 0.5-inch target separation and the zooming function enabling it to track lure that is incredibly small in size.

PROS CONS
  • Watertight design ensures it won’t get damaged if water falls on it
  • Delivers a generous wireless operating range of up to 330 feet
  • Battery level is displayed to announce you when it is time to recharge
  • Can operate in temperatures ranging from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Allows you to even use it when you go ice fishing
VERDICT

Small, light, and easy to use, the PRO+ is the ideal angling companion out there, even helping you find prey with ease when you go ice fishing. A modern device that is feature-rich, we recommend it strongly to anyone looking to make their angling trips go smoother and never again return empty handed at home.

2. Garmin Striker 4

Garmin really surprised everyone with the manufacturing of the Striker 4, a device that comes in handy regardless of your angling destination, whether it involves fresh or salty water. What makes it one of the more convenient apparitions on this market is the fact that it comes in 3 different variations depending on the size of the HVGA color display – a 3.5-inch model, a 5-inch model, and a 7-inch model.

Another mention-worthy highlight is the fact that it is IPX7 rated for its resistance against water, so any accidental slip in the water would not be the end for this smart gadget. The maximum depth it can provide readings for in freshwater is 1600 feet, while in saltwater it’s 750 feet. Furthermore, you can switch between feet and meters, depending on the unit you are best accustomed to.

The AutoGain technology ensures it is one of the more intuitive devices to work with, this feature reducing clutter on the screen while maximizing the targets which interest you. Additionally, to aid you even further when trying to locate specific fish, it puts the Fish Symbol ID tech at your disposal which helps with fish identification.

PROS CONS
  • Comes in 3 different display size options – 3.5”, 5”, or 7”
  • IPX7 waterproof rating makes it resistant to contact with water
  • Maximum depth of 750 feet in saltwater and 1600 feet in freshwater
  • A-Scope displays fish in real time as they pass through the transducer beam
  • Fish Symbol ID feature helps you more easily identify different species
VERDICT

As this is our second pick, it is obvious that it is a feature-rich device. Some of its biggest highlights include the Fish Symbol ID which helps with species recognition, the tilt/swivel mount, the convenient split-screen zoom, and the AutoGain technology which helps maximize targets and reduce clutter on the screen.

3. Venterior VT-FF-002

Capable of providing readings for a maximum depth of 120 feet underwater, the Venterior is one of your best picks in terms of fishing buddies. The 10-level adjustable sensitivity makes it one of the most versatile and complex devices in this niche. Unfortunately, there is a prominent downside to this product, more precisely the fact that it is not water resistant at all. Thus, you have to be careful and not splash it.

It provides you with a convenient and useful water temperature log and graph which help more easily determine what your chances are of catching fish. The bottom contour feature allows you to see not only where the bottom of the aquatic body is, but what its shape is so that no incidents occur. The display fish icon feature helps you more easily identify where your targets are for your angling trips to be more fruitful.

The display contrast can be adjusted to your liking ranging from 10 to 100 percent so that you will have an easy time reading off the display. It is compatible with use in freshwater as well as saltwater, so you are not limited when it comes to the type of environment it can be used in. Furthermore, it is backed by a 1-year warranty for defects in parts and labor.

PROS CONS
  • Water temperature sensor for a more ample understanding of the aquatic environmental conditions
  • Boasts an impressive wireless operating range of up to 328 feet
  • Can provide readings up to a maximum depth of 120 feet
  • Display contrast can be adjusted from 10 to 100 percent
  • Compatible with use when you are sailing on freshwater, as well as saltwater
  • It is not water resistant
VERDICT

A complex device that, despite the plethora of features which accompany it, remains a user-friendly option to go for, it comes as no surprise that it ranked so high in our top. The affordable asking price does not hurt either, making it one of the more accessible selections on the market right now.

4. Lucky FFW-718

If you want to not only feel lucky but actually catch fish every time you go on an angling trip from now on, this Lucky gadget is the right one for you. Reasonably priced, easy to use, and accurate in regards to the readings it provides, it is a highly desirable addition in the collection of any ambitious angler. It features a Dot Matrix FSTN LCD display which measures 1.61 inches by 1.89 inches and is easy to read off.

Due to the fact that it is IPX4 waterproof rated, you can breathe easy if splashes of water land on it as it won’t be damaged by them. It boasts a 5-level adjustable sensitivity which enhances its versatility in use and allows you to customize more aspects than usual when it comes to its operation. It features a handy battery indicator which lets you know how much juice you have left until the device’s batteries need to be recharged.

The live-update water bottom contour keeps you up to date with the way the bottom of the water body looks to prevent any unwanted incidents. Furthermore, the anti-clutter system feature makes it all the more interesting as it ensures the display won’t be filled with unimportant details which will make it harder for you to spot what really interests you – fish.

PROS CONS
  • Can provide readings for a maximum depth of 135 feet
  • Versatile 5-level adjustable sensitivity
  • IPX4 rated for its resistance to contact with water
  • Anti-clutter system makes it easier for you to see what is displayed on the screen
  • Battery indicator keeps you updated with the current status of the battery power
  • Is not dual beam capable
VERDICT

Although it lacks a few features which pricier entries are accompanied by, the impressive 394-foot wireless operating range, 90-degree beam angle, battery indicator, display fish icon feature, and the rest of the long list of features and functions it boasts make it a definite must-have!

5. Venterior VT-FF001

Last, we have the VT-FF001, which not only comes at an incredibly low price which makes it a real bargain, one you would be a fool to skip on, but that features enough functions to make your angling trip a fruitful one. We start off by emphasizing its most important highlight, the fish alarm. What it basically does is alert you when you encounter fish so that you don’t miss your target ever.

It features the useful Anti-UV coating which ensures it will be a long-lasting investment, so even if it is cheap, it does not mean that it is constructed in a cheap manner. The battery save mode is another mention worthy feature as it ensures battery juice won’t be spent uselessly, reducing chances for you to end up without being able to use the device when you most need it during the angling trip.

The maximum depth for which it can provide readings is 328 feet, and you can customize the unit in which it displays the current depth it is providing readings for, having your pick between feet and meters. Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to this product, the most prominent being the lack of water resistance and the lack of GPS technology.

PROS CONS
  • Fish alarm announces you when you have stumbled upon catch
  • Anti-UV coating ensures a long-lasting durability of the device
  • One of the cheapest devices on the market right now
  • Battery save mode helps reduce battery power waste
  • Maximum depth rating of 328 feet
  • Does not feature an integrated GPS, nor a depth alarm
VERDICT

If you value making smart investment, than this is the right acquisition for you. Sure, it might not provide with a complete list of features and functions, but it does provide with a trustworthy operation and more than enough features to ensure your trip when fishing will be fruitful. Furthermore, it comes at an incredibly cheap price you cannot say no to.

6. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C

As it provides a high-definition fishing experience, the 1C makes for a great companion to experienced anglers looking to learn the best fishing spots. The full color display it features ensures clarity, and it provides 3 operating modes to pick between depending on your specific needs – Fish Finder, Data, and Ice-Mode DigitalFlasher. The first mode identifies fish in the water, the second one enlarges depth and temperature, while the last one gives real-time sonar echoes to target suspended fish.

You can fine tune the device to adapt it to your personal style. As there are a total of 100 sensitivity levels to pick from, customization is at its fullest. The audible fish and depth alarms come in handy as you are alerted to when you need to check it, giving you the possibility to continue fishing without keeping a constant eye on the device. The intelligent sonar it features is able to read up to 240 feet in depth at a 1/10 accuracy.

There are two operating frequencies you enjoy with it, more precisely 200 kHz and 83 kHz so that you can fine tune the readings depending whether you are fishing in shallow or deep water. You can either mount it to your boat or carry it in your hand. Other great features you enjoy with it include auto-zoom bottom tracking and multi-level depth ranges.

PROS CONS
  • Sends off audible fish and depth alarms
  • Features auto-zoom bottom tracking
  • 100 levels of sensitivity that you can picks between
  • VirtuView HD color display for utter clarity
  • Dual-beam sonar reads up to 240 feet
VERDICT

Perfect for experienced who want to know what the best spots for fishing are, the compact HawkEye is an affordable device you should be receptive to purchasing.

Troubleshooting a Mobile Fish Spotter

Although modern electronics are quite impressive, to say the least, this does not mean that they are free of flaws. When it comes to portable angling spotters, just like all other modern techs, they can succumb to functional issues. When these issues arise, it is your duty to fix the situation. We will immediately list some troubleshooting tips for different malfunction situations, so read carefully to know how to remedy an unwanted situation when it comes up.

Frozen display:

  • Fix #1 – Perform an electrical system check.
  • Fix #2 – Verify if it powers up.
  • Fix #3 – Check for another device to not operate in close proximity to yours.
  • Fix #4 – Perform an interference test.

Display malfunction:

  • Fix #1 – Perform a basic electrical system check.
  • Fix #2 – Perform some basic interference tests.
  • Fix #3 – Perform a basic cavitation check.

No image on the display:

  • Fix #1 – Perform an electrical system check.
  • Fix #2 – Inspect the pins and connectors for any type of damage.
  • Fix #3 – Check the circuit connections.

Erroneous depth readings:

  • Fix #1 – Check the position of the transducer.
  • Fix #2 – Inspect the device for water damage.
  • Fix #3 – Inspect the pins and connectors for corrosion signs.
  • Fix #4 – Perform a basic cavitation check.
  • Fix #5 – Verify if the limits are properly set.

Erratic readings:

  • Fix #1 – Check the position of the transducer.
  • Fix #2 – Make sure there is no other device in close proximity.
  • Fix #3 – Inspect the pins and connectors for corrosion.
  • Fix #4 – Perform a basic interference check.

Bottom readings are not provided:

  • Fix #1] – Check the position of the transducer.
  • Fix #2 – Inspect the device for water damage.
  • Fix #3 – Make sure there is no other device in close proximity.
  • Fix #4 – Perform a basic cavitation check.

Sonar Technologies Anglers Must Know About

There are three basic sonar technologies found in portable fish spotters, more precisely the fixed frequency sonar technology, the StructureScan sonar technology, and the CHIRP sonar technology. Each of them has different traits and elements that make it a more or less desirable option for anglers, and we recommend you first learn more about each tech before jumping to make a rushed purchase.

  • Fixed Frequency Sonar

As the wave emitted by the sonar strikes an object, it rebounds, this being the action through which the transducer is able to provide you with a mapping of what lays underwater. With fixed frequency sonars, the common frequencies used are 50 kHz and 200 kHz.

Characteristics of 50 kHz frequencies:

  • Wide cone angle;
  • Higher noise susceptibility;
  • Less target dissociation;
  • Deep depths.

Characteristics of 200 kHz frequencies:

  • Narrow cone angle;
  • Lower noise susceptibility;
  • Superior target dissociation;
  • Shallow depths.

Fixed frequency sonar advantages:

  • Old-style tech that has been proven to work;
  • Cross compatible with multiple sonar generations;
  • Lower cost.
  • StructureScan Sonar

StuncureScan implementations incorporate sonar image down-scanning and picture-like views of the water underneath and around the boat. Their precise display of depth and distance-related information take all of the guesswork out of using the sonar. Also, they provide imagines that do not actually require any interpretation.

StructureScan sonar advantages:

  • Slice yields detail-rich images of structures within close ranges;
  • Endorses quick selection and identification of the target area.
  • CHIRP Sonar

CHIRP stands for Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse, and it is characterized through its transmission of long pulses across wide frequency bands. Although CHIRP used to be an expensive technology to use in devices, it is now more accessible, being widely used for recreational purposes as a result of this accessibility.

CHIRP sonar advantages:

  • More accurate detailing and greater resolution;
  • Accuracy at big depths of 10000 feet;
  • Better bottom tracking at high speeds;
  • Better signal to noise ratio;
  • Large transmission pulse lengths;
  • Low power consumption;
  • Better shallow water performance.

Frequently Asked Questions



?Why does its waterproof rating matter?
Even though you consider yourself as being careful, you never know when a wave sends off water into your fishing boat. As this happens and the water lands on the fish finding device, it will ultimately be damaged if it is not water resistant or waterproof. Obviously, it is preferable for it to have a high waterproof rating in order to ensure that it will suffer no damage in the off-chance that water lands on it or you accidentally drop it in the aquatic environment.

?Can it be used by kayak fishermen?
Yes, all portable fish trackers are suited for use on kayaks precisely due to their portable element. Kayak fishermen actually prefer these models as they can easily mount the fish tracking devices at the beginning of the fishing session, and take them out when it is done. Also, the compact size of portable finders makes them ideal in this environment as they occupy little space in this otherwise finite space place.

?Can it be used for ice fishing?
While all portable fish spotters can be used for shallow and deep water fishing, regardless of their design and specs, when it comes to ice fishing matters are not as simple. Due to the harsh environmental conditions that play out during an ice fishing session, you need to invest in a fish finder that can withstand the extreme cold temperatures.

Finding fish has never been made easier than with the use of the Deeper PRO+, a device that was an obvious choice for our number one spot as it features WiFi powered connectivity, being compatible with Android and iOS smart devices. This makes it highly convenient and intuitive to use, modernizing the art of angling and providing you with the chance of accurately and easily finding groups of fish in the body of water you are in. Another element that convinced us to rank it so high is its plethora of features, its 330-foot wireless operating range, and the 260-foot maximum depth.

A model that really caught our eye, so we ultimately ranked it high as a result of its overall performance is the Garmin Striker 4. It is rated IPX7, so direct contact with water won’t affect it at all, and it comes with a multitude of features, the one that impressed us the most definitely being the AutoGain technology that minimizes the clutter on-screen and maximizes the targets, making it easier for you to pinpoint where the fish are. Another entry we view as mention-worthy in the conclusion of this article is the Venterior VT-FF001 that features a 5-level adjustable sensitivity and boasts a maximum depth rating of 328 feet, all while managing to remain budget-friendly.

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