NOTE: This post has been updated for 2018. The Fishhunter 3D unit reviewed below looks like it’s still available, but in short supply.
I’ve included a mini-review for the Garmin Striker 4 with GPS, and also a link to a more in-depth review of that product. I still have confidence in the Fishhunter, but not so much in your ability to find one, so the Garmin is a great substitute.
Thanks for understanding!
I’ve been on the hunt for the best canoe fish finder, and here’s my main reason. There is little in life that compares to the relaxation of hitting some nice still water on a gorgeous lake in a canoe to do some fishing.
Its calm, the water is still, and the fish are not biting. You have tried every lure in your tackle box, every bait on the shelf, and every fly in your fly box. Your nice relaxing weekend of catching fish is sure being interrupted by not being able to land any fish!
There are many reasons why you may not be catching them, could be the weather, it could be the position of the moon, hell it could be they just are not feeding…. or it could be the fish are not where you are fishing. You need a fish finder and you need one that works specifically for the task at hand; canoe fishing.
With all of the options out there let’s look at a few of them and see what is going to work best for you. Everyone has different wants and needs so what might be right for you may not be right for some. The FishHunter Directional 3D Wireless, Portable Fish Finder; the Deeper Smart Sonar; and the HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax Fish Finder are three options that should get you on the fish and they all offer some great features and should fit most fishing budgets.
FishHunter Directional 3D Wireless Portable Fish Finder
The FishHunter Directional 3D wireless portable fish finder will make you feel like you are fishing in the Twenty-Second century and it features 5 different tri-frequency transducers, all of which are going to be quite powerful. They’ll allow you to get a high resolution as well as five times the area of coverage that other portable fish-finders are capable of providing.
This model also features the only 3D wireless sonar available on today’s market. It will allow you to have five sonar view options including bathymetric mapping, 3D structure mapping, 3D fishing, ice fishing flasher and a directional casting view.
It’s going to be able to view a depth of up to 160 feet under normal conditions as well as a depth of up to 100 feet while ice fishing. You’re also going to be able to enjoy the Wi-Fi connectivity that is built into the system, which has a range of up to 150 feet and won’t even require reception from a cell phone tower.
Having the ability to use the FishHunter in so many different ways gives you a lot of options in your wheelhouse that you may have never thought of before. Connecting to the device with your smart phone or tablet is a snap and works without any problems.
It works in both shallow and deeper waters however one of the drawbacks is that you have to change modes when going from deep to shallow water. The information sent to your phone or tablet is clear and easy to read as well as understand.
You now have eyes under the water that can not only show you where the fish are, it can tell you what is going on below the surface. You will be able to see trees, changes in the terrain under water, rocks, it will no longer be a mystery what you got snagged on.
Garmin Striker 4 With Built-In GPS Fish Finder
Garmin is one of the most well-known and reputable manufacturers of location electronics in the world. It’s no wonder that they make reliable and affordable fish finders.
The Striker 4 is a versatile portable unit that offers CHIRP sonar, which sends a continuous sweep of frequencies that supply a huge range of information.
The CLEARVU feature of this impressive unit offers a near-photographic representation of the objects and structure around your canoe.
The buttons and interface are simple to figure out and easy to operate, even if this is your first fish finder, and in fact this unit makes a perfect unit for fish finder novices.
The Garmin Striker 4 also features a built in waypoint map that’s perfect for marking brush piles, rocky outcroppings, and any other features where you find fish along your way.
Combine this with a built-in GPS and this makes the Garmin Striker 4 the perfect fish finder and one of the best values in its price range.
I’ve done a more in-depth review here – http://fishermanstoolbox.com/best-portable-fish-finder/
The Deeper Smart Sonar
The Deeper Smart Sonar has a lot of the similar qualities and features of the FishHunter, which include a portable, castable fishfinder that can be connected wirelessly via Bluetooth.
It’s also going to be compatible with both Android and IOS devices. This sonar is going to be excellent for all kinds of fishing, no matter whether you’re fishing from a canoe, motor boat, or the shore.
It will notice anything up to three inch bodies while in a depth of 130 feet in clear conditions. It also features a battery that will provide up to 6 hours of use. With this tool, you’ll get detailed readings of the bottom contour as well as fish tagging, which will also include the depth and temperature of the water, any vegetation or other structure that might be present.
Deeper Smarter lives up to its name and serves a great purpose as a fish finder and as a sonar. One of its key features is its ability to mark fish, even the little fellas this means when you find them and spot them you have a much easier time plotting out your next trip and make those plans more productive.
It has a good battery life of 6 hours but it would be nice if it were a little bit longer and because it uses Bluetooth connectivity as opposed to Wi-Fi the signal is not as strong and you have a harder time connecting. However, when connected the Deeper works great!
The HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax Fish Finder
The HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax Fish Finder is a fun little gadget that proves that dynamite does in fact come in small packages. It comes with features such as waterproof housing that will keep your device safe from any liquid damage, transducers that can either be floating or mounted to your boat and the ability to be trolled or floated on a wide variety of watercraft.
It’s easy to install and use, one press of a button will be enough to give you the information you need. This fish finder runs on 4 AA batteries and is able to provide 30 hours of battery life, making sure you won’t lose track of your fish in the middle of a long day or even weekend. The display will be easy to see, in full color and providing glare resistance so the sun won’t get in your way.
The Fishtrax Fish Finder sets the standard in versatility. Its is easy to mount and requires no tools and no modifications to your boat.
It works like a traditional fish finder so it lacks the “cool” factor of the Deeper and the FishHunter but more than makes up for it with its features. The Thirty hours of battery life and the fact it runs on standard AA batteries means the Fishtrax will last longer than you.
The ability to mount this on any platform for fishing is great, and you can even use it from the dock or shore. The floating transducer gives the angler a lot of options, you could place it in areas you could not normally see with traditional fish finders.
The information it gives you is perfect and the glare resistant screen really helps out a lot on those sunny days. Changing the batteries requires a screwdriver to make the unit water resistant so be sure to remember one or you will end up being pretty disappointed. Also, the screen does have a delay when changing modes, but it’s not earth shattering.
All in all, there are a lot of options for the canoe angler and picking the right one for you and your budget is important. The FishHunter gives you space age technology out on the water and makes you feel like you are on a mission from Starfleet. The Deeper offers a lot of the same features as the FishHunter along with some extra options like the ability to mark targets, and of course the HawkEye Fishtrax. With its ability to go so many places and adapt to so many changing situations. All will put you on fish and keep you happy in your canoe. Stay safe out there!