Best Fish Finder for Small Boat 2023| Reviews and Buying Guide

In order to find the best fish finder for small boat, it’s important that before making your purchase there are some things worth considering.

Given the numerous brands promising the best performance products, it is important to distinguish between the right and suitable devices for your fishing.

If you are looking to fish deeper in the sea, small boats are the best choice. But an important thing to always consider with these small boats is compatible fish finders for it.

Small boats can be difficult to maneuver, especially with the current of water. Fishfinders help fishermen find fish more quickly and allow them to make adjustments when necessary.

The most common complaint is that their units are not waterproof or they have difficulty seeing through murky waters.

We also share our favorite features on each product so you can decide which one is right for your needs hence, we have listed down our best fish finders for small boats, Jon, aluminum, and bass boats.! Let’s get started!

Comparison Table – Best Fish Finders Small Boats 2023

Image Name Main Features Display Size Price

Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4 DI (Down Imaging) Fish Finder

1.Dual Beam Sonar
2.Down Imaging
3.Tilt and Swivel Mount

4.3 Inches
Check Price

Deeper Chirp Castable and Portable Fish Finder


Check Price
JOYWEE FF688C 3.5″ Phiradar Color LCD Boat Fish Finder 1. Auto zoom bottom
2. Depth and bottom contour of water

3 Inches
Check Price

Lowrance HOOK Reveal 5x SplitShot
5 Inches Check Price

LUCKY Portable Fish Finder Handheld

 1. Rechargeable
 2. Underwater Contour Display
3. Sensor Transducer

2.4 Inches
Check Price

Lowrance Elite-3X Fishfinder

1. LED-backlit
2. Dual-frequency
3. Transducer 

3.5 inches
Check Price

Garmin Fishfinder ECHOMAP Plus 43cv

1. Transom mount
2. Transducer

5 inches
Check Price

LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder Portable Fishing

1. Displays Water Depth
2. Approximate fish location
3. Depth readout

3.5 Inches
Check Price

Best Fish Finder for Small Boat Reviews:

1. Humminbird Piranhamax 4 di Small Boat Fish Finder.

Humminbird PIRANHAMAX 4 DI (Down Imaging) Fish Finder. best fish finder for small boat
Over All Best Small Boat Fish Finder

The Humminbird Piranhamax series is the first one that comes to mind when the words small boats and affordability are mentioned.

With its 4 DI’s outstanding performance and functionality, it has succeeded in becoming a customer favorite of many.

Featuring a wide 4.3†display, 4 DI fish finder’s screen is one of its most notable features.

Whereas, its pixel matrix enhances the vibrancy by about 70% and fills the screen with a burst of colors. Both of these factors add to the clarity and contrast of Piranhamax 4 DI finder.

Next, let’s look at the sonar transducer of Humminbird’s 4 DI fish finder. Like all other products in this series, 4 DI also comes with a dual-beam sonar for side and down imaging.

It also has a water temperature sensor to accurately display this detail and allow looking for specific types of fishes.

Although the installed 2D sonar in Piranhamax series does not offer exceptional coverage, it is still promising enough to scan water below.

Meanwhile, its high down imaging frequency ensures maximum clarity is achieved when displaying submerged objects.

The fish id feature of Humminbird Piranhamax 4 surely hooks all the fish finders right in. Through its ability to identify, locate and estimate fish size precisely, the finder is alerted whenever the specific breed of fish entered is found automatically.


  • Portable to suit smaller boats
  • Easy to comprehend and use
  • Vibrant LED-backlit display makes it visible at all times
  • Waterproof and durable construction
  • Reasonably priced


  • No simultaneous dual-beam scanning
  • Lacks built-in GPS feature

Final Verdict:

Humminbird is overall the best fish finder for small boat. Humminbird has always come up with amazing products known to last a lifetime.

The Piranhamax 2 DI fishfinder is another addition to this category and is perfected for smaller boat fishing at an unbelievably cheap price.

2. Deeper CHIRP Castable and Portable Fish finder

2. Deeper CHIRP Castable and Portable Fish finder. best small boats fish finder

Are you looking for a castable and advanced fish finder for your small bass boat? Well, you need to look no further as Deeper has come up with the perfect match to suit your boat size and preference through its CHIRP castable and portable fish finder.

Deeper has perfect for boats and kayaks fish finders and always guaranteed incredibly user-friendly products.

Their CHIRP castable finder includes an easy-to-understand manual guide and is set up and assembled without requiring any complex techniques.

Secondly, an extraordinary battery life makes Deeper CHIRP amazingly reliable for longer trips. Its ability to charge entirely within hundred minutes adds to this convenience.

Whereas the promise of amazing performance until the very last second has made this fish finder reliable for any fishing trip.

The high-frequency scanning power of the Deeper CHIRP portable fish finder is its most applauded feature.

With a scanning power of up to 300 ft and 6″ below the water, CHIRP castable provides the most transparent view even at its deepest point.

Lastly, through its 0.4 target separation rate, you can forget misreading submerged objects forever.

Finished to weigh incredibly light, the Deeper CHIRP fish finder is castable with minimal ease and manages to perform supremely no matter what boat size it is thrown from.


  • Allows easy map sharing through its installed Fish Deeper App
  • Three beam frequencies for clearer view underneath
  • Long lasting and instantly charged battery
  • Easily assembled and casted
  • Backed by a five-year manufacturer warranty


  • Prone to occasional misreading

Final Verdict:

Deeper CHIRP Castable fish finder has since long been the most reliable and durable product in the market.

Let it be through its long-lasting battery life or high-rated frequency scanning using CHIRP technology, and it has indeed emerged as one of the top-rated finders designed for fishing in small Jons.

3. JOYWEE 3.5″ Phiradar Color LCD Boat Fish Finder

3. JOYWEE 3.5
best fish finder for small Jon boat

Phiradar is another recognized fish finder brand that has gradually built up its reputation through promising products with excellent performance. However, its their JOYWEE color LCD boat fish finder that the customers are most fond of.

Let’s start with its 4.02†by 6.3†wide display which ensures that the image view is not compromised on.

Rated with IPX7, this device is waterproof and provides a visible display even in harsh sunlight. Whereas, its moderate resolution adds to the contrast and vividness of the view displayed.

Phiradar is also the best fish finder for a small Jon boat. Phiradar has made this finder an excellent scanner by equipping it with high dual sonar beam frequencies.

This gives maximum coverage while its anti-interference feature takes care of interference caused by sea plants.

Most of the small wooden boats make with woodworking tools so when fishing from a small boat, you often require to zoom in on certain areas.

Phiradar has made this achievable by installing both automatic and manual zoom ability in its JOYWEE fish finder.

Its multi-language menu is designed to eliminate any language barrier and allow every fisher to use this exceptional device.

Through the customizability offered, a user can choose between feet or meters along with sonar chart reading easily.

To prevent any fish from escaping or surpassing a set depth limit, Phiradar has made sure to install a loud alert alarm.


  • Sunlight readable 3.5†wide display
  • 100 levels of sensitivity offered
  • Dual sonar beam for optimal coverage
  • Multi-language menu
  • Manual and automatic zoom in and out


  • Needs to be hard-wired into your boat, difficult installation

Final Verdict:

Smaller boats often require the use of a fish finder ready to zoom in at any time. JOYWEE Phiradar succeeded in both of these regards and is termed to be one of the very best devices at doing its job efficiently.

4. Lowrance HOOK Reveal 5x SplitShot 5:

 Lowrance HOOK Reveal 5x SplitShot gps fish finder small boats
Best GPS Fish Finder For Small Boat

Lowrance is no known when it comes to the manufacturing and sale of amazing devices to suit every requirement.

Their HOOK Reveal 5x SplitShot-5 fish finder is the best GPS combo fish finder for small boats and the latest addition to their long list of excellent products and is designed while keeping in mind the demands of fishers with smaller boats.

Lowrance has come up with a simple to use menu operation and keyboard to break the problematic user interface trend.

To make scanning at high speed possible, HOOK Reveal 5x has an installed autotuning sonar, which offers the best quality image throughout.

As the name suggests, HOOK Reveal 5x comes with a Splitshot transducer that works together with an integrated water temperature sensor to allocate specific fisheries accordingly.

Moreover, its high depth scanning capacity of up to 500 feet boost its efficiency greatly it is also best depth finder for small boat.

Just like all other products in Lowrance’s x series, HOOK Reveal 5x does not have existing downloaded maps. Despite this, through its Genesis Live feature, the fisher is given the opportunity to create their own bathymetric maps.

Through easily inserting a SD card, these customized maps can be downloaded for later use. Along with this, 5x Splitshot has a fish reveal function installed to targets fishes efficiently. Every time it locates one, your screen lights up as an indicator.

Although Reveal 5x lacks a built-in navigation facility, it makes up for it through its GPS plotter. This saves up to 3000 waypoints and allows for easy marking, tracking, routing, and coordinate viewing ability at any point.

Lowrance has always promised devices constructed from premium quality materials. The same is the case with HOOK Reveal 5x, rated as IPX7 to make it waterproof and durable.

Featuring its basic keypad technology, this finder is incredibly easy to use and look at through its vibrant SolarMax matrix.


  • Dual sonar Splitshot transducer
  • Built in GPS plotter with 3000 waypoint storage capability
  • Customizable backlighting for visibility at all times
  • Easy to install and use
  • Twice the sonar coverage as that of usual fish finders
  • Backed by one-year manufacturer warranty


  • No networking features
  • Expensive

Final Verdict:

Despite it lacking a GPS combo and networking facility, Lowrance HOOK Reveal 5x fish finder has quickly risen to popularity.

This is contributed to its advanced transducer and plotter which make it smart to use especially when fishing on aluminum and bass boats.

5. LUCKY Portable Fish Finder Handheld:

LUCKY Portable Fish Finder Handheld

Lucky has always made no distinction between its devices for amateurs and professional fishers. Their latest portable hand-held fish finder has been the talk of the town since its release. Let’s look at what exactly is it about this device that makes it so adored by every small boat fisher.

Starting off with its anti UV LCD display, the screen is readable even when harsh sunlight directly hits it. Meanwhile, its blue LED backlight provides optimal visibility during nighttime.

Featuring a compact 2†display, LUCKY portable lives up to its name and is easily carried around even in the most compact boats.

Through its ability to track and display accurate water depth, LUCKY handheld facilitates fishers looking for a specific breed.

Whereas its loud alarm alerts the user instantly whenever a fish is detected nearby. The three contours underwater feature offers clear images using its three display modes.

LUCKY has given the user complete authority to alter the device’s settings as per their need. Let it be through its ten sensitivity settings, the choice between feet and meter display, or various temperature units, a fisher can easily choose the most preferable option for them.

Supporting a rechargeable battery, LUCKY has offered an incredibly reliable fish finder for small boat users. This charging is easily done by its USB port and once charged completely, the devices last for about five hours.


  • Accurate and visible readings
  • Accommodates Kayak, Ice and Shore fishing
  • Easy and basic user interface
  • Excellent and long-lasting battery life


  • Prone to faulty readings when moist 
  • Takes some time to calibrate 

Final Verdict:

The LUCKY portable handheld fish finder has become a personal favorite of many through its advanced features and portability.

However, what makes it a perfect match for small boat users is its compact size packed with the smartest technology.

6. Lowrance Elite-3X Fishfinder:

Lowrance Elite-3X small boat fish finder

It is no surprise to see another Lowrance product appear in this list again given its long-term promise of brilliance.

The Elite 3X fish finder is another remarkable device and balances affordability and portability perfectly, making it fit for fishing with smaller bass and aluminium boats.

Finished in a 3.5-inch-wide display, Elite 3X eliminates any possibility of image display cluttering. Secondly, through its LCD technology, a 256-color vision is offered along with the high-resolution pixels. These add up to largely contrasting and vivid screen displays.

Lowrance has always made sure to prepare their devices for the very worst circumstances. Featuring an LED-backlit system, Elite 3X is visible in both day and night time.

Meanwhile, eleven backlight levels are offered to facilitate various weather conditions.

What exactly is it about Lowrance Elite 4X that has termed it as the best for smaller boats? The answer to this lies in its compact and lightweight size and display, which allows it to be easily stored in tiny places.

Meanwhile, its Fish ID feature tracks and interprets selected fisheries movement easily.

Now let’s talk about the transducer of Best Lowrance’s Fish Finder. Through its dual high-frequency transducer unit, the maximum coverage is attained while separating the objects for better clarity. With Elite 3X’s ability to track your speed, you can forget to surpass the speed limit anymore.

The operation of Lowrance 3X is another notable aspect. Easily set up and mounted, this fish finder has a convectional keypad mode for controlling and adjusting its settings.

Lastly, through its easy zooming in and out ability, Elite 3X is definitely worth the attention it receives.


  • Reasonably priced
  • User-friendly interface
  • Easily customized and adjusted
  • LED backlighting for readability at all hours
  • Compact and portable design


  • The view is compromised in deeper waters

Final Verdict:

Although prone to some restrictions, Lowrance Elite 3X is an outstanding and best rated fish finder.

Every user seems to agree on this and given its compact size and reliable features, it is the most compatible device for every small Jon fisher.

7. Garmin EchoMap Plus 43cv Fish Finder:

7. Garmin EchoMap Plus 43cv Fish Finder

Garmin has since its start been the leading brand in the category of marine devices and technology.

They have always released products that manage to outdo every other brand in all aspects. An example of this came with the launch of EchoMap Plus 43 cv fish finder.     

Let’s begin with its short 4.3-inch screen display, packed with a high resolution. Although moderate in size, the screen of EchoMap displays every crucial information on it.

Whereas, its compact size makes it fit for boats that have limited storage capacity.

Next, Garmin’s traditional sonar CHIRP maximizes image resolution and clarity by a huge mark. At the same time, these ensure exceptional target separation ability is achieved.

Both of these aspects combined with ClearVü scanning gives you a vivid and almost photographic view of what anything that lies beneath.

In addition to this, EchoMap 43cv contains Preloaded LakeVü g3 maps to make navigation easier than ever.

With precise details of underwater bodies and generous coverage, LakeVü g3 maps display not only what is below but include areas featuring boat ramps and bridges as well.

By making use of the shallow water shading feature, you can now easily redefine maximum and minimum depth values.

Have you always wanted to draw and share your maps amongst your fishing community? If yes, then fasten your seatbelt since Garmin 43 cv is here to fulfill this wish as well.

Featuring a 1’ quickdraw contour factor, you can now not only tailor and alter your maps but share them with the Quickdraw Community online.

Moreover, a single Micro SD card is also allotted to save your creations and enlarge the storage capacity.

With a fish finder this efficient, it is important to keep it safe from damage. Using its ECHOMAP Plus Combo, the device is kept safe by plugging the cords directly into the mount and allow for easy installing and dismounting afterward.  


  • Built-in Quickdraw Contour Mapping Software
  • Easy sharing of waypoints and routes between different units
  • Sunlight readable wide-screen display
  • Integrated avionics Data
  • Compact, portable and lightweight


  • Set offshore capabilities
  • No Sidevü facilities offered  

Final Verdict:

The name Garmin itself is enough to draw the customers right in. Their EchoMap Plus 43 cv is the most competitive and best fish finder for a small boats in the market.

Given its high functionality and performance, it is no wonder that since its release, EchoMap Plus 43 cv has held the eyes of every fisher specifically those possessing smaller boats.

8. LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder Portable Fishing:

8. LUCKY Handheld Fish Finder Portable Fishing. best portable fish finder for small boat
Best Portable Fish Finder For Small Boat

As it must be quite evident by now, LUCKY has impressed most of its customers through its unique and portable fish finder devices.

Another installment to this line is their Handheld Portable fish finder, perfected to facilitate fishers using a modestly sized boat for hunting.

Supporting a 3.5 inch display, the size of the device is compact but it is packed with power and technology.

Weighing merely 1.1 pounds, this finder is incredibly portable and fits in the tiniest of all space while being carried with maximum ease.

Secondly, LUCKY handheld scans up to 328 feet below and offers optimal area coverage through its sonar transducer. To allow easy understanding of the depth value by the user, the choice between meter and feet units are given.

Are you tired of your fish finder’s battery running out while you are on an interesting fishing expedition?

Well, forget the possibility of this happening with LUCKY handheld portable finder and its unbelievably long battery life. The open save battery feature enhances the longevity and reliability of this finder.

With five different sensitivity options to choose from, LUCKY allows the fisher to adjust the fish finder settings accordingly.

Moreover, it’s easy hanging around the neck facility boosts the portability of this finder further.

Ready to accommodate ice, kayak and water fishing, LUCKY portable has a blue LED back lightening technology. This promises screen visibility even during gloomy nights and against harsh sun rays through the Anti UV LCD display.  

Are you also easily confused by complex operational techniques?

LUCKY accurately takes this issue into account and makes this portable hand-held finder incredibly basic and user-friendly to use. Lastly, its fish detector indicates the user whenever fisheries are nearby and prevents missing out on their hunting.


  • Anti UV LCD and LED backlight display for optimal visibility
  • Portable with easy hanging option
  • Reliable 4-5 hours lasting batteries
  • Fish and fish school alarm


  • Not waterproof
  • Takes time to calibrate

Final Verdict:

LUCKY is the best portable fish finder for small boat has earned great respect for its portable and reliable products.

This handheld portable fish finder does not fall short in this regard and has managed to grab the attention of every small Jon fisher through its unbelievable portability and smartness at doing its job.

Things To Consider When Buying a Best Fish Finder for Small Boat:

It can be difficult to find the best fish finder for small boat that fits your needs, especially when you are shopping for an item with a wide variety of features. Small boat owners have plenty of options and considerations as they hunt for their next purchase.

Best fish finder for small boat

Display Screen:

When searching for the best fish finder, it’s important to make sure you pick a model with an easy-to-read display.

The range of screen sizes is vast and can be anything from 3.5 inches up to 7 inches in size; however, if going on long fishing trips or looking through many types of water conditions then bigger screens will definitely come in handy!


The frequency of your fish finder has to do with the transducer and sonar. For example, when you see that a fish finder has a frequency of 200 khz, this shows how well it can push through obstructions like resistance in order to send out waves into the water. 

Low frequencies are more accurate on deeper waters because they provide an even clearer signal than high frequencies which work better for shallow areas where there is less disturbance from objects or interference in general between different signals coming from other sources so it becomes hard to figure out what’s really going on underwater without proper equipment such as higher-frequency soundwave transmitters/receivers (sonars).


The next thing to think about is the kind of sonar you want for your home water. The best fish finder for small boat in our review has a max depth from 260-2300 ft, so make sure it matches with the deepest part of where you fish at.

Once this is figured out, pick what type of sonar fits your fishing needs best and there are many choices!

The first question that should be asked before purchasing one if these devices would be how deep their waters go? There are three types: shallow (260ft), moderate (800ft), or deep (>1800 feet).

After deciding on which category they fall into now comes figuring out whether they need a single frequency; dual frequencies; or an advanced version like SideScan Sonars that.

Dual Beam:

The dual-beam feature is an important one to have on a fish finder. The wide beam can be used for searching, and the narrow beam can be focused in order to get more detailed information about something specific.


Chirp on fish finder is a new technology that expands the traditional single-beam sonar by sending out multiple wave frequencies to give you an extremely detailed picture of what’s going on in your neighborhood, including everything from the bottom all the way up.


Consider the different kinds of power sources you need. Some fish finders come with a rechargeable battery, while others will require an onboard or portable battery pack and some can be plugged in via USB cable to charge it up at home.

Water Resistance and Durability:

When it comes to fishing, you want a fish finder that is water-resistant and durable. The last thing you want is for the device to get damaged by being in contact with any liquid because they are typically not waterproof.

There’s no point spending your hard-earned money on an expensive gadget only have its integrity compromised when out at sea or pondering through rivers and streams looking for those elusive species of marine life living below the surface!

Luckily there are products that can quickly fix this problem like covers that provide protection against moisture seepage into sensitive areas as well as other accessories such as anti-fogging sprays or protective screens designed specifically for outdoor conditions where harsh weather could make electronic devices vulnerable too power surges from lightning strikes so

GPS Functionality:

This feature allows users to mark locations where they have caught successful catches before so they can revisit them in future trips! It also helps navigation during longer journeys by providing detailed maps or allowing users access their current location data quickly without needing additional hardware such as chart plotters or navigational aids onboard their vessel.


What features make a good fish finder for small boats?

A2 A good fish finder for small boats should have a clear and bright display so you can easily distinguish objects on your screen. It should also have an internal GPS and navigational tools so you can easily locate yourself while out on the lake.

In addition, it should have advanced sonar capabilities such as DualBeam PLUS or SwitchFire Sonar that allow you to accurately detect even the smallest targets in tight spaces. Also, having a transducer with higher frequency will give you better accuracy when trying to locate smaller targets in deeper waters.

Does installation of a fish finder require any special skills?

Installing a fish finder does not require any special skills or expertise; basic knowledge of wiring systems will be sufficient for most units available today. The process requires mounting of the unit itself onto your boat’s deck and connecting it to power sources and other accessories such as transducers and switches.

Most manufacturers provide detailed instructions on how to install their products along with technical support if needed during installation.

What accessories do I need for my fish finder on a small boat?

Aside from the main device itself, there are some additional accessories that come in handy when using your fish finder on a small boat or kayak: mounting brackets or transom mounts to keep your device secure while out on the water; power cords so that your unit can stay charged throughout your fishing trip; and suction cups so that you can attach your device directly onto any smooth surface such as a windscreen or kayak decking without having to worry about it sliding off while in motion.

Wrapping Up:

With many fishers preferring to hunt using smaller boats rather than large ones, we have compiled this article to inform them about the most compatible fish finders.

Although space is essential when fishing in a narrowboat, we should also make sure that the features of a device are not compromised.

Hence this list of best fish finder for small boats comprises products that maintain an accurate balance between both of those aspects and are worth buying for your boat.

Now, the decision is upon you to decide which fish finder is the best for your small boat or aluminum Jon.

You can also read how to use fish finders.

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