Best Fish Finders in 2022
Fish finders have become very popular within the last few years. More and more people are realizing how much your chance of getting of the fish improves.
With that being said, technology is always improving and fish finders are significantly better than they were even a few years ago. In addition, the number of options that are available have increased as well. The problem is with all of these technological advancements as well as the number of increased options, its hard to know which fish finder you should buy in 2022.
Well rest assured, we have spent a ton of time using and researching various fish finders in order to provide you with the list of the best fish finders so that you don’t have to.
Overall Best Fish Finder
What we like:
Unlike other sonars, the imaging with liveScope is in Real-Time and the image quality is second to none.
What we don’t like:
The main thing we don’t like is the price. $1699.99 is a lot of money for almost anyone to spend on a fishing sonar system.
The Garmin Livescope system is the best fishing sonar system out there for most situations. The reason for it being the best is like its name implies, the imaging is done in real-time. This means that you can literally watch fish swim and react to your bait in real time. With Garmin Livescope there is no historical graph. Everything you are seeing is exactly what is happening underneath your boat.
Because the sonar imaging is in real-time, the images that display on your sonar screen are going to be much more crisp. In addition, Garmin Livescope comes with image stabilization which means you will still get a clear image even in situations where your boat is dealing with larger waves.
One of the game changing features of the Garming Livescope is that you can adjust your transducer to be show you 4 different modes including: Livescope, Livescope Forward, Livescope Down, and Perspective. These different modes allow you to view fish and structure from different angles.
The only scenario in which the Garmin Livescope may not be the best option is if you cruise at high speeds, looking to mark fish on a regular basis. Since everything is in real time, it will be more difficult to identify fish. Sonar systems that provide historical data will be better suited for you.
Best Fish Finder Under $200
Garmin Striker 4
What we like:
This fish finder provides your biggest bang for your buck. For less than 200 dollars you get a color display with GPS that allows you to mark waypoints and view previous routes.
What we don’t like:
The screen is only 3.5 inches so it can be difficult to see your marks if you aren’t close to the screen.
Considering the price point of the Garmin Striker 4, this unit is very impressive. For those of you who don’t want to fork out an arm and a leg to get a high-end Sonar system, this is definitely your best option.
The Striker 4 comes with a dual-beam transducer that includes chirp (77/200 Khz) so the imaging quality is quite good. Even though the screen is only 3.5 inches, you’re still able to split your screen to view multiple views including your maps, 2d views, and even a flasher when you are ice fishing.
Best Fish Finder for the Money
Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI
What we like:
The Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI has everything you really need in a good sonar unit including side-imaging, down-imaging, 2d and 3d graphs, gps mapping, and ability to mark and save waypoints.
What we don’t like:
The Helix 7 has a 7inch display which may be a little smaller than what you may prefer. Also, the screen buttons are mechanical instead of a touch screen which seems a little outdated.
Besides the standard features of the Helix 7, one of the things that we really like about the Humminbird Helix 7 is that it integrates well with other products. For example, the head display is easily removable and can be used to quickly hook into your boat’s transducer but also hook into Hummingbird’s ice fishing conversion kit.
The display can easily be configured for ice fishing and comes several display options including flashers. Converting your existing unit will save you from buying a premium ice fishing unit when you have already bought the unit for your boat.
The Helix 7 also comes equipped with autopilot which allows you to sync your sonar unit with a compatible trolling motor. This makes trolling extremely convenient because you have the ability to specify a direction or route on your display and your trolling motor will take you there.
Things to consider when selecting a fish finder
What type of fishing do you plan on doing?
Think about what kind of fishing you typically do. Picking the right sonar comes down to determining the type of fishing your plan on doing.
Bass fisherman heavily rely on side-imaging to identify structure in the area they plan on fishing. This is very fruitful because bass are ambush predators and tend to hunker down along structure so that they can ambush their prey. For this reason, if you plan on bass fishing, I would highly recommend that you consider a fish finder that has side-imaging.
If you plan on mostly going trout fishing and not bass fishing then you may consider not spending the extra money to get a sonar system that has side-imaging technology. While trout can hide near structure, they are more of an open water species and covering a lot of water is the name of the game. This mean that you probably aren’t going to spend a lot of time looking for structure so side-imaging may not be critically important.
Do you do a lot of trolling?
If you are a fisherman who does a lot of trolling, then you may want to consider getting a sonar system that can integrate with your trolling motor. For example, some Humminbird Helix models are compatible with specific Minn Kota trolling motors so that you have the ability to enter in a route or waypoint on your fish finder and the trolling motor will take you directly to that spot, freeing up your hands and allowing you to focus on fishing.
In addition, there are some automatic downriggers that can also integrate with specific fish finders. This is incredibly helpful if you are trolling for fish that are located along the bottom because the fish finder will tell the downrigger the depth of the water and the downrigger will set the keep that fishing line a set distance above the bottom of the lake so that you aren’t looking your gear every time the water depth changes.
Do you go plan on using it for ice fishing?
If you plan on exclusively using this for ice fishing, then you don’t need to spend a lot of money on features that are pointless for ice fisherman. For example, side-imaging really doesn’t make sense if you only plan on using it for ice fishing.
However, if you have a boat and you also plan on ice fishing, then maybe you want to consider a unit that can be used on your boat but then converted for ice fishing.