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Fish finders on kayaks

2751 Views 13 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  OptiMystic
I was wondering how many of you have fish finders on your kayaks? I've been thinking about getting one for my kayak since I'm entering the saltwater game. Do they work just the same as if it were a regular boat? Are there certain brands designed just for kayaks? I do have scupper holes on my kayak which I think helps. Any advice helps.


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I have a Raymarine DragonFly 7 on mine. Big screen for not so good eyes.

If your doing ocean too I would look for one similar with the sonar and maps. At Swansboro I used the maps more than the sonar.

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Get one, I've got a lowrance elite 4 hdi. I love it helps me find new spots, and really helps with maps.

Personally, I wouldn't like to have the scupper hole mount. (Could mess your transducer up I'm skinny water. I've got pvc arm that I can rotate in and out of the water.
One edge of the transducer hangs out maybe 1/10th of an inch below the scupper hole on my Ocean Kayak and is quite durable so I don't worry about damaging it. I would never go back to not having a fishfinder. Its just so nice and easy to find the deep holes, river channels, schools of fish, etc. with one. I would feel blind without one. If I only fished marsh I obviously wouldn't get one though.
You also have the option to shoot thru hull with a transducer.
You just won't have the water temp.
I use as thru hull and the temperature seems to work just fine. Just takes a while for the hull to cool to water temperature.
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Yep, works just the same as on a regular boat. Gotta remember that you're probably going at a slower speed though so the readings will probably be dragged out a little more but once you get used to it no big deal. I have had 2 shoot through hull with no problem as long as it's installed correctly. Water temperature may be 1 or 2 degrees off but that's all. I mainly do freshwater but I could imagine in the salt GPS would be super beneficial. I have GPS on one of mine and really like it. Works well for open water.
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Got one on my kayak and power boat. Upgrading the kayak to a Helix 5 DI this weekend.
Got a Humminbird 899ci SI. It has GPS, side scan imaging and down imaging. This beast is magnificent. It works in saltwater and freshwater.

If you only want DI, look at rhe Raymarine Dragonfly 7.

Having a fish finder on a kayak is just like having one on a boat. It helps you find structure, find holes, drop offs, fish, and sometimes cars and other boats!
I have a Lowrance Elite 4 HDI and love it. Mounted it on a Ram mount. I built my own bracket using alunium and went through the scupper hole. I have had NO problems with it becoming damaged or even getting hit. You can run a through hull but I didnt want to take a chance of tearing the transducer away from the bottom of the hull. Someone mentioned temp. As long as you mount the transducer correctly, you should get accurate temp readings. It just takes a few minutes for your boat to acclimate to the water.

I have a Lowrance X-$ Pro on my sit in. I got it from Dick's for about $50.00 after usig a $10.00 reward, and talking them into an open box discount. I have mine shooting through hull using duct seal to mount it.
I was paddling at a mill pond which had a marsh/swamp along one side the other day. The main pool was at 56 degrees as were many of the coves because the "points" around them were swamp and the water flowed freely. I found one that was 62; it must have had some actual solid ground in at least one point. I was able to watch the temperature change immediately as I paddled in. You lose that with a through hull. It can make a difference at times, but most of the time it doesn't. If you will mostly fish open water and are looking for depths, obstructions, bait and fish activity then through hull is fine. If you care a lot about noting changes in temp, then it isn't.
I like thru hull even with the temp delay, at Kayak speeds it won;t make a difference very often, and there is no noise or drag. I do have a swing over transducer set-up for the Nucanoe and Ultimate so that I can move it from one boat to the over. Keep the transducer as close to the front or back center as possible and you hardly notice any drag.

The article I read benchmarking different methods of bedding the transducer for through hull put the temperature delay in the range of multiple minutes per degree. Even at kayak speeds, that is pretty significant IMO. it took me under a minute to paddle between 56 and 62 degree water on Sunday. However I do agree that it won't make a difference very often because it's only in a few situations that the variations will matter that much and that was a pretty unique spot.
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