The depth finder is a device that helps the fisherman to identify the depth of the water. It’s a must-have tool for successful fishing, as it gives information on how deep the water is, whether they’re in shallow or deep water and if there are any obstacles in their way. There are many different types of depth finders on the market today, but what type is right for your boat? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about choosing the best depth finder for your boat.
Quick table with our top 3 picks:
Top 9 Best Depth Finder Reviewed
- Delivers uninterrupted depth readings from 2.5 to 600 feet on the largest display available on an In-Dash Depth Sounder up to 60 mph. Transducer Frequency-200 kHz
- ShootThru sonar technology allows for depth readings through solid fiberglass hulls and up to 1/8-inch aluminum hulls
- 3-stage Advanced Warning System clearly signals an alarm condition with an audible alarm, an ultra bright red LED warning light and LCD alarm indicators
- No glare, polarized LCD icon display with storage sun cover allows for spot free viewing with or without sunglasses; Algorithmic programming significantly reduces false readings and produces unmatched precision
- HawkEye products are manufactured both in the USA and overseas using technology designed and developed with American ingenuity
- Clear Vu scanning Sonar shows you more of what is in the water around your boat; This high frequency sonar gives near photographic images with detailed representations of objects, structure and fish
- The power of simple offers a keyed interface with dedicated buttons; The device is easy to use and easy to install; Available in 3.5, 5 and 7 inch display sizes; Water rating IPX7
- Waypoint map: Use the way point map to easily view, mark and navigate to locations such as brush piles, stumps and docks; Maximum depth 1,600 feet freshwater, 750 feet saltwater; Current draw at 12 volt: 0.23 Ampere
- Chirp Sonar sends a continuous sweep of frequencies which provides a wider range of information; Chirp Sonar is able to create crisper fish arches with better target separation
- Built in flasher: View your sonar data in the classic flasher format; Ideal for ice fishing or vertical jigging. Display size: 1.9 x 2.9 inches (4.9 x 7.3 centimeter); 3.5 inches diagonal (8.7 centimeter)
- EASY TO USE: The Lowrance HOOK2 4x Fish Finder features auto-tuning sonar and phone-like menus giving you more time to spend fishing and less time dealing with settings.
- WIDER SONAR COVERAGE: The HOOK2 4x offers a wide-angle sonar cone giving you double the coverage of traditional fish finders.
- EASY SETUP: A single transducer can be mounted on the transom, inside the hull, on the trolling motor or through a scupper hole.
- TRANSDUCER INCLUDED: The included Bullet Skimmer transducer gives you traditional 2-D sonar (fish arch) views.
- CLEARVÜ SCANNING SONAR - Shows you more of what is in the water around your boat. This high-frequency sonar gives near-photographic images with detailed representations of objects, structure and fish.
- THE POWER OF SIMPLE - Offers a keyed interface with dedicated buttons. The device is easy to use and easy to install. Available in 3.5-, 5- and 7-inch display sizes. Water rating IPX7
- WAYPOINT MAP - Use the waypoint map to easily view, mark and navigate to locations such as brush piles, stumps and docks.
- CHIRP SONAR - CHIRP sends a continuous sweep of frequencies which provides a wider range of information. CHIRP sonar is able to create crisper fish arches with better target separation.
- The most versatile handheld depth finder sonar system ever produced
- Water depth readings from 1.5 to 300 feet (.5 to approx. 90 M); Automatic depth range adjustment
- Water or air temperature readings which are displayed in degrees farhrenheit or celcius on a SoftGlow backlit LCD display
- Inductive switching technology (IST) allows the unit to be 100% waterproof up to 200 feet (approx. 61 M)
- HawkEye products are manufactured both in the USA and overseas using technology designed and developed with American ingenuity.
- Includes dual-beam transducer with Garmin Chirp traditional sonar for crystal-clear images and remarkable target separation
- Built-in Garmin quickdraw contours mapping software lets you create and store maps with 1’ contours for up to 2 million acres
- Built-in GPS lets you mark waypoints, create routes and view boat’s speed
- Bright, Sunlight-readable 4.3” display and intuitive user interface
- Rugged design for every fishing environment. Frequencies supported: Traditional: 50/77/83/200 kHz, Transmit power: 200 W (RMS)
- Easy-to-use 4-inch color fishfinder with new vivid scanning sonar color palettes to easily distinguish fish and structure; tilt/swivel bailmount bracket included
- Includes a GT20 transducer for built-in Garmin CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP ClearVü scanning sonar
- High-sensitivity GPS to mark waypoints, create routes and view your boat’s speed
- Includes built-in Quickdraw Contours mapping
- ✦ Fish Finder and Depth Finder : It is a portable fish finder that could display approximate fish location and water depth. The sonar transducer can be attached to the hull of kayak or boat in order to understand the changing of water depth when you are moving by. The water depth detection range is between 3ft(1m) and 328ft (100m) when the transducer is completely immersed in the water.
- ✦ Helpful Data Display : Besides fish depth and water depth, the handheld fish finder will also display short & tall weeds, sand & rocks on the bottom. Meanwhile, the measurement unit of the depth can be freely switched by feet or meter. The display is also visible in sunshine or darkness by turning on the back light.
- ✦ Handheld & Portable : The size of kayak fishfinder is designed for just one hand held. You will find a neck strap in the package which allows you to wear it around neck when you are busy on the kayak or boat. Meanwhile, 5 levels sensitivity adjustment makes fishing possible both in clear water or turbid.
- ✦ Fish & Fish Schools Alarm : Once the toss fish finder transducer into the water and turn on the display unit, you will get alarms when fish or fishing schools passing by. The portable fish finder can be working continuously for at least 4-5 hours with brand new battery. It can be working even longer by turning on battery save mode.
- ✦ Ideal for Fishing & Fishing Gift : It is easy to use LUCKY depth finder in boat fishing, ice fishing, shore fishing no matter in freshwater or in saltwater. If you are looking for a gift for your husband, father, friends or any anglers, then look no further, the LUCKY fish finder is now better than ever.
- 5-Inch Color WVGA Display
- Down Imaging for a clear view of what's happening below your boat
- SwitchFire SOnar to take command of how your sonar returns appear
- Dual Beam PLUS Sonar - Two beams combine for great detail and a generous coverage area
- Keypad control interface X-Press menu system
5 Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Depth Finder For Your Pontoon Boat:
1. The type of depth finder you want to buy:
There are many different types of depth finders on the market today. The most common ones include the sonar, radar and the magnetic compass. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important that you choose the one that is best for your needs. Sonar depth finders are one of the most inexpensive options on the market today, but they have some limitations. They’re not as accurate as other types of depth finders and they can’t be used at night or in murky water. Radar depth finders are a good alternative to sonar devices but they tend to be more expensive than other models. Magnetic compass depth finders are also very inexpensive, making them a good option if you’re on a budget.
2. How big a budget do you have?
The price range for each type will vary depending on how much money you want to spend and how serious about fishing you are! It’s important that when choosing which depth finder to buy that you don’t spend too much or too little money if this will affect your choice in buying this device!
3. How much do you need depth information for?
If you’re a serious fisherman, then a sonar type device will be the best option, as they’re the most accurate. If you are only interested in finding out how deep your water is, then a magnetic compass is the best option. However, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend and just want to know how far away something is from your boat, then radar depth finders are a good choice!
4. What type of fishing do you do?
Different types of fishing require different types of depth finders. If you like to fish for bass or crappie and target shallow water areas, then sonar devices are the best choice for this kind of fishing! If you like to fish for catfish or other species that live in deeper waters, then magnetic compass devices should be your choice!
5. What conditions do you fish in?
If possible, it’s always better to check out the conditions in which your chosen device is most effective before buying it so that you can be sure that it will work well with what kind of fishing conditions or expectations that apply to them.
One of the first things you want to consider when choosing a depth finder is how often it’s used. If you’re going to be using your depth finder on a regular basis, then a model with hands-free operation is ideal. This allows the user to keep their hands free for other tasks and not have to continuously hold the device in place as they search for fish. Additionally, hand-held models require more effort from the user, so if you’re going to be fishing from afar or from a moving boat, you’ll need one that’s easier to use.