Fish Finders

Fish Finders

Some Information to guide you

Fitting a Hummingbird fish finder/gps unit to an Ocean Kayak Ultra 4.3 back in the day. OK kayaks had a deal with Hummingbird and made their kayaks to fit the Hummingbird fish finders.

The majority of people getting into kayak fishing soon see others using fish finders (often posted as ‘ff’ on the net) or are advised to get one so lets get some information out there! A fish finder in kayak fishing is a luxury item. It’s purpose is to show us the bottom of the water and any fish along the way but the vast majority of paddlers are looking for holes, wrecks and/or features that hold fish as that’s what we’re out there for.

A fish finder incorporating GPS is preferred so we can set it away when launching into less favourable conditions in case it turns nasty and we can’t find our way back in. The GPS will record the journey so you can easily follow it back in if fog/fret hits but that would be a rarity in most cases. Having GPS incorperated ups the price of devices so if you can’t afford one then buy a standalone fish finder and then buy a standalone GPS device later.

At KFUK we recommend you spend your hard earned on something like a PLB GPS marker before buying a fish finder if you plan to fish out to sea. You can get one here and read all about them. If your paddling with an experienced angler then you can simply follow them and gain experience by sighting land marks and distances to shore the way old school boat anglers did for hundreds of years.

Once you plan to buy a fish finder you’ll need a budget. Set your budget, stick to it and then poke around looking for one to suit you and your fishing but most importantly check to see if the transducer will fit. Most of us slap some HA6 or sikaflex (waterproof sealant) inside the hull just in front of the cockpit. Others use the water in tub technique and some use the prefitted slot that some kayak manufacturers put in if they have a deal with a fish finder manufacturer. Ocean Kayaks were in with Hummingbird for example.

a quick guide to fitting a “FF” batteries are often asked about on the net so here’s a 5 AH (amp hour) 12 volt alarm battery with is the ‘norm’ on yaks. A 7 hour battery is very common.

Popular makes in the UK are Lowrance, Garmin, Hummingbird, Raymarine with a few more coming onto the scene. If you choose to buy a budget fish finder to hang over the side of your kayak or whatever then expect trouble! When you invest into this sport ‘budget’ gear is not recommended where a life might depend on it!

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