How To Use Fish Finder On Kayak

How To Use Fish Finder On Kayak? [With Installation Guides]

Are you surfing for knowing how to use fish finder on kayak? Then, maybe you have anchored in the right place.

In this article, you will gain profound knowledge about a crazy fishing tool-fish finder! Though the demand for this device is increasing dramatically, many kayak anglers are not familiar with it. That’s why we have covered this article with all the information you need to know about it.

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What Is A Fish Finder?

A fish finder is a common fishing device that locates fish schools and shows the results on a small graphical screen display. It can detect the pulses of sound energy reflected by underwater objects.

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How Does A Fish Finder Work?


To install a fish finder correctly, you must know how it works. Its mechanism is so simple. To know the mechanism, you must have a clear idea about the parts of a fish finder.

Here is a short explanation of the parts!

There are two main parts in a fish finder, one is the transducer and another one is a monitor. A fish finder has also a power unit that helps the device running. A battery is enough as the power unit. Here, we will introduce you to the transducer and head unit/monitor.

Transducer

The transducers are the most essential parts that work as the eyes of the fish finders. A sonar transducer sends sound waves through the water column. The waves get hindered by the underwater objects and bounce back. The receiver receives the echoes of the sound, analyses, and diverts the data into the graph images of fish and other objects. Then it displays the graphs on the screen.

According to the type of transducer, there are variations. Depending on the depth of the water, you have an option to choose from the different kHz options and transducer cone angles.

For fishing from the deep waters, a sonar transducer featured with 50 kHz is perfect. It can identify objects from around 1200 feet of water. But it can’t show a detailed view. On the other hand, a 200 kHz transducer with a broad cone angle is perfect for fishing from shallow waters, around 200 feet.

Advanced anglers use a dual-frequency fish finder which works better than a single frequency fish finder.

Monitor Or Head Unit

The monitor shows the graphical image of underwater objects. On the color screen display, you can see colorful blobs, lines, arches or straight as the sign of different objects.

Here is a point we should make clear to you that, the reflection pulses can come from various underwater objects. For example corals, active fish, different types of animated things, stones, or other obstructions.

In that case, if you don’t understand the graph, you will be unable to use its fish finder technology effectively. Then “How do you distinguish signals from sneaky active fishes and other objects?”

Well, that’s not a big issue. Signals that come from fishes are different from the other objects and so they’re meant by different symbols. In this context, we’ve discussed how to read a fish finder later in this article. But before that let’s know how to install a fish finder on a kayak.

How To Install A Fish Finder On A Kayak?


Before using a fish finder, you must install it correctly on the kayak. It’s not so difficult to mount on the kayak.

Again I remind you that, the fish finder installation is not so tough job. Just follow the installation guide given below and you’ll be all set.

Choose A Fish Finder For Your Fishing Kayak

At first, select a suitable fish finder according to your purposes and budget. Many well-known brands provide an installation guide with their products.

Some of the devices provide a GPS positioning facility so that you can mark the productive fishing spots. It also allows you to measure your speed. But the cost of these convenience devices is usually a little higher.

Mount The Display On A Comfortable Place To The Kayak

Some of the kayak brands provide a complete mounting solution for the head unit, power source, and a transducer with a dedicated removable fish finder. But most of the fishing kayaks do not have this luxury and so you have to install them yourself.

Find a suitable flat spot on the deck to fit the head unit from where you can easily observe it. So make a conscious choice that can meet your basic needs and that you can afford.

Place The Transducer On The Kayak’s Bottom

The performance of a fish finder depends largely on the location of its transducer. So, make sure that you have mounted the transducer properly on the kaya’s bottom otherwise it will fail to collect the reflected pulses.

There are various styles to set a transducer to a kayak but the style depends on the model of kayak. Here are some of the methods discussed below-

  • Scupper Mounted Transducer: Some of the kayaks contain a specifically designed recess under the hull to install a transducer. Examine your kayak carefully to see if there is such recess or not.
  • Arm-Mounted Transducers: Some kayaks come with a specific transducer arm that extends over the side of a kayak. Transducers can be mounted to the arm’s bottom.
  • In-Hull Transducers: You can place them inside the hull on a kayak. Just cut a foam according to the size of the transducer and fill the blank space with glue. Set the transducer into the glue and run the cable up to the main unit on the deck through a waterproof cable gland.

Powering The Fish Finder


A fish finder requires a power source and a rechargeable battery is the best option for you. There are different types of batteries, and we will recommend you to buy a 12-volt marine battery for fishing purposes which is specially made for boats.

Store the battery in a waterproof battery box and set it in a safe place on your kayak where the water cannot come in contact with the battery. If possible, you can make a DIY battery box yourself at home.

Now, run a wire from the battery to the device. It will be better if you don’t need to extend the wire length. But if needed, then use a marine-rated cable and shoulder your connections. Ensure that there are no exposed cable joints to protect the joints from the saltwater.

Ops! Another most important thing most people avoid is FUSE! It will protect your device from any unexpected accident. Set the fuse in the positive line.

How To Read A Fish Finder?


A fish finder gives you a clear view of what’s underneath your boat and how fish responds to your bite. But to get this benefit, you first need to know what the image floating on the display means. Here are some tricks that will help you to understand the graph-

Identifying Fish

At first, you need to learn how to identify fish.

A fish finder converts the raw data into a user-friendly interface with the help of fish-ID technology. This technology exposes fishes by fish icons. It also shows plants, rocks and schools of fish with different icons.

The arch fish finder receives signals with a transducer and shows them with lines or arches. The bigger the arches, the bigger the fishes are.

Identifying Different Types Of Underwater Structure

You can read the depth, bottom contour of the underwater structure by understanding the sonar technology and evaluating the display.

This depth finder feature also shows the water temperature so that you can understand the type of fish you are going to catch.

Vegetation And Weeds

If you find areas with vegetation and plants, the fish finder will display a spotter return or vertical lines on your screen. These areas can be your potential areas to cast.

This is how to use a fish finder on a kayak. If you follow these small tricks with a fish finder, probably your luck will favor you with more preys. At last, wish you a happy fishing time!

To Wrap It All Up!


Without a fish finder, your Kayak fishing setup will remain incomplete! So you must have a fish finder for your next trip.

It can only help you to understand the depth of water, what is there under the boat, and if there is any fish or not. Only by installing it in the proper way, you can successfully catch more fish. For this you must have the ability to read the display correctly.

Some well-known fish finder manufacturers provide the best quality products Garmin, Lowrance, Humminbird, etc. For the best result, don’t buy the cheapest device at all.

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