Best Fish Finders With GPS Reviews Guide
A fish finder is one of the most valuable things that you can have in your arsenal whenever you are heading out on a fishing outing. Regardless of what kind of water you are on, what kind of boat you are in, or what kind of fish you are hunting, this will make it possible to see everything that is going on beneath the surface of the water as well as your exact location. If you’re looking for a portable model, you should check out our article about portable fish finders. If you are fishing from a Kayak, check out this article about fish finders, specifically tailored for Kayak fishing.
Our Top 3 Picks
What Are Fish Finders With GPS Especially Good For?
A GPS fish finder specifically is one that includes the ability to track where you are, where you have been, and where you are going. Not everyone that is a fisherman needs this kind of technology, but if you are someone that does it is vital.
These are especially good for people who are either serious fishermen, or those who like to go into places that they haven’t been before, but would still like to store all of the places they visit. In doing this, you will have a way to always make it back to the perfect spot, without a fear of losing it forever. You can easily store the information and the exact coordinates there, thanks to built in maps that usually cover almost any body of water that you will be fishing on.
How To Choose The Best GPS Fish Finder
If you are going to have the absolute best GPS fish finder possible, you’ll have to understand a few things:
- GPS. GPS is vital, but that is especially true when you are looking for a fish finder with this specific feature. Having the ability to know where you are is great, but you should make sure that the model you are interested in is going to be accurate. There are a lot of different options here, but you should be looking for ones that use a large number of bands in order to position yourself properly.
- Sonar. While we are talking about GPS specifically here, you should also be looking at the type of sonar that the fish finder uses. When you have a model that can track you within a couple of feet, but can’t see beneath the water it will be useless. A 60 degree or wider angle should be ideal for most people, but a dual band one will be perfect. With DualBand technology you will be able to have a look at the greater space beneath you, while also having a highly detailed look when you need it. This blend will exponentially increase the kind of success that you are having when you are out on the water. Important as well here is the amount of power that is going to your sonar and the frequency that is being used. The higher the frequency, the better it will perform in shallow water. As far as power, though, you want a balance between being able to see deep enough and not having to supply too much external power.
- Price. The price might seem like an afterthought if you are looking for high quality, but you shouldn’t automatically discount any cheaper models that you come across. Some of the more expensive models might be flashy, but they might not function properly at the end of the day. Pay attention to things like this, no matter how much money you are willing to spend on your own fish finder.
The Top 3 GPS Fish Finders
1. Humminbird 409450-1 688ci HD XD Internal GPS/Sonar Combo Xtreme Depth Fishfinder
As a fisherman, gathering as much information about your surround waters that you possibly can has the chance to make or break your entire fishing trip. While you can go out and fish blindly in an area, the detailed data and information that you can get from a powerful fish finder can make your fishing ventures more successful than you ever thought possible. When looking at which fish finders to get, you’ll see that some are small and compact, whereas others are a bit bulky. These heftier ones often include more features than their smaller counterparts, and in turn generally deliver more detailed stats on the area you’re in. If this sounds appealing to you, Hummibird’s 409450-1 fish finder just might be what you’ve been looking for.
The front of this gadget is home to a large 5-inch color display, and the resolution comes in at 640 x 480 pixels. That’s not the highest resolution we’ve ever seen for a screen this size, but it is still very respectable. Another standout feature is the 409450-a’s inclusion of an XD GPS-Sonar combination, along with another internal GPS in the unit. This allows you to get a very detailed map of your area, and is unlike anything else on the market. The 409450-1 is even capable of reading the temperature of the water that you’re currently fishing in. If you’re on the hunt for a specific fish that only stays in waters of a certain temp, this could prove to be an incredibly useful feature.
2. Lowrance Hook-5 Sonar/GPS Mid/High/Downscan Fishfinder
When looking at fish finders, the vast majority of the selections out there are small and compact units that have a decent feature set, but always seem to be missing one or two key features that you’d really like to have in your ideal fish finder. While these smaller designs are certainly convenient if you want your fish finder to take up as little room as possible, they often seem to but back on the available features that are included with these devices. If you’re someone who doesn’t care how large your fish finder is, and your main focus is getting as many features out of your gadget as possible, the Lowrance Hook-5 could be your perfect companion on your next fishing trip.
One of the most notable aspects is the fish finder’s large and bright 5-inch display. The larger size allows you to view more information at once, and it’s a truly great feature to have included. Another standout aspect for this gadget is the inclusion of CHIRP sonar technology. CHIRP is one of the most reliable names when it comes to sonar tech, and the company certainly delivers once again with the Lowrance Hook-5. And, finally, the GPS unit that is built-into the Lowrance Hook-5 features an incredibly detailed map of the United States. The map not only features more than 3,000 lakes, rivers, and coastal contours, but also has information on these for down to 1,000 feet.
3. Humminbird 409850-1 Helix 7 SI GPS/Fishfinder
If you’ve spent any time at all in the retail or sales world, you’ve probably heard the term “you get what you pay for” thrown around quite a lot. This term suggests that paying more for a product will grant you with a better-performing item, whereas spending as little money as possible will deliver a product that’s rather underwhelming. This term certainly doesn’t apply to every single product out there, as we’ve seen some pretty powerful fish finders before that come in at very affordable price points. With that said, we’ve also seen fish finders with price tags that are quite high when compared to the competition. However, paying that higher price can often times deliver the user with a fish finder that’s insanely powerful and capable of a great number of things. One such fish finder is the Humminbird 409850-1.
Right off the bat, one of the most notable things about this is the device’s screen. It not only has a high resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, but also uses a 16:9 widescreen form factor. The screen is a Glass-Bonded Display, and is not only incredibly bright and detailed, but isn’t hampered by glares and is viewable from nearly any angle. Along with the big and bright screen, the 409850-a’s internal processing components are also some of the most powerful you’ll find in a fish finder. They help keep things moving along at an incredible pace, meaning that you’ll never have to wait for a map or depth reading ever again.
More Fish Finders With GPS Reviews
1. Humminbird FishFinder 597ci HD DI Combo
This is one of the more expensive models on this report, but you truly get what you pay for in this case. When it comes to GPS fish finders, Humminbird seems to have it all figured out.
The inclusion of a DualBeam Switchfire Sonar stands out by using a precision 20 degree beam as well as a larger 60 degree one, giving you a fish eye view of the world beneath the water. The real time scanning makes sure that you have the highest refresh rate possible, letting you see the fish, structures, and water floor in a way that no other model can really compete with.
With the included UniMap GPS system, you will also know exactly where you are, where you are going, and how you can get back to all of your favorite fishing spots without ever having to worry about not making it back. With the US coastline, lakes, and rivers all covered, there is no reason you will ever be going into uncharted waters.
The Fish ID+ system used here is also stellar. When this device interprets the sonar signals that are returned to it, it will only measure certain ones, making sure it only displays fish, along with an indicator for the relative fish size. When you are hunting fish and not waste products, this is vital.
For a top of the line mode, you will be working hard to find anything better. There are certainly cheaper options on the market, but there are very few that will be able to perform this well every single time you head out in your boat, no matter where you are going.
2. Humminbird 587ci HD DI Combo GPS-Sonar DualBeam Plus
Humminbird has a model on almost every list of the top GPS fish finders that you will see. With this particular model, though, you’ll be getting twice the features without having to spend a great deal of money more. This one of a kind product is easy to use no matter where you are.
This fish finder features a 4.5” LCD screen that is visible even in the brightest light. With their new Down Imaging Technology, you’ll also make sure you never miss anything, whether it is a fish or a boat under the water. With two different viewing modes, Clear and Max, you can take advantage of the Dual Beam system, which offers one of the widest viewing angles in the market.
Important here, though, is the phenomenal GPS that has a refresh rate of 4 times per second, and works to instantly update your current location, regardless of where you are. The display will also update automatically for different war conditions, ensuring you have the most accurate location.
Finally, the 2,400 watt peak-to-peak power output means you can see as far down as necessary, allowing you to find every fish in the water, no matter where you are.
3. Lowrance Elite-5 DSI DownScan Imaging Chartplotter/FishFinder
This model from Lowrance is yet again one of the top you’ll find anywhere. This truly offers everything you need to find the fish that have been eluding you.
For starters, the highly advanced transducer included in Lowrance’s brilliant device has the ability to see down to 200 feet thanks to the 455 kHz and 800 kHz frequencies. This will allow you to see things at a distance, as well as zoom in at all the right times, ensuring nothing escapes you.
There is also a unique feature that visually shows you where the warm and cool areas of the water are, helping you see which areas will be frequented by fish judging by the amount of oxygen that is there. This is one of the best ways to increase your chances of making the big catch, so take advantage of it!
In order to make sure that you can actually see the hard work that this device is doing, Lowrance has included a 5 inch, 256 color display that is unmatched in any product you’ll see on the market. The high definition screen gives you a clear view of everything that is being picked up and letting you see exactly what is going on.
Finally, the GPS that is used in this particular model can’t be beat. It uses a 16 channel GPS antenna that even has an option for an external antenna, although you probably won’t need it. The GPS unit included in this can track your exact location and let you store all of your favorite spots so that you can return time and time again.
Armed with the right kind of information, you will be able to make the best decision possible and have more success on your fishing trips than ever. There is no denying that the three options listed here are among the best that you will find in the industry. Regardless of which decision you make, though, having something as versatile as a GPS equipped fish finder will take your fishing game to the next level in a way that very few other products can. Pick one up today. You won’t be disappointed!
Fish Finders With GPS FAQ
The world and act of fishing can vary quite a lot depending on who you ask or talk to. Despite the overall goal remaining the same, there are generally two very different schools of thought depending on who you ask.
Some folks out there will tell you that fishing is all about being in tune with the area around you, and relying on luck and good fortune when it comes to catching fish. These people often use as few gadgets as they possibly can, and really only take the bare essentials with them when they go out on a fishing trip. These are the people who don’t take high-tech toys with them when they set out on the open waters. These are the people who take a fishing pole, bait, and little to nothing else for their adventures out on the water. This certainly is a more hardcore approach to the world of fishing, and depending on who you ask, it might be a bit silly too.
However, to these people, that’s the only real way to fish for them. There people often have older mindsets when it comes to fishing, and although this might seem like an odd way to go about things for some fishermen, it’s the only real way for a lot of men and women out there. In a world that’s constantly evolving and revolving around technology, there’s got to be something said about this style of fishing. Although it might seem ancient to a lot of people out there, it really can be an extremely exciting and interesting way to take part in the fishing world and act.
With that being the first school of thought, what is the other one? As you might be able to guess, it’s pretty much the exact opposite of this. As technology evolves in our world with smartphones, tablets, computers, and other gadgets, so too do other markets and parts of the world. Believe it or not, these advances in technology have made their way over to the world of fishing in a rather large way.
When we think of technology, it can often be easy to think strictly of things like desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, video games, cameras, and more. While these are all excellent examples of areas that technology advancements have helped improve, they are far from the only ones that have been affected by the surge in advancements that our world has made in the tech industry.
Thinking about technology, fishing gadgets might not be the first thing to come to your mind. However, the world of fishing has actually been impacted in a rather large way due to all of the advancements that we’ve seen with technology. Although numerous gadgets have been created, one of the most notable ones is that of the fish finder.
Fish finders have been around for quite some time, but they have also seen some pretty big advancements since they were initially launched. As with any tech product, as time goes on and as things advance, so too do the products that we use. The main goal of a fish finder is to help you locate fish that are in your area when you’re out fishing, and it does this by scanning the waters that are found below you. Fish finders are able to get all sorts of readings on the water that you’re on thanks to all of the sensors and radios that they come equipped with, and they can greatly increase the amount of fish that you’re able to catch when going out on the boat.
One of the numerous advancements that we’ve seen with fish finders is the inclusion of a global position system – more commonly referred to as a GPS. GPS technology has been around for a number of years, and it has been implemented into tons of devices out there. GPS radios are now commonplace in smartphones, tablets, cars, and even smartwatches. And, as a little known fact to some, they’re often quite common in fish finders as well. And, when you think about it, it only makes sense.
However, when a GPS is thrown into a fish finder, it’s bound to create for a lot of additional questions. We’re well aware of all the questions that folks have about fish finders, and we’re here to answer as many of them as we can. GPS units on fish finders can be incredibly useful tools, but in order for them to be as useful as possible, you need to have as deep of an understanding of them as you possibly can. So, let’s go ahead and answer all of the biggest, most important burning questions that we’ve seen online.
Q: Just why would I want a GPS unit in my fish finder?
When talking about fish finders with GPS units built into them, this is often one of the most frequently asked questions that we see, and it really does come with good reason. So, to answer this question, just think about this.
Picture yourself out on a big, open lake that you’ve never been to before. You might be out on vacation with family, or you may have gone a little excursion all on your own. In any case, let’s just assume that you’re fishing on waters that you’re not entirely familiar with. Now, let’s say you either want to navigate further in the lake, or you want to head back to land. While these two things can easily be done when on a body of water that you know like the back of your hand, it’s not nearly as easy when on a lake, river, or stream that you’ve never been on before.
So, if your fish finder has a GPS unit inside it, you can see the entire area around you and easily navigate the waters as if you’ve known them your entire life. While GPS units can often be a bit unnecessary when fishing on a lake or something that’s in your neighborhood or backyard, they can come in handy quite a lot when on vacation or traveling to a new lake that you’ve been wanting to test out for quite some time.
Q: What does it mean to “hotplug”?
The term “hotplug” or “hotplugging” is often thrown around when talking about fish finders with external GPS units. This might sound like a complicated term to get your head around, but in reality, it’s actually quite simple and easy to understand.
Hotplugging is essentially the act of plugging in a fish finder’s GPS module once the fish finder itself has already booted up from a powered-off state. If your fish finder uses an external GPS module, this is something that you’ll want to plug in before you turn on your fish finder. Doing so after it has booted up will result in a hotplug, and this is generally not recommended.
Q: What’s the difference between internal and external GPS units?
If you’re interested in purchasing a fish finder with GPS capabilities and have started doing some research, you more than likely have come across something that’s peaked your interest a bit.
When dealing with fish finders, there are actually two different ways for GPS capabilities to be put in place – either internally or externally. Fish finders that have an internal GPS unit have the feature built directly into the fish finder itself. This means that the fish finder looks like any other fish finder out there, and doesn’t require any sort of adapter or accessory in order to get the GPS feature to work.
On the other hand, fish finders with external GPS systems require that a GPS module is inserted or attached to the fish finder that is able to support it. Despite these differences, one of these options isn’t necessarily better or more accurate than the other one. Internal GPS systems are definitely more convenient as you don’t have to worry about bringing along your adapter if you want to use the GPS feature, but they also have a tendency to cost more than fish finders with external GPS units. In this case, the option that you should go with will ultimately come down to personal preference and the budget that you’re working with.
Q: Do all GPS fish finders cover the same maps and areas?
On your smartphone or tablet, you more than likely are able to get GPS map readouts for any part of the world that you want. The GPS units in your smartphone or other mobile device are tremendously powerful, and also have the ability to get as much data as they need from the Internet. However, when talking about GPS units on fish finders, we don’t have the advantage of having access to the Internet to get as much info as we possibly want. Because of this, the GPS that you get with a fish finder is often times limited to a certain country. The two most common countries that fish finders cover are the United States and Canada, but not every fish finder out there covers both of them right out of the box. So, if you plan on doing a little bit of international travel with your fishing expedition, make sure that the GPS unit on your fish finder will have you covered for all of the different waters that you want to set off to.
Q: What are waypoints?
If you’re out fishing on a lake and find an area that you’d really like to remember the next time you go out there, being able to remember exactly where that area is and how you got there can often be a bit of a hassle. While you could try writing it down or simply remembering it, these methods are often quite ineffective and don’t work as well as you might hope.
Thankfully, fish finders with GPS capabilities are able to help out in this department quite a lot. When you’re out fishing and find a spot that you’d really like to come back to the next time you and your boat meet the open waters, you can set a waypoint to that location on your fish finder.
A waypoint is essentially a way of bookmarking that location on your fish finder’s memory, so the next time that you go out fishing, you can look up that waypoint and get directions on how to reach it once again. This can be a great tool if you find multiple spots out on a large body of water that you want to keep in mind and not have to search for every time that you go fishing.
Q: Are all fish finders compatible with handheld GPS products?
If you have a fish finder that doesn’t have an internal GPS unit, you might be wondering if it is at all possible to attached an external GPS unit that you have in order to start mapping your fishing routes. While this is certainly possible on some fish finders out there, it isn’t something that you can do on every single one out there.
In order to make sure than a handheld GPS unit will work with the fish finder that you have, do some research on your particular fish finder through either the manufacturer’s manual or online website. These are going to be your best resources in determining whether or not something like this will work, and are bound to save you a lot of potential headache if you’re trying to get a handheld GPS unit to work with a fish finder that simply isn’t compatible with it.
GPS is an excellent and powerful technology, and its use with fish finders takes the function of these gadgets to an entirely new level. Although they often cost a bit more because of the added technology, the extra features and abilities that they bring in tow are often well worth the extra cost. While not everyone out there will see the benefit of having a GPS unit in your fish finder, it seems quite clear to us as to why you might want one! And, if you do find yourself wanting a GPS unit in your next fish finder, hopefully this guide has cleared up any questions or confusion you may have previously had about them.