Best Fish Finder for Crappie Fishing in 2020 [Buyer’s Guide]

best fish finder for crappie

Spring is often called the best season for crappie fishing since this is when they are spawning. The other seasons, especially winter, are said to be much harder.

However, this does not have to be the case. While these fish prefer to cover and can be hard to locate by eye alone, modern technology has given us devices such as fish finders to make this process much easier.

This article aims to find the best fish finder for crappie fishing by narrowing down and breaking down the top 8 fish finders on the market.

By analyzing the features of these products and weighing out the pros and cons of each device, we hope to help you make a more informed decision. Read on to check out our shortlist and reviews!

Quick Overview – Top 8 Fish Finders for Crappie Fishing

Best Fish Finder for Crappie Fishing Reviews

With so many options to choose from, consumers are always over-thinking which product to opt for. Features, prices, recommendations, and other factors are thought about over and over, causing stress to those who want to partake in this relaxing hobby.

We’re here to take the pressure off – we are going to thoroughly review the 8 top fish finders on the market so that the process of making your choice is as simple as possible.

1. Garmin STRIKER Plus 7cv – Best Tech-Heavy Fish Finder

Although this is the most expensive device on this list, the STRIKER Plus 7cv does boast some impressive features such as in-built Wi-Fi and mapping software. Not to mention, it has been developed by a renowned company in the industry.

This device features a large 7” screen and boasts built-in Wi-Fi with access to the ActiveCaptain app as well as CHIRP sonar.

Another excellent advanced feature is built-in contour mapping, allowing users to create their own maps.

Strengths

Garmin has done a great job with this device since it is sturdy and high-quality. Not only is it waterproof, but it is also lightweight and portable.

The color screen is large and has a high resolution. Additionally, performance is excellent with high power, several different frequencies, and features such as Wi-Fi, GPS, and contour mapping.

Why We Like It

The large 7” screen makes reading easier for anglers as does the sun-readable display. The WVGA color display makes the screen easier to read in bright weather and allows the angler to see a variety of shades.

The 800x480 px resolution makes the screen detailed and clear.

It is suitable for fishing in both shallow and deep drinks of water since it supports various frequencies including 50 kHz, 77 kHz, and 200 kHz.

Both mid and high CHIRP are supported, and ClearVu allows for shallow-water fishing by providing high frequencies like 260 kHz, 455 kHz, and 800 kHz.

It is also lightweight and portable, weighing only 1.7 lbs. It is waterproof with a rating of IPX7 and has 500W power. As such, it is speedy as well as accurate.

Pros

  • Large screen
  • High-resolution colored screen
  • Variety of frequencies
  • GPS, Wi-Fi, contour mapping included

Cons

  • No maps included
  • Very expensive

This device is a great choice for beginners and professionals alike since it has advanced features that other products don’t.

However, it is expensive and does not include maps; this may be a dealbreaker for some buyers.

Also Read: 8 Best Fish Finders Under 500 Reviews in 2020 [#3 Top Pick]

2. Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ – Best Standalone Sonar

Another expensive fish finder, the Deeper Pro+ comes highly recommended by experienced anglers. It is one of the best fish finders on the market.

With no internet required and castable sonar, this is an especially impressive device.

This product claims to be the only fish finder on the market that can create bathymetric maps from the shore. Apart from GPS mapping from the shore, the Deeper Pro+ also has a great casting range and a dual-beam transducer.

Strengths

A major advantage of this fish finder is that it is very versatile and can be used for various types of fishing. It can also be connected to Wi-Fi and to iOS and Android devices for convenience.

Not to mention, it even works without an active internet connection. Therefore, anglers can save data by working offline when needed.

It is also convenient and user-friendly. This fish finder makes it easy for users to scan, target, and even save data for later use.

Why We Like It

The Deeper Pro+ has powerful casting and scanning capabilities – 15 scans/second are sent by the transducer, and the device can cast to 330 ft and scan 260 ft down.

It also has a dual-bream frequency and can be used for both broad and narrow areas at 90 kHz and 290 kHz.

This device is also a great option since it has important features such as GPS, Wi-Fi, and temperature sensors.

Scans and maps can also be saved on the app or to the Cloud, so anglers can mark different areas or return to their favorite spots.

The display is also great since it is detailed, has different color modes, and sensitivity can be adjusted.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • GPS, Wi-Fi included
  • Powerful casting
  • Great scanning
  • Accurate

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Power adapter not included

As a standalone sonar, this is great. However, for the price, some users may want to opt for a built-in screen, if they do not want to use their devices for display.

3. Garmin STRIKER 4 – Best User-Friendly Fish Finder

Made by the renowned brand Garmin, this device is expensive yet less pricey than other similar devices by the brand.

It is a highly rated device which is very popular amongst anglers due to its various features.

This device has a dual-beam transducer and includes CHIRP technology. Additionally, the in-built GPS allows for marking, and the waypoint map helps with easy navigation.

Strengths

This fish finder is portable and can be used in a variety of different vessels – mounts are also included in the kit for users’ convenience.

The display is clear and easy to navigate. Not only is its color, but it also provides high resolution which is made more detailed by CHIRP Technology.

Additionally, several frequencies are included as are features such as GPS, water temperature, and Waypoint Map.

Why We Like It

The screen is not as large as some other fish finders at 3.5”. However, this is compensated by the color display and a clear 480x320px resolution. CHIRP Technology adds to clarity.

With 200W power, this fish finder boasts several different frequencies such as 50 kHz, 77 kHz, and 200 kHz. Mid and High CHIRP frequencies are also included.

This makes for a good variety and is suitable for both shallow- and deep-water fishing. The device is also powerful and can go to 1600 ft depth in freshwater and 750 ft in saltwater.

It is also extremely lightweight at 0.5 lbs. Not to mention, it is portable and comes with two different mounts. Speed can be checked on the screen and the Waypoint Map feature makes navigation easy.

Features such as a built-in flasher and a user-friendly keypad also make this a great product, especially for novices.

Pros

  • Display clarity
  • CHIRP Technology
  • GPS maps included
  • Variety of frequencies
  • Lightweight, portable

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Hard to read in bright sunlight

This is a good option for beginners or smaller boats. Professionals and those with larger vessels may prefer larger screens.

4. Lucky Portable Fish Finder FFC1108-1 – Best Affordable Fish Finder

The Lucky Portable Fish Finder is suitable for a number of different types of fishing. This versatility also comes with an affordable price tag, making this device a favorite amongst anglers.

This affordable fish finder is extremely portable since it is handheld. It also has unique features such as a removable float and a fish alarm. Furthermore, it brags 5 different sensitivity modes.

Strengths

This fish finder is extremely affordable and suitable for all budgets. It is user-friendly and ideal for beginners. That being said, it does not exclude more experienced anglers since it is extremely accurate and versatile.

It is lightweight, portable, and can be used for different types of fishing, making it a very cost-effective product. The screen also provides good visibility.

Furthermore, it has excellent depth reach, a number of sensitivity options, and even offers a 1-year warranty.

Why We Like It

Despite being so small and lightweight (1.1 lbs.), this device is powerful – it can detect up to 328 ft. depth and has a 45-degree angle. It also has a back-lit display to increase visibility and 5 different sensitivity modes.

It is also extremely versatile and can be used for kayak fishing, ice fishing, and even shore fishing. This device is able to differentiate between rocks, sand, and other surfaces. It alerts the user when fish are detected.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Alarm option included
  • Deep scanning capabilities
  • Can differentiate between materials
  • 5 sensitivity modes
  • Back-lit display & User-friendly
  • 1-year warranty
  • Versatile in terms of different types of fishing

Cons

  • Low battery power
  • Small screen

There’s a reason this fish finder is so popular – for such an affordable price, it’s a steal for the quality and features it offers.

In addition to excellent depth, it offers alarms and can be used for several types of fishing. It is ideal for beginners but can also be used by intermediate and advanced anglers.

5. ReelSonar iBobber Wireless Fish Finder – Best Compact Fish Finder

This high-end fish finder is compact and portable. With its unique features and user-friendly design, it is quite a popular choice.

This fish finder brags patented technology for identifying fish, its trip log, and Bluetooth Smart Sync. These unique features definitely make this device stand out from the rest.

Strengths

Designed to be portable, this device is extremely small and does not take up much space.

The wireless device is compatible with iOS and Android devices and can be used to share information, locations, and pictures on social media through Bluetooth Smart.

The free app is user-friendly, boasts an anti-glare setting for visibility in bright and sunny areas, and a high-contrast design for easier reading.

Furthermore, the device is versatile and can be used for different types of fishing. The power and depth make it an excellent choice for all anglers.

Why We Like It

This device can be used in both freshwater and saltwater. It is also compatible with different types of fishing. As such, its versatility ensures that the device provides good value for money, regardless of your fishing preferences.

The free app makes the device easily accessible and user-friendly. It can sync with multiple systems using Bluetooth, including iOS and Android.

Navigation is simple with the iBobber since the trip logs record time, location, and date, allowing anglers to come back to a spot if they want or to mark high-traffic spots.

Users can even record temperature, lure, species of fish, and other information that they want to remember.

Despite being a tiny device, the sonar depth goes up to 135 ft, and the Bluetooth range goes up to 100 ft. In addition to regular sonar, the device can tag and identify different fish as well as differentiate between water structures.

Advanced features like contour mapping and GPS spot mapping also make this an excellent choice.

Pros

  • GPS and contour mapping
  • Powerful with great depth
  • Versatile (in terms of water and types of fishing)
  • Trip log navigation
  • Bluetooth Smart Sync

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • No in-built screen

For those looking for a compact fish finder with advanced features, this is the perfect solution.

6. Venterior VT-FF003 Portable Wired Fish Finder – Best Customizable Fish Finder

In addition to being extremely affordable, this fish finder can be used in different waters and is very versatile.

This fish finder has a variety of settings including 5 different sensitivity modes and a backlight mode.

It also has features such as fish alarms and alerts, can switch between different measurements, and comes with a removable transducer float.

Strengths

The Venterior Portable Fish Finder is affordable but ensures accurate results with its excellent depth range and beam angle.

It has useful features like detection alarms and can differentiate between different materials underwater.

It is small and portable with its versatility allowing for it to be used in many different scenarios.

Additionally, it comes with a 2-year warranty and 24/7 customer support.

Why We Like It

For its size and price, the performance of this device is incredible – not only does its depth range up to 328 ft, but it also has a 45-degree beam angle.

It can differentiate between material underwaters such as weeds, rocks, and sand. It is also able to operate in hot and cold temperatures from -10 C to 45 C.

Visibility is also ensured with a back-lit display, so that it can be read even in bright and sunny weather.

It is very customizable and has different modes for sensitivity, battery, and can even change between units of measurement. More unique features like alerts and fire alarms are also included.

Pros

  • Small and portable
  • Adjustable sensitivity
  • 2-year warranty
  • Includes side-scan adapter and neck strap
  • Great depth range
  • Versatile & Affordable
  • Alert and fish alarm options

Cons

  • Shows location, not the size
  • Extremely cold weather affects accuracy
  • Rough waters affect accuracy

While this fish finder is not suitable for rough weather or for professionals, it is a great option for beginners.

In addition to being extremely affordable, it has an excellent depth range. It is also accurate and has all the necessary features for finding fish.

7. HawkEye FishTrax 1X Fish Finder – Best Rounded Fish Finder

This high-end device has a simple design but boasts a wide range of advanced features, making it an excellent choice for more experienced anglers.

This fish finder features the following special technologies: Fishid Target Depth for adjustable depth, Fishtrax Intelligent Sonar for precise readings, Traxnut Mounting System, VariableZone Temperature Sensor, and EasyTouch programming.

Strengths

With its simple design and user-friendly navigation, this fish finder is suitable for beginners and well intermediate users.

The display lets users optimize the view and visibility so that the display can be viewed at any time.

The transducer is versatile and can be floated or mounted. It is even suitable for side-scanning. The product itself is also lightweight and portable.

Not to mention, this fish finder also has excellent depth range and boasts plenty of advanced features.

Why We Like It

Its display allows for zooming, has LED backlighting for visibility, and is anti-glare for easier viewing in bright conditions.

The device has a depth range of 240 ft and a dual beam-angle. Dual-frequency is also available with 83 kHz and 200 kHz being supported.

The device can function during cold and warm temperatures, from -18 C to 71 C.

We like that the device has many advanced features. These include water temperature targeting, a special software reducing false readings and ensuring precision, auto-targeting, clutter and noise remover, etc.

For targeted fishing, regular sonar data can be replaced with precise fish echoes and depth measurements.

Auto-switching, 10 different sensitivity options, and zoom tracking are other impressive features of this fish finder.

Pros

  • Excellent depth range
  • Advanced features
  • Great visibility
  • Dual-frequency, dual-beam angle
  • Versatile & User-friendly
  • Lightweight, portable
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Small screen

This fish finder is excellent for both beginners and advanced anglers. Professionals may require a bigger screen.

However, apart from that, it is a great investment and offers advanced features that other products lack.

8. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder – Best Budget Fish Finder

Although this is the most affordable device on this list, it does not lack in quality. It is user-friendly and provides a host of features to choose from.

This fish finder brags suitability for various kinds of fishing including ice fishing and kayak fishing, has a waterproof transmitter and has an automatic turn-off feature when there is no reading.

Strengths

The Venterior VT-FF001 is the most affordable device on this list and yet manages to provide a host of interesting features. The device itself is small and portable and can be used for many different types of fishing.

It has an impressive depth range despite its size and provides very accurate readings. It can also work in hot and cold temperatures and is capable of detecting different materials such as sand, weeds, and rocks.

Why We Like It

Not only is this device affordable, but it is also suitable for different types of fishing and can be used in both freshwater and saltwater.

It is easy to use and comes with different settings such as battery options, 5 unique sensitivity levels, a backlight option, and measurement adjustments.

Despite its small size and affordable price, it can hold its own against more expensive devices when it comes to depth range and accuracy.

With a depth range of up to 328 ft. and a 45-degree sensor beam angle, this fish finder provides high-quality readings to users.

Pros

  • Affordable & Versatile
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Excellent depth range and accuracy
  • 5 sensitivity levels
  • Great display visibility

Cons

  • Receiver isn’t waterproof
  • Fish smaller than 10cm cannot be detected
  • Rough weather affects performance

While the accuracy of this device is great for both beginners and advanced anglers, this is ideal for beginners and intermediate users. Advanced users might prefer a larger screen and additional features.

All You Need to Know Before Buying a Fish Finder

Whether you are spending $50 or $500 on a product, your hard-earned money deserves to be spent on a quality product that will do its job properly.

To make sure that you are spending your money wisely, it is imperative to know what you are paying for.

Fish finders can come with various features and in various styles, and these need to be understood for customers to make an informed decision. Read further to learn about the most important features in fish finders.

Best Fish Finder for Crappie Fishing

Screen

The display is how you see the output and is one of the most important features in any fish finder. You need to consider the following factors with regards to the screen:

Screen Size

Ranging from 4 inches to 16 inches, fish finders come in several sizes. Larger screens are preferred but they are also more costly.

Those who are on a budget may opt for smaller screens. Additionally, buyers should make sure that a larger size is not resulting in lower resolution.

Screen Resolution

A higher resolution is also preferable to a lower resolution. However, as with screen size, it comes with a higher price tag.

Since crappie is relatively small fish, they can be confused with fish of similar sizes such as shad.

Higher-resolution screens that have more pixels can make the differences between the two clearer.

The minimum resolution to opt for is 240x160 px, but a higher resolution is preferred for more clarity and detail.

Lighting Features

Features such as glare protection are needed for anglers who frequent sunny areas – however, if anti-glare properties are not included in an otherwise great fish finder, anglers can use objects for shade.

Back-lit screens are a feature to consider if you fish in dreary weather or early in the morning. They are also suitable for those who fish in winter and anglers who may have poor sight.

Black and White vs. Colored Screens

Both black and white and colored displays have their advantages and disadvantages. While black and white displays are cheaper, colored displays are easier to see in bright conditions.

They also allow the user to see different shades. Black and white displays are harder to see in darker weather.

Portability

Best Fish Finder for Crappie

Fixed fish finders are usually more advanced and larger. On the other hand, portable fish finders are lighter, allow anglers to fish in different waters, and can be moved to different boats.

Those with large boats or those who are professional anglers might prefer fixed devices.

Novice and intermediate anglers do not really need extremely advanced and high-tech fish finders, and they may prefer portable devices.

Transducer

Since this is the part of the device that actually sends and receives signals in order to find fish, it is especially important. Both frequency and power should be looked at when evaluating a transducer.

Frequency

A higher frequency results in more detailed images but cannot penetrate deep water. A lower frequency can penetrate into deeper water but results in less detailed images.

If fishing in deep water, frequencies are usually kept under 100kHz with 50 kHz and 83 kHz being the average frequencies.

Fishing in shallow water allows for higher frequencies which can go upwards of 200 kHz.

Compressed High-Intensity Radar Pulse (CHIRP) is a technology that makes it possible to send out many frequencies at the same time, but devices with this technology usually come at higher prices.

Power

Power ratings are usually found in watts.  Power determines speed, depth, and reliability. Higher wattage is preferred to lower wattage – lower wattage is suitable for shallow water but is not ideal for deep water.

GPS and Mapping

While GPS is not necessary, it is an important feature, especially when fishing in larger bodies of water, as it helps with navigation. Anglers can also save frequently visited fishing spots

How to FIND Crappie (What is my Fish Finder showing?)

Power

More advanced features like GPS obviously use up more power than simpler models without GPS.

Fish finders can be hooked up to the boat’s power or can use batteries. Smaller boats usually use battery-operated fish finders to avoid using up too much of the boat battery.

Imaging

The two types of imaging are side imaging and down imaging. Side imaging allows visibility on both sides of the vessel, while down imaging only looks underneath the vessel.

The benefit of side imaging is being able to see a wider area including areas where crappie are potentially taking cover.

Fish Finders for Crappie Fishing (FAQs):

Fish finders are an excellent tool for anglers but can be difficult to navigate, especially if one is a beginner. Here are answers to some common questions to help you on your journey to buy a fish finder that suits your needs.

✅ Why should one buy a fish finder?

Because fish such as crappie move from place to place, especially during different seasons, it can be hard to determine their location.

A fish finder makes this easy by locating different fish, including various species of fish. This device doesn’t just locate fish – it can find bait, underwater structures, and other objects.

Depth, temperature, and material (rock, sand etc.) can also be measured and identified.

Not only does this save anglers’ time but also allows them to navigate the waters more easily, save locations, and make it possible for them to target specific species of fish.

All these advantages have made fish finders popular among both novice and professional anglers.

✅ How does a fish finder locate fish?

A fish finder is a sonar device and uses sound waves to detect fish below the water. The sound wave goes through the water in a conical shape and upon detecting objects, indicates this on the device display.

This includes depth, distance, and objects, thus allowing anglers to find fish, especially certain species of fish such as crappie.

✅ What fish finder features are required for crappie fishing?

Features can vary from model to model and among different brands and price points. Average fish finders can also help you find crappie for fishing.

However, higher quality and more advanced features make this easier. For example, since crappie are a specific size, a higher resolution screen with more detail would allow for a more accurate reading.

So as to not confuse crappie with other similar sized fish. Accuracy, depth, and temperature are also important in locating crappie.

Conclusion

From the 8 shortlisted products, our recommendation would be the Garmin STRIKER Plus 7cv. This is because it includes CHIRP Technology and also has advanced features such as GPS and contour mapping.

All of these are in addition to great depth range and customizable options. Those on a budget don’t need to worry – our more affordable pick is the Lucky Portable Fish Finder FFC1108-1, which offers many similar features.

Hopefully, this article has helped you choose the best fish finder for crappie fishing. No matter which fish finder you opt for, you can’t go wrong with any of our picks!

Last update on 2020-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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