A depth finder device works using sonar that is designed to find fish. Newer versions of fishfinder devices generally include GPS navigation systems, but you can also purchase GPS devices separately. Many of these devices also include features that allow you to save your favorite fishing spots and find new potential fishing spots automatically.
A boat GPS can be purchased as part of a finder combo or separately. GPS devices not only provide co-ordinates and direction, but can navigate you to different locations. A number of these devices also include effective mapping functionality to enhance your fishing experience. Although you may only be aware of the Garmin fish finder or Lowrance depth finder devices, there are several others to consider. Learn about deeper fish finder options in the sections outlined below.
What is a boat GPS?
A boat GPS is a small, lightweight, handheld device that provides mapping functionality, simple navigation and GPS coordinates. In certain scenarios, such as if you ever became lost, or were caught in a storm, this device could become a lifesaver. In addition to included safety features, GPS devices commonly allow you to add locations, such as campsites, fishing docks and your favorite fishing spots. Utilizing such features, can help you to quickly move to saved areas, as well as discover new potential fishing spots. Boat GPS offer benefits such as:
- Directions and GPS coordinates.
- The ability to save checkpoints in and out of the water.
- The ability to find new fishing spots automatically.
- Additional features, such as alarm clocks, calendars, watches, tide information and ideal fishing days.
You may also want to consider a fish finder GPS combo device if you are considering the purchase of a GPS device, as combo devices include several additional features.
What is a fishfinder?
A fish finder is an invaluable tool to any avid fishermen. These lightweight, handheld devices use a type of sonar to measure depth and find fish using a type of sonar called a sounder. The use of a sounder allows the device to use sound pulses within the water, in order to paint a picture of objects and aquatic life of which the sound bounces off, such as a school of fish or heavy weed lines.
GPS depth finders primarily use sonar in a downward trajectory, while other devices scan up to 240 feet on each side. Some devices utilize a combination of both types of sonar technologies. The type of finder that may be best for you will likely depend on the type of saltwater fish you would like to catch. For example, if catching bottom feeders, you may find a device that utilizes sonar in a downward trajectory more useful.
Finding the Best Fish Finder GPS Combo
If you are interested in a fish finder or GPS combo device, it is important to review the common features that may be important to you, depending on the fish that you intend to catch, the time that you intend to fish and any personal preferences that you may have. This can help you to narrow down the features that you would like to have, which will assist you when comparing the prices of the best devices.
Display and Screen Sizes
Fishfinders come in a variety of sizes, but screen size is generally one of the most important features of these devices. The larger the screen and display, the more that you will generally be able to see on your radar. Additionally, brightness adjustment options and LCD displays can be key when utilizing the device, especially during early-morning or late-night fishing.
If you are fishing on a particularly bright day, it can become difficult to see the display fishfinder screen without the proper glare protection on a device. While newer devices commonly feature glare-resistant screens, you can get by with an older device by purchasing special LCD films that cut out glare when applied. Some devices also allow you to adjust a screen’s brightness and contrast.
Note: Glare protection is especially important if you are seeking to purchase a kayak fish finder, since you will need to be able to see as efficiently as possible without any water coverage available to you.
Storage and Connection Options
If you have a boat GPS or finder combo, you will need to ensure that the device you purchase has adequate storage and connection capabilities. By doing so, you can ensure that you have more than enough storage to save all of your waypoints and check points, as well as any additional maps or updates that your GPS device may need. Alternatively, you can find a device that is capable of using an SD card, should you ultimately need more space.
For a GPS to receive proper navigation, it must be supported by at least 12 satellites. While most GPS devices meet this minimum requirement, it is worth knowing that the more satellites a GPS is supported by, the more accurate your device will be.
Fish Finder Reviews and Suggestions
If interested in a fish finder GPS combo, it is worth taking a look at the devices that have garnished the most positive reviews from consumers, in order to narrow down your selection. Each device includes numerous features, and is available for a different price tag, so it is worth taking the time to review each one. Consider the:
- Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 93sv Sonar/GPS Chartplotter Combo. This Garmin depth finder features multiple types of scanning sonars, Wi-Fi and 17,000 downloadable maps of knowing fishing areas. The display is a full color, 9-inch, 400 x 800 screen that can be clearly read in bright sunlight.
- Hummingbird Helix 12 CHIRP Sonar/GPS Chartplotter Combo. If searching for one of the best fish finder GPS combos, this device offers numerous features, over a 12-inch display and a sonar system, that allows you to see depths of up to 1,500 feet. While costly, this device has an incredible 3-D map and features Selective Fish ID+ features for extra advantages.
If you would like a fish finder or GPS device, but do not want to fork over the kind of cash that the very best devices may require, you may benefit from a more basic-to-moderate device, such as the:
- Garmin STRIKER 4 CHIRP Sonar/GPS Fishfinder Combo. This Garmin sonar device boasts a color display, high-sensitivity GPS and a waypoint map. The device is handheld and lightweight, making it perfect for on-the-go fishing trips or lengthy days out on the water.
- ReelSonar iBobber Portable Sonar Fish Finder. This device utilizes an app in order to display the result of sonars up to 100 feet on your smartphone. Additionally, the device creates detailed logs of your fishing trips, including the amount of fish you caught.
Taking Advantage of a Fish Finder App
If you are considering the purchase of a fish finder, GPS or a GPS combo device, you may also want to consider installing an app on your smartphone device that can boost your overall fishing experience. Consider:
- Deeper: Smart Fish Finder App. Available for both iOS and Android devices, this app provides you with current weather conditions, moon phases and a fishing log that can be utilized for large catches. To utilize sonar display capabilities, you must purchase the Deeper-Smart fishfinder electronic device.
- Big Fish Finder App. Available on iOS devices, this free fishing app allows you to take pictures of your catch to share with friends, as well as mark preferred fishing holes. The app also informs users of any notes or knowledge that other fishermen may have left regarding specific areas or fish species. Current weather and water conditions are also displayed.