The Best Fish Finder Under 300 Buyer’s Guide 2019

Best Fish Finder Under 300
Best Fish Finder Under 300

There has been an increase in fishing recently. People are more interested to be occasional anglers in the weekend because they have found out fishing to be therapeutic. However, gone are the days of fishing blindly.

Thanks to the digital age, technology has advanced greatly and now we have fish finders that make fishing trips not only easy, but super fun as well. Be careful, to find one of the best fish finder under 300 for those who are running on a budget can be time consuming for some.

That’s exactly why we are here! We’re giving you a detailed guide to finding one of the best GPS fish finder under 300, you don’t have to waste time browsing through websites looking for the right unit anymore.

With our guide, we hope your fishing experience becomes smoother. Let’s get right to it!

How Does a Fish Finder Work?

A fish finder is also known as a sounder. For those who are not familiar with the full meaning of Sonar, it’s Sound Navigation and Ranging. Yes, just like the meaning, a fish finder is specifically designed to search for fish.

Some of the newer units have GPS functions in them along with marine radar and compasses. Not only do they help you to find your way around a lake, river or shallow creeks, they give superb visibility both below and above the water surface. You can also come back to a spot thanks to the GPS function.

As sonar is used to locate objects underwater, and active one sends pulses into the water and wait for the echoes. This helps to paint a picture of what’s underneath your boat. Frequencies matter here a lot too as they can determine the range from infrasonic to ultrasonic.

Key Terms About Fish Finders

Before you buy a fish finder, it’s important to know about some of the essential terms first. Otherwise you’d have no idea about what kind of fish finder you want or if it’s the right one or not.

Color Fish Finders vs Grayscale

There are two types of fish finder – one that comes in color and the other in black and white aka grayscale. Getting the color fish finder will give you a better chance of knowing what’s underwater.

You’ll get a darker color when stronger echoes are returned to the transducer. Not only will the color gives you more depth, but you’ll also be able to determine what type of fish is on your screen.

As for grayscale fish finders, it all depends on the pixels. If you get low pixel counts then, naturally, the resolution would be poor and distorted. However, if the pixel count increases, the resolution will improve as well.

Pixels, Contrast and Screen Resolution

As we mentioned before, the more pixel count your unit offers you, the better resolution you’ll get on your screen. Contrast plays a big factor here as well. It needs to be sharp enough for the pixel quality to be at the optimum level.

Whenever you’re buying a fish finder, make sure to look for one that has maximum levels of both horizontal and vertical pixels on the display.

Display and Screen Sizes

Screens or displays on a fish finder can range from 4” to 10”. Of course, the larger your screen, the more details you’ll be able to see and the more information will be presented to you.

When it comes to displays, you probably need to take a step back and think about it. Whether you want a load of information on your screen during a fishing trip or just enough so that you don’t get overwhelmed. It all depends on your fishing needs. So, make a decision wisely!

Power Levels

As with any product that has an energy source, you need to check the power levels first. Same with a fish finder, you need to consider the power of the sonar frequency.

For example, if your unit has optimal wattage then the sonar waves will be faster and you’ll also get an image more quickly. An optimum power wattage works great at large depths. So, a powerful wattage equals to you getting better and faster quality of results.

However, if you’re using your fish finder on shallow waters, then a low wattage unit will work just fine.

Sonar Frequency

The most important factor is a fish finder is the sonar frequency. A sonar combined with a transducer produces images and other life forms. However, there are different levels of frequency that are used at different times.

This depends on what type of boat you’re using to mount your transducer and where you are fishing.

  • Higher Frequency A higher frequency will produce a great amount of wave cycles per second. This helps to identify smaller fish that usually dwell in shallow depths.
  • Dual Frequency The Dual Frequency has a component made of crystal that enables vibrations from more than one frequency.
  • Lower Frequency A Lower Frequency will give you results with minimum details, but you can identify large fish. The greater range of energy helps to look deep under water.

Transducers and Boats

Every fish finder has a different transducer that has been designed with different cone angles. There are certain transducers that work best on certain types of boats as well.

For example, a fiberglass hull goes perfectly well with an in-hull mount. That’s why transom mount transducers are great for planing hulls that are over 25 feet. Similarly, hull mount transducers work best on sailboats.

An external transducer, however, that sticks out from the hull will need a block accessory in order to aim the sonar beam which will in turn give you the best results.

Transducer cones are available in ranges of 10 to more than 60 degrees. A normal transducer has a range between 16 and 20 degrees angle. When you fish in various depths of water, a 20 degree cone angle transducer is the perfect choice.

Side Imaging

Anything and everything that you can see on either side of your boat will show up on the display of your fish finder. The objects will be bright but will have a dark and shadowy shape to it.

Usually, long shadows mean tall objects and anything present under your boat will be displayed and show up in the water column.

Down Imaging

Down imaging let’s you know what’s directly under your boat. The high frequency waves cut through the water and produces an image that’s crystal clear. It’s like looking down through a glass floor!

Our Top 9 Picks For The Best Fish Finder Under 300 Dollars

Now that we understand how a fish finder works, let’s take a look at some of the reviews of some of the fish finders that are the best under 300!

1. Raymarine Dragonfly 4PRO Sonar

Raymarine E70294-US Dragonfly-4 Pro Sonar/GPS with US C-Map Essentials

Specs Overview:

  • The Raymarine Dragonfly not only gives you optically bonded sharp colors, but it also gives you wide angles with no internal fogging. Comes with a transom mount CHIRP transducer, a high-definition LED backlit display, temperature sensor, and a Micro SD memory card reader for when you need to save some screenshots.
  • It has all the US coastal, rivers and lake maps covered. The wide-spectrum CHIRP DownVision sonar and the secondary CHIRP conventional sonar channel gives you photo-like images and the ability for targeting fish.
  • Not only that, thanks to the Raymarine’s mobile app you can now live stream your sonar data live to your smartphone! You can rewind, save and share the fish you caught with your family and friends on all your favorite social media platforms.

Key Features:

The Dragonfly 4PRO can be considered to be one of the best in the under 300 fish finder category. With the new Wi-Fi feature, and other neat features, it’s established itself on the top of our list. To elaborate more about the features and functions of this product, let’s start with the packaging.

It’s super compact, not to mention portable as well. Works perfectly on kayaks as well. You can have it set up without facing much trouble because of it’s small and compact size. You’d be surprised how many functions and features this device can hold.

Raymarine’s Dragonfly utilizes a transom-mount transducer to kickstart the  dual channel sonars – the wide-spectrum DownVision function and the secondary fish targeting sonar channel. These two functions produces clear and detailed images of the bottom structure and targets fish using a conical beam that lets you see them in full detail.

This fish finder has an impressive bottom tracking ability that goes as deep as 600 feet under water. Its remarkable 72-channel GPS with pointing functions and easy tracking that includes US lakes, coastal and river maps makes it the best GPS fish finder under 300!

The built-in optically bonded high-definition LCD display is pretty awesome. The Dragonfly is resistant to all types of weather and also has anti-fogging properties. The smartphone feature lets you stream your sonar data to not only social media platforms, but to other phones and tablets too.

You can also create custom button charts that gets stored on both your phone and tablet. The lightweight device includes a ball-and-socket mount that can be a bit fragile side, however this unit can work in various custom mount set ups with ease.

Pros:

  • Perfect for kayak fishing trips
  • Multiple features and functions
  • Includes map updating software
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons:

  • Picks up a lot of screen glare
  • Mount can be a little fragile

2. The Helix 5 Fish Finder by Humminbird

Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish Finder

Specs Overview:

  • The Helix 3 fish finder by Humminbird has a 5-inch color WVGA display that lets you see underwater clearly and you also get clear images! We love the CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS sonar.
  • It’s precision and accurate GPS chart plotting function with a built-in Anima cartography allows you to not only see what’s underneath your boat, but also allows you to scan in all modes of frequencies without any hassle.
  • The Micro SD card slot gives you options to store optional maps and also save waypoints.

Key Features:

The Helix 5 Fish Finder by Humminbird exceeds all your expectations. Technologically advanced, this unit comes with the new 2D imaging sonar and dual beam feature. Not only does this fish finder allow you to see the lake bottom more clearly than you have ever seen before, but you can detect where fish and other life forms are at low, medium and high frequencies.

The dual beam feature lets you scan the water and help you detect objects more clearly and accurately than any other fish finding unit out there. Considered to be one of the best in it’s category, the 5 inch widescreen color display is another addition you’ll love.

It’s also equipped with GPS and has a built in Anima cartography. This technology allows you to chart, plan and map super efficiently. You don’t have to plan before a day or two, with this feature you can plan right there on the water.

There are over 40 routes and 50 tracks stored in the unit where you can save up to more than 2500 waypoints. This fish finder is almost like a personal journal of yours. You can store your fishing trip information starting from where you found your fish and what kind of fish it is.

It comes with a transducer and a Micro SD card slot. The SD card slot allows you save waypoints and store optional maps. Did we mention it also comes with a mounting hardware, a power cable and a gimbal mounting bracket?

All in all, this is a one of a kind fish finder which is known to be very accurate and super easy to use.

Pros

  • Reasonable priced
  • Includes multiple functions and features
  • Clear imaging
  • Comes with SD card and PC software
  • Gives you accurate information

Cons

  • Buttons are small

3. Lowrance Elite-4 Fishfinder/Chartplotter

Lowrance 000-11808-001 Elite-4 Fishfinder/Chartplotter with US Basemap 83/200KHz Chirp and 455/800KHz DownScan Transducer

Specs Overview:

  • Lowrance 000-11808-001 Elite-4 Fish finder/Chart plotter with US Base map 83/200KHz CHIRP and 455/800KHz Downscan Transducer
  • Hybrid dual imaging (HDI)
  • Broadband sounder (max. depth 1,000′ with 83/200 kHz element)
  • Includes HDI transducer
  • Built-in GPS antenna plus detailed U.S. map

Key Features:

The Lowrance Elite 4 is another one of our top picks. Perfect for canoes and kayaks, this small unit comes with a wide range of functions and features. The small fish finder comes with a Hybrid Dual Imaging transducer that helps to produce CHIRP technology based sonar images in both broadband and down imaging modes.

You can monitor what the fish are upto with the 4-inch color screen in pretty good resolution. It’s good enough to see game fish along with bait fish. Even the sounding function on this unit can read the bottom levels at 1000 feet!

One of the best gps fish finder, its GPS antenna is built-in and it comes with a full detailed map of the US lakes, rivers and coastal areas. The basic map itself might not be as detailed but it works just well enough to help you look for the fishing holes. You can record these points thanks to the recording function in it.

The waterproof device is built with durable materials. Although the mounting base swivels and vibrates a lot in rough water, it’s interface is pretty unique. The buttons are laid out like they would be on a phone.

This is a pretty good feature because not only is it easy to get used to, it’s also ideal for one-handed operation. The portability of this unit makes it great for ice fishing as well.

Pros

  • Easy to operate
  • GPS is accurate
  • Has basic maps included
  • Button layout is easy to use
  • User friendly interface

Cons

  • Difficult to see small fish arches

4. Echomap Chirp 43CV by Garmin

Garmin Echomap Chirp 43Cv with transducer, 010-01796-01

Specs Overview:

  • Clearer Scanning Sonar – Gives you a clearer picture about what’s underneath and around your boat. The high frequency gives a greater quality of images showing detailed objects, fish and structures. Has built-in 500 wattage of power.
  • CHIRP Sonar – Produces a wide range of detailed information and can create crisp fish arches with better target separation function.
  • Preloaded LakeVu HD maps cover 17,000 total lakes, of which 13,000 are HD lakes with 1-foot contours shore to shore.
  • Best-in-class Internal 5 Hz GPS – Updates the position and heading 5 times per second to make the marking and returning to saved waypoints more accurately.

Key Features:

Another great unit from the Garmin series is the Echomap CHIRP 43CV. It has easily made it into our list. Built around the previous CV20 transducer, it produces CHIRP and CHIRPvu signals.

Both of these modes can run in 3 different types of frequencies under any conditions for maximum resolution. These signals and frequencies give you near perfect images you’ve probably heard about by now.

This powerful unit has a depth range of over 2,000 feet in freshwater and a 1,000 feet in saltwater. The functions include graphs, water temperature log, ability to record or rewind, PC interface software and a bottom lock mode that shows you the scan from the bottom and all the way to the surface!

The GPS on this device can also be called one of the best GPS fish finder because of how accurate it is. Not only that, it’s compatible with other products from Garmin. You can transfer your previously saved data onto this fish finder without so much as a hassle. Speaking of which, one unique feature on this unit is the Quickdraw feature. It lets you create your own personalized maps in HD right on the screen.

You can save or share them with your other fishing buddies or you can upload them on the Garmin Connect social software as well. The unit also has preloaded maps that cover over 15000+ of the US rivers, lakes and reservoirs. What’s even better is that the MicroSD slot lets you upload, store and save even more!

The best thing about this fish finder is its display. The 4.3-inch screen comes with extra visibility and it’s not so much bigger than your hand. The resolution is amazing and the buttons are also pretty easy to use as well. It’s also super easy to install and remove, although the mounting could have had a swivel function. Included are both transom and trolling motor mounts.

Pros

  • Extra functions and features
  • Display has extra screen space
  • Superb image quality
  • MicroSD slot
  • Preloaded maps

Cons

  • Buttons are a bit too close together
  • Mount has no swivel function

5. Lowrance Hook-4 Sonar Downscan Fishfinder

Lowrance 000-12647-001 Hook-4 Sonar/GPS Mid/High/Downscan Fishfinder

Specs Overview:

  • Lowrance Hook-4 comes with Sonar, GPS and Mid, high, Downscan Fishfinder.
  • The CHIRP sonar plus downs can imaging power makes this fish finder one of the best in its class combined with providing you with the best possible idea about what’s beneath your boat. The Downscan overlay can downscan imaging onto CHIRP sonar.
  • The advanced signal processing, aka, ASP reduces the need for you to manually adjust settings to see fish, structure & bottom detail more clearly. You can track back to review recorded sonar history including structure, transitions or fish targets and also pinpoint locations as well.

Key Features:

The Hook-4 fish finder is another unit that’s full of features packed into a compact size. The unit is perfect for both small boats, can even work as a bow unit for running the trolling motor on big boats or you can set it up on a kayak as well.

The CHIRP and down-scanning sonar feature could be one of the cutting edge feature one can see on a fish finder this size. Overlay Technology is another interesting feature that combines the images you get from the DownScan with the CHIRP sonar readouts.

You can check out all the details thanks to the tri-split screen function. That’s a lot going on for a display that’s only 4inches in screen size. The display is very clear and colorful. That being said, you’ll definitely need glasses to see what’s going on sometimes.

However, the large digit display mode works too and you don’t always have to keep pushing buttons thanks to the advanced signal processing capability. It works just like autofocus and the buttons are displayed in a way that the unit can be used with using just one hand! Overall, the buttons feel naturally placed.

The built in GPS is super accurate and comes with preloaded maps of over 3000 US rivers, lakes and the coastline out to 1000 feet. This fish finder can run on several other chart upgrades thanks to the MicroSD slot feature. You can also rewind, review and use pre-set page layouts to your advantage.

Pros

  • Lots of functions and features
  • One-thumb page scrolling and button operation
  • Lowrance warranty
  • Accurate GPS

Cons

  • Tri-split screen feels congested
  • Transducer relies on two screws

6. Garmin STRIKER 5cv

Garmin STRIKER 5cv with transducer, 010-01807-00

Specs Overview:

  • Frequency = 50/77/200 kHz
  • Included Transducer = NONE
  • Resolution (VxH) = 800 x 480
  • Screen Size = 5″
  • Speed/Temp = Temp Only

Key Features:

Another one from the Garmin manufacturers comes The Garmin STRIKER. This fish finder is used by both professionals and occasional weekend fishermen. The STRIKER 5cv is known for it’s screen size options that comes with 4, 5 and 7 inch making it amongst the best below 300. You can choose either one!

The mounting is very traditional, and if you’re worried about the weight, don’t. They are very light and compact. The portability kit helps to keep your fish finder protected if you’re on ice or moving between one boat to another.

Unlike the other models, the 5cv has a more powerful sonar and a high resolution display that’s also waterproof. It has a nice balance between the many functions and features it has with the pricing. The transducer puts out a signal in the 70/200 kHz range and it has a broader frequency sweeping range instead of just the single one.

It interprets every information individually and gives you crisp and clear fish arches and is much better at separating targets as well. In the same transducer, integrated is the ClearVu scanning sonar that gives you a wide angled view of what’s beneath your boat in crystal clear photographic precision.

The high-sensitive GPS allows you to mark fishing holes and track locations you might want to return to. The bottom lock setting shows you the unit’s return from the bottom to the surface. The coolest feature on this fish finder is a A-scope that gives a real-time view of type of fish that passes through the transducer.

It’s super easy to remove and install and is easily one of the best GPS fish finder under 300! A high-sensitivity GPS lets you track your location and mark fishing holes for later return.

Pros

  • Screen size is generous
  • Compact and lightweight
  • A-scope moving fish tracking
  • Split-screen function

Cons

  • No maps feature

7. The Helix 5 DI Fish Finder by Hummingbird

Humminbird 409620-1 Helix 5 DI Fish Finder with Down-Imaging and GPS

Specs Overview:

  • The Humminbird HELIX 5 DI comes with GPS Combo, cool temperature features and a brilliant 800H x 480V, 5″ 256 color display with backlight.
  • Down Imaging and Dual Beam Plus sonar with 4000 watts PTP power output. The Internal GPS Chartplotting with built-in UniMap cartography and a micro SD card slot for optional maps allows you to save waypoints along with a gimbal mounting system.
  • Maximize your angling experience with the Humminbird HELIX 5 DI GPS fishfinder GPS system.

Key Features:

Another Fish Finder which is best under 300, the Humminbird Helix 5DI has included down imaging technology. That’s right, the high-frequency sonar feature is guaranteed to give you life-like views of what’s under your boat.

Whether it’s fish-holding, underwater structures, pile of rocks or pieces of timber, the SwitchFire view on the split-screen feature shows you all there is to see. We will admit, it’s a pretty fun unit to play around with and see things that you probably might have never seen using another fish finder ever before.

Those who are big down-imaging fans, this unit works down till 3500 feet underwater. It’s also the full depth range of the fish finder. You can view what your unit finds on the well backlit 5 inch LCD display in full color and high resolution.

Other than that, for those who like the traditional feel of the grayscale can switch to a 16-bit grayscale feature any time they want. The DualBeam PLUS sonar comes with 4 cone sizes that gives you bottom coverage for up to 16, 28, 45 and 75 degrees.

Other than the useful features mentioned like real time sonar, selective fish ID and the large digit view, it can support multiple languages as well. It also comes with a cable that lets you connect the unit to a PC that you need to buy separately.

Pros

  • Down-imaging snap shots
  • Bright, colorful display
  • Easy to learn the interface
  • Multiple language supporting feature
  • Friendly interface

Cons

  • SD card and PC kit not included
  • Buttons are hard to press with gloves on

8. The Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+

Deeper ITGAM0303 Smart Fish Finder PRO+

Specs Overview:

  • Casts up to 330ft and scans down to 260ft.
  • Dual beam sonar frequency for scanning overall areas and pinpointing fish.
  • Built-in GPS for creating bathymetric maps from the shore.
  • Generates its own Wi-Fi signal to connect.
  • Ice Fishing mode with traditional flasher display and 2D vertical zoom. Handles temperatures as low as -4F.
  • Create bathymetric maps when trolling and maps every ice hole when ice fishing.

Key Features:

The Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ is a black ball that’s 2.55 inches in size. Don't let its size fool you, this small fish finder has lots of amazing features and functions in it and it has made it into our list.

This pocket friendly unit uses Wi-Fi instead of bluetooth and it also has GPS function that runs in various different modes such as ice fishing, boats, standards and onshore modes.

You can use your smartphone or tablet to view the images thanks to the Deeper app available. You can also transfer the data onto a PC as well. The best feature possibly is the power. After you cast the unit out and reel it back over several multiple paths, the fish finder is able to create a map of the bottom.

It’s a pretty neat feature. The signal can extend far enough as 330 feet, and you can even cast it farther and let it flow with the current as well. The depth capacity ranges down to over 200 feet and it also has a boat mode bottom function too! The dual beam sonar allows you to cover large areas and pinpoints fish using a narrow beam.

It has a -5 inch target separation ability and can outperform even some of the products mentioned in this article with great ease. The mounting is super simple, you can attach it to a small boat or kayak pretty easily. However, you can attach it to a line and let it drift on the side when you’re still fishing. The battery life is known to last for 5 hours of continuous use and can be used to charge via a USB cable.

For still fishing, the unit can be attached to a line and allowed to drift on the side you are fishing from. Battery life is around 5.5 hours of continuous use. It charges via USB cable so recharge from a vehicle or boat cigarette lighter is possible. The Sonar PRO+ is a go-anywhere fish finder that is perfect for kayaking and ice fishing, and it opens a whole new world for the bank and jetty fisherman.

Pros

  • Amazing features
  • Small in size
  • Fun to use
  • Easily portable

Cons

  • Battery life is limited to 6 months
  • Has no maps feature

9. The Micro 5c Underwater Camera by Aqua-Vu

Aqua-Vu AV Micro 5c Underwater Camera

Specs Overview:

  • High-resolution 5-inch color LCD.
  • Auto IR Lighting for dark and dirty water viewing along.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • 50 feet of cable that wraps neatly around.
  • internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides up to 8 hours of run time.
  • Fits Easily in Pocket.

Key Features:

The Micro 5c Underwater Camera by Aqua-Vu has a 5inch color LCD display that also features a high-resolution. This neat little fish finder has enhanced color camera optics and a 50 foot cable that can wrap around an integrated cable management system with ease.

This unit also has auto IR lighting viewing for when you are in dirty and dark water. Not only that, the best feature is hands down the rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can provide run time up to more than 7 hours. It also comes with a charger included, of course.

The super lightweight and portable can easily fit into your jacket pocket. This will surely change your fishing trip into an adventure.

Pros

  • Fits into pockets
  • Lightweight
  • Bigger display
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Can’t be mounted
  • Poor visibility during daytime

How To Get a Better Performance

Getting the best performance out of one of the fish finders that is the best under 300 is not only a smart move, but it also saves you a lot of time. Let’s take a look at some of the basic tips you can follow to get a better performance!

Registering the Unit

Before you set out on a fishing trip with your new fish finder, it’s crucial you register your unit first. It’s a very easy process, all you have to do is go on the manufacturer’s website online and register the fish finder.

Registering the fish finder lets you download the latest software and update your unit. It’s very important your keep your device updated.

Make Sure to Have a Steady Power

Battery life is just as vital. Your transducer will produce better images with the help of a good battery. However, the power needs to stabilize first. Otherwise you’ll face interruptions with the quality of the image and not only that, your sonar unit could face all sorts of problems as well.

Positioning the Transducer Location

The position of your transducer is directly connected with being able to give you a clear image. If your transducer is positioned in the wrong location, you’ll probably get a distorted or unclear image.

When you’re installing the transducer always make sure it’s set up correctly.

Making sure it’s in the right position and on the correct angle on transom can make a huge difference. You can place the transducer in a way so that it glides directly over the surface of the water.

Types of Fish Finders

There’s no denying of the fact that there are more than one type of fish finder out there. If you’re someone who has no idea about the different types of fish finders out there, then let us help you get to know about the various features and functions each type has!

The Standalone Fish Finder

The Standalone fish finder is possibly the right choice for those who have an ordinary sized boat and for those who like to fish on lakes and creeks. The economical fish finder gives you a great opportunity to scout for what’s around and underneath you when you are out fishing.

The GPS Combo and Networked Fish Finder

The GSP and Networked fish finder are both data friendly. They work great on any medium sized boats and are perfect for those who want navigation on their trips.

The GPS and sonar are displayed on the screen together, but you can choose to use and see them individually as well. Meanwhile the Networked fish finder comes with the whole works. Starting from video, radar, an XM radio to GPS, it has it all!

The CHIRP (Broadband)

The CHIRP broadband fish finder gives off much lengthier pulses. They can help to generate up to 50 times more pulse energy than any normal fish finder. The pulses that it creates surges through the water at different frequencies.

This enables you to get images that are clear and superby greater in detail.

The Portable

The portable fish finder was made for the times when you’re on a fishing camping trip. It’s super easy to transport and it comes with a transducer, a mounting part, a display unit and a battery. You also get a nifty case too to carry the fish finder in.

The latest models of the portable fish finder are now known as castables. These units are actually able to float on the water and can be controlled by an app on your smartphone or via bluetooth or Wi-Fi!

Technology impresses us every day.

The Ice Fish Finder

Last but not the least - the Ice fish finder. These units mostly use flashers and gives you a graph about what might be happening below you. The readings you get will let you know that there are life forms below you and these fish finders can be operated by just one hand as well. There are some units that show a real-time view.

Frequent Methods Used in Reading Fish Finders

There are more than a few ways you can read your fish finder. If you’re not familiar with those, take a look at our list of methods that may be of help to you on your next fishing trip!

Depth Sensors

Depth sensors are usually displayed in both feet and meters. However, the accuracy of the reading totally depends on the unit you’re using. The sensor usually gives you a clear indication on the types of fish that are present in the area you are. You can find depth sensors quite often available on transducer components.

Speed Sensors

If you thought speed didn’t play a vital role when it comes to using a fish finder, think again! It’s an important aspect, so you’d do better to keep a note of your speed at all times during your fishing expeditions.

The speed sensor has a connection with sonar waves. Keep in mind, some units don’t do well at higher rates of speed. This is because of how the sonar waves are being emitted. Test out the fish finder at different speeds and make a note of the quality of the imaging.

How to Read the Display

Reading the display is an important factor when it comes to using one of the best fish finder under 300. For those of you who are new to using a fish finder, information that’s displayed on your screen is read from right to left.

Your recent images are also displayed on the far right side of the screen. Similarly, dark colors and thick lines indicate there is a strong echo being emitted and that there are hard structure beneath your boat.

Some of the recent units can convert raw images into fish icons using new technologies, but there are some which show you the raw images and sonar waves directly.

For you to completely get the hang of it, to test out your fish finder several times. Make notes about what you see for future references like at what the depth was when you found a fish.

The Chartplotter Tool

The Chartplotter tool is a marvelous tool where it helps you to keep track of where you need to go and where you are currently located. It will also give you the structural composition of what’s underneath your boat and the depth of the water as well.

This is a great tool for keeping track of fishing hotspots. Every time you head out to one of these spots, the chartplotter helps you to plot a course and create trails around dangerous underwater foundations.

The chartplotter also lets you save GPS coordinates of an area you looked at or fished at. It’s a pretty neat tool to have aboard with you on your trips.

Zoom In For a Better Look!

A zooming element comes in super handy when you’re fishing in shallow waters. You zoom in, take a look at the final 10 feet of water and take a photo of the underwater structures of the area.

You’ll get a great idea about the type of fish and get to know about the different schools of fish that reside in both hot and cold air pockets. However, this tool doesn’t work in a large depth of water.

Also, never use high frequencies in water that are extremely thick with algae. Not only will you get false readings, but your display will be too full of the readings and it will definitely lead to a bad fishing experience.

Things You Need To Consider

Buying a fish finder can turn out to be difficult what with all the new and different models being available on the market these days. That being said, here are a few things you need to look out for when you’re buying a fish finder.

​1. Transducers

A transducer transmits and submerges sonar waves. There are different types of transducers available on units for different types of fishing expeditions.

For example, fishing on the ocean will require you to have a transducer that transmits deep enough into the ocean. Similarly, smaller fishermen use transducers that transmits waves at greater angle. It all depends on the type of angler you are.

Many of the fish finders that is best below 300 uses transducers that work on various frequencies. However you might need to use more than one angle finder to help assist you when the region around you is thick.

2.​ The Cone Angle and Frequencies

The cone angle is used to indicate how big the net of a flag will be when it’s sent from the bottom of your boat and into the water. Some fish finders can be as lean as 9 degrees or be wide and go over 50 degrees.

There are some cone angles that are more than 10-20 degrees. These are somehow usually ruled out. It depends on the region you’re covering.

The complex the frequency is on your unit, chances are the more point of interests will be relayed to your display.

As we mentioned before, higher frequencies give best results in shallow waters and deep-water expeditions require lower frequencies. On most fish finders, the frequency can range from 50-200 kHz.

​3. Displays and Screens

Gone are the days of using a grayscale colored fish finder. Nowadays, color displays are taking over the fish finder market and it couldn’t get any better. The important thing is that the focus is so much clearer than it would’ve been on a grayscale.

Remember to take the measurements of the screen when you’re buying a color fish finder. Resolution is highly important as well. Large resolution means you’ll get clear views of how the underwater foundations are beneath your boat.

Screens that have high resolution won’t confuse you as much as the grayscale used to do. Forget the days of glitches, dark shadows, say hello to fishing with ease!

​5. Power and GPS Functions

Power and GPS functions are two very important aspects of a fish finder. The power can decide how fast your sonar works. The higher the wattage, the faster your sonar will function and you’ll get better quality of pictures. A fish finder can measure power up to over 400 feet at 100 watts.

Since many units uses different frequencies, you’d do well to invest in a fish finder that has a high wattage of power. Now, let’s talk about GPS functions. Any seasoned angler can tell you how important GPS functions are in a fish finder.

GPS include fish finders lets you save waypoints where you might have fished before. You can also find other zones that cross your waypoint or the are where you fish regularly as well.

6. Scanning

There are two ways to scan with a fish finder - using a signal or doing a down sweep. The ones that use down sweeping are very powerful, however they ignore the angles that are not directly beneath them.

Signal, on the other hand, gives you huge measurements of water but they don’t work well on deep waters. Recently, there has been a new and improved innovation that lets you use both these types of scanners. You get the best of both worlds!

7. Portability

Portability is extremely useful when it comes to fish finders. You can pack them up in a case and travel with it with ease. Whether it's on a kayak or a boat, a portable unit can be used anytime under any circumstances.

You can just throw the transducer into the water and check out the results directly on your phone, tablet or on the portable display of a fish finder. Investing in a portable fish finder will make your fishing trips and your life so much easier! They can also be used on oceans and also in lakes or rivers as well.

8. Design and Durability

Design doesn’t really play much of a role when it comes to fish finders. It’s the condition and the durability of the unit that matters. However, in terms of design, it shouldn’t be too complicated to mount a fish finder on your boat.

A waterproof and durable unit is preferred more because they can withstand all kinds of weather conditions. ​so, make sure the fish finder you buy is waterproof and can consume saltwater as well.

9. Be wary of Prices

Now, we’re all aware of the fact that there is no use buying a cheap fish finder just to save money. If you’re going to invest in a unit that will make your fishing trips easy and smooth, then it’s best to do some research about what the unit is offering you.

Make sure it checks all the boxes in your list of things you want before you worry about the price.

Sure, there are fish finders that are super expensive and they don’t give the proper service, you need to be careful about these as well. Reading up on the buyer’s reviews can be of great help. Do your research well and we hope you end up with the fish finder that is undoubtedly the best within you 300 range!

Conclusion

In conclusion, we hope this article helps you to find one of the best fish finder under 300. We also hope you’ve learned a great deal about fish finder, how they work and how easy your fishing trips will be from now on.

Whether you end up buying a super expensive unit or a cheap one, make sure it has all the accessories and functions you’re looking for in a fish finder. With that being said, have a safe fishing trip and let us know in the comments about your experience with a fish finder!

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