Best Fish Finder Under $300

Last Updated: November 18th, 2019

Fish finders are a valued addition to lake and sea fishing. Being able to see underwater structure, depth changes and if fish are down there saves you a lot of guesswork and time working out where they might be. There’s quite a lot of different ones to choose from and they can be very expensive. Here we have put together the best fishfinders under $300.

 

OUR TOP PICKS

Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder , Black
Humminbird HELIX 5 Fish Finder
  • Great screen
  • Good electronics
See On Amazon →
Venterior Handheld Fish Finder, Portable Fishfinder Fish Depth Finder with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display
Venterior Handheld Fish Finder
  • Great value
  • Portable
See On Amazon →
Humminbird 410150-1 PIRANHAMAX 4 Fish Finder,Black
Humminbird 410150-1 PiranhaMAX 4 Fish Finder
  • Portable
  • Easy to install
See On Amazon →
Lowrance HOOK2 5X - 5-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer and GPS Plotter (000-14016-001)
Lowrance HOOK2 5X
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to use
See On Amazon →
JOYWEE FF688C 3.5' Phiradar Color LCD Boat Fish Finder 200KHz/83KHz Dual Sonar Frequency 300M Detection Muti-Language Auto Zoom
Phiradar Color LCD Boat Fish Finder
  • Good value
  • Easy to use
See On Amazon →
Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam transducer and Protective Cover, 4 inch Screen 010-01870-00
Garmin Striker Plus 4
  • GPS
  • Split screen
See On Amazon →
HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer and US Inland Lake Maps Installed
Lowrance HOOK2 5
  • Easy to use
  • Wide Sonar
See On Amazon →
HOOK2 4X - 4-inch Fish Finder with Bullet Skimmer Transducer
Lowrance HOOK2 4X
  • Great value
  • Easy to use
See On Amazon →


Humminbird HELIX 5 Fish Finder

Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder , Black

This is a great fish finder for every environment, whether it’s salt or freshwater. If you want to see fish clearly, this is a good place to start. This unit has great features that allow you to see exactly what you want.

SwitchFire mode allows you to control how much detail comes up on the screen. The max display mode shows you every detail down there, from fish to structure and thermoclines. The clear mode shows the same but in a lot less detail.

It comes with a dual-beam option, allowing you to opt for a wide beam to cover a greater search area or a narrow beam, so you can focus in on a particular spot. DualBeam Plus lets you combine the two beams for even more detail.

It has CHIRP included, which means it scans the water for fish like a radio scans the airwaves,  through covering a wide range of frequencies. It will make more accurate images of the fish, bottom, and structure.

This unit comes with a 5-Inch Color WVGA Display, transducer, internal GPS chart plotting, a micros SD card to save waypoints on and add maps as well as all the cabling and mounts for installation. 

Pros

  • Great screen
  • Good electronics
  • Easy to install
  • High detail
  • Works while moving
  • CHIRP Sonar
  • GPS

Cons

  • Plastic clips can break, get the metal ones
  • Technical, takes time to learn
  • Expensive
See On Amazon

Venterior Handheld Fish Finder

Venterior Handheld Fish Finder, Portable Fishfinder Fish Depth Finder with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display

This is a handy little fish finder for an amazing price. It is not going to show you all the detail in the world, but it will show you the depth, fish, and structure. It goes from 1-100m although some say the unit stops working at around 30m. It will not read on a mud bottom as it needs solid ground to get the signal back.

The transducer comes on a 25ft cable and with a float, making it portable. It does not need to be mounted, you can use this fish finder anywhere, from on a kayak, boat or at a pier.

It has some useful features and you can change the unit of measure. The display screen is not waterproof though, so make sure you have it in a dry bag. It is covered by 2 years warranty and is really simple to use.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Portable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • The display unit is not waterproof
  • Does not go to 100m
  • Low detail
See On Amazon

Humminbird 410150-1 PiranhaMAX 4 Fish Finder

Humminbird 410150-1 PIRANHAMAX 4 Fish Finder,Black

A great portable option from Hummingbird. This unit is perfect for a small boat or a kayak. It gives great detail of the bottom and fish, while the fish alarm keeps you on your toes. You can set the alarm so it won’t go off for any tiddler.

It comes with dual-beam, so you can choose to look at a wide area or focus in. The screen is clear, in color and is a 4.3″ LCD display, perfect for portability. It also has a tilt and swivel mount, so you can quikcly adjust your angle.

The transducer comes with a suction cup to mount it with, but it can pop off sometimes while moving and gives a depth of up to 600ft depending on what frequency you’re on.

There no GPS with this one, it is pure sonar.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Easy to install
  • Clear screen
  • Good Value
  • Fish alarm feature

Cons

  • No GPS
  • Transducer mount can pop
See On Amazon

Lowrance HOOK2 5X

Lowrance HOOK2 5X - 5-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer and GPS Plotter (000-14016-001)

This fish finder is not portable and is made to be mounted. It comes with a 5″ or 7″ color screen which can be split to show sonar and GPS, or the two sonar options. The sonar is a wide-angle CHIRP sonar, giving you a lot of coverage. You can choose to view straight down or wide on an arc or see both in the split-screen mode. It auto-tunes so you won’t have to configure it and can spend more time fishing instead of fiddling.

The transducer is easy to mount and can go on the hull, trolling motor or through a scupper hole. The GPS is very basic, it does not come with maps but you can add waypoints, navigate and follow your old routes.

It does have some power issues, in some circumstances, there are some complaints that the unit will not connect or will keep going on and off.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to use
  • Split screen
  • CHIRP sonar
  • GPS

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Maps not included
  • Power issues
See On Amazon

Phiradar Color LCD Boat Fish Finder

JOYWEE FF688C 3.5' Phiradar Color LCD Boat Fish Finder 200KHz/83KHz Dual Sonar Frequency 300M Detection Muti-Language Auto Zoom

This a great little fish finder at a good price. It is really simple to use and will get the job done. It will pick up the bottom no matter the type, show you contours, fish size, water temperature, and depth. It reads from 1.8 to 984ft, which is quite deep, more than you will probably need unless you are offshore. 

It comes with some great added features like fish and depth alarms, you can change you depth units to meters or feet, and it has both auto and manual zoom, which are easy to switch between. It also includes anti-interference which is really useful in grassy lakes or weedy areas.

The screen is in color but it’s small at 3.5″. There is no GPS included and you will need to wire it directly into your boat’s electronics. It may look small but it’s not portable.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Easy to use
  • Dual-beam sonar
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • Small screen
  • No GPS
See On Amazon

Garmin Striker Plus 4

Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam transducer and Protective Cover, 4 inch Screen 010-01870-00

This fish finder is simple but effective. It comes with a dual-beam transducer and Chirp sonar, giving you crystal images and great target separation. The contours on the bottom become more visible, even when you are moving fast and signal noise can be suppressed at greater depths for a timely interpretation of what’s below.

The built-in GPS keeps your position no matter where you are and you can mark waypoints, create routes and see your speed. It also allows you to map the contours, creating your own personal map of where you have been.

The screen is built for the sun, is a little small at 4.3″ and also offers a split-screen option.

Pros

  • GPS
  • Split screen
  • Mapping option
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to install
  • CHIRP sonar
  • Good value

Cons

  • Small screen
See On Amazon

Lowrance HOOK2 5

HOOK2 5 - 5-inch Fish Finder with SplitShot Transducer and US Inland Lake Maps Installed

Another good fish finder from Lowrance. This one has some extra features than others though. It is super simple to set up with the auto-tuning and the transducer can be mounted in the usual places. Once it’s plugged in, it works it out all by itself and then you get to play with the user-friendly screen which is easy to navigate.

The transducer comes with both splitshot and chirp sonar, giving you the best of both down scan and a wide arc view. Great for searching and focussing down on a point.

GPS is included and it comes with maps that can be upgradeable. It comes preloaded with 1-foot contours in 3000 US lakes and standard coverage of another 9000. To upgrade this, you can use the SD card slot to update or to add new maps if you want to.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Wide Sonar
  • GPS
  • Maps included
  • Upgradeable
  • Auto-tuning

Cons

  • Expensive
See On Amazon

Lowrance HOOK2 4X

HOOK2 4X - 4-inch Fish Finder with Bullet Skimmer Transducer

This is a smaller version of the Hook 2 5 with fewer features. It is perfect for kayaks and boats with limited console space. It does not come with GPS, but you can expect that at the incredible price it is at.

It does come with auto-tuning and is easy to set up and the transducer provides wide sonar and it is a traditional arc sonar, not a fancy one. The transducer is a bullet transducer, made for small vessels and is easy to install.

The screen is 4″, and it is very easy to use. You will see fish and the bottom in detail, even when it’s really bright outside.

 

Pros

  • Great value
  • Easy to use
  • Wide Sonar
  • Auto-tuning

Cons

  • Small screen
  • No GPS
See On Amazon

What To Look For

When you are choosing your fish finder, these are the main aspects you want to be aware of. The info below will make it easier to find the right one to suit you and your vessel.

Transducers

You can’t have a fish finder without a transducer as they ping out and take in the sonar waves. Once the waves have been sent out, they bounce off the bottom and the fish and return back to the transducer. Once they have returned the data is sent into the central unit where it is processed into an image for you to see.

Choosing the right transducer material depends on the type of mount you want and the type of boat you have. You need to pay attention to the type of mount they come with. Most transducers come with a plastic transom mount that is easy to install and works for most boats out there. But if you want a thru-hull or in-hull mount, a plastic housing may not work for your boat.

For fiberglass or metal hulls you will need plastic housings, stainless steel or aluminum hulls need a stainless steel housing and if you have a fiberglass or wooden hull, you’ll need a bonze housing.

Cone Angle & Beams

The cone angle on your transducer will make a difference to the width of the beam it sends out. The wider the beam, the more you will see, but the beam loses detail in deeper water and becomes less accurate.

Most transducers come with a cone angle of 16-20 degrees and if you just want a unit for standard days on the water, a 20 degrees angle is perfect.

Transducers can send out more than one cone and have dual or triple beams, and even side beams. Each extra beam allows you to cover a greater area and will give you a fuller picture of what is going on under the water.

Some units come with single beams, others with many and this is usually shown in the price of the fish finder. Dual beams are better than single beams in shallow water, as they will cover a larger area.

Power

Look at the power of the fish finder before you buy it. Power is directly related to depth and accuracy, depending on where you are fishing. If you fish in deep places, you will want a fish finder with high wattage. The higher the power, the more energy the waves are sent out with, and the quicker they return. Therefore higher power equals deeper and more accurate readings. A low wattage fish finder will be slower and much better for fishing in shallow water. So if you plan on fishing in the sea or in deep lakes, go for the highest power you can afford.

Our Favorites

If you are on a budget, this is the fish finder for you. It has an amazing price while doing the basics well, showing depth, fish, and structure clearly. It is portable too, so you can use it anywhere.

Venterior Handheld Fish Finder, Portable Fishfinder Fish Depth Finder with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display
  • Detect and display water depth, approximate fish location, fish size(small/median/big), short & tall weeds, sand & rocks on seabed. Setting can be saved when turned off. Backlight mode enables you to use the fish fish finder at night.
  • Comes with round transducer with 25 ft cable and removable transducer float. Suitable for fishing off the dock, from a kayak, and ice fishing. Its neck strap allow you to hang it around neck. Apply to lake, river, sea and other fishing environment.

The allrounder of the group is this guy. It has all the great features you may want including GPS, dual-beam, and split-screen and for a good price.

Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam transducer and Protective Cover, 4 inch Screen 010-01870-00
  • Includes dual-beam transducer with Garmin Chirp traditional sonar for crystal-clear images and remarkable target separation
  • Built-in Garmin quickdraw contours mapping software lets you create and store maps with 1’ contours for up to 2 million acres

The best one in the line up is the Hummingbird Helix 5. It does everything you could want from a fish finder and it’s backed up with some amazing features that add a lot of value.

Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder , Black
  • 5-Inch Color WVGA Display
  • CHIRP Dual Beam PLUS Sonar. Power Output RMS : 500 Watts. Power Draw : 615 mA