Best Garmin Fish Finder 2022

Garmin Fish Finder Reviews

Garmin has a fish finder to suit every angler, boat, and budget.

What you should ask yourself is, “What is the best Garmin fish finder for me?” This is determined by your boat, fishing style, and, most crucially, your budget.

Here is a list of the best Garmin fish finders for different types of anglers:

  • Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 63CV – Best value for money
  • Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 93SV – Best Side Imaging (SideVu) fish finder for fishing boats
  • Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV – Budget fish finder for Kayaks
  • Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV – Cheap fish finder for Kayaks and Small Boats 
  • Garmin GPSMAP 8612 XSV – Best for Sport Cruisers and Tournament Anglers
  • Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126SV – Best for Serious Anglers
  • Garmin Striker Cast – Portable fish finder

Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 63CV Keyed Fish Finder Chartplotter – Best value for money

Garmin ECHOMAP UHD63CV fish finder

The Garmin ECHOMAP 63CV is a 6-inch fish finder that offers the best of both worlds. It is reasonably priced and supports the ultra-high-definition scanning transducer.

Let’s start with the transducer.

The Garmin GT-20 UHD transducer on the ECHOMAP 63CV provides Down Imaging (ClearVu) at a high frequency of 800KHz. This means that if you’re fishing in shallow lakes, you’ll get picture-perfect details of the bottom. You can quickly identify fish-holding structures such as trees, vegetation, brush piles, and so on.

The target separation is another advantage of using a high-frequency transducer. The fish are easy to spot when they are close to the bottom or a structure.

The high sonar frequency is ideal for freshwater fishing and provides accurate results up to 200 feet deep.

However, the ECHOMAP 63CV is also suitable for deep saltwater fishing. It has a CHIRP frequency range of 73-240 kHz and can scan up to 2000 feet.

Here are some more features that make this fish finder stand out.

  • The mapping option (LakeVu G3 maps integrated with Navionics data) covers over 17,000 lakes in the United States with depth contours for nearly every lake. Perfect for inland anglers. You can customize the map display and set routes.
  • Create custom maps of uncharted lakes using Quickdraw contour.
  • Built-in WiFi for smartphone synchronization. The fish finder serves as a hub for all incoming notifications. Quite useful for avoiding smartphone distractions.
  • A bright screen that can be seen in direct sunlight.
  • Connect to autopilots, digital switching, weather, FUSION-LinkTM audio system, media, VHF, AIS, and more from a single screen via NMEA2000 and NMEA0183 ports.

Who is a good fit for this fish finder?

Kayak and small boat owners will love it. The size is small enough that it does not interfere with paddling or casting. The screen is also large enough to clearly view sonar and maps.

Anyone looking for a fish finder under $500 should consider this model. It’s a steal with all these included features.

Let’s also review the downsides.

The ECHOMAP 63CV does not have a touchscreen and is operated by a keypad. After a while, you’ll get used to the keypad, but the touchscreen is much faster.

It also lacks support for side imaging. Some anglers prefer the side imaging feature in their fish finder to get a better view around their boat.

If you’re looking for a side imaging fish finder, check out our next recommendation.

Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 93SV Touchscreen Chartplotter – Best Side Imaging (SideVu) fish finder for fishing boats

garmin echomaap uhd 93sv fish finder

The ECHOMAP 93SV is the favorite fish finder for serious anglers operating bass boats or other fishing vessels. It quickly scans a large area around the boat to identify fish-holding structures or bottom transitions where most fish are likely to be hiding. It aids in increasing catch rates and making fishing trips more productive.

How does it do this?

The Garmin GT-56 transducer, an upgraded version of the GT-20 transducer, is included with the ECHOMAP 93SV.

It provides side imaging (SideVu) and down imaging (ClearVu) at a higher frequency of 1MHz. The sonar has picture-like details and target separation that is superior to the ECHOMAP 63CV.

I’ve observed that larger displays are preferable for viewing side imaging sonar. The ECHOMAP 93SV’s 9″ screen is ideal for it. You can clearly see small details such as a fallen tree or a predatory fish near the bottom.

The touchscreen on the ECHOMAP 93SV has a lot of utility. On the fly, you can zoom in and out of the screen and mark a waypoint at a potential fishing spot. The programmable keys that come with it are absolute time-savers for quickly accessing any functionality.

It is also compatible with Garmin’s live sonar system, Panoptix LiveScope. The Live sonar system shows the sonar images in real-time. Like in a video game, you can see the fish moving and interacting with the lure in real time.

The disadvantage of this fish finder is its price, which goes over $1000. Another issue is the 800×480 pixel screen, which does not fit the bill. The screen resolution is not HD, nevertheless it will suffice.

Side imaging fish finders are generally expensive, but if you’re looking for a less expensive option, don’t worry. The next Garmin fish finder on the list might fit your budget.

Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV – Budget fish finder for Kayaks

Garmin Striker Vivid 7SV fish finder

The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 7SV is a mid-range fish finder that features both side imaging (SideVu) and down imaging (ClearVu).

The GT-52 transducer that comes standard with the Striker Vivid 7SV is less powerful (350 W) than ECHOMAP’s GT-56 transducer (500 W).

It doesn’t offer UHD sonar images, but it shows clear fish arches with good target separation and well defined structure below and to the side of the boat.

This is about $500 less expensive than ECHOMAP, but the results are still comparable. It’s ideal for freshwater anglers looking for a low-cost side imaging fish finder.

Also, this is good enough for Kayaks and Jon Boats, where networking is not needed.

Pros:

  • Define underwater structure clearly.
  • Simple to use with different color palettes to distinguish between fish and structures.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi to sync your smartphone with the ActiveCaptain app.
  • Built-in GPS to mark fishing hotspots
  • Quickdraw contours to create custom maps
  • Simple installation of the head unit with tilt/swivel mount and transom or trolling motor mount for the transducer.
  • Compatible with traditional Garmin transducer for saltwater fishing

Cons:

  • A separate transducer must be purchased for saltwater fishing
  • No mapping option
  • No touchscreen
  • No MicroSD card slot

Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV – Cheap fish finder for Kayaks and Small Boats 

Garmin Striker Vivid 4CV fish finder

The Garmin STRIKER Vivid 4CV is priced just under $200 and comes equipped with features similar to a mid-range fish finder.

It has the same transducer as the 7CV and supports down imaging (ClearVu) at 455/800 kHz with 300 W transmitting power. The down imaging results are good enough to identify bottom transitions and fish holding structures. You can also identify fish near the bottom’s weeds, trees, and vegetation.

Furthermore, it is small and lightweight, making it easy to carry on Kayaks and small boats where traveling light is a priority.

Standard portable kayak batteries could power it for an extended period of time due to its low energy consumption. Easily usable for longer fishing trips.

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight 
  • Low power consumption 
  • Beginner and user friendly – different color pallets to separate fish from structure
  • Down Imaging (ClearVu) and Dual Chirp sonars 
  • Able to scan both shallow and deep waters – use it whether fishing in shallow lakes or deep sea
  • GPS and auto charting options
  • Quick release mount – you can easily take off the unit when not in use

Cons:

  • Relatively smaller screen size
  • Down Imaging lacks quality of high end fish finders. But would do the job for occasional anglers

Garmin GPSMAP 8612 XSV Chartplotter and sonar – Best for Sport Cruisers and Tournament Anglers

Garmin GPSMAP XSV multifunctional display fish finder chartplotter

GPSMAP XSV is the top of the line Garmin fish finder chartplotter. It has a powerful 1kW sonar transmitter that can support traditional and CHIRP frequencies from 40kHz to 1.2MHz. This is the most powerful fish finder in the market. 

The display screen is FHD with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. The sonar details captured on this screen has no comparison. The experience is comparable to looking at underwater camera on HD television.

GPMAP XSV is designed for Cruise ships and day sailors. It has complete marine electronics integration capability. You can connect the Panoptix LiveScope, radar, cameras, drones, audio and more with it. It acts like a console from where you can control all of your boat.  

But, it comes at a whopping $4000 plus price. If you are a serious angler and want something in between GPSMAP and ECHOMAP UHD, take a look at the next fish finder in the line.

Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126SV – Best for Serious Anglers

Garmin ECHOMAP Ultra 126SV fish finder

ECHOMAP Ultra and ECHOMAP UHD are very similar in terms of features, but ECHOMAP Ultra is superior due to a few minor distinctions. The differences are highlighted below:

  • It has a screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 px, which provides a better viewing experience with sharp details
  • The 12″ screen is more suitable for viewing side imaging sonar
  • It has a powerful processor that quickly renders sonar images and chart redraws
  • Increased sonar transmission power to 600 W. Sonar images are more detailed and crisp
  • It includes both US inland and coastal maps with dual MicroSD card slots
  • It is equipped with 2 marine network ports and can be easily networked with additional Garmin fish finders. 

Garmin STRIKER Cast – Portable Fish Finder

Garmin STRIKER Cast castable portable fish finder

The Garmin STRIKER Cast transforms your smartphone or tablet into a portable fish finder.

Not only is it extremely affordable, but it is the simplest way to start finding fish no matter where you are with a minimal setup:

  • Download the free STRIKER app on your mobile device
  • Pair with the STRIKER Cast sonar unit
  • Start casting to view where the fish are

The sonar casting device is rechargeable and allows for 10+ hours of casting time, allowing anglers to make the most of their fishing trip. In addition, it includes an easy-to-read sonar display that is compatible with both Apple and Android devices. 

This portable device includes a 5-meter tether and has a 200-foot streaming range so you can cast far and fish deep for the best catch. Additionally, anglers can choose display options between the traditional 2-D viewing or change to ice fishing flasher modes. 

The Garmin STRIKER Cast works in fresh and saltwater, giving you versatility in a castable fish finder. The sonar modes allow adjustment settings to modify the gain, range, and more so you know precisely where the fish are. 

The STRIKER CAST sonar unit is durable and water-resistant to IPX6 and IPX7 standards. It is also power-efficient, will power on when floating in the water and turn off when it is not.