When going for any fishing trip, one of the important equipment you should have is a fish finder. The device will help you locate fish easily in both shallow and deep waters.
There are different types of fish finders for various types of fishing. You should get a fish finder that will be suitable for you.
Fish finders also come in different prices. If you are looking for affordable fish finders, you are at the right place. Below, we have reviewed the best fish finders under 300. These are the best budget fish finders in the market.
Best Fish Finder Under $300 – Comparison Chart
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Best Fish Finders Under 300 Reviews
The 5DV is an excellent rugged case offering from Garmin. The fish finder is built to withstand the toughest outdoor conditions without compromising performance. The fish finder has an in-built GPS you can use to mark coordinates of your favorite fishing spots to revisit in future.
The 5DV will show your current boat speed for your convenience and safety. You can also mark waypoints on your map to steer around brush piles, avoid stumps and keep track of docks for repeat visits. The device also CHIRP sonar along multiple frequencies to provide information on every sweep. The sonar information will help you have clear fish arches and target fish with greater precision.
Finally, the Garmin 5DV has an in-built flasher that displays sonar data like a classic fish finder. This makes it ideal for boat fishermen, ice fishing and vertical jigging. If you want a big catch at the lake or river, this is a must-have fish finder.
- Has high resolution active sonar that precisely located the largest fish in a school
- The GPS allows you to map various areas through the waypoint map for safer navigation
- The high performance exterior is rugged and well built for the outdoors
- Difficult to read in bright sunlight
- Only uses battery. Has no DC power supply
- Its display size is quite small
The Deeper Smarter PRO Series is compatible with smartphones and tablets. You do not need to install the screen on your boat. Instead, you can use it with your iOS or Android device.
The fish finder has everything you need to be successful in your fishing trip. For example, you can plan your trip using its calendar. There is a weather app that is helpful for tracking incoming storms. On the map, you can save your favorite locations. Finally, you can also share photos of your catch on social media sites.
The fish finder can be used in different water depths thanks to its dual frequency signal capability. Whether you are fishing on the shore or in the middle of open water, you can see what’s under the water. This feature makes the Deeper Smarter a versatile fish finder.
The Deeper Smart Sonar fish finder has an in-built Wi-Fi signal that provides information you need when fishing. The device also has an in-built GPS you can use to track your favorite fishing spots.
If you are looking for an excellent fishing area but don’t want to buy many fancy locators, the Wi-Fi of this device will come handy.
- Smartphone compatible
- Free app
- Uses dual frequency
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Can be used in both fresh and salt water
- Comes with attachment bolts
The Raymarine Dragonfly fish finder allows you to livestream your sonar data to your smartphone. To do this, you have to download its app. The app will make it easy for you to track your location. You can also save, rewind and share your fishing points on Facebook. Imagine your friends seeing where you are fishing at any time!
The Raymarine fish finder runs on a dual-channel sonar. This means you can use it to fish in both shallow and deep waters. The device has CHIRP DownVision sonar that produces photo-like images of anything in the vicinity. There is also a second CHIRP sonar that targets specific fish. You can use this sonar to adjust your fishing plan.
The fish finder has a map on where you can find any fishing location in the U.S. The map include rivers, lakes and coastal areas of the US. There device’s transom mount CHIRP transducer can pick any debris within your vicinity. Whether you want to use the fish finder to spot your favorite fish or the best location for fishing, it does not disappoint.
This fish finder produces sharp, high quality colors. It also has wide viewing angles that will make it easy for you to find fish hiding outside the boat. Moreover, it is not have the problem of internal fogging.
- Live stream sonar data to your phone
- LED backlist display
- Dual channel sonar
- Micro SD card slot holder
- Includes U.S. map
- Wide viewing angles
- Sharp color
The high quality sonar capabilities of the FishHunter makes it a hit with smartphone users. The fish finder also comes with a rechargeable battery and can float. You can drop it over the side when anchored or while trolling.
The FishHunter 3D uses Wi-Fi to connect with your smartphone or tablet to relay sonar images. The images are displayed in full color and 3D via its free app. The device has the only 3D wireless sonar that allows ice fishing viewing, directional casting, 3D structure mapping, 3D fishing images, and bathymetric (contour) mapping in the same unit.
Its sonar transducer is powerful and functions on five different frequencies to generate quality resolution images. Moreover, the unit covers 5 times the area that other wireless portable fish finders do.
The FishHunter 3D fish locator is accurate up to depths of 160 feet. You can also use it for ice fishing at depths of up to 100 feet. The Wi-Fi range reaches 150 feet.
The fish finder does not have to be connected to a mobile network for the Wi-Fi to work. Therefore, you can use it virtually anywhere; be it at the shore, in a canoe, kayak or boat. The Wi-Fi works even when trolling at 2 MPH.
For a mobile fish finder under $300, the FishHunter provides amazing value for its features and capabilities.
- Connects wirelessly with your mobile device for display purposes
- Wide area scanning
- 5 frequency sonar transducer
- Trolling speed is limited to 2 MPH
- You need to use a mobile device to read information as the unit has no built-in display
You can track and review your recorded sonar history in this fish finder. Some of the things you can review are fish targets, transitions and structures. You can also save your favorite fishing locations to visit later.
The Lowrance Hook 4 is ideal for anyone who likes keeping track of specific areas to fish.
Advanced Signal Processing
The Lowrance Hook-4 fish finder has an advanced signal processing (ASP) feature that automatically adjusts the device’s settings for the best performance. You will not have to manually adjust the unit many times when using it.
The ASP enables you to easily pick the fish as well as clearly see the bottom of the water.
The CHIRP sonar has downscan that provides more details of the water to improve your chances of catching fish. The sonar and downscan allow you to see what is under the water to know where to place your line.
4-Inch Color Display
The fish finder has a large display screen that shows what is under your boat. The screen is high-resolution and provides clear, high quality images. From the screen, it is easy to pick out the type of fish and see the contour of the bottom.
If you want a fish finder with a great display, get this Lowrance model.
- You can look back and review your fishing history
- Advanced signal processing
- Downscan imaging
- CHIRP sonar
- High resolution
- display screen
The Humminbird HELIX 5 DI has a temperature gauge that helps you know whether you are in warm or cold waters. You can adjust your fishing plan to catch the type of fish you want based on the temperature of the water.
The HELIX 5DI operates on dual frequency, allowing you to fish in both shallow and deep water. The sonar picks every movement of the fish as well as every debris in the water. The dual frequency operation makes this a must-have fishing equipment for any expedition.
The fish finder allows you to see deep into the water to locate fish thanks to its down imagining sonar. All the best fish finder brands in the market have down imaging. This feature enables you to know where fish are hiding in the water.
The Humminbird 5DI has a 5-inch color display that shows what is happening in the water. You can see the contour of the bottom of the water as well as where fish are hiding through it. The display also enables you to find your favorite fishing spots and tell fish from the debris in the water.
- International languages
- Temperature gauge
- Dual beam frequencies
- Down imaging sonar
- 5-inch color display
Tips for Choosing the Right Fish Finder Under 300
Most fish finders have a color screen. However, you will still find some that offer grayscale display. If you would like to pick the fish from the debris, it’s better to choose a locator with a color screen. Majority of color screen displays show over 250 colors.
The combination of the right transducer and color screen will enable you to know whether something you are seeing is fish or debris. A color screen fish finder will also make you more likely to catch fish since you can easily tell where they are hiding.
Fish finders use a transducer to send and receive information from underwater. Some transducers can be installed on the boat. When the information is sent to the transducer, the sonar is sent to the screen. The sonar information is what you will see.
When you have the right transducer, you can easily know what is under the water where you are fishing.
The resolution of your screen will determine whether or not the images will be sharp and clear. The resolution is measured in pixels. The more the screen pixels, the clearer the images that will be displayed.
On the minimum, go for a fish finder with a resolution of 240 x 160 pixels. If you can afford one with more pixels, this is even better.
The amount of power a fish finders has is measured in watts. Choose a device that is powerful enough to read the waves as well as provide clear pictures of what is under the water. For example, a fish finder with 100 W at 50 kHz can show up to a depth of 450 feet.
The more the wattage, the better.
You should know the frequencies that the fish finder operates in. Generally, the lower the frequency, the more likely the fish finder is to reach deeper insider the water. The higher the frequency, the better the information the fish finder will provide of shallow water.
The best fish finders allow you to change frequency from high to low. If you will be fishing in different water levels, get a fish finder that operates on multiple frequencies.
Why Do You Need a Fish Finder?
If you usually go fishing, you need a fish finder. The devices are easy to use and provide invaluable information about the contours at the bottom as well as where fish are hiding. Some fish finders also allow you to map your location and share your fishing images on social media.
The fish finder will help you track fish and find your favorite fishing spots. You can use the device to come back to your preferred fishing zones. This is a must-have equipment when you are going for a fishing trip.
If you want to get more information about your favorite fishing spot, you need the best fish finder. Whether you usually go fishing on a kayak or boat, you will find the device invaluable.
There are many fish finders in the market. To find the right one, it’s best to go through various fish finder reviews.
If you are looking for a fish finder under 300 dollars, we recommend you buy the Garmin Striker 5DV. This fish finder has a bright and colorful screen and one of the best down imaging aspects in its class. With the fish locator, you can clearly see what is underneath the water than you would with other cheap fish finders.
For a price of less than 300 dollars, you cannot go wrong by buying the Striker Garmin 5DV.