One of the easiest ways of keeping track of your favorite fishing locations is by using a handheld GPS for fishing. You may think using your smartphone’s GPS map is a good idea to track your fishing location. However, phone GPS systems have some shortcomings that make them inferior to relying on during fishing.
A handheld GPS provides more interactivity. The system can pinpoint your location with precision.
If you are looking for the best GPS for fishing, read this guide.
Best Handheld GPS for Fishing Comparison Chart
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
How to Choose the Right Handheld GPS for Fishing
Finding the right GPS for fishing is easy if you know what to consider. Below are the important factors to consider.
Most handheld GPS devices come with preloaded maps. However, some have more maps than others. If you wish, you can purchase extra maps to navigate specific areas you would like to go fishing. You can also store the maps on microSD or CD in case you are using a different brand GPS units.
Any map you have can be uploaded to your GPS unit. After uploading the maps, you can explore new places and find new waypoints.
Wireless Data Transfer
Your adventure will be more fun if your handheld GPS can transfer data wirelessly. Some of the data you may wish to share are tracks, routes, and waypoints.
Generally, GPS devices can share data with others of the same brand. Apart from this, you can transfer the data into other devices you own, such as smartphones and tablets. Thus, you can go with different GPS units and transfer the data to each other in case the batteries are running low. You can also transfer the data to your friends’ devices.
A handheld GPS will let you know where you are at any time. You can also use the device as an electric compass.
A GPS with an electric compass will let you know which direction you are facing when you stand still. You can use the compass to plan your route and confirm you are heading in the right direction.
You should know how the weather is going to be before setting off for your fishing escapade. One of the ways you can track the weather of an area is by using a GPS that has an altimeter or barometer.
The altimeter will take barometric data into account to show your precise altitude. The barometer will help you know what kind of weather is expected in an area.
You will get more accurate weather data by using a GPS with a barometer than you would from your smartphone weather app.
The best handheld fishing GPS units have a touch screen. However, consider when and where you will be using the device. For example, you may want a device that has a touch screen. However, if you will be fishing while wearing gloves, the touchscreen won’t matter.
Ideally, choose a GPS that has buttons which you can use to scroll the menu. While the buttons can make the device slightly heavier, you will be happy there are there when wearing gloves during the cold and need to use the GPS.
You can still select a GPS with a touchscreen is you feel you won’t need to wear gloves when fishing.
Consider the size of the GPS. This refers to both the size of the screen and total size of the unit. Do not go for a GPS that is too big for your hands. You do not want it to be too bulky. Also, make sure the screen will be easy to read.
When you are walking around a lake or are on a boat, you need a GPS that you can hold easily. Remember, the size of the device can determine its weight. A device that is too big will also be heavy.
Top 5 Handheld GPS for Fishing Reviews
The GPS unit has a built-in worldwide basemap you can use wherever you go. The map includes shaded relief, which is important when you want to know your exact location.
The Garmin 64st has a highly-sensitive GPS that will easily pick your location. The unit comes with a quad helix antenna that easily determines your location.
The GPS features a 160 x 240 pixels display. The resolution is clear, allowing you to see details easily. With the clear resolution, it will be easy to determine the best route to take during your expedition.
The GPS has a large color screen that you can easily read in direct sunlight. You can easily hold the GPS in one hand while talking or walking.
- Good grip
- Works well even in the rain
- Compact size
- The screen is fragile and can get damaged easily
You can transfer data wirelessly from the eTrex GPS to other devices. Among the data you can transfer include geocaches, routes, and tracks. You need this GPS if you will be sharing data with other people frequently.
The GPS has a number of sensors that will make your fishing trip exciting. There is a barometric pressure gauge for tracking the weather and a tilt-compensated electronic compass for showing the altitude.
The eTrex GPS is preloaded with basemap that will help you know where you are standing at any time. The basemap has shaded relief to help you find your favorite locations.
You can store your favorite maps in the device’s 3.7GB internal memory. The GPS also has a microSD slot if you would like extra storage for your maps.
The Garmin eTrex GPS has a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels and over 65K colors. The display shows clear details and is easy to read in the sun.
- Compact in size
- Submersion rate
- Has excellent support
- Its redraw is slow
#3. Garmin eTrex 20x
The highly sensitive GPS of the Garmin eTrex 20x will guide you through any area you are walking to. The GPS will also predict the terrain of the area, helping you to avoid places with heavy coverage, canyons, etc.
The preloaded basemap of the device has shaded relief to help you know where you are at any time. With the basemap, you can easily find your starting point.
The GPS has 3.7GB of internal storage and a micro D card in case you would like to upgrade the storage. The space is enough to store all your maps.
You need a GPS that is easy to read even when you are walking. The eTrex 20x has a color screen that will make it easy for you to navigate your way around. The high resolution screen provides clear images.
- Easy to use
- You can download cache location
- Affordable price
- The satellite can sway a little bit
You need a waterproof handheld GPS if you will be going fishing. The eTrex GPS is waterproof and will work well in rain, splashes and other forms of water.
The unit has an advanced GPS system that will track your location fast. The signal is reliable and will show where you are at any time.
This Garmin GPS has a large screen that is easy to read. The device comes with pre-loaded basemap that will help you know your starting point. The unit’s body is durable and excellent for outdoor use.
The GPS is compatible with other Garmin products. You can transfer the GPS data to other devices for backup or share the data with your friends.
- Long battery life
- Easy to use
- No maps included
The Gamin GPSMAP 62S allows wireless sharing of data with other devices. You can share your favorite waypoint, tracks and routes. You can also transfer the data to other devices for backup.
The GPS has a 3-axis tilt compensated compass that will help you know the direction you are headed. There is also a barometer and altimeter that indicate the weather expected where you are headed.
You can download Garmin Connect phones to help you navigate around more accurately. The device also has a worldwide maps base with shaded relief to help you know your starting points.
This GPS is designed to be tough and hence is excellent for the outdoors. The unit has a large screen that can be easily read in the sunlight. The resolution is also decent, at 160 x 240 pixels.
- Rugged design for the outdoors
- Captures satellites easily
- Sensitive GPS
- Certain functions require a lot of steps
When going fishing in an area you have never been before, it’s important to have a handheld GPS device. The best handheld GPS device for fishing is the Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator. This device works in any conditions and has many features that make it ideal for the outdoors. The battery power is also sufficient and will last all day long.