Anglers who fish from kayaks often start doing so for simplicity but before long, the thoughts of installing a fish finder surface. While a fish finder may not be for every kayak angler, these three reasons present a good case for installing one.
A Fish Finder Finds the Bait
|Strike King Pro-Model 5XD or 6XD Series Crankbaits|
Bass, catfish, and many other gamefish will follow the bait. The old adage of "Find the bait and you'll find the fish" really holds true most of the year. A fish finder can allow you to eliminate water that has no bait and no active fish. It can also show you large baits schools and if feeding fish are nearby. You will also be able to see at what depth they are at which will tell you what baits and presentations are most likely to work.
Extra Tip: Crankbaits like the Strike King Pro-Model that will dive to different depths are a great way to dissect the water column and find the active fish.
1. A Fish Finder Shows You Habitat
Habitat isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when looking at a fish finder but good fishermen know that underwater structure, especially of significant size, will hold fish almost year round. It’s basically the home address for fish. This could be a large fallen tree, an old tank dam, a crumbled house structure or simply just a roadbed.
Since they are underwater, fish finders are the only way to find them. Some fish finders come with GPS and mapping technology that will allow you to mark these spots on a digital map so you can go back time after time. Once you are there, a quick scan will show you whether or not the fish are home.
Extra Tip: If a Fish Finder with GPS is not in your price range, check out the Navionics app for your smart phone. It’s only $10.
2. A Fish Finder Shows You Temperature
At first glimpse temperature doesn’t seem that important but in transitional seasons from winter to spring and summer to fall the water temperature can mean the difference between a great day on the water and a big zero on the fish count.
|Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar PT Fishfinder
You can also find places like natural spring fed creeks where the water temperature will significantly change depending on the seas on or be able to tell where the temperature transition occurs on power plant outflow lakes.
Extra Tip: The magic temperature for black bass feeding transitions are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit in most of the United States.
3. Fish Finder Recommendations for Kayaks
Budgets and preferences will vary from angler to angler but the easiest fish finder I have found for both mounting and operation is the Humminbird Helix 5. The Helix 5 offers several different scanning variations and price points with the same quality screen. Its horizontal format is a great plus as well. For most anglers, if you can swing it, I'd start with the Humminbird Helix 5 DI GPS. It has down imaging and a GPS map for just under $350.