After years poo-pooing electronics, anglers can take advantage of a new generation of kayaks designed for electronics, lightweight, powerful lithium-ion batteries and a spaceage fish finder-GPS combos small enough and tough enough to fit on kayaks. These powerful units are easy to use and simple to install.
Lowrance Hook2 Triple Shot
$679 | lowrance.com
Marine electronics can be so complicated most users never fully access their potential. Lowrance is focused on making user interface simple and easy. At the heart of their Hook2 series is powerful Autotuning sonar technology.
Designed by pro anglers, the system adjusts sonar settings for optimal performance in any water conditions. Lowrance offers a dozen Hook2 models. We chose the Triple Shot with CHIRP, downscan and sidescan sonar.
On the GPS side, the Triple Shot is preloaded with coastal and inland maps and offers basic navigation functions.
Raymarine Element 7-inch HV Combo
$879 | raymarine.com
As soon as Raymarine introduced the Element series, Drew Gregory and Greg Blanchard used it to win second and third in the KBF National Championship. One look at the HyperVision sonar display and it’s clear who has the highest resolution in the field.
With an impressive 1.2 megahertz, the Element turns up the resolution for crisp, high-definition images of structure, fish and even vegetation. Install Raymarine Lighthouse NC2 Mapping with Fishing Hotspots highlighting popular areas with insights from local anglers on species and tactics. We like the small, compact HV 100 transducer that is easy to install on a kayak.
Humminbird Helix CHIRP Mega SI GPS G3
As one of the first sonar to offer side imaging, Humminbird had a head start leading the pack. Their most recent MEGA technology allows anglers to see fish and structure 200 feet on either side of the boat and 200 feet down.
The high-frequency signal provides three-times more detail than competing systems. To control this power, Humminbird’s SwitchFire offers two pre-programmed modes to add or remove detail depending on water conditions. Base map is a little vague but the Helix can be upgraded with Humminbird’s LakeView or Navionics charts.
Garmin 4 Striker Plus 7
$499 | buy.garmin.com
For the first time, Garmin is installing their leading SideVu, CHIRP and CHIRP ClearVu in a single, compact transducer. The new Striker Plus is sized and designed to fit in kayaks and packed with features to make fishing easier. In addition to their crystal-clear display, the Striker has a large, clear screen easy to view at any angle.
Built-in Quickdraw Contours allows the user to customize maps with real-time depth readings in one-foot increments with enough storage to cover 2 million acres. Connect your maps with other users to create custom maps. Pair the fish finder with Garmin’s Active Captain app and control your fish finder and receive messages from your smartphone. You can even access charts from home.
Find the fish, then find your way home. | Photo: Dustin Doskocil