Best Fishfinders for Shallow Water Fishing – 2021 Review

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Shallow water can be referred to as freshwater which includes ponds, lakes, rivers, and shores. So if you’re fishing in any of these environments, you need the right fishfinder for shallow water fishing. Many anglers make mistakes by thinking that any fishfinder will work for any type of water. But that’s certainly not the case. With the right fishfinder, you can know what’s under your boat, thus knowing exactly when and where to cast your line which literally translates to catching more fish. In this regard, I’ve compiled a list of the best fish finders for shallow water fishing that can actually help you land more. So whether you hunting a walleye, bass fish, crappies, or bluegills, the fish finders in this guide are can help you catch them.

A Quick Checklist For Choosing Fish Finder For Shallow Water Fishing

  1. Durability and Waterproof Rating
  2. Irrespective of whatever type of boat you own, you want a fishfinder that’s very durable and swim-proof. A durable fishfinder has non-corrosive parts and can withstand the rigors and unforeseen circumstances associated with fishing. You want to be as focused as possible without worrying about damaging the fishfinder.

  3. Display Should be Easy to Read
  4. The display of a fishfinder is a very vital part that cannot be over-emphasized because it offers the medium to see what’s in the water. Thus, you want a fish finder with an easy-to-read display even under direct sunlight. And if you decide to go with a castable fishfinder, your phone display should be bright and easy to read especially under sunlight.

  5. It Should be Compact
  6. Depending on your boat type, space can be a big factor for you especially if you own a small boat like a kayak. With that in mind, you want a fish finder that’s very compact and easy to move around.

  7. Easy Installation and Navigation
  8. Even well-experienced angulars don’t want a complicated setup and a hard to operate fish finder. The ideal fish finder for not just a kayak but any other type of boat has to be easy to install and setup, and as well should be easy to use. You want a fishfinder that gets you going easily and the navigation option should be easy to use. Some fish finders have a touch-sensitive screen that might not be easy to operate with a wet finger, however, a combination of touchscreen and buttons makes more sense.

  9. Mounting Option
  10. You should also consider the available mounting option, where will the fish finder be mounted? Most fish finders are designed to be mounted on the transom, while others are designed to be mounted on the hull or stern of a boat. Meanwhile, the display can easily be mounted on the gunwale of your boat.

  11. Inbuilt GPS
  12. Inbuilt GPS is an important component in a fish finder that offer navigational features which of course can better your experience on the water. With inbuilt GPS in a fish finder, you will be able to map your routes, mark your favorite spots like boat ramps and fish-holding spots as well as track your boat speed. Some fish finders also support offline maps that can help you navigate effortlessly.

Best Fishfinder for Shallow Water Fishing

1. Garmin Striker Vivid 9sv – Offers CHIRP in traditional, Clearvu and Sidevu sonars

Garmin Striker Vivid 9sv
Garmin Striker Vivid 9sv

Frequency: 100kHz/240kHz/675kHz | Battery Life: 15hrs | Inbuilt GPS: Yes | Sonar beams: 47° (100kHz), 20° (240kHz), 7° (675kHz) | Weight: 92g Casting range: 394ft Scanning Depth: 330ft

Topping the list is the Garmin Striker Vivid 9sv which is the highest model in the Striker Vivid Series. This fishfinder topped the list because of its durable build, ease of installation, ease of use as well as being equipped with loads of features that make it stand out among fishfinders within its price range.

The Striker Vivid 9sv comes with 9 inches bright and easy to read display. It’s also easy to access with a handful of button pads. And you can customize the display color by choosing from over 10 different colors.

It comes with a GT52HW-TM transducer which combines traditional, Clearvu and Sidevu sonars. While the traditional sonar can show you clear images of objects including fish underwater, the Clearvu sonar shows you very clear images of objects passing under your boat and the Sidevu sonar shows you very clear images of objects to both sides of your boat. One of the fine features of this transducer is that it has a 500W ping power and offers CHIRP in all three sonars.

The traditional sonar operates on 150-240kHz, while Clearvu and Sidevu sonars operate at very high frequencies of 455/800kHz. The transducer can be easily mounted on the transom of your boat or better still on the trolling motor. Other features of the Striker Vivid 9sv include an inbuilt GPS that will allow you to create waypoints and routes of where you’re fishing. You can also mark boat ramps and docks. This makes it easy to navigate better as you travel on water as well as allows you to mark where the fish are biting so that you know exactly where to go in your next fishing adventure.

It also features Garmin’s quickdraw contours mapping – a software that allows you to map your path as you travel on the water. This can serve for reference purposes since the 9sv lacks preloaded maps. And with WiFi that supports the ActiveCaptain app, you can always transfer maps you created via the app. You can also download maps created by other users from the Garmin community.

No doubt, the 9sv is a decent choice for any type of shallow water fishing.

Garmin Striker Vivid 9sv Specifications and Features

Striker Vivid 9sv
Sonar Mount OptionTilt/swivel mount
Dimension11.1 x 6.5 x 2.4 inches
Waterproof RatingIPX7
Display Size9 inches
Display TypeWVGA
Display Resolution800 x 480 pixels
Transducer ModelGT52HW-TM transducer
Transducer Mount StyleTransom mount
Trolling motor mount
Traditional Sonar150-240 kHz (CHIRP)
CHIRP Sonar260/455/800 kHz
Max. Depth
Preloaded MapNo
Memory Card SlotNo
Inbuilt GPSYes
NMEA NetworkingNo


  • Very compact and sturdily built.
  • Offers CHIRP for better clarity, choose from differenet frequencies.
  • Stable connectivity even at over 100ft.
  • Long battery life plus fast charging.


  • Expensive.

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