Best Fish Finders With Side Imaging

Last updated on July 5th, 2021 at 02:15 pm

Finding fish could be quite a tricky affair, we are no stranger to the cunning ability of those aquatic creatures. They have gotten smart over the centuries and that wisdom is even more apparent these days. So what exactly would a fisherman do to avoid getting outsmarted by these intelligent aquatic animals? Well, the said fishermen can keep doing the same old stuff such as casting nets and blind hoping. But, as they said, it doesn’t depict wisdom to keep doing the same thing and start expecting different results. That’s why we got to give credit to whoever designed fish finders most especially the ones with side imaging. This noble invention has helped the grind and improved the quality of fish that noble fishermen get a hold of.

Gone are the days where fishermen would leave their abode and have little or no way to be assured of a healthy catch rate. Now with proper usage, and consistent application they’ll be able to use these finders to their advantage once expertly paired with the side imaging. Don’t be confused by the sophisticated terms, fish finders with side imaging aren’t in the slightest any difficult to use. All you need to do is study properly and before you know it you’ll be abreast with the nitty-gritty of handling them. Each finder has unique features which might vary from product to product, also they have wide ranges, superb frequencies, great speed and they come in different colorways. With that being said, here are the best fish finders with side imaging.

1. Humminbird NAV HELIX 7 CHIRP MSI GPS G3 NAV Fish Finder

best fish finders with side imaging
Sleek, effective, professional, and fully loaded. The Humminbird NAV HELIX 7 CHIRP MSI has stayed true to its brand’s enviable standards and even taken it up a notch. Blessed with an array of superb features such as the 7-Inch screen with 800H x 480V resolution color TFT display, which makes fish sighting a more than enjoyable experience. Then there’s the Mega Side Imaging which lets you the world below in the clearest way known to man. Last but not least is the transducer and mounting hardware, power cable, and gimbal mounting bracket which are all super easy to understand, maneuver, and maintain too. Essentially it is one of the best fish finders for trolling motors.
Pros
  • It has an ultra-sleek design
  • It comes with an array of new features
  • It is very durable
Cons
  • It is quite expensive compared to others on this list

2. Garmin Striker 7SV with Transducer, 7" GPS Fishfinder

It’s super rare to see a Garmin product fumble in the tech world. Luckily, the Garmin Striker 7SV with Transducer kept up the brand’s enviable winning streak. This technological masterpiece has some desirable features like the built-in GPS which gives you the chance to mark waypoints, create routes, and keep track of your boat’s speed. There’s also the built-in Wi-Fi which ensures that you miss nothing during your fishing trip. Let’s not forget about the readable seven-inch display and intuitive user interface which gives you ample room for mastering the terrains.
Pros
  • It has a dedicated mobile application
  • It is easy to operate
  • It comes with a warranty
Cons
  • The mapping features should be worked on

3. Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder

Another amazing product from one of the finest fish finder brands out there. The Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder doesn’t just advertise expertise; it follows through on the promises. It has spectacular usages such as the 2D Sonar which helps you locate and scan for fishes so easily. Then there’s the Dual Beam which makes for more precise and more efficient searches to the nooks and crannies of the sea. Last but not least is the Built-In Base map which serves as a cheat code, it’s pretty hard for fishes to escape such a detailed feature.
Pros
  • It is one of the best technological breakthroughs in recent memory
  • Its GPS feature is top-notch
  • It represents amazing value for money
Cons
  • It would be amazing if this came in more colors

4. Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7 TripleShot - 7-inch Fish Finder

Pricey, sophisticated, next level, and intricate to details. The Lowrance HOOK Reveal 7 TripleShot marketed itself as a boundary pusher, and that’s been apparent since we saw the features. First things first we can’t seem to get enough of the FishReveal, which you guessed right makes it super easy to find fishes under the waters. Then there’s the Autotuning Sonar which automatically adjusts its settings to work with any fishing condition change. Plus, we can’t complete analysis without praising the sophisticated and highly detailed map which guides fishermen through expeditions and gives them a better chance of turning their work into catches. Why not utilize depth finders with side imaging?
Pros
  • It pays intricate attention to detail
  • It is easy to understand and optimize
  • It’s available in different colors
Cons
  • It is one of the most expensive items on this list

5. Garmin Striker Plus 5cv with Transducer, 5" GPS Fishfinder

side imaging fish finder for kayak
Another superb invention from Garmin. The Garmin Striker Plus 5cv with Transducer strikes the balance between modern and classic thanks to a long list of features which we will touch on in a bit. It has a GPS Fishfinder which is great as it makes the job of findings unsuspecting fishes all the more interesting. There’s also the Built-in Garmin Quickdraw Contours which maps out the path you are to follow in your journey into fishing Utopia. There’s also the ultra-bright, sunlight-readable five-inch display and intuitive user interface which makes the journey all the easier.
Pros
  • It stores up to 2 million acres of content with 1’ contours.
  • Its GPS allows for monitoring your boat speed
  • It is rugged and durable for any aquatic terrain
Cons
  • Its mapping feature needs white some work

6. Simrad Go-9 XSE Active Imaging 3-N-1 C-Map Pro

Built to last, built to impress, and tasked with expanding the imagination. The Simrad Go-9 XSE Active Imaging 3-N-1 might be a new name in the industry, but it’s certainly no slouch. There are the Radar Options which allow for plug-and-play connectivity to Simrad radar solutions for powerboats of all sizes. There’s also the TotalScan Transducer that is easy to install, super easy to decipher, and are extremely efficient for the task at hand. Last but not least, you should pay more attention to the smartphone which makes it super easy to navigate your boat while finding as many clueless fishes as possible.
Pros
  • It has a world-class interface and design
  • Its map is super accurate
  • It is smartphone compatible
Cons
  • It is costlier than the other items on the list

7. Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 Fish Finder

best fish finder gps combo
Yet another feature from the Humminbird brand, this fish finder ticks most of the boxes and remains a work in progress. Yet the Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2 Fish Finder, Black represents a great purchase for professional fishermen as well as people that take it as a mere hobby. It has some priceless features such as the HD | 800H X 480V 5″ Display which leaves no stones left unturned in finding the near as well as the farther fishes across the aquatic realm. There’s also the trademark SwitchFire feature that lets you control the way your returns appear. That’s not all, you would certainly love the Built-In Basemap which makes for enhanced delivery and a more detailed experience.
Pros
  • It maintains the typical top-notch Humminbird standard
  • It has a sleek outlook
  • It is very durable
Cons
  • The instructions manual should be worked on

8. Lowrance HDS-7 Live C-MAP Insight

The second entry from the Lowrance brand is certainly not a downgrade from the first. The Lowrance HDS-7 Live C-MAP Insight without Transducer stays true to its marketing strategy, it gives top-notch features at a high rise price range. It has nice easy to decipher features like the Built-in Mapping feature which opens users to a world of preloaded high-detail C-MAP US Enhanced charts. There’s the Advanced Fish Finder Technology which lets you view CHIRP sonar and Active Imaging 3D at the same time to get amazing results. Then last but not least is the Smartphone Integration feature which makes sure you miss no important notification during your Lowrance HDS-7 Live usage and experience.
Pros
  • It is compatible with most smartphones
  • It has top-notch technologically advanced features
  • It’s fish reveal feature is one of the best around
Cons
  • It’s costlier than most of the items on this list

9. Garmin Striker 4cv with Transducer, 4" GPS Fishfinder

The second to last Garmin product on our list also happens to be the second to last product on the entire list. That goes to show you the far-reaching effect of Garmin products and in essence the Garmin Striker 4cv with Transducer. This technological breakthrough has smooth capabilities such as the built-in GPS which lets you mark waypoints, allows you to create routes, and also view your boat’s speed. There’s also the well-known fact that this product is super rugged and well suited for any terrain it encounters during an expedition, in the typical Garmin product way.

Pros
  • It’s the latest in a long line of top-notch Garmin products
  • It is ultrasound and durable
  • It represents fantastic value for money
Cons
  • The user manual should be improved upon

10. Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 94SV, 9" Keyed-Assist Touchscreen Chartplotter

Last on our least but certainly not a slouch. The Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 94SV focuses on a few key features, and that’s a great thing because patrons know exactly what they are getting upon purchase. It has preloaded blue chart G3 coastal charts with integrated Navionics data which makes navigation so much easier. There’s the panoptic all-seeing sonar which ensures that no fish is left out of sight. Plus, there are the extra components such as the Echomap Uhd 94Sv, the Gt54Uhd-Tm Transducer, and the Flush Mount which makes this device w favorite for fishermen that also double up as computer geeks.
Pros
  • It’s the most sophisticated Garmin product out there
  • It has an excellent mapping feature
  • It represents great value for money
Cons
  • It’s a little complex to install

Buying Guide For Best Fish Finders With Side Imaging

What Is Side Imaging?

Side Imaging is more than a myth, it's a reality. It is a next-level form of technology that makes your time on the water more productive. Here you will use a razor-thin beam that projects deep into the water to both sides of the boat with broad coverage across the bottom. Don't be fooled by the pictures, side imaging does not depend on darkness or light. One of the best parts about this technological breakthrough is that all sorts of aquatic domiciles can be seen with relative ease using side imaging. Just make sure you get a trustworthy fish finding brand, and your futile fishing experiences would be a thing of the past.

How Does It Work?

Using side imaging to find fish has quickly become the go-to option for thousands of fishermen and women all over the world. All you need to do is purchase your fish finder that has been equipped with the side imaging feature then the next is pretty straightforward. Now you'll use the tool to detect shadows after which you will find most objects standing at the bottom typically as a bright spot, immediately turn to dark sonar shadow. Then your side imaging tool will give you an accurate description of the size of the aquatic specimen that you're trailing. The best part is that side imaging also shows you schools of baitfish that will appear as a cloud or cluster of small white dots. The vast majority of side imaging brands offer side sonar imaging that shows larger individual fish as little white lines or streaks on the screen. That way you'll have an easier time finding, training, and essentially capturing those pesky creatures. You'd be better off startling them with fish finders with a side scan.

Type of Boat

As long as a boat can carry the weight of its inhabitants and a few others, then that boat would be well equipped to holster a side imaging apparatus. Moreover, it's not that heavy, all you need to do is purchase a brand that fits your boat specifications. Also, your boat must have a proper and sustainable power supply as this side imaging machine can't work without constant usage. Ensure you read the specifications and do the needful when it's time to cop your fish finder with side imaging.

Transducer Placement Is Key

Getting the side imaging machine installed on your fish finder is just the first step. The next thing to do is ensuring that your transducer placement is to notch, this isn't such a difficult task, but it could if you're not guided in shopping from the right source. There are an array of options that you can pick to successfully mount a side imaging apparatus. These include the transom, side of jack plate, under the step, and the trolling motor. All of the above steps have their merits, so it'll be smart to do a wee bit more research before picking a brand to purchase from.

Key Extra Features

Just like every major technological breakthrough, fish finders with side imaging also have some key extra features that you should pay rapt attention to before you go ahead to make a purchase. First, off you should look out for one that has proper sensors and sensitivity to ensure that it will detect any slight movement in the waters. Also, proper attention should be paid to features such as contrast, speed, and range as these are the fine lines involved in getting a successful fishing experience or otherwise. Also pay attention to the color palette on show, if it doesn't appeal to you or did your venture then you should pick a more favorable one from your long list of options.

Sonar Recording Function

Few people know but the sonar recording function is the single most awesome tool involved in optimizing your side imaging fish finder. With this, you can record all the sonar data into a file, so that you can replay it full screen like a movie at any given time. Also, you'll be able to change all the settings to see how it changes the image. There's also a recording feature that makes it easier to experiment with the settings and find out how each one affects the picture in live time, and suits you better. When making your purchase, make sure your fish finder has a side imaging tool with this feature amongst others. Fish finders with side scan are the new normal for the better fishermen out there.

Range Function

How far exactly do you want to see? That's one of the most frequently asked questions that we've experienced over time. This is something you'll need to have long thought about before you take the plunge into spending on a fish finder with a side imaging range. The wider the range, the more data is packed into the view. The narrower the range, the more the data can be shown on more pixels. Your range should depend on what type of contours and structure you are scanning. Factor these into the equation and we're sure you'll have an easier time making your mind up.

455 vs 800 kHz vs 1.2 Mega Imaging Frequencies

While in general terms the 455 kHz will give you a longer and more extensive range than the 800 kHz it doesn't mean that the 800 doesn't have its merits. The 800 kHz will provide a slightly higher resolution image than 455 kHz, so it's a better option if you're looking at finding fish in closer proximity. However, most people would go with the 455 kHz for Side Imaging due to its versatility. We won't choose for you though. Picking the best fish finders with side imaging is a task you'd love to handle. However, we listed the best in the game, and you'll be in a better position to make your pick once you're done with the breakdown.

Conclusion

All the products listed and explained above are some of the finest you can find anywhere in the market. They have an array of features that vary from product to product, but one thing you can be assured of is top-notch quality and delivery.

However, while we love all of the above, there’s no doubting the most superior, and that prize belongs to the Simrad Go-9 XSE Active Imaging 3-N-1, which is built to last, built to impress, and tasked with expanding the imagination. It has taken the fish finder and side imaging game to the next level, so if you can save up enough you should get this marvelous invention. We assure you, you would hardly have any regrets now that you’ve seen a concise list of the best fish finders with side imaging.

I have a degree in engineering and am passionate in helping people find the best products for the money using my own personal experiences. I'm a father, son, brother, uncle, coach, husband, and engineer who loves to spend time with his two boys and beautiful wife. In my free time my passion is to help others. I love anything and everything technology and spend many hours researching products that I have interests in for myself, my family and friends. My hope is that my time spent researching products will help you save time and money so you can free up your time and spend it doing what you love to do most!

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