If you love to fish then you will no doubt know the frustration, and the fear, attached to getting lost out there on the water. With a marine GPS device, these feelings can be a thing of the past as it will assist you to accurately navigate your way to the correct destination, and help you out if you were to get lost.
The benefits of these devices don’t stop there. With the correct model, you can also use a marine GPS to locate fish in the water so that you can get your boat to the best spot to secure the ultimate catch. Read on to find out more about these extremely smart devices, and see some reviews of some of the best marine GPS devices out there.
Table of Contents
- Best Boat Gps Fish Finder Combo
- Best Saltwater Fish Finder
- Best Marine GPS with Fish Finder
- Why do I need a marine GPS?
- Can a marine GPS help me to catch more fish?
- What is a marine GPS combo unit?
- What are the key features of a good marine GPS device?
Best Boat Gps Fish Finder Combo
Garmin Striker 4 Built-in GPS Fish Finder Review
Garmin Striker 4 at a glance
- GPS and Chirp Sonar technology – you can navigate and find fish
- High quality and affordable
- Use in deep water
- High-resolution easy to read screen
- Waterproof – rated IPX7
For a device that can both help you find your way and find the fish that you’re after then this combo device from Garmin is a great choice, and it can be bought at a very good price.
Working in both deep and shallow water, this Garmin product is fitted with a CHIRP sonar transducer which provides clear visibility and detail of where the fish are. It works by sending continuous frequencies (that range from high to low) and then provides individual interpretations of them upon their return. With this breadth of information, you can get crisper images and data about where you need to go for the right catch.
This product has a high-sensitivity GPS built in which means that you can record where you have enjoyed a particular fishing spot and then navigate your way back to this place. It can also help you to navigate to new places or help you out in tricky situations if you lose your way.
With a decent power rating (12V) you can use this in deep water – at a maximum of 1,600 feet in freshwater and 750 feet in saltwater. This boat GPS depth finder can also give you a reading of the depth of the water beneath you. It comes fitted with a sealed battery which is rechargeable, and a mount so you can attach it to the boat. This is a portable fish finder though so you can take it with you if you go to another boat.
Another perk of this great device is that it lets you know what speed you are traveling at, helping you to make sure you aren’t going too fast when you’re in a restricted zone. The display measures 3.5 inches and provides a 200 kilohertz reading – both of these benefits mean the screen is easy to read with a sharp resolution. This device is also waterproof, with an IPX rating of 7.
Q&A: Can I use this device outside of the US?
A: Yes, you can, you will need to get the appropriate maps installed onto the device but you can take it with you wherever you travel.
Best Saltwater Fish Finder
Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish Finder Review
HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 at a glance:
- 5-inch color WVCA screen
- CHIRP dual Beam
- Internal GPS chart plotting
- Micro SD card slot
If you are going to be fishing in saltwater then you need a top quality fish finder that is going to be able to withstand salt water’s corrosive effects. This top of the range product from Humminbird, like all of their range, is suitable for both fresh and saltwater, has a superb high-detail 5-inch Wide Video Graphics Array screen and comes with inbuilt software to precisely plot charts using the internal GPS.
As well as the backlit 800H x 480V, 5″ 256 color display there is a useful Micro-SD slot to load optional maps or save waypoints. The inbuilt CHIRP digital sonar enables you to see low, medium and high CHIRP ranges all at once (or individually if you prefer) because of its ability to use a broader range of frequencies than typical sonar. This helps to provide precise information and higher-resolution images to help you track those fish down even down to the deepest depths of the ocean.
Thanks to the precision GPS that is built in you will receive precise positional information accurate to no further than 2.5 metres helping to make sure you know exactly where the best spots are. With the useful Autochart Live feature, you can also build detailed maps of your favorite places to go fishing. The inclusion of excellent basemaps and models based on LakeMaster and NOAA sources (amongst others) means you can view highly detailed, accurate maps to help you navigate wherever it is you want to get to.
This model has an intuitive system to help you get to grips with everything it is capable of offering you, whilst the industrial design ensures it is built to withstand use in tough settings. So if you like top of the range technology, precise GPS models, crisp imaging and a host of modifiable features in your fish finder, then this is the model for you.
Q&A: Can this be used to create auto-chart maps?
A: Yes, it can. You get 8 hours of free Autochart Live included.
Best Marine GPS with Fish Finder
Raymarine Dragonfly Pro CHIRP Fish Finder with built in GPS Review
If you are looking for a fish finder that offers the most precise information, is incredibly easy to use, and money is no object, then Raymarine’s Dragonfly pro should be your model of choice. The Spectrum CHIRP Technology ensures the sharpest imagery around, with superb precision, whilst the CHIRP DownVision gives you superb underwater clarity to as low as 180-metres. Built-in GPS and navionics, means you have everything you need wherever it is you are navigating.
A useful feature of this top-end product is the optical bonding LCD display that prevents fogging up and bright, sharp colors no matter what the weather is doing. You can opt for a 4, 5 or 7-inch screen, depending on your needs. Whilst the CHIRP DownVision and dual-channel CHIRP sonar ensure the images you receive are both clear and detailed.
You won’t need any additional software to get you around with over 20,000 lakes and coastal charts covering the entirety of the USA and Canada available thanks to the built-in Navionics+ and excellent chart building features that enable to build your own personal bathymetric chart on the go. You can even hook your data up to the Navionics boating app and view this on any smart device and it’s definitely worth playing with the augmented reality navigation mapping options.
This product will be your favorite boat GPS and depth finder with the clarity it is able to produce, the easy installation and suitability for upgrades. So if you like using your time out on the water for fishing, rather than spending hours searching for the best spots, this is the model for you.
Q&A: Does this come with a Traducer?
A: Yes, included are a traducer and mounting hardware.
Why do I need a marine GPS?
Navigating the waterways is no easy task, and while many of you still enjoy the traditional ways of marine navigation there are advances in technology which can help out those of us that are more navigationally challenged. Step in the marine GPS. Many of you will already use GPS in your day to day life (such as with your smartphone or in your car) and will know that it is a system of satellites that can pinpoint your exact location and help you find your way to where you want to go.
However, a marine GPS is a little different. As you will be unable to access the same sort of signal that you would be able to on land, a marine GPS connects to specific satellites that can assist you with where you are and where you want to go. They are useful for waterways with lots of diversions where it is easy to get lost, or if you are going to be heading into the ocean as, with no focal point, it is easy to get disorientated and need some help to navigate to get you back on track. With a marine GPS onboard you can be reassured that you can find your way back to shore.
In addition to helping you when you are lost, a marine GPS is also useful for planning your route before you start which can really help you to make the most of your time out on your boat. Even if you do like to use traditional navigation methods, a GPS device can help you to be that little bit more adventurous and explore unknown territories that you have previously been too nervous to peruse.
Can a marine GPS help me to catch more fish?
It might be hard to believe but GPS can also be used to improve your catching potential. With a GPS fishfinder you will be assisted to find fish, make a note of hot spots where there has been a prevalence of fish and also, handily, it records where you have docked so you can return to that spot again.
Some GPS fish finders also come fitted with sonar so you can see photographic images of the fish that are near to you, as well as other objects or obstacles. Investing in a GPS fish finder is sure to improve your catch rate and you can enjoy a fuller bag of fish when you return from a day out enjoying your favorite pastime.
What is a marine GPS combo unit?
For many of you, you will want the option to navigate accurately across the water as well as making the most of GPS technology to find fish. With a GPS combo unit, you can do both of these things and many devices now come with both of these features built in.
With a combo unit, you can navigate your way easily to that preferred fishing spot that you have saved on your GPS device and then search for the best spot to fish in with the fish finder. It’s a great idea to use modern technology to enhance your hobby as you will surely reap the benefits.
What are the key features of a good marine GPS device?
It’s a good idea to have a think about what features you want your marine GPS to have as this will help you when looking through the variety of devices available.
First of all, it is wise to choose a model that is waterproof so that it is protected from the splashes of the waves or if it was to take a trip overboard. Then think about how portable you want the device to be, some you can permanently install onto your boat and some are handheld – it depends what you’re after, if you will just be using the marine GPS on one boat it might be a good idea to go for a permanent installation.
Check what maps are included on the GPS device and that they are suitable for where you are planning to use it. If you go on to use your marine GPS around the world you can purchase additional maps for the device as you require them.
Make sure to check the power ouput of the device also. Measured in watts, with a higher wattage you will be able to secure more accuracy and it will also perform better in deeper water. You also want to be sure that you have a good quality screen so that you can easily read what the GPS is telling you – look out for ones with a high resolution.
Investing in a marine GPS is a good idea for any keen angler. Whether you need some assistance to make sure that you know where you’re going, want some extra reassurance that you won’t get lost, or want to be able to locate the best fishing spots, then you won’t regret getting one of these clever devices.
With this smart technology at your fingertips, you will be the envy of your fellow fisherman as you sweep in to make the catch of the day. You will also be able to approach the day feeling safe that if you do take a wrong turn, your marine GPS will be able to locate where you are and which way you need to go. Take a step into the 21st Century and make one of these devices your new best friend.