Let’s compare top fish finders vs. fish cameras in detail.

Fish finders and fish cameras are fishing trip essentials. Boats & Charters editors reviewed the best fish finders and fish cameras of 2024 and compared top models. Read on for our editors’ top picks!

Take your fishing outings to the next level with a fish finder, fish camera, or both. Chances are if you’re ready to level up and bring tech to your fishing deck, you’ll ultimately likely want to invest in both of these gadgets.

What is a fish finder?

Fish finder technology has been around for decades, and their technology has rapidly improved over the years with impressive features. Fish finders come with a wide range of features, quality, and accuracy, adding value and higher awareness to your time on the water.

A fish finder does what it says. It will locate the fish for you. Sure, you’re intuitive in salt or freshwater and know the patterns of nature, but a little tech doesn’t help when there are limited hours for a successful fishing trip to be had. Fish finders operate off of a GPS so even if you aren’t into fishing but are looking to bring some form of digital mapping to your outings, a fish finder might be a cool alternative for you.

What is an underwater fish camera?

Fishing cameras allow you to explore the habitat in which you are fishing to help you become an even better fisherman. These cameras allow you to drop your camera right in on a spot you are interested in to uncover every detail for the most productive areas to fish. Check out our guide for several different options.

An underwater fish camera captures underwater imaging of fish or no fish, which is why technically an underwater fish camera can double as a fish finder. There’s no sense in sitting around if there are no fish in sight. An underwater fish camera will give you that vision. An underwater fish camera can also provide great entertainment during the experience and passengers on your boat will also get a kick out of the visuals, even if they don’t fish. You never know what you might see under the sea and having an underwater fishing camera really brings boat outings to a new level and can be super educational, too.

Fish Finders vs. Fishing Cameras

Plenty of fisherman wouldn’t be able to choose between a fish finder vs. a fish camera, since they serve slightly different purposes. We are real water nerds over here, so we would choose both, and use them both whether we were fishing or not!

If you’re just starting to add tech to your boat trips and have limited budget to play around with, we’d recommend you get started with an actual fish finder and then one day also bring home the fish camera. Fish finders are very accurate, many fisherman use them, and it’s a unique technology that does come with a learning curve, but it is so worth it. Fish finders are basically a boating essential these days, where a fish camera might feel more like bells and whistles to your boat.

Here are the best fish finders and fish cameras of 2024, reviewed by our editors:

1. Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder – Best Finder Overall


Finding fish is easier than ever with the Striker 4 Fish Finder. Featuring convenient keypad operation, the easy to use 3.5 inch color display with built in, high sensitivity GPS allows you to find fish, mark and return to hot spots, even docks and ramps. This system is designed to allow you to mark your favorite fishing spot and easily navigate back to it tomorrow, saving you time and money. The Striker 4 fish finder includes a Garmin CHIRP (77/200 kHz) transducer, which provides a visibly higher level of clarity and detail for fish and structure than traditional 77/200 kHz transducers. With depth capabilities of 1600 feet in freshwater and 750 feet in saltwater, you can tackle even the most serious bodies of water.

2. Lowrance HOOK2 Fish Finder – Easiest to Use


If your goal is to catch more fish this year, The Lowrance HOOK2 4x Fish Finder is here to help you do just that. This GPS-free device functions accurately thanks to its auto-tuning sonar and phone-like menus. Once you learn the ropes on using this gadget effectively, it will give you more time to spend fishing and less time dealing with settings. A single transducer can be mounted on the transom, inside the hull, on the trolling motor or through a scupper hole, and the included Bullet Skimmer transducer gives you traditional 2-D sonar (fish arch) views.

3. LUCKY Kayak Portable Fish Depth Finder – Best Handheld


The LUCKY portable kayak fish finder is a great addition to any fisherman’s arsenal this year. Its compact portable design is ideal for kayak fishing, ice fishing, and pier fishing for use in fresh or saltwater!  Just add 4 AAA batteries and you’re ready to go with 4-5 hours of continuous use, or longer with its battery saver mode. With LUCKY, there is no more wasted time casting in unproductive areas. With an impressive detection range of 3 ft to 328 ft, this portable fish finder gives you enhanced knowledge of underwater conditions. Handheld and with a strap included for wearing around your neck for added convenience, this is a versatile tool you will want to use season after season.

4. Eyoyo Underwater Fishing Camera – Best Clarity


Immerse yourself in the underwater world with the Eyoyo underwater fishing camera. Featuring an extraordinary 7-inch color screen boasting 800*480 pixels resolution, this camera offers unparalleled visibility. Equipped with a 1000TVL camera chip, the picture quality and color reproduction are cutting edge. The infrared lights allow the underwater world to be seen in dark conditions. 6-8 hours of working time when fully charged allows for productive underwater exploration. Available in several different length cables enables you to reach all different depths with confidence. 

5. Fourq Underwater Fishing Camera – Best for Freshwater


Explore the underwater world reliably with the Fourq Underwater Fishing Camera. With a depth range of 100 feet and rechargeable battery lasting 20+ hours, this underwater camera is easy and fun to operate. Just plug and use! With a maximum weight capacity of 88 lbs., fish with confidence! The Fourq comes with a 1200TVL camera, 20% clearer than ordinary 1000TVL underwater fishing camera, so you can see fish in the darkest of environments or murky water. The underwater camera is made of tempered glass for the front housing, which makes the video clearer and durable. There are 12 infrared lights installed around the HD camera, so you can easily enjoy fishing in the dark. With a large 5-inch HD screen and 3 sun shades designed around the perimeter, you can easily enjoy fishing in the sun without the glare. All of this inside a high-end customized branded carrying case that is small is size, light weight, and easy to carry.