Fishing is fun, but you need a quality side imaging fish finder for a fruitful experience. Side imaging is a high-end sonar technology that lets you view what is on the bottom of the ocean or lake and pinpoints exactly where the fish are hiding.
However, choosing the right side imaging fish finder can be quite difficult. There are numerous fish finders out there with different features and pricing points. And you are likely to get overwhelmed with the many options available.
Fortunately, this article comes to your rescue as it features the best side imaging fish finders. These options are reliable and functional and will certainly meet all your fishing needs.
Best Side Imaging Fish Finder
1. Best Overall | Humminbird Helix 5 CHIRP SI GPS G2
If you spend a lot of time fishing and need a great side imaging fish finder, the Humminbird Helix 5 is the best bet. It comes equipped with high-end technology that will make your fishing excursions a breeze.
- Brilliant 5-inch screen
- CHIRP side imaging
- High-frequency ranges
- Dual-beam digital sonar
- SwitchFire sonar
- Compatible with Lakemaster and Navionics
The helix 5 features the latest sonar technology in the industry. It uses a dual-beam sonar that allows the unique selection of narrow or wide beams, thus providing great coverage and sharper images. The images are displayed on a 5-inch backlit screen in great detail.
Another amazing feature of this device is the CHIRP side imaging with 480 feet of side-to-side coverage. It also comes with a filter to reduce noise and clutter from your view, thus producing crisp images of your target.
In addition, this gadget comes with in-built base maps with over 10000 lakes so you can navigate the waters with confidence. It also allows users to create their maps with an eight-hour recording time. And for those who need more map options, the device is compatible with Navionics.
- Great precision
- Multiple sonars
- No networking capabilities.
2. Best Waterproof | Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 TrippleShot with C-Maps
The Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 is an excellent fish finder with optimal performance and diverse useful features. The unit is easy to use and, therefore, perfect for beginners.
- FishReveal feature
- Genesis Live
- TrippleShot transducer
- 7-inch screen
- Solarmax display
An incredible feature of this device is the TrippleShot sonar which combines CHIRP sonar with DownScan and SideScan imaging. It also has FishReveal technology, making it easier to identify fish and differentiate it from structures like rocks and wood. It integrates images from the TrippleShot sonar to produce high-resolution pictures over a wide range.
Additionally, the device comes with C-Maps covering upto 9,400 water bodies in Canada and over 15,000 lakes in the US. The maps make navigating the lakes easier and finding high-density fishing areas more effortless. It also allows users to create contour maps with Genesis Live.
The fish finder also has an IPX7 waterproofing feature, meaning it to withstand incidental water exposure. It also has a keypad input option with a simple layout menu that is easy to scroll through.
- Convinient user interface
- Easy to install
- Accurate maps
- No touchscreen
- No networking features.
3. Best Budget | Garmin Striker Vivid 7sv
Garmin Striker vivid 7 is an affordably priced fish finder with leading-edge sonar technology and side imaging. It is ideal for anyone on a tight budget but not willing to compromise on quality.
- High-frequency CHIRP
- ClearVu and SideVu sonnar
- GT52 transducer
- In-built GPS
- WI-FI connectivity
- QuickDraw contours
This device is capable of various functions thanks to the inbuilt sonar, which integrates SideVu, DownVu, and CHIRP technologies. SideVu is Garmin’s version of side imaging which provides incredible detail on underwater features on the side of the boat.
The 7sv supports a wide frequency range that the users can adjust as it fits their environment. The low and mid-range frequencies identify and isolate fish swimming through the water. The images are then displayed on the 7-inch color vivid screen. Large objects appear in red, while small objects appear in green.
When it comes to navigation, the 7sv is equipped with a sensitive GPS functionality that enables users to plan fishing routes. It also allows them to mark waypoints and store maps with 1’ contours. These waypoints can be shared with the Garmin community through ActiveCaptain since the device is WI-FI enabled.
As for durability, the device is made of quality material. It is IPX7 waterproof, meaning that it can survive full immersion in water and not get damaged. The hardware is built expertly with a weight of 24 oz, thus making the striker 7sv a portable midsize device.
- Brilliant sunlight-readable screen
- Networking capabilities
- Easy navigation
- No microSD slot
- No NMEA.
4. Best Advanced | Lowrance HDS Live with Active 3-in-1 Transducer
If you are a fishing enthusiast who needs an aesthetically pleasing and powerful fishfinder, the Lowrance HDS series is a top choice. It comes in various sizes and with all the necessary features you need.
- 3-in-1 active imaging transducer
- Active imaging
- Fish reveal
- C-Map pro
- 7,9,12 and 16-inch models
- Smartphone integration
The HDS series comes with a SolarMax HD display with a wide viewing angle and sharp images. The screen is backlit and can be viewed in all weather conditions, whether in the rain or during the night. The series also comes with different screen size models that you can choose from depending on your preferences.
The series also has active imaging that is incredible at pinpointing fish schools and providing high-resolution images. In addition, the device also has FishReveal, which also adds to the quality of the images produced. The HDS live filters clean out weak signals while amplifying strong signals to give you a clear picture of the underwater environment.
The device also comes installed with C-maps and GPS. the C-maps allow you to navigate through unknown waters effortlessly. They also allow you to chart important landmarks on the map and save them on your SD card through the live mapping feature.
- Latest technology
- Excellent side imaging
- Outstanding display
- Network connectivity
- A little pricey.
Related Post: Best Lowrance Fish Finders
5. Best Installation | Lowrance HOOK2 12
This premium fish finder comes in an ergonomic design that is easy to install in your boat or kayak. It features the latest sonar and chart plotter technology making it a top-class fishing tool and a must-have for your fishing excursions.
- 12-inch color TFT screen
- TrippleShot transducer
- DownScan, SideScan, and CHIRP sonar
- Internal GPS
- MicroSD slot
The HOOK2 12 fishfinder comes with three transducers, the DownScan, SideScan, and CHIRP sonar. They offer wide-range views beneath and on the sides of your boat with great target differentiation. This component allows the users to cover more water within a short period.
The C-Maps on this device cover over 4000 US lakes and provide super details on the various waypoints. The fish finder is also GPS enabled and compatible with Navionics, which allows you to access SonarChart Live and develop real-time maps based on your environs.
The device also features a vibrant 12-inch color display screen with SolarMax HD. The screen is backlit, thus offering excellent sunlight visibility. It is also IPX7 waterproof and can withstand accidental water splashes and rain, making it more durable.
Another selling point for this device is the user-friendly interface. It has a customizable home page where you can place your frequently used apps for quick access. The gadget also has the option to display four apps simultaneously. Navigation through the apps and menus is a breeze.
- Easy to use and install
- Accurate GPS
- MicroSD card reader
- Route creation feature
- No networking features
- Doesn’t support NMEA.
The Bottom Line
Using the best side imaging fish finder will get you instantaneous results. Most fish finders come with the latest sonar and are user-friendly. They are also convenient since they come in a compact design and are lightweight and portable. Investing in one of these devices will certainly take your fishing skills to the next level.