Castable fish finders are an excellent way for shore fishermen and ice fishermen to quickly study the bottom makeup and depth of the area they are fishing.
And some even allow for chart plotting so you can save and use a contour map of that area and every spot you can reach via casting.
You can find below our top picks on essential portable fish finders for shore-based anglers.
Read on to find out why we chose these models and what you should look for in a castable fish finder.
Our Top Picks
Our top pick on this list of castable sonar units has to be the Deeper Chirp. It has all the features you could ask for with this type of sonar unit. Long distance, incredible accuracy from 6 inches of water to hundreds of feet deep with 4-inch precision. Bathymetric mapping capabilities and quick charging. Deeper really nailed it with this one, giving anglers a serious bang for their buck.
Our best-value castable fish finder is the Lowrance Fish Hunter 3D. For a bargain price, this unit comes with a directional casting mode for open-water fishing or an ice fishing mode if you’re out on the ice.
It also has great connectivity options via the Lowrance app – you can follow friends, stream your sonar display, and map out all your favorite spots with the contour mapping feature.
The Deeper Chirp is the high-end model of the Deeper series of castable fish finders. Like the other fishfinder, the Chirp also has its own wifi signal, but things get drastically better with this model compared to the Start Smart by deeper for an added price.
Here’s another offering from Lowrance that you can use on your smart device by making its own wifi connection. This unit comes with a directional casting mode for open-water fishing or an ice fishing mode if you’re out on the ice.
- Lowrance FishHunter PRO
- Deeper Start Fish Finder
- Deeper Chirp
- Lucky Portable Fish Charger
- Deeper PRO
- Lowrance Fish Hunter 3D
Best Castable Fish Finders: Full Reviews
The Lowrance FishHunter PRO has some pretty awesome features for shore fishermen. This fish finder links directly to your phone, but it doesn’t require a data connection.
Instead, the FishHunter Pro creates its wifi signal that you connect to using the Mobile app for your phone.
The fish finder also includes a traditional sonar view and a fish mode which shows fish icons on the sonar display, so you can pick whatever mode you prefer.
The coolest feature of this fish finder is the mapping feature. This feature allows you to create custom color contour charts of your favorite spots, revealing depths of every area you can reach by casting, allowing you to save those maps to use whenever needed.
The unit also runs three frequencies for sonar at 381kHz, 475kHz, and 675kHz.
- Contour mapping
- Wifi signal
- Multiple frequencies
- Shorter casting range
- Large unit
The Deeper Start Smart fish finder is incredibly portable and easy to cast. It, like the Lowrance and others, creates its own wifi signal allowing you to use the fish finder and app without draining the data on your phone.
You can cast the fish finder up to 165 feet away from you and still have enough signal to see the readings on the app. The sonar is also powerful enough to accurately ping to depths of 165 feet with a 40-degree sonar cone.
The fish finder also comes with an automatic night fishing mode and 6 hours of battery life while only taking 2.5 hours to charge. The deeper is compatible with both Android and IOS platforms.
- Long battery life
- Very portable
- Short casting distance
- Wide sonar cone
The iBobber is a very easy-casting and aerodynamic sonar unit that you can connect to using your phone via Bluetooth.
The iBobber has 2 line tie points, along with an LED beacon to help with night fishing.
On top of that, you get a whopping 10 hours of battery life and a sonar maximum depth of 135 feet. Works on both Android and IOS with a completely free app.
- 2 line points
- Long battery life
- No mapping feature
- Short distance reading
The Deeper Chirp is the high-end model of the Deeper series of castable fish finders.
Like the other fish finder, the Chirp also has its own wifi signal, but things get drastically better with this model compared to the Start Smart by deeper for an added price.
The Chirp can cast out to 330 feet and maintain solid connectivity with your smart device, allowing you to really reach out with maximum casting distance to discover what’s really out there from shore.
This means it also has a sonar depth of that same 330 feet of depth, which should be more than any shore angler could ever ask for.
With such huge depth reading capabilities, it can also read accurately in as little as 6 inches of water, with a 4-inch precision readout of anything it pings.
It can also be used to make contour or bathymetric map readouts that you can save and use anytime you return to the area on your smart device.
The Chirp also has fast charging reaching 100% in 75 minutes. This is a great option for any shore fisherman or kayak angler.
- Precision sonar
- Long distance casting
- The price is higher than others on the list
The Lucky fish finder comes with its own handheld device that features a 2.5-inch LCD screen. Allowing you to use it without the need for a smart device or wifi, while it stays around your neck via the provided lanyard.
The range of the transducer from your handheld device is 196 feet with 147 feet of depth for sonar, which should be plenty for most anglers using these types of fish finders.
The sonar also has multiple setting options such as detection sensitivity, zoom, depth alarm, and fish alarm.
The Lucky also has a very long battery life, with 4 hours on the handheld LCD device, and 10 hours for the sonar unit itself.
- No smart device needed
- Multiple settings
- Small screen
- Short range
Our last Deeper model on the list is the PRO. It’s an in-between of the Start and the Chirp.
With a total cast distance connectivity of 330 feet like the Chirp, but with only 260 feet of depth readings, which still should be more than enough for almost all anglers.
It also features dual beam sonar frequency with a 55-degree wide beam and a 15-degree narrow beam.
Everything else is pretty much the same as the other models. And like the Chirp, you can still create bathymetric maps of all your favorite fishing spots.
Compared to the other two Deeper models listed, the main point of this is price, which is in between the others and comes with additional features over the Start.
- Long range
- Wide and narrow beam settings
- Less depth than the chirp model
Here’s another offering from Lowrance that you can use on your smart device by making its own wifi connection.
This unit comes with a directional casting mode for open-water fishing or an ice fishing mode if you’re out on the ice.
Along with those 2 modes, it also comes with 3 different frequencies for the sonar, these frequencies are 381kHz, 475kHz, and 675kHz.
The Lowrance app allows you to log catches, follow friends, or even stream your sonar display live anywhere in the world.
And like some of the other offerings on this list, you can map out all your favorite spots with the contour mapping feature.
- Open water and ice fishing modes
- Multiple frequencies
- Short range of 150 feet casting distance
Castable Fish Finder Considerations
Let’s take a look at some of the things you should look at when purchasing a castable fish finder.
Battery life is a crucial consideration and should be thought about when it comes to buying a castable fish finder.
Ice fishermen, for example, will probably want to choose a fish finder with a longer battery life as they are going to want to run it almost continuously due to fishing in one spot for longer periods of time while looking for schools of fish, vegetation or depth, this is equally true with kayak anglers as well.
While Bluetooth will work, we recommend wifi over Bluetooth due to having an increased range, allowing you to cast farther in many cases and still get accurate readings from the unit.
The biggest limitation for castable fish finders is in the name; you’re limited to how far you can cast it. If you’re kayak fishing, this is definitely less of a concern due to your ability to be more mobile on the water.
One other concern is the lack of speed readings. If you use this on a boat, you can’t move more than 1 or 2 miles per hour, and even then, the sonar unit will tilt and give bad readings.
Castable Sonar Units can be very handy in a wide range of circumstances for a wide variety of species, filling a niche for kayak, ice, and shore anglers who don’t have or want the option for today’s boat sonars that can run into the thousands of dollars.
Consider how you fish and what you might need when selecting a castable sonar, and remember these are really useful for beginner to intermediate anglers as well as the most skilled fishers. We are sure that we have something on this list to suit all anglers’ needs for this niche fishing tool.