Fishing enthusiasts understand the thrill of exploring new waters, seeking the perfect catch in uncharted territories. In this digital age, having a reliable handheld GPS device is akin to having a seasoned guide. The best handheld GPS for fishing ensures you never lose your way in the vast expanse of water bodies and provides invaluable insights into underwater structures and prime fishing spots.
Our Top Picks
- Screen: Smartphone display via Bluetooth connectivity
- GPS Type: Dependent on the smartphone’s GPS
- Waterproof: No (Smartphone dependent)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, iOS, and Android apps
- Battery Life: 10+ hours (Rechargeable)
The ReelSonar Classic GPS is your ticket to effortless fishing adventures. The sonar signals generate visual images of static and moving objects underwater, including fish, which are color-coded by size for easy identification. Unique features like FishSiren pulses attract more fish, and the fish alarm alerts you when they gather under docks and piers.
With waterbed and structure contour mapping, GPS spot tagging, and weather updates, it’s your all-in-one fishing tool. Whether you’re shore fishing, ice fishing, or in freshwater or saltwater, the ReelSonar Classic GPS is your go-to device. It is a perfect gift for any angler, enhancing their fishing experience.
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- Detailed Swim Data
- Fish Alarm Feature
- Complex Setup for Beginners
- Screen: Display unit with backlight
- GPS Type: Depth reading and fish location
- Waterproof: Yes (IPX7 standards for display unit)
- Connectivity: Independent fishfinder
- Battery Life: 4-5 hours (4 AAA batteries)
The Venterior Portable Fish Finder detects water depth, fish location, weeds, sand, and rocks. It suits various fishing types, including kayak, dock, and ice fishing. Easy to use, simply toss the transducer into the water, and the display unit shows depth and approximate fish depth as fish schools pass by. Its portable design lets you wear it around your neck or store it in the provided water-resistant bag.
It’s tailored to your preferences with adjustable sensitivity, battery-saving mode, backlight, fish alarm, and unit settings. Powered by 4 AAA batteries, it works continuously for 4-5 hours and is suitable for fresh and saltwater. Despite its compact size, it delivers accurate depth readings within a detectable range of 3 ft/1 m to 328ft/100m. Compact, portable, and efficient, the Venterior Portable Fish Finder is your ideal fishing companion.
- Portable and Lightweight
- Accurate Depth Reading
- User-Friendly Interface
- Limited Detection Range
- Screen: 3-inch color display
- GPS Type: High-sensitivity GPS/GLONASS receiver
- Waterproof: Yes (IPX7 standards)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, ANT+, Garmin Connect compatibility
- Battery Life: Up to 50 hours in 10-minute tracking mode
The Garmin GPSMAP 86S is your reliable companion on the water. Its water-resistant and floating design and a 3” sunlight-visible display ensure ease of use even in challenging conditions.
This handheld GPS device seamlessly integrates with your marine system, consolidating vital boat data from compatible chart plotters and instruments. It is a remote control for Garmin autopilots and Fusion Marine products, offering convenient operation. Pair it with your smartphone for smart notifications on the go.
An adjustable GPS filter provides accurate speed and heading indications even in rough waters. The internal rechargeable lithium battery lasts up to 50 hours in 10-minute tracking mode, ensuring uninterrupted adventures. Plus, it supports optional BlueChart G3 charts for comprehensive marine mapping.
- Water-Resistant & Floating Design
- Convenient Wireless Connectivity
- Long Battery Life
- Relatively Small Screen
- Screen: 2.6-inch color TFT display
- GPS Type: High-sensitivity GPS receiver
- Waterproof: Yes (IPX7 standards)
- Connectivity: MicroSD card slot for additional maps
- Battery Life: Up to 20 hours (2 AA batteries)
The Garmin GPSMAP 78 Handheld GPS is your ultimate boating and water sports companion. With a high-sensitivity GPS receiver and a 2.6-inch color TFT display, this marine-friendly handheld device ensures precise navigation even in challenging conditions. Waterproof to IPX7 standards and designed to float, it offers peace of mind on the water. It has a built-in worldwide base map and a microSD card slot for additional maps, so you can confidently explore new routes.
Analyze your activities in detail and effortlessly share tracks with your outdoor devices using Garmin Connect. The device also supports geocaching GPX files, allowing you to download geocaches and details directly to your unit. Whether sailing, kayaking, or indulging in any water adventure, the GPSMAP 78 guarantees accurate navigation, making your maritime escapades memorable and worry-free.
- Waterproof & Floats
- High-Sensitivity GPS
- Expandable Memory
- Small Screen Size
- Screen: 2.6-inch sunlight-readable color display
- GPS Type: High-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver with quad helix antenna
- Waterproof: Yes (IPX7 standards)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth technology, ANT+
- Internal Memory: 8 GB; microSD card slot
Designed for outdoor enthusiasts, the Garmin GPSMAP 64st GPS has features to enhance your explorations. Its 2.6″ sunlight-readable color screen ensures clear visibility in any lighting conditions. This device provides reliable and extensive mapping capabilities with a high-sensitivity GPS, GLONASS receiver, quad helix antenna, and 8 GB of internal memory (expandable via microSD card).
Loaded with 250,000 preloaded caches from Geocaching.com and TOPO US 100K maps, it simplifies paperless caching experiences. The 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and ANT+ offer advanced navigation and tracking functionalities. You can receive smart notifications, pair with various sensors, and wirelessly upload data to Garmin Connect for a comprehensive outdoor adventure experience.
- Sunlight-Readable Display
- Extensive Preloaded Caches
- Wireless Connectivity Options
- Limited Internal Memory
- Screen: Available in 3.5, 5, and 7-inch display sizes
- GPS Type: High-sensitivity GPS
- Waterproof: Yes (IPX7 standards)
- Depth Range: Maximum 1,600 feet freshwater, 750 feet saltwater
The Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer offers a clear view of what’s beneath your boat, providing detailed representations of objects, structures, and fish. Its ClearVü scanning Sonar captures near-photographic images. While the Chirp Sonar sends continuous frequency sweeps for crisper fish arches and better target separation. The built-in flasher mode is perfect for ice fishing or vertical jigging, enhancing your angling experience.
Easy to use with dedicated buttons and available in various display sizes, the Striker 4 features a waypoint map. This allows you to mark and navigate to specific locations effortlessly. Its maximum depth capabilities of 1,600 feet in freshwater and 750 feet in saltwater make it ideal for various fishing environments. With an IPX7 water rating, this device is built to withstand water exposure, ensuring durability and reliability during your fishing adventures.
- ClearVu Scanning Sonar
- Built-in Flasher Mode
- Easy to Install
- Basic Mapping Features
Buying Guide for Best Handheld GPS for Fishing
Fishing is a sport; it’s a passion that takes enthusiasts to various water bodies in search of the perfect catch. In this digital age, having the right tools can significantly impact your fishing experience. The best handheld GPS for fishing is one such tool that can enhance your adventures on the water.
1. Why Handheld GPS for Fishing?
Before diving into the features, let’s understand why a handheld GPS is essential for fishing enthusiasts. Handheld GPS devices offer precise location tracking, mapping capabilities, and detailed navigation features.
They help you mark fishing spots, track your routes, and ensure you never get lost, even in unfamiliar waters. With advanced technology, these devices have become indispensable for both amateur anglers and seasoned professionals.
2. GPS Accuracy and Sensitivity
When it comes to handheld devices, accuracy is paramount. Look for a GPS unit with high sensitivity, enabling it to receive signals even in dense forests or deep canyons. Devices with compatibility with WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) provide enhanced accuracy, ensuring you can confidently pinpoint your exact location and fishing spots.
3. Mapping and Charting Capabilities
Opt for a handheld GPS with detailed mapping and charting capabilities. Topographic maps, marine charts, and contour maps are invaluable for anglers. They provide essential information about underwater structures, depths, and fishing hotspots. Some GPS devices come preloaded with maps, while others allow you to download additional maps based on your fishing location.
4. Waterproof and Durability
Fishing often involves exposure to water, so ensure your handheld GPS is waterproof. Look for devices with at least an IPX7 rating, indicating they can withstand immersion in water for a specific duration. Durability is equally important, as fishing environments can be rugged. A rugged and durable GPS device can withstand accidental drops and rough handling.
5. Battery Life and Power Options
Consider the battery life of the GPS device, especially if you plan on extended trips. Some units offer long battery life, allowing you to use the GPS continuously for several hours or even days.
Additionally, assess the power options. Some devices use rechargeable batteries, while others are compatible with standard AA batteries. Multiple power options ensure you can keep your GPS operational, even when you’re far from a power source.
6. Waypoint and Track Management
Waypoints are locations you mark for future reference, such as productive fishing spots or boat ramps. A good handheld GPS allows you to store a large number of waypoints. Track management features enable you to record your routes and review them later. Look for devices with ample storage for waypoints and tracks and user-friendly interfaces for easy management.
7. Wireless Connectivity and Updates
Some modern handheld GPS devices have wireless connectivity options, allowing you to seamlessly receive notifications, update maps, and share data with other devices. Wireless capabilities enhance your overall user experience and keep your GPS up-to-date with the latest features and improvements.
8. Additional Features and Accessories
Consider additional features that can enhance your fishing experience. Barometric altimeters provide valuable data for predicting weather changes, which can be crucial for fishing. Compasses help with navigation, ensuring you stay on course. Some GPS devices also offer features like tide tables, moon phase calendars, and sunrise/sunset data, which can aid in strategic fishing.
Tips To Take Care of Best Handheld GPS for Fishing
Your best handheld GPS for fishing is a valuable tool that ensures you navigate the waters confidently and find the best fishing spots. Proper care and maintenance are important to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. In this guide, we provide valuable tips on taking care of your handheld GPS device to keep it in top-notch condition for all your fishing adventures.
1. Protective Cases: Shield Your Device
Invest in a durable, waterproof protective case designed for your handheld GPS device. These cases defend against water, dust, and accidental impacts. Whenever your GPS is not in use, store it in a protective case to safeguard it from potential damage.
2. Battery Maintenance: Ensure Longevity
If your handheld GPS device uses rechargeable batteries, adhere to proper charging practices. Avoid overcharging, which can deteriorate battery life over time. If your GPS uses replaceable batteries, remove them if you don’t plan on using the device for an extended period to prevent potential leakage.
3. Firmware Updates: Stay Current
Manufacturers frequently release firmware updates to enhance device performance and add new features. Regularly check for updates on the manufacturer’s website or the device’s software. Keeping your GPS firmware up-to-date ensures you benefit from the latest improvements and bug fixes.
4. Avoid Extreme Conditions: Handle with Care
While many GPS devices are designed to withstand rugged environments, handling them with care is still essential. Avoid exposing your device to extreme temperatures, whether scorching heat or cold. Extreme conditions can impact the device’s internal components and reduce its lifespan.
5. Backup Your Data: Preserve Your Information
Back up your GPS data to a computer or cloud storage, including waypoints, routes, and tracks. In the event of accidental damage or device failure, having a backup ensures you don’t lose essential information. Most GPS devices come with software or apps that facilitate easy data backup.
By following these tips, you can ensure your best handheld gps for fishing remains reliable and functional throughout its lifespan. Proper protection, regular cleaning, appropriate battery management, staying updated, handling with care, and maintaining data backups are essential practices.
By investing a little time and effort in maintenance, you guarantee your GPS device is always ready to guide you to your favorite fishing spots with precision and accuracy.
Best Handheld GPS for Fishing
Investing in the best handheld GPS for fishing can elevate your angling adventures to new heights. You can choose a GPS device that perfectly aligns with your fishing needs by prioritizing GPS accuracy, mapping capabilities, waterproofing, durability, battery life, waypoint management, wireless connectivity, and additional features. With the right GPS companion, you can navigate waterways confidently, discover hidden fishing gems, and make every fishing expedition a memorable experience.