If you are looking for a new side imaging fish finder, there is nothing more important than finding the best one. We have compiled all of the information that you need to know about these amazing devices into this article so that you can make an informed purchase decision. Read on to learn about some of the top rated models and what they offer!

A side imaging fish finder is a device that uses sonar technology to help you locate and identify fish in the water. It does this by projecting an image of what is below the boat onto a screen, which gives you a much more detailed view than traditional sonar. This allows you to see not just where the fish are, but also their size and shape.

Side imaging fish finders can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, making them a versatile tool for any angler. They are available in both portable and fixed-mount models, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Side Imaging Fish Finders Reviewed

Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish Finder

Humminbird HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS 2

The Humminbird 410210-1 Helix 5 Chirp GPS G2 Fish Finder is perfect for serious anglers who demand the best in terms of features and performance. This top-of-the-line fish finder comes with a color widescreen display, Humminbird CHIRP Digital Sonar and Imaging Sonar, GPS mapping, AutoChart Live and Basemap, and more. With its Dual Beam feature, you’ll be able to see the lake bottom like never before, while the CHIRP technology ensures that you’ll get accurate readings no matter how deep you’re fishing.

The unit’s GPS mapping feature allows you to easily mark a spot on the water and return later for an accurate reading. You can also use it to record your tracks, so you have a point of reference in case you get lost or want to find out how far from land you are. Plus, thanks to the Dual Beam technology included with this side imaging fish finder , even small objects near the bottom will be easy to see – perfect for anglers who like fishing deeper waters .

The Humminbird Helix Series has always been a among serious fishermen because of their high-quality technology and this fish finder is no different. It’s one of the most advanced sonar fish finders on the market and comes with a lot of features that will give you an accurate reading even in very deep water .

  • Dual Beam technology
  • GPS mapping feature
  • High-quality images of the lake bottom
  • None.
Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp SI GPS G2 Combo

Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp SI GPS G2 Combo

The Humminbird Helix Series fish finders have long been among the most popular with serious anglers because of their high-quality features and this combo unit is no different. It’s one of the best side imaging fish finder combos on the market, providing an accurate reading even in deep waters . The combination also makes it a great choice for those looking to upgrade from entry-level models without having to invest too much money up front.

This particular model comes with a color widescreen display and uses both CHIRP Digital Sonar and Imaging sonar technologies that will allow you to see small objects near shore as well as your target 20′ further out – perfect for fishing at any depth or location . You’ll be able to see up to 800′ in front of your boat and this unit comes with a GPS antenna too.

This is easily one of the best side imaging fish finder combos on the market , providing an accurate reading even in deep waters .

The combination also makes it a great choice for those looking to upgrade from entry-level models without having to invest too much money up front . This particular model comes with a color widescreen display and uses both CHIRP Digital Sonar and Imaging sonar technologies that will allow you  to see small objects near shore as well as your target 20 feet further out – perfect for fishing at any depth or location .

  • Color widescreen display
  • Affordable price for a combo unit
  • Some users have reported problems with the GPS antenna and sonar images not appearing on screen.
Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Fish Finder

Humminbird 409640-1 HELIX 5 SI Fish Finder

The Humminbird HELIX Series fish finders have long been among the most popular with serious anglers because of their high-quality features and this entry-level unit is no different. This model comes from a company that’s well known for producing some of the best side imaging fish finder on the market, so you know it’ll deliver powerful sonar performance  even in deep waters .

You can see up to 800′ ahead thanks to CHIRP Digital Sonar technology and use GPS navigation as well. The readout offers an accurate view along narrow passages or deeper down into water where other units may fail  and even provides data about what type of structure is below your boat – making fishing especially productive . It also uses AutoChart Live to create maps of the bottom in real-time as you fish, so you can return to productive spots time and again.

The Humminbird 409640-11 is also one of the most affordable side imaging fish finders on the market without sacrificing any features, making it a great buy for anyone looking for an upgrade or their first unit .

  • AutoChart Live provides real-time map of the bottom in your area
  • GPS allows you to create, save and return to specific fishing spots with ease
  • The slim profile is great for boats where space is limited
  • The screen may be too small for some anglers’ tastes at only two inches.
Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer

Garmin Striker 7SV with transducer

The Garmin Striker fish finder is a great value for the price, providing high-quality sonar performance in a package that’s easy to use. It offers both CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP ClearVü scanning, so you can see what’s down below your boat whether it’s in deep water or close to shore. The screen is large and clear with an LED backlight for easy viewing even in direct sunlight, and there are easily accessible buttons on the side for changing settings without having to take your eyes off of the water .

It also includes built-in GPS mapping with waypoints and contours , as well as AutoChart Live which creates live maps of the bottom as you fish. It’s easy to see what you’re doing with the Striker because it has a high-resolution 240 x 400 pixel display that shows more detail than much pricier sonar devices, and even includes an adjustable split screen mode so you can have your map up at all times along with whatever other information like speed or water temperature you want to keep track of .

The Garmin Striker is our pick for best side imaging fish finder, offering advanced features in a package that anyone can use without any hassle. The only real downside is its lack of compatibility with graphs , but since most people don’t actually use their old ones anyway this isn’t really much of an issue unless they’ve got some extra equipment lying around collecting dust .

  • CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP ClearVü scanning
  • Large, clear screen with LED backlight
  • GPS mapping with waypoints and contours
  • AutoChart Live creates live maps of the bottom as you fish
  • High resolution 240 x 400 pixel display
  • No compatibility with graphs
Humminbird 409850-1 Helix 7 SI G visibility

Humminbird 409850-1 Helix 7 SI G visibility

The Humminbird Helix fish finder is our pick for best side imaging sonar and performs admirably in most cases, even when the water isn’t deep. It’s also compatible with graphs , which means that you can view your entire history on one screen instead of having to switch back and forth between multiple different screens like some other models . However it does lack a split-screen mode so you’re stuck looking at just one thing at a time unless you manually change modes or turn off the GPS map function entirely.

This makes it hard to use while driving, though the included wireless remote works well enough once you get used to using it . The transducer mount is solid but doesn’t include any options for mounting alternate ones so this unit is best used where there’s a solid flat surface to attach it on instead of the dash. If you have two, you can utilize one for normal mode and another for split screen but running both at once will drain your battery faster .

  • Excellent side imaging sonar
  • Compatible with graphs
  • Wireless remote included
  • No split screen mode
Garmin Echomap Chirp 73SV transducer

Garmin Echomap Chirp 73SV transducer

The Garmin Echomap Chirp 73SV has the same split screen mode as the Lowrance HDS but costs significantly less money if you’re looking to save some cash without sacrificing too much performance . Unfortunately it doesn’t have a wireless remote so adjusting settings will be more difficult compared to other models, particularly when mounted on your boat’s dash or console where they can easily see what’s going on with them , but overall this unit performs well enough that you probably won’t mind having to do things manually once in awhile.

The Garmin Echomap Chirp 73SV features a dual-frequency transducer which is capable of transmitting both 50 and 200 kHz frequencies. It also has an internal GPS antenna so you can use it as a traditional fish finder, but the side imaging sonar only displays down to depths of 750 feet instead of 1000 like our top pick. Its max transmit power is 800 W compared to Lowrance’s 2000 watts, but unless you’re fishing extremely deep waters that really isn’t much cause for concern . Unfortunately this unit doesn’t have built-in maps either , so if you’re looking for more than just simple depth readings then we recommend spending your money on another model.

  • Dual frequency transducer
  • Internal GPS antenna
  • No wireless remote
  • Depth readings only down to 750 feet
Humminbird 409990-1 Helix 10 SI 600x1024 Sonar

Humminbird 409990-1 Helix 10 SI 600x1024 Sonar

Humminbird Helix series fish finders are some of the most popular choices on the market , and for good reason. For starters this unit comes with a massive 600×1024 pixel display capable of showing you down to depths as deep as 3000 feet . It also has an impressive 16 degree viewing angle that, paired with its sonar capabilities, lets you cover more water in less time which is pretty crucial if your fishing waters where other boats tend to crowd together since it’s much easier to spot schools or any other structure once you have enough space between yourself and others.

The Humminbird 409990-I sonar includes both Down Imaging Plus technology along with DualBeam PLUS transducer so it can send out two different sonar signals at the same time: one that sends out a beam in front of your boat and another one to send down below, so you can see fish on both sides. It’s also possible to customize these settings by yourself if you know what you’re doing which is great for when multiple people need to use it or when fishing conditions change .

  • Massive 600×1024 pixel display
  • 16 degree viewing angle
  • Down Imaging and DualBeam PLUS transducer technology
  • Customizable sonar settings
  • Some users have complained about the quality of the images it produces
Garmin Striker 7sv with Transducer 7 GPS Fishfinder

Garmin Striker 7sv with Transducer 7 GPS Fishfinder

If you’re looking for a high performance unit that doesn’t go above the $500 dollar mark, then this is probably what you want. This fish finder has a small GPS screen with an impressive LED backlight and supports both DownVu and SideVu scanning sonar technologies to give you all kinds of data about your surroundings .

It also comes pre-installed with LakeVü HD maps which means it’s ready to use right out of the box since there are no additional fees required but if those aren’t enough, chances are they’ll keep growing in numbers as time goes by so I wouldn’t worry too much about them going obsolete anytime soon. It also includes built-in Wi-Fi connectivity along with Bluetooth support , making it more than just your regular fish finder.

In terms of power, this device is capable of using both a 12V battery as well as an external power cord so you won’t have to worry about running out of juice while on the water .

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Decent screen size
  • Good value for the money
  • The GPS could be a little faster in terms of response time.

What To Consider When Buying a Side Imaging Fish Finder

Side Imaging Transducer

When looking to buy a side imaging fish finder, the first thing you need to decide on is what type of transducer you want. This is the part of the unit that emits and receives sound waves into and from the water, so it’s important to get one that is suited for your needs.

There are two main types of transducers when it comes to side imaging fish finders: single-frequency and dual-frequency . Single frequency transducers emit just one type of sound wave, while dual-frequency ones send out two different types simultaneously. The advantage of using a dual-frequency transducer is that it can give you a better image in certain situations – for example, when there is an abundance of weeds present in the water.

The type of transducer you choose will also depend on the make and model of side imaging fish finder that you buy. Some models come with transducers that are built-in, while others allow you to attach your own.

Side Imaging Frequencies

If you opt for a dual-frequency transducer, then the next thing to consider is what frequencies that unit uses. It’s important to note here that most units will use either 200 kHz or 50 kHz , but some can also be used with side imaging sonar at 455 kHz .

While it might not make much of a difference when searching open water, using one frequency over another can affect how well your unit works in shallow areas or where there are lots of different objects located just below the surface. For example, if you’re trying to find fish around reefs and other rocky structures then opting for a model whose side imaging mode consists of both low (200kHz) and high (455kHz) frequencies could give better results overall since it will be able to penetrate the water more easily.

Boat Type

The size and type of your boat will also determine which side imaging fish finder is best for you. If you have a small fishing skiff, then a unit with a transducer that can be mounted on the bow (front) of the boat is likely to be your best option. This way, the transducer will be closer to the water and give you a better image.

Conversely, if you have a larger vessel then a model with a built-in or portable transducer that can be placed anywhere on the boat might be more suitable. Some units even come with mounts that can be attached to your trolling motor!

Side Imaging Depth And Range

The depth and range of a side imaging fish finder are also important factors to consider. The maximum depth that a unit can reach will depend on the frequency that it uses, so be sure to check this before purchasing. As a general rule, units with higher frequencies can detect objects further away from the boat .

Display Features

Another thing to consider when buying a side imaging fish finder is the display it has. Some models will come with their own LCD screen, while others give you the option of attaching one yourself.

The advantage of having your unit’s display built-in is that nothing gets in your way or obstructs what you’re looking at. However, if this isn’t an issue for you then getting one without its own screen may be more cost effective since they tend to be cheaper than standalone ones and can also be used on other devices too (for example using them as backseat DVD players).

Screen Size

Screen size is another important consideration, especially if you’re going to be using your side imaging fish finder for long periods of time. A bigger screen will obviously give you a better view, but it’s also worth considering how much information is shown on the display at once .

Some models have screens that are cluttered with data or too small to see properly from a distance , while others provide an easy-to-read layout with all the relevant information clearly displayed. It’s important to go for one that gives you all the info you need without being overwhelming.


Having a backlight on your fish finder’s screen can come in handy when fishing at night or in low-light conditions. This will ensure that you can still see what’s going on, no matter how dark it is.

Not all models have this feature, so if it’s something you’re interested in then be sure to check before purchasing.

Benefits of using a side imaging fish finder

There are a number of benefits to owning and using your own side imaging fish finder. Some of the main ones include:

  • You can locate fish more easily with this type of sonar, making it easier to catch them .
  • The image on the screen gives you a much better idea about where different types of structure – such as rocks or weeds – is located in relation to your boat , which makes fishing safer and more enjoyable.
  • Side imaging technology allows you to identify structures that might be holding fish like wrecks or reefs, giving you an advantage over other anglers who do not have access to one. This also helps reduce “blank spots” while fishing because there will always be something for the unit’s sonar signal bounce off!
  • They are more affordable than traditional sonar units. If your budget doesn’t allow for a high end unit with all of the bells and whistles, then there still some excellent options available at an affordable price point.
  • The GPS capabilities make it easy to return to previously fished spots or explore new areas . You can even mark waypoints on the map so you don’t get lost! Some models also come with software that will help you plan out your whole fishing trip in advance before heading out onto the water, making it easier than ever to get started.
  • Side imaging technology works by sending continuous beams of sound waves from under your boat into the water around you , which is projected outward in a fan shape that it covers lots of ground. This allows for a more detailed map of what lies beneath you to be built up, which can then be displayed on the screen in different ways depending on your model.

Side Imaging Fish Finder Features

  • Depth & Range

Depth and range are two important considerations when purchasing a side imaging fish finder. Some units have a depth capability of up to 500 feet, while others offer a much shorter range. It is important to determine how deep you plan on fishing and what areas you will be covering before making your purchase.

Anglers who frequently fish in shallow water or along the shoreline will not need as much depth capabilities as those who venture into deeper waters. Likewise, someone looking for a unit with a longer range may not need as much depth. It is important to consider both factors when making your decision.

  • CHIRP Sonar

The newest fish finders offer a feature called CHIRP sonar technology, which stands for Compressed High-Intensity Radar Pulse. This signal is able to penetrate beyond the surface of the water and provides anglers with more reliable images in low visibility conditions such as cloudy days or when fishing over dark bottom structures. The major benefits of this new technology are increased imagery resolution and improved target discrimination (the ability to distinguish between targets).

Fish finders that use CHIRP can be identified by their multiple selectable frequencies. For example, some units may have five different frequency options while others will come with 20+.

  • Screen Size & Features

The size of the screen is another important consideration. Larger screens are generally easier to use and provide more visibility on your boat allowing you to see what is ahead even when standing up. The downside of a larger display, however, is that they can be difficult to mount on some boats without blocking other critical instruments or obstructing the driver’s view through the windshield.

Another feature worth considering is mapping options for your sonar unit. Some units offer built-in maps while others do not come with any at all so it may be necessary purchase these separately if this function is something you would find useful in making decisions about where best to fish next time out.

  • Waypoint Markers

Some fish finders come with waypoint markers or allow for easy waypoint marking using the GPS on your boat. This feature allows you to easily mark specific locations of interest such as fishing hot spots, shallow water areas where bait is active or other significant underwater structures like sunken boats and old pilings.

The ability to add additional marker points while out on the water can be extremely helpful when trying to locate structure in deeper waters since it provides anglers an exact location they may return back to at a later time so they don’t have go hunting around looking for that spot again if conditions are right for catching fish there next time out.

  • Durability Features

It is also important to consider the durability features of a fish finder before making your purchase. Many units now offer waterproof ratings and submersion capabilities, which are essential if you plan on using your unit in wet environments. It is also a good idea to look for models that come with a built-in transducer shield as this will help protect the sensitive sonar technology from getting damaged if you happen to run into submerged objects while fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a fish finder and depth finder?

Fish finders use sonar technology to send sound waves out into the water and then measure the time it takes for them to bounce back. This information is translated into an image on the display that shows what is below your boat. Depthfinders use echo sounding which sends a pulse of high-frequency sound waves down from the surface of the water. These waves reflect off objects beneath the surface and return to the transducer, where their height above sea level is converted into a depth reading

What type of frequencies should I look for in a CHIRP sonar unit?

The frequency options available on a CHIRP sonar unit will depend on the manufacturer. For example, some low-end units may only offer a single 60 kHz frequency which is not as clear and detailed as those that have multiple options such as 80/120/200 or even 455 kHz frequencies for ultra deep water applications

What are waypoint markers?

Waypoint markers allow anglers to mark specific locations of interest with coordinates so they can easily return back there at a later time if conditions change enough to make it worth their while. Some fish finders come with this feature built in whereas others do not but you can usually purchase these separately from most major electronics retailers .


A side imaging fish finder is a type of sonar that uses sound waves to detect objects underwater. Side imaging fish finders are ideal for locating submerged items, which can be helpful in finding ice fishing spots or the best spot on the lake to catch fish. There are many benefits associated with using a side imaging fish finder, not least of all being convenience and variety. If you’re looking for more information about what exactly this device does, how it works, and what features you should consider before purchasing one, keep reading!