The difference between fish and depth finders, and what device is appropriate to your needs?

Many of us are probably eager to find an exact and straightforward answer about fish finder versus depth finder devices. The function of a simple depth finder device is to determine the depth of water, while fish finders give extensive data. But, the operations of either of these gadgets might combine to a certain degree when you transition into sophisticated technologies.

In this article, I will guide you on everything you need to know about fish and depth finders, their distinctive differences, and what device is appropriate to your needs.

Why are fish finders so much better?

The functionality of a fish finder depends on the gadget model you purchase. Technology-advanced gadgets have more significant functions, but here are the distinct advantages of fish finders.

  • Advanced Features

A fish detector is capable of measuring the water's temperature or providing information about your boat's rate. Furthermore, they may include nighttime fishing-specific functionality like sirens or flashers. Additional functions include the ability to make remarks and measure boat rate. Moreover, portable versions have built-in WiFi or Bluetooth to facilitate communication using your smart devices.

  • Display

An excellent transducer is worthless without a high-quality monitor to show the results clearly. Fish finders provide a screen with a much greater number of pixels. The information is significantly simpler to view on devices with larger displays. Additional features include a touch feature and several color choices.

  • CHIRP Sonar and Side Imaging

Multiple-frequency CHIRP fish finders provide detailed bottom imaging. Several fish locators include a side-scan option that lets users look from both directions. This helps distinguish flora, stones, shrubs, and some other objects. Strong 360º imaging lets fishers see below the boats.

On the other hand, the most recent and advanced fish finders on today's market are capable of some fantastic things. Consider Hummingbird's Side Imaging; wherein fish are shown in such exquisite detail that you could almost identify specific fish inside a group. Additionally, there are a variety of objects visible on the sides of your vessel. Additional excellent representations may be seen with the fish finder devices; many leading fish detector manufacturers provide some side or underneath visualization.

Such features are not included in depth finders, of course.

Fish Finders Integrated GPS

Most integrated GPS fish finders have an exceptional GPS receiver, enabling you to identify the ideal fishing locations. This saves a lot of time and effort when returning to a location. Its trolling motor may autonomously navigate to the desired location by following a GPS-derived contour line. Additionally, these devices enable you to store your mapping and perhaps even design their custom. The information is freely accessible to other fishers.

You may use the GPS to plot a course across the waters, making your fish finders much more helpful. Because of this, you may practice fishing around lakes before an official tournament and then save your course using graph mapping to ensure you consistently wind up in the ideal fishing places. The depth detector definitely cannot do such actions.


For you to determine depths, a sonar tech is used across depth finder devices and fish finders. Additionally, they may be either transportable or installed. Newer versions have additional features. However, the primary functions of the two devices are distinct. Furthermore, the answer depends on your intended usage. If you're trying to decide between a fish finder and a depth finder, many experienced users recommend going with the former since it will serve your catching needs better for the money.

Need some help getting started? Learn more about fish finders by reading our reviews.