Humminbird offers a wide range of fish finders tailored to various angling needs, from the budget-friendly PiranhaMAX series suitable for beginners to the high-end SOLIX series favored by professional anglers. Their fish finders feature advanced technologies like CHIRP sonar, MEGA Imaging for clearer underwater views, and integrated GPS for precise navigation.
Here is a quick look at the best Humminbird Fish Finders:
- Humminbird Apex
- Humminbird Solix
- Humminbird Helix MEGA Side Imaging
- Humminbird Helix MEGA Down Imaging
- Humminbird Helix CHIRP GPS
- Humminbird ICE Helix
- Humminbird Piranhamax
When choosing a Humminbird fish finder, consider factors like boat size, fishing environment, desired technological features, and budget. Assess whether you prioritize screen size, image clarity, GPS capabilities, or advanced MEGA Imaging to determine the best model for your angling adventures.
Best Humminbird Fish Finders 2023 – Review
The Humminbird’s Apex is a high-end, multifunction fish finder and chartplotter. Here are its defining characteristics:
- Display: It offers large, Full HD displays in sizes such as 13, 16, and 19 inches. The high resolution ensures clear and detailed views of underwater structures, contours, and fish.
- Advanced Sonar Capabilities: The Apex supports MEGA Imaging+ which provides enhanced clarity and sharpness for side, down, and 360° imaging. This offers an advantage in identifying fish and structures in freshwater and saltwater environments.
- Networking: It comes with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities, ensuring connectivity with other devices and ease in software updates. The dual Ethernet ports allow for seamless networking with other onboard devices.
- Chartplotting: With GPS capabilities, the Apex provides detailed mapping, allowing users to mark waypoints, create routes, and view charts for better navigation.
- Expandable: It supports multiple transducer ports, enabling users to connect different transducers to gather various types of data.
- Versatility: It’s designed for both touchscreen and physical button operation, ensuring flexibility in different conditions.
- Pricing: Typically more expensive, with the 19-inch model priced at $4,700.
In summary, the Humminbird Apex is a premium, multifunction fish finder designed for anglers who seek advanced features, precision, and clarity in their underwater imaging and navigation.
The Humminbird Solix is a high-performance fish finder and chartplotter with a blend of advanced features designed for both professional and recreational anglers. Here are its defining characteristics:
- Display: The Solix comes with large, high-resolution displays in sizes like 10, 12, and 15 inches. Its clear screens allow users to get a detailed view of what’s beneath the water.
- Advanced Sonar Capabilities: Like the Apex, the Solix supports MEGA Imaging+ which offers impressive clarity in side, down, and sometimes 360° views. This sharp imaging aids in spotting fish and identifying underwater structures.
- Networking: Equipped with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionalities, the Solix ensures easy connectivity with other devices and simple software updates. It has an Ethernet port for integrating with other onboard devices.
- Chartplotting: With its built-in GPS capabilities, the Solix offers comprehensive mapping options. Anglers can mark waypoints, chart paths, and make use of a range of detailed maps.
- User Interface: The Solix is designed for dual operation: touchscreen and physical button/joystick control. This ensures ease of use in various conditions.
- Expandability: It comes with micro SD card slots, allowing users to expand maps or save data.
- Pricing: More affordable compared to Apex, with the 15-inch model priced at $3,200.
In essence, the Humminbird Solix is a multifunction fish finder and chartplotter that combines high-end features with user-friendly interfaces, suitable for both dedicated anglers and weekend fishing enthusiasts.
Humminbird Helix MEGA Side Imaging
The Humminbird Helix series with MEGA Side Imaging (SI) is a range of advanced fish finders designed to provide clearer and more detailed views of the underwater environment. Here are its defining characteristics:
- MEGA SI: This feature offers unparalleled clarity and detail, allowing users to see fish and structures up to 125 feet to the sides of the boat. The MEGA Imaging technology uses higher frequencies (1.2 MHz) to produce sharper and more detailed images compared to traditional side-imaging.
- Display: The Helix series comes in a variety of screen sizes, from 7 inches up to 15 inches, depending on the specific model. The displays are high-resolution, providing clear views of sonar returns and maps. Helix 7 MEGA SI is the most popular model.
- Advanced Sonar Capabilities: Besides MEGA SI, it also offer MEGA Down Imaging, Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar, and other sonar features that give anglers a comprehensive view of the underwater environment.
- Networking: Helix MEGA SI series comes with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities for easy software updates and connectivity with other devices. They also feature Ethernet ports for networking with other Humminbird devices.
- Chartplotting: Equipped with built-in GPS, the Helix series offers detailed mapping capabilities. Users can mark waypoints, track routes, and use various map packs like LakeMaster or Navionics.
- Expandability: Features micro SD card slots for map expansion, software updates, or data saving.
In summary, the Humminbird Helix series with MEGA Side Imaging is a versatile and advanced fish finder designed to provide anglers with detailed and clear images of the underwater environment, making it easier to locate fish and structures. It’s suitable for a wide range of fishing activities, from freshwater lakes to coastal waters.
Humminbird Helix MEGA Down Imaging
The Humminbird Helix series with MEGA Down Imaging (DI) is an advanced line of fish finders focused on providing a clearer view directly beneath the boat. Here are its principal features:
- MEGA Down Imaging: This technology provides superior underwater clarity, allowing users to discern fish and structures up to 125 feet below the boat with unprecedented detail. MEGA Down Imaging uses a higher frequency (1.2 MHz) to offer sharper images compared to traditional down imaging.
- Display: The Helix MEGA DI series offers a variety of screen sizes, from smaller 7-inch displays to larger 15-inch screens, depending on the specific model. These screens present high-resolution images, ensuring clear and detailed views of sonar data and maps.
- Advanced Sonar Capabilities: Besides the MEGA DI, it also features Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar, providing two distinct sonar returns for improved fish targeting and structure identification.
- Networking: Some models in the Helix MEGA DI series are equipped with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities, facilitating seamless software updates and connectivity with other devices. Certain models also feature Ethernet ports for integration with other Humminbird devices.
- Chartplotting: With integrated GPS in many models, the Helix series offers comprehensive mapping features. Users can pinpoint waypoints, track routes, and utilize detailed mapping solutions such as LakeMaster or Navionics.
- Expandability: Most models in this series come equipped with micro SD card slots, enabling map expansion, software updates, or data storage.
In essence, the Humminbird Helix series with MEGA Down Imaging is designed to offer anglers a highly detailed and clear view of the environment directly beneath their boat. This capability enhances the fishing experience, making it easier to spot fish and understand underwater terrain, suitable for both freshwater and saltwater environments.
Humminbird Helix CHIRP GPS
The Humminbird Helix series with CHIRP and GPS is a line of fish finders that combine advanced CHIRP sonar with precise navigation features. Here are the defining characteristics of the Humminbird Helix CHIRP GPS fish finders:
- CHIRP Sonar: CHIRP (Compressed High-Intensity Radiated Pulse) sonar technology sends a continuous range of frequencies, providing more detailed and accurate returns. It enhances target separation, allowing for clearer identification of fish and structures.
- Display: The Helix CHIRP GPS series encompasses a range of screen sizes, from more compact 5-inch displays up to medium-sized 7-inch screens, depending on the specific model. The high-resolution screens provide vivid and clear images of sonar returns and navigational maps.
- Built-in GPS: Integrated GPS offers accurate navigation, enabling anglers to mark waypoints, chart paths, and track routes. It greatly aids in returning to fishing hotspots or safely navigating waters.
- Mapping Capabilities: Depending on the specific model and optional software, the fish finder provides access to detailed maps, such as LakeMaster, Navionics, and more. This allows anglers to view underwater terrain, depth contours, and other essential features.
- Networking: Some models in the lineup come with networking capabilities, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet ports. This allows for connectivity with other devices, software updates, and potential integration with other Humminbird or compatible equipment.
- Expandability: Many models have micro SD card slots, facilitating map expansion, software updates, or saving waypoints and other data.
In summary, the Humminbird Helix CHIRP GPS fish finders are multifunctional devices combining CHIRP sonar with precise GPS navigation, designed to enhance the angler’s experience in both locating fish and navigating water bodies. They are suitable for a wide range of fishing environments, from inland freshwater bodies to coastal and offshore waters.
Humminbird ICE Helix
ICE Helix series is specifically designed for ice fishing. It offers features tailored to the unique challenges of locating fish through the ice.
- Display: The ICE Helix comes with a range of screen sizes, all of which provide clear views of sonar returns even in bright, snowy conditions.
- Dual Spectrum CHIRP Sonar: This technology allows for a clearer view of fish and structures below the ice by emitting multiple frequencies for more detailed returns.
- Built-in GPS: The ICE Helix series comes with integrated GPS, enabling anglers to mark ice fishing hotspots and track routes on the ice.
- Flasher Mode: This mode provides real-time sonar returns, a traditional tool for ice anglers, allowing for instant feedback as fish approach or move away from the bait.
- Interference Rejection: Given the close proximity of other ice anglers and their sonar units, the ICE Helix has built-in interference rejection settings to keep the display clear from clutter.
The PiranhaMAX series is designed as an affordable, entry-level option for recreational anglers, making it ideal for those new to fish finders or for simpler fishing setups.
- Display: The PiranhaMAX comes with compact 4-inch screen that is suitable for smaller boats or even kayaks.
- Traditional Sonar and Down Imaging: Depending on the specific model, the PiranhaMAX provides traditional 2D sonar and/or Down Imaging for a clearer picture of fish and structures beneath the boat.
- Tilt and Swivel Mount: The series features an easy-to-adjust mount, allowing anglers to quickly change the display angle for better viewing.
- User-Friendly Interface: Designed with simplicity in mind, the PiranhaMAX series offers straightforward controls and easy-to-understand sonar returns.
How to Choose Humminbird Fish Finder
Humminbird offers a wide range of screen sizes in its fish finders, from compact 4-inch displays to expansive 15-inch screens. The choice often spans series like PiranhaMAX (smaller screens) to the SOLIX series (larger screens).
Here is how to choose Humminbird Fish Finder based on screen size:
- Boat Size: For smaller boats, kayaks, or canoes, compact screen sizes (4-7 inches) like those in the PiranhaMAX or smaller HELIX series are suitable. For larger vessels with more console space, a bigger display (10-15 inches) from the SOLIX or larger HELIX models would be apt.
- Fishing Environment: If you’re fishing in vast open waters or offshore, larger screens can be beneficial to view vast maps or split-screen modes. For confined waters or casual fishing, a medium or smaller screen should suffice.
- Budget: Naturally, larger screens tend to be pricier. Determine a budget and find the best screen size that fits within it.
- User Preference: Some anglers prefer larger screens for clarity, even on smaller boats, while others prioritize portability and choose smaller units.
GPS and Mapping
Humminbird fish finders come with integrated GPS for precise navigation, waypoint marking, and route tracking. Humminbird also offers detailed mapping solutions, such as LakeMaster and Navionics compatibility. The units also feature AutoChart Live, allowing users to create real-time maps of fishing spots.
Here is how to choose Humminbird GPS Fish Finder:
- Fishing Environment: If you’re fishing in unfamiliar or vast waters, especially offshore, GPS and detailed mapping are essential. For familiar or smaller waters, basic GPS might be sufficient.
- Boat Type: Larger boats that venture into deeper waters or offshore will benefit more from advanced GPS and mapping features. Kayaks or small boats in confined waters might not need as detailed mapping.
- Type of Fishing: Tournament anglers or those seeking specific fish habitats might require detailed maps, contour details, and precise GPS. Casual anglers might be okay with basic GPS functionalities.
- Budget: Units with advanced GPS and mapping features, especially with LakeMaster, Navionics compatibility, or AutoChart Live, tend to be pricier. Consider what you’re willing to invest in navigation and mapping features.
Humminbird offers a variety of transducers tailored for different sonar technologies, such as MEGA Imaging, CHIRP, Down Imaging, and Side Imaging.
Transducers come with varying depth capabilities. Some are suited for shallower waters, while others can scan deeper beneath the surface.
When selecting a Humminbird Transducer, understanding your primary fishing activities, the waters you frequent, and the features you value will help you make an informed choice that enhances your fish-finding capabilities.
- Type of Fishing: For general-purpose fishing in varied conditions, a CHIRP transducer offering a range of frequencies is versatile. If structure fishing is a priority, then Side Imaging and Down Imaging transducers are beneficial. For ice fishing or vertical jigging, a high-frequency transducer with a narrow cone angle is ideal.
- Fishing Depth: Shallow water anglers (like in small lakes or rivers) might not need transducers designed for deep-water detection. For deep-sea or offshore fishing, choose a transducer that supports greater depths and uses lower frequencies.
- Boat Type: The size and type of your boat can influence the transducer’s mounting style. Some are transom-mounted (good for smaller boats), while others can be thru-hull or in-hull (often preferred for larger vessels).
- Budget: Advanced transducers with MEGA Imaging or multiple beam capabilities tend to be more expensive. Determine the features you genuinely need and find a transducer that fits within your budget.
Humminbird’s Side Imaging offers a clear, 180-degree side-to-side perspective of the underwater terrain and structure. The MEGA Imaging technology takes it a notch higher, providing the best side imaging by utilizing high-frequency sonar.
Here is when you should choose Humminbird Side Imaging Fish Finder:
- Fishing Environment: Side Imaging is especially valuable in environments with a lot of structures, like submerged logs, rocks, or wrecks. It’s ideal for anglers fishing in unfamiliar waters, rivers, or lakes with a lot of submerged structures.
- Type of Fishing: Anglers targeting specific species that dwell or hide around structures would find Side Imaging particularly useful.
- Budget: MEGA Side Imaging or advanced Side Imaging features are generally on the higher end in terms of price. Assess if the enhanced imaging aligns with your fishing needs and budget.
Down Imaging provides a detailed and clear view directly beneath the boat. Like its side counterpart, MEGA Down Imaging uses high-frequency sonar for sharper and more detailed views.
Here is when you should prioritize Humminbird Down Imaging Fish Finder:
- Fishing Environment: Down Imaging is beneficial in almost all environments, but it’s especially valuable in areas with varied bottom structures. It can differentiate between soft and hard bottoms and help identify fish hiding close to the bottom.
- Type of Fishing: Essential for vertical fishing techniques like jigging, or when anglers want to pinpoint fish directly beneath the boat.
- Budget: MEGA Down Imaging or advanced Down Imaging models come at a higher price point. Decide if this sharper imaging is crucial for your fishing needs when setting a budget.
Mega Live Compatibility
Humminbird’s MEGA Live Imaging technology is a real-time sonar that allows anglers to view fish and structures live, directly under or in front of their boat, with unparalleled clarity. It uses high-frequency sonar to provide live streaming of underwater images.
Which MEGA Live Compatible Unit to Choose:
- Helix G3N and G4N Models: Anglers who want a blend of performance, versatility, and affordability. It’s suitable for a variety of fishing scenarios, from freshwater lakes to coastal waters.
- Solix Series: Professional anglers or enthusiasts who desire premium features, larger screens, and a full touchscreen interface. Great for bigger boats or those who prioritize high-end tech.
- APEX Series: Those looking for the latest tech from Humminbird. APEX models are suitable for anglers who want cutting-edge features and don’t mind investing in top-tier equipment.
Humminbird offers the ICE series, specifically designed for ice fishing. These devices include the ICE HELIX models which are tailored to withstand freezing conditions and provide accurate readings through ice.
Humminbird portable ice fishing models come with a carrying case, battery, and charger, making it easy to move between ice holes or transport safely.
Here is how to choose Humminbird Portable Fish Finder for Ice Fishing with the best features:
- Frequency Needs: For ice fishing, higher frequencies (like those in CHIRP sonar) can provide better target separation, helping distinguish between bait and fish.
- Battery Life: Given the cold conditions, having a unit with a strong battery life or bringing an extra battery is crucial. Some ice fishing units have optimized power usage to ensure longer fishing sessions.
- Display Readability: Choose a unit that offers a clear and bright display, as glare from snow and ice can make screens hard to read. The ICE HELIX models have displays designed for such conditions.
- Budget: While specialized ice fishing units can be more expensive, they’re designed for the environment and provide features crucial to ice fishing success.
- Portability: Given that you’ll be moving across the ice, select a model that’s easy to carry and set up. The portable kits offered by Humminbird are advantageous.
- Additional Features: Features like GPS can be beneficial even in ice fishing, allowing you to mark productive spots and return to them during future trips.
When selecting a Humminbird fish finder for kayak fishing, certain specifications and features become particularly relevant due to the unique nature of kayak angling.
Here’s what Humminbird offers for Kayaks:
- Compact Units: Humminbird provides fish finders with smaller footprints, perfect for the limited space on a kayak. Series like PiranhaMAX or the smaller HELIX units are often favored by kayak anglers.
- Portable Kits: Some Humminbird fish finders can be paired with portable kits, making installation and removal easier on a kayak.
- GPS and Mapping: Even in compact units, Humminbird offers built-in GPS, allowing kayak anglers to mark productive spots, chart paths, or safely navigate back to the launch point.
- Down and Side Imaging: Humminbird’s smaller units don’t skimp on imaging quality. Many offer Down Imaging, and some even feature Side Imaging, providing clear views of underwater structures and fish.
How to Choose Humminbird Fish Finder for Kayak Fishing:
- Size & Portability: Given the confined space on a kayak, opt for compact units. Portability is key, so consider fish finders that can be easily installed and removed or those compatible with portable kits.
- Water Environment: If you’re fishing in shallow waters, creeks, or inshore, Down Imaging might be sufficient. For broader waters or when targeting structure, consider a unit with Side Imaging.
- GPS Importance: For large lakes, coastal areas, or unfamiliar waters, GPS is invaluable. For smaller, familiar waters, you might forgo advanced GPS features to save on cost.
- Budget: Kayak fishing setups are often budget-conscious. Determine how much you’re willing to invest and prioritize features accordingly. For instance, if you mainly fish in familiar small lakes, you might prioritize Imaging over detailed charts.
- Mounting Options: Ensure the fish finder you select can be securely mounted on your kayak model. Some kayaks come with built-in transducer mounts, while others might require additional accessories.