Installing a Fish Finder in a Kayak

Fish Finder Kayak

If you’re thinking of taking your yak fishing to a new level, a fish finder is often one of the first things you will consider. I was blown away when I first took a fish finder (otherwise known as a ‘sounder’) out on my local river. There were some deep holes in unexpected areas that I would never have found without the sounder.

So once you’ve made the decision to go electronic, you need to work out the best way to install your screen and transducer on your kayak. Below I’ll explain all about how to do just that, and show you some pics of how to wire it up. The kayak shown in the pics is The BEAST from Dream Kayaks.

Screen Position

Middle or side. It’s really that simple. If you choose the middle, you can put it where the central rod holder goes (Use a StarPort HD and a RailBlaza Rotating Platform). Alternatively, you could put it behind your rod holder if you have space there.

Fish Finder Screen Position Kayak If you choose side, you can usually do it with a StarPort and Rotating Platform. Important points: be sure to check how far up the side of the kayak your paddle hits when you are paddling hard. You may be surprised how far your reach goes. Personally I find it annoying to have any accessories in the way of my natural paddle stroke. Everyone’s different though. Our demo installation in the pics has the screen on the side.

Mounting the Transducer

There are three main ways you can attach your transducer.

  1. Glue it to the hull
  2. Through a scupper hole
  3. Off the side

1. Glue it to the Hull

Gluing it to the hull is the most common way to do it. This means opening a hatch and finding a relatively flat spot on the top side of the hull plastic. As long as you don’t have any air bubbles in the glue, the transducer will read straight through the hull with no worries.

  • BENEFITS: Doesn’t snag, doesn’t require an expensive mount.
  • DISADVANTAGES: It’s permanent. You won’t be able to remove the transducer. May take a few days or more for the adhesive to set.
  • EQUIPMENT: Some type of transparent adhesive, such as Selleys All Clear, and if necessary a chalk gun to apply the glue
  • HOW?: Use Selleys All Clear or similar. Make sure there are no air bubbles. Check out our blog article for all the detail you need.
Dream Catcher 3 Kayak Discount

2. Through a scupper hole

This is the option chosen in the demo pics shown. However, it’s only a good choice if your kayak has a moulded recess specifically for the transducer. The BEAST kayak has exactly this type of recess, as shown in the pics. If your kayak doesn’t you can still choose this option, but you risk getting your tranny snagged or worse forgetting it’s there and hauling the yak over some rocks, making for an expensive trip and some colourful language!

  • BENEFITS: Removable. Neat if the kayak has a custom recess.
  • DISADVANTAGES: If no custom recess exists you could damage the tranny.
  • EQUIPMENT: Lowrance Scupper Transducer Mount
  • HOW?: Easy. Just follow the instructions that come with the mount.
Scupper Mount Transducer

The view from below – scupper-mounted transducer (on The BEAST with recess).
Article continues below photo.

Scupper Mount Transducer Recess

3. Off the side

Lastly, this option involves holding the transducer in the water over the side of the kayak using some RailBlaza gear. It will get you very good temperature measurements, but again with it comes the risk of snagging or damaging the transducer if it tries to tangle with the wrong twig or oyster-covered rock!

  • BENEFITS: Removable. Allows a very accurate temperature reading.
  • DISADVANTAGES: Could snag or get damaged.
  • EQUIPMENT: RailBlaza Sounder / Transducer Mount
  • HOW?: Easy. Again – just follow the instructions that come with the mount.

So that’s the basics – now enjoy fishing with your new set of eyes!

By Rusty Selvey

Special hat tip to Stewart Hansen for helping me (a lot) with this article. Go follow him on Instagram @stewart_hansen. He’s a genius angler!


by rusty

2 thoughts on “Installing a Fish Finder in a Kayak

  1. Scott says:

    How do you fit it in the recess for the transducer on the beast? Does it just sit their or is their another piece of equipment I need?

    • rusty says:

      Hi Scott – Sorry for the delay. You need a Lowrance Scupper Transducer Mount. About $50. You could probably make your own for $10. We dont stock them at present. Thanks! Rusty

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