How To Use A Wireless Fish Finder With Your Smartphone (Detailed Guide)
UPDATED 17 MAY 2023
by Robert Ceran
Are you thinking about using your smartphone with a bluetooth fish finder?
Wireless fish finders have been a game changer for shore based anglers, since they allow you to get highly detailed sonar readings of the water in front of you without the need for a boat.
In this article we’ll explain how bluetooth fish finders work, how to use them, and what the top models are on the market.
Can you turn your phone into a fish finder?
Yes, you can turn your phone into a fish finder by using a wireless fish finder that communicates via bluetooth with your smartphone.
This requires using an app compatible with the wireless fish finder, in order to display the sonar data on your phone.
Using your phone as a fish finder comes with several advantages. First of all, it allows you to avoid the cost of an expensive fish finder display unit.
Secondly, a smartphone can be used with a castable fish finder, which means you can use it from shore.
Castable wireless fish finders are designed to be cast out from the bank or shoreline, and then transmit their sonar reading via bluetooth to a mobile device.
The nice thing about castable bluetooth fish finders is that they enable shore based anglers to use a fish finder, which was previously only possible from a boat.
What is a wireless fish finder, and how does it work?
A wireless fish finder uses bluetooth to transfer sonar data from its transducer (via its processing unit) to a smartphone or tablet. Most wireless fish finders are designed with a transducer and processing unit combined inside a floating pod, which is designed to be castable.
After receiving sonar data from the transducer, the processing unit of a bluetooth fish finder transmits the data wirelessly to a mobile device, which can be either a smartphone or tablet. In order to display the sonar data on the mobile device, it’s necessary to use a compatible app designed by the manufacturer of the bluetooth fish finder.
How do you use a wireless fish finder?
In order to use a wireless fish finder, it’s necessary to download an iOS or Android app designed for this purpose to your phone. Next, pair your phone with the sonar unit via bluetooth. When you have a connection, you can then display sonar readings from the sonar unit on your smartphone.
If the wireless sonar unit is castable, you’ll need to cast it out from shore with a fishing rod that’s set up for this purpose with a heavy fishing line (in order to avoid losing the castable fish finder due to line breakage).
Once the wireless fish finder is on the water, you’ll start getting sonar readings on the app on your phone.
A great strategy to get the most out of this technology is to cast the bluetooth fish finder out and then slowly retrieve it while observing any fish in the area, depth, bottom structure, as well as water temperature. Next repeat this with a different quadrant, until you’ve covered the whole area in front of your location.
Bluetooth fish finders usually come with a built-in battery that needs to be recharged with a USB cable.
Are wireless fish finders any good?
Wireless fish finders are great if you’re a shore based angler, as they allow you to get accurate sonar readings of the water in front of you. Until recently, this was only possible with fish finders used from a boat, leaving bank anglers ‘in the dark.’
By using a wireless fish finder, it’s easy to find fish holding structure in the water, such as logs, rocks, brush piles, and drop offs. In addition to this, you can also spot fish with a wireless fish finder, which means you can tell instantly if it’s worth fishing in a location or not.
Also, if you’re not getting any bites, you can use a bluetooth fish finder to check if that’s because the fish are gone from that area, or if they just don’t like your bait presentation. That way you can avoid wasting time fishing in spots without any fish.
Finally, another great use case for wireless fish finders is ice fishing, where they can be used to scout for fish underneath your ice hole without the need for an expensive ice fishing flasher or fish finder.
What is the best wireless fish finder for smartphone?
There are currently about half a dozen brands that produce wireless fish finders. Out of these we picked the top 4 brands that currently make the best bluetooth fish finders.
Deeper castable bluetooth fish finders
The company Deeper was the first to pioneer castable bluetooth fishfinder technology, and is still one hundred percent focused on building wireless fish finders, and as a result, the bluetooth fish finders of Deeper are currently the best on the market.
Their lineup includes 6 different models, ranging from the budget entry level Deeper START to the advanced Deeper CHIRP, which brings the enhanced quality of CHIRP sonar to wireless fish finders.
Garmin Striker Cast
When the Garmin Striker Cast was launched in 2020, it brought the first portable fish finder with bluetooth to the Garmin sonar lineup. It combines the strengths of the Striker (which is the entry level fish finder of Garmin) with the power of a castable wireless sonar.
A feature of the Striker Cast setting it apart from the Deeper lineup is that it comes with GPS functionality, and can be used to create lake maps with Quickdraw. This means you can create your own custom maps with 1 foot contour lines, which is great when scouting out new locations.
Lowrance FishHunter Pro portable fish finder
The Lowrance FishHunter Pro combines many of the same features as the Garmin Striker Cast with a highly competitive price, which makes it a very attractive option as an entry level option for beginners.
The Lowrance FishHunter Pro also comes with a mapping functionality that allows you to create custom contour maps of your lake or river, which is almost as good as that found on more advanced Lowrance HOOK Reveal units. In addition to this, the FishHunter app is also great for logging catches and waypoints.
The Vexilar Sonarphone app can be used with either a castable fish finder, a transom mount transducer, or a portable boat mount transducer system. This sets it apart from other brands, which only have the option of using a castable fish finder, and allows Sonarphone to be used on a boat as well.
The wireless connection doesn’t require cell phone coverage or internet in order to function, and creates its own WiFi hotspot. The app can be used on both iPhone or And
Can you turn your tablet into a fish finder?
Yes, you can turn your tablet into a fish finder by downloading a mobile app that works by communicating with a wireless fish finder. This works similar to using a smartphone for the same purpose, but with a tablet you need to make sure that the bluetooth fish finder you plan to use has an app that is compatible with your specific tablet.