Ways to install a fish finder on a kayak

By July 24, 2017Equipment

You don’t need an expensive boat with all the bells and whistles to catch quality fish these days. Fishing kayaks are a great alternative which allow anglers the ability to get out on the water and reach fishing destinations once only accessed by boats. With the popularity of kayaks also comes the wide range of accessories available. You can now fit your kayak with the same if not more accessories than you can a boat including anchors, rod holders, live wells, electric motors and fish finders.

When it comes to attaching a fish finder to your kayak there are several methods you can choose from. Each method will be determined by both your personal preference and the style/build of your kayak. There are three main ways to install a fish finder transducer on your kayak, in the hull, side or rear mounted using a bracket or through the scupper hole. All methods are relatively easy but will require some additional parts and equipment to achieve a good result.

Option 1. In the Hull

This option is a more permanent method and requires glueing/fixing the fish finder transducer to the inside hull of your kayak. To use this method you first must have access to the inside hull of your kayak via a porthole or storage space.

  • Step 1. Identify where in the hull you would like to mount the transducer. Try and keep it close to where you will mount your fish finder screen.
  • Step 2. Prepare the area by cleaning it with an alcohol based solution to remove any grease or grime.
  • Step 3. The transducer needs to be fixed in position with no gaps or air between the hull and the transducer. One way to achieve this is to make an enclosure or housing for the transducer to sit in. A square of foam matting or pool noodle can work well with the inside cut out in the shape of the transducer. Firstly glue the foam housing to the hull using a marine glue or silicon. When ready, fill the housing with the same glue and then mount your transducer in so it sits tight in the foam housing. Ensure there are no air bubbles to gaps in the housing. Depending on your location and the temperature, leave the glue to dry for 24 hours to 48 hours/
  • Step 4. Next you will need to run the transducer cable from the hull to the top of the kayak so it is near the area you will mount the fish finder screen. Simply drill a hole large enough to run the cable to the top of your kayak. You can use a special seal around the hole to ensure water does not enter the kayak.

Option 2 – Side or Rear bracket mount

If you are not confident with drilling or mounting the transducer in your kayak, or simply don’t have access to the inside hull then you can consider one of the many fish finder mounting brackets on the market today. If you kayak is anything like mine, it has a wide range of mounting points available for everything from cup holders, rod holders, bait boards and motor mounts. The benefit of using a mounting bracket is the ability to move the location of your transducer easily or even use on another kayak. There is no drilling required, simply fixing the bracket into existing mounting locations and running your power to a small battery and cord to the fishfinder screen which you can either fix directly to your kayak or also use mounting brackets and accessories.

Option 3 – Scupper hole

Another easy method that doesn’t require any drilling or fixing items to your kayak is using the scupper holes to mount the transducer. Scupper holes are typically used to drain water from your kayak however they can be utilised for other purposes. There are a number of off the shelf scupper mounts available which make this option a breeze with little technical skills however if you want to make your own you can.

  • Step 1. Firstly measure the diameter of the scupper hole, the most common is ¾”
  • Step 2. Get a piece of pvc pipe that matches the diameter of your scupper hold and insert the transducer mounting bracket inside one end of the pipe. Mark a dot on the pipe where the bracket mounting holes are. Measure the length of the scupper hole and cut the pipe down to match.
  • Step 3. Drill holes on either side of the pipe where you marked the dots. In between the holes cut out a section of pipe so that the transducer will be able to be tilted forward or back. Drill holes on the opposite end that will be used to stop the pipe slipping through the scupper hole
  • Step 4. Feed the wire through the pvc pipe and bolt your transducer mount using the holes you have just drilled.
  • Step 5. Insert the pvc pipe into the scupper hole from the bottom and insert a stainless steel bolt through the holes previously drilled.

There are numerous examples of the scupper method of Youtube. I recommend taking a look at a few of these to get a better understanding of the process as it can be a bit tricky.

There are also a lot of custom mounting brackets people have used to mount their find finders at various locations on their kayak. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on buying various mounting points and brackets then get creative and try your hand at a DIY project.

Happy fishing!