Best Depth Finder For Pontoon Boat – Reviews & 2021 Top Picks

Best Overall

HawkEye DT1B

The Best Depth Finder for Pontoon Boat

If you're looking for pontoon boat depth finder but don't have the time to do your own research and to compare prices, then go for the HawkEye DT1B. 

At this price range, its overall quality and performance is better than most other fish finders out there. Its accurate depth readings can go deep down at 600 feet.

Why do you need the best depth finder for a pontoon boat?

You've got the best ride to roam around the water to find the next big catch. You've got the best casting rods and reels. And yet, 9 out of 10 times, you won't be catching any fish. 

All you will be doing is float around all over the place.

You know why?

It's simple, you don't know where the school of fish is. So, all that heavy weaponry of yours goes to waste. But with the depth finder, they won't.

5 Best Depth Finder For Pontoon Boat

Without finding the right depth of water, catching fish isn’t going to be much success. Casting your reel in shallow water, nothing but some old worn-out shoe get caught in the hook. 

So, don’t go angling like a lost soul. Use the top depth finders to spot the right place to cast your fishing rod. 

Want to find out which one to get? Then check out the list below.

1. HawkEye DT1B DepthTrax 1B (Best Overall)


The HawkEye DT1B depth finder is one of the best. It does justice to the brand name with depth readings that are accurate.

It can go deep down at 600 feet. So, you know where the water is endless and where it is almost hollow. 

Now that becomes possible with the ShootThru solar technology. That means you've got to make a hole through the hull to get it placed.

What makes it great is its intelligent solar system. It gives you accurate readings from great depth and even at high speed.

To make it even better, the HawkEye DepthTrax 1B got an automatic range and sensitivity system. What that means is that the device can make changes to get the best performance without you making any adjustments to it.

Not just that, you can set even alarms for upper and lower depths to make sure when the water level changes, you get notified about that with audio, display indicator and a warm bright LED.

The LED backlight on the unit doesn't consume a lot of power, unlike the cheap depth finders.

While for the audio alarm, you've got a 1-touch alarm muting function to stop the noise from distracting you from steering through the water.

And all that information you get on the polarized LCD of the unit. The large screen is glare-free which makes it visible in all kinds of lighting. Plus, the display is 100% waterproof.

Pros

  • Has 600-foot depth range
  • Automatic changes
  • 3-stage warning system
  • Error-free readings
  • Touch programming
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Difficult to set up

You Might Like: Top Rated Fish Finder For Pontoons

2. HawkEye DT1H Handheld Depth Finder


Similar to the earlier HawkEye depth finder, the DT1H uses an advanced sonar system to give you the results.

But the difference between this one and the other one is that it requires no installation. The DT1H is a handheld device.

All you need is to dip the transducer side into the water, and it will give you the readings right away at the display.

And just like the other HawkEye, it got the automatic depth range adjustment system to give you precise readings without you doing any tweaking on it.

However, the depth range it offers is slightly shallower than the DT1B. It only gives you reading from 1.5 to 300 feet. So, it's not bad.

But what it lacks in the depth reader, it makes up with water and air temperature readers.

Right on the side is the housing that lets you take the temperature. To do that, you just slide the switch above, and it changes from depth reading mode to temp reading one.

There is not much to it when it comes to using the device. One more thing that makes the DT1H unit better than many others is its extreme waterproofed housing. Even if it gets dropped 200 feet underwater, it will still work without fail. This is one of the best budget depth finder for pontoon boat.

Pros

  • Good depth range
  • Easy to use
  • No installation required
  • Offers temperature reading
  • Portable

Cons

  • Tech support provided by HawkEye isn’t the best

3. Garmin Striker Plus 4 with Dual-Beam transducer


If you want to up the ante from a regular depth finder to a more advanced unit, then look at the Garmin.

The one that comes from the brand is their renowned Striker Plus 4, a dual-beam transducer.

It's quite the upgrade from the other ones. To start, the dual-beam sonar chirp system from Garmin doesn't just give you the depth reading. It shows you a crystal clear image of the underworld. You get a clear picture of the bottom contour with target separation in both shallow and deep water.

Plus, the mapping software of the unit creates an HD contour map to places where you've gone to see. 

What makes it stand out from others is its GPS fish finding capabilities. You can mark spots to make later visits to find a catch there. Also, you can use it to make routes to follow for the next trip.

To complement all those features, it got a sunlight-readable colored display that gives you a clear view of what's going underneath your pontoon boat.

Not to forget, you get a simple user interface with a couple of buttons. You can change between the different settings using it without any problem. It needs no time to get used to using it.

Pros

  • Advanced features
  • Great display
  • Shows underwater contour map 
  • GPS functionality
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive than others
  • Doesn’t come with a manual

4. Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 with Transducer

For finding the fish, the Garmin Striker 4 is another great option. 

Like the other unit, it uses the same high-frequency sonar to discover what's underneath the water. Same as the other one, it gives you images right on that 3.5-inch color display.

From detailed contour mapping with the structure of various objects, it gives you a representation of the school of fish swimming around the area. So, you know exactly where to cast the reel to get lucky.

The display on the unit is quite good. Even in direct sunlight, you can see what's on it without trouble. But if you feel like the screen is too small, you can upgrade to larger displays sized at 5 and 7 inches respectively.

Compared to most of the units, this one can uncover greater depth with its chirp transducer.

In freshwater, you get around 1600 feet deep reading while in saltwater, that gets almost half to 750 feet which is still quite impressive.

That chirp sonar used by it sends constant sweeping frequencies that allow you to get crisper image arches of the fish. So, you have a better chance of reeling in the big prizes using it.

Pros

  • Great depth coverage
  • Easy to use
  • Superb display
  • Glare-free screen
  • Let’s mark routes

Cons

  • Build-quality isn’t the finest
  • Installing it is quite a challenge in itself

Next on the line is the digital depth sounder from Humminbird. Even at high speed up to 70 mph, the depth finder will be able to give you stable depth readings.

The transom mount transducer at the heart of it allows you to interpret what's beneath the surface. And you can get that reading in feet, meters, or fathoms whichever you prefer to work with the most. 

Whether you're on deep or shallow water, the HDR 650 alerts you based on your location. It makes fishing easy as you know where to cast the rod.

You will also love the fact that the depth gauge comes in various colors. It got white, black and chrome bezels with white and black face plates. Finding the right color combination to complement your pontoon boat's gauges won't be that hard with it.

The other thing that makes the Humminbird unit so great is its ease of use. There is no complex control panel.

All it has is three buttons. One for the menu and the other two are to go up and down the arrow to change through the options. That's it.

Pros

  • Simple user interface
  • Great color options
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate depth readings
  • Deep and shallow water alert
  • Works at high speed

Cons

  • Installing it requires a bit of work
  • The manual guide seems confusing

Verdict

Going through the best depth finder for pontoon boats, you will find all kinds of options. You've got advanced models like the Garmin ones, that will show you how deep the lake is. And even map out where the catches are swimming beneath.

While the more entry-level gear like Humminbird or the HawkEye will just tell you the depth where you will have better luck go fishing.

If you have the money to spend, I will say go with any of the Garmin Striker 4. Or if you just feel like knowing the depth is enough for you, then take the HawkEye DT1B. It gives you better depth reading than others.

But whatever you choose, you won't have to regret the purchase. Every one of them works great.

Pontoon Boat Depth Finder Buying Guide

Alarm Warning System

The first thing you need to pay attention to while purchasing a depth finder is the alarm warning system.

While making a purchase, you should check whether your depth finder has an alarm warning system or not. Because there are lots of depth finder in the market which does not offer this feature.

Actually, the alarm warning feature varies from brand to brand and product to product. So, pay attention to this.

Dimensions of Display

Dimensions of the display are also a feature to bring into consideration. A good number of people do not give priority to this feature and treat this one as less important. This is should not have happened.

You should check whether your depth finder display has the screen resolution, screen size, water resistance feature or not. You should always focus on small things.

Price

Most of the people search for the price. Because budget matters. You will find lots of depth finders in the market with a wide range of prices.

In general, the high-quality product will ask you to spend a good amount of money. So, you should try to get the best one within your budget. If you feel that you need to add a bit to your budget, then do not hesitate. Go for that. 

Other Important Things

However, apart from the above-mentioned things, there are some other things you need to focus on while looking for the best pontoon boat depth finder.

You can check whether your depth finder comes with a warranty or not. You can also keep your eye on the installation process of a depth finder you are going to get.

Last Updated on March 9, 2021

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