6 Best Fish Finders for Crappie: Not so Crappy Slab Fishing

Coty Perry

We independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.

This is the type of fishing we all grew up on, right? Or was it just me? 

My dad always told me that panfish are the ultimate catch because they’re the most “eatable” fish out there. 

That said, if you’re trying to put more crappie in the pan, you’ll want the best fish finder for crappie. The Lowrance Elite FS is the best option in my experience. 

Pulling in slabs is easy so adding some technology on top of it will only make it easier. Let’s talk about it. 

Lowrance Elite FS
Best Overall
Lowrance Elite FS
  • Display: 7-inch
  • Imaging: Active 3-in-1 Live Imaging
  • GPS: Yes
Garmin Striker 4
Best Under $250
Garmin Striker 4
  • Display: 3.5-inch
  • Imaging: CHIRP down imaging
  • GPS: Yes
Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ 2
Best Under $500
Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ 2
  • Display: N/A
  • Imaging: 3-Beam Down Imaging
  • GPS: Yes

Best Crappie Fish Finder Overall

Lowrance Elite FS 

Lowrance Elite FS


  • Display: 7-inch
  • Imaging: Active 3-in-1 Live Imaging
  • GPS: Yes


  • High resolution customizable display
  • Active-Targeting Live Imaging
  • FishReveal technology for enhanced colors and target separation


  • Bit of a learning curve

Why We Chose It

The Lowrance Elite FS has a 7-inch display with a high-resolution SolarMAX™ HD multi-touch screen, which makes it easy to read and use even in bright sunlight. 

It has a maximum depth of 1,000 feet and is equipped with CHIRP sonar technology, making it easier to identify and track crappie underwater.

The Lowrance Elite FS uses CHIRP sonar technology that provides a detailed and accurate representation of the underwater environment. It displays images of fish, bait, and structure in real-time. 

Additionally, this device features FishReveal™ technology, which combines CHIRP sonar and DownScan Imaging, allowing for easy identification of fish.

One thing I like in particular about this unit is that it won’t break the bank like some of the more expensive Lowrance models.

The Elite FS is the little brother of the HDS Live which isn’t exactly necessary for someone focusing entirely on panfish.

Overall, it’s a great option for weekend warriors and those looking to scour the water without having to spend a ton of money. 

Click here to read our complete review of the Lowrance Elite FS. 

Best For Crappie Under $250

Garmin Striker 4

Garmin Striker 4


  • Display: 3.5-inch
  • Imaging: CHIRP down imaging
  • GPS: Yes


  • Compact size and affordability make it an ideal choice for casual anglers
  • CHIRP sonar for basic but accurate fish detection
  • Built-in flasher for easy crappie detection
  • GPS features for navigation and route planning


  • The 3.5-inch display may be too small for some anglers
  • Lacks advanced imaging features compared to other high-end fish finders

Why We Chose It

The Garmin Striker 4 is an excellent fish finder for crappie fishing. Its affordability, compact size, and high-performance capabilities make it an ideal choice for casual anglers or those on a budget. 

Its CHIRP sonar technology and built-in flasher make it easier to identify and catch crappie, and its GPS features make navigation and route planning easier. 

Another great feature of the Garmin Striker 4 is its customization options. They have an ice fishing kit and a variety of different transducers that you can purchase. 

This creates a little growing room with the Striker 4 if you’re ever looking to expand and try new things. 

Overall, the Garmin Striker 4 is a great investment for any angler looking to enhance their crappie fishing experience.

Click here to read our complete review of the Garmin Striker 4. 

Best For Crappie Under $500

Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ 2 

Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ 2


  • Display: N/A
  • Imaging: 3-Beam Down Imaging
  • GPS: Yes


  • Great for castable fish finder for shore anglers
  • Simple and easy to use, connects to your smartphone
  • Built-in GPS for tracking and mapping


  • Stirs up the water when you cast it
  • Requires a second rod for casting

Why We Chose It

The Deeper Pro+2 is a castable fish finder that provides shore anglers with an array of features to scan below the water’s surface. 

Its 3-beam frequencies allow for customization depending on the desired depth and level of detail, with a maximum of 330 feet. 

This device allows users to accurately identify and differentiate between fish, eliminating guesswork.

One of the best features of the Deeper Pro+2 is its lightweight design and long battery life, with quick charging capabilities. 

The device also includes a built-in GPS system that enables users to mark their fishing spots and log the location of their catches, making it easier to return to successful areas.

Although the Deeper Pro+2 is a little pricey for a castable fish finder, it offers many features that other devices in its category lack. 

One disadvantage of castable fish finders, in general, is the sound they produce when cast, which can startle or scare the fish. Therefore, it’s best to cast beyond the desired location and reel in the device gradually.

In comparison, the Lowrance Fish Hunter and Deeper Smart Sonar are two similar devices suitable for bank angling.

Overall, the Deeper Pro+2 is an excellent investment for any shore angler seeking to enhance their fishing experience.

Best Depth Finder For Crappie Under $1000

Lowrance Hook Reveal

Lowrance Hook Reveal


  • Display: 5-7-inches
  • Imaging: Down, Side, and Tripleshot
  • GPS: Yes


  • Loaded with premium features that make this fish finder seem like a bargain
  • Max depth up to 1000-feet
  • Tripleshot sonar providing the best and most accurate readings


  • A little overkill for most anglers

Why We Chose It

If you asked most people who are experienced with fish finders what their favorite unit is, chances are, they’ll say the Lowrance Hook Reveal.

The Hook Reveal is a highly recommended fish finder that is priced below $1,000. It is equipped with top-notch features such as FishReveal, Genesis Live, and a high-resolution display that measures up to seven inches. 

This unit uses downscan, sidescan, and tripleshot, which employs multi-frequency chirp sonar, giving you a lot more control over how you search for fish.

The FishReveal feature is the unit’s highlight, combining 2D sonar with color palettes that make it easy to distinguish fish from underwater structures.

The touch screen display is not the best, but the color is so vibrant that the sacrifice is worth it. 

The SolarMAX feature automatically adjusts the backlight depending on the amount of sunlight present, similar to modern smartphones.

All in all, if you’re looking for the most bang for your buck and you’re determined to get the best fish finder for crappie, you’ve found it.

That said, do you need a fish finder with all of this stuff?

Definitely not, but it’s sure fun to use!

Click here for our complete review of the Lowrance Hook Reveal

Best Humminbird Fish Finder For Crappie

Humminbird Helix 7 

Humminbird Helix 7


  • Display: 7-inch
  • Imaging: MEGA SI (side imaging) + DI
  • GPS: Yes


  • Great fish finder for the average every(weekend) angler
  • Simple and easy to operate features
  • Built-in GPS for navigation and chartplotting


  • Nothing super cool or extraordinary
  • Issues with availability

Why We Chose It

The Humminbird Helix 7 fish finder is a great tool for any angler looking to improve their fishing experience. With its large 7-inch color display and dual-beam sonar, it provides clear and accurate underwater imaging.

One of the standout features of the Helix 7 is its CHIRP sonar technology, which provides more detailed and precise images of fish and underwater structures.

The unit also comes with built-in GPS, allowing you to mark and navigate to your favorite fishing spots.

In addition to its advanced features, the Helix 7 is easy to use and navigate thanks to its intuitive interface and customizable settings.

You can adjust the sensitivity, color palette, and other settings to suit your specific fishing conditions.

I like to call this unit “the everyman’s fish finder” because it’s not too much without being too little.

This makes it a great option for pan fishermen because you’re likely not super serious about your fishing but it doesn’t mean you want a crappy fish finder. 

See what I did there? I’ve had that one in the chamber this whole time… 

Anyway, the Humminbird Helix 7 fish finder is a reliable and versatile tool that can help you find and catch more fish.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned angler, the Helix 7’s advanced features and ease of use make it a great investment. 

Click here to read our complete review of the Humminbird Helix 7.

Best Garmin Fish Finder For Crappie

Garmin EchoMAP UHD

Garmin Echomap UHD


  • Display: 6-7-inches
  • Imaging: ClearVu + SideVu
  • GPS: Yes


  • Industry leading GPS and mapping
  • ClearVu and SideVu makes spotting fish easier
  • Easy to use push button display


  • Might be a bit unnecessary for crappie fishing

Why We Chose It

The Garmin Echomap UHD gives you a little bit of everything. It’s the best Garmin fish finder for crappie fishing.

Its 7-inch ultra-high-definition display provides clear and vibrant images, making it easier to identify fish and underwater structures.

The built-in GPS and charts allow you to mark and navigate to your preferred fishing spots with ease.

One of the standout features of the Echomap is the Worldwide Basemap with LakeVu G3, which includes over 18,000 lakes and rivers across the country with 1-foot contours. 

This means that you can access a preloaded map on your fish finder with detailed information on underwater structures regardless of where you’re fishing in the country.

Clearvu scanning is another feature that sets the Echomap apart, providing photographic images of everything beneath the boat. This includes structure, vegetation, logs, brush piles, and fish. 

Additionally, SideVu offers similar features to ClearVu but focuses on the side of the boat, making it ideal for identifying structure points along the shore.

I also love that the Echomap uses push button controls so you don’t gunk up the screen. In my opinion, this makes the sonar unit much easier to use. 

In summary, with its impressive mapping and GPS technology, along with Clearvu and SideVu scanning, the Garmin Echomap UHD fish finder is a top choice for those looking for a high-quality and versatile fish finder for crappie fishing. 

If you’re really looking to step up your game, you can also check out the Garmin Livescope

Click here to read our complete review of the Garmin Echomap UHD.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Crappie Fish Finder

Now that you’ve seen the best fish finders for Crappie, let’s take a look at how we came to determine these as the best options.

Here are some factors you’ll want to keep in mind as you shop around for the best crappie fish finders:

garmin fish finders, smaller versus bigger screen size


One of the most important features to consider when purchasing a fish finder for crappie is the display. A clear and easy-to-read display will help you see the fish and underwater structure more clearly. 

Look for a fish finder with a high resolution display that is at least 5 inches in size. Some models come with larger displays, which can be helpful if you have trouble seeing smaller screens.

Of course, we recommended the Garmin Striker 4 which doesn’t have a 5-inch screen size or higher but that’s a great way to cut costs if that’s important to you. 

Target Separation 

Target separation is another important factor to consider when choosing a fish finder for crappie.

This refers to the ability of the fish finder to distinguish between different objects in the water, including fish, vegetation, and other structures. 

Look for a fish finder with the lowest number for target separation. 

For example, the Lowrance Hook Reveal recommended above guarantees 1-inch or less of target separation. This means that you’ll be able to identify fish that are 1-inch apart. 

This is important because it makes it easier to tell fish apart from vegetation but it also helps you identify schools of crappie and see more information about the various sizes of fish if you’re using a vertical jig to find crappie in deep water.

Sonar Type

There are several different types of sonar available in fish finders, including traditional sonar, side imaging, down imaging, and tripleshot sonar. 

Traditional sonar sends a single beam of sound waves directly beneath your boat and can be used to find fish and underwater structures. 

Side imaging uses a wider beam to scan the area to the left and right of your boat, providing a more detailed view of the underwater landscape. This sonar is great for shallow water which is a big part of the crappie anglers game. 

Down imaging sends a narrower beam straight down to create a detailed picture of what’s beneath your boat. 

Tripleshot sonar combines traditional sonar with both side imaging and down imaging, providing a more comprehensive view of the water.

So, what does all this mean for you? 

It means that the fancier you get, the more expensive you get, and the more unnecessary you get. 

I suggest that your best fish finder for crappie has only as many advanced sonar features as you need to find the fish. Down and side imaging is usually more than enough. 

GPS and Mapping

mapping on a humminbird 10 fish finder

This is somewhat self explanatory. Having GPS has become standard in most fish finders whether you’re fishing for Tarpon, Swordfish, or little crappie in a small pond near your house. 

GPS and mapping capabilities can also be helpful when fishing for crappie too. 

Look for a fish finder with GPS and mapping capabilities to help you navigate to your favorite fishing spots and mark the locations of fish and other structures. 

This can be particularly helpful when fishing in unfamiliar waters or trying to find new spots to fish for crappie. All the fish finders in this guide have some form of GPS feature. 


Finally, cost is an important factor to consider when purchasing a fish finder for crappie. The mighty dollar is always going to be the final green or red light. 

While more expensive models often come with more features and capabilities, there are plenty of affordable fish finders that are suitable for crappie fishing. 

Truth be told, if you primarily fish on the weekends with your kids and family, you don’t need a $3,000 fish finder. Something like the Hook Reveal or Elite FS will do the trick for less than $1,000

Look for a fish finder that fits within your budget but still meets your needs in terms of display, target separation, sonar type, GPS and mapping, and other features. Don’t spend any more than you have to. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What do crappie look like on a fish finder?

Crappie will look like a small fish arc shape on most fish finders. The size of the arc will depend on the size of the crappie. 

What is the best fish finder for crappie?

The best fish finder for crappie is the Lowrance Elite FS because it offers the most necessary panfishing features at the most affordable price for weekend anglers. 

Final Thoughts

That’s all folks. I hope this guide of the best fish finder for crappie helps you find a fish finder that you don’t find to be crappy. (say that 10 times fast) 

The Lowrance Elite FS is the best option for most of you but if you’re fishing from the shore, I’d suggest the Deeper Pro+ 2 because it’s the best castable sonar.

Regardless of the one you choose, they’re all relatively affordable and boast as many premium features as you can get without going overboard. 

They’ll all do the trick for your panfishing and serve as a great unit for many years to come. Good luck out there!

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