2020 Fishing Electronics Buyer’s Guide

Discover the best in new fishing electronics

2020 Fishing Electronics Buyer’s Guide

Looking to upgrade to the best fishfinder for your boat? Start here with our overview of the latest offerings from the best marine electronics manufacturers and then dive deep into the world of interconnected fishfinders, multifunction displays, radars, and more. If you haven’t upgraded your fishfinder in a few years, you’ll be blown away by what’s available and by the incredible technology that can be purchased today for a fraction of what it used to cost to consumers. With the right marine elecctronics, you can take advantage and make the most of your limited time on the water by making it safer and more productive.


Simrad’s modular technology lets you create a sportfishing system that incorporates multifunction displays, CHIRP sounders, StructureScan 3D sonar, Broadband and HALO radar, SonicHub audio, VHF radio, and autopilot. Simrad’s NSO evo3 glass bridge systems are suited to larger sportfishing vessels, while the NSS evo3 multifunction displays are at the center of sportfishing systems designed for 20- to 40-foot center consoles. The affordable GO lineup’s multi-touch chartplotters are suited for smaller center consoles and bay boats, while the new Cruise is the most intuitive, easy-to-use chartplotter available. simrad-yachting.com

Simrad NSO evo3S
Starting at $6,999 • simrad-yachting.com
The new Simrad NSO evo3S Glass Bridge display provides an unprecedented user experience for large sportfishing and power boats. Available spring 2020, the new NSO evo3S is faster and more powerful, delivering faster page changes, smoother transitions, and greater multitasking capabilities. Even when splitting the screen six ways, there is no drop in performance.

Simrad NSS EVO3
Starting at $1,299 • simrad-yachting.com
The Simrad NSS Evo3 is a premium all-in-one fishfinder, chartplotter, and multifunction display. Its SolarMAX HD display offers exceptional clarity and ultra-wide viewing angles, while all-weather touchscreen technology and a keypad with rotary dial offer control in any conditions. Built-in echosounder support lets you cruise confidently with ForwardScan sonar or reveal fishing spots with StructureScan HD imaging and CHIRP-enabled sonar—just add your choice of transducer. Wireless connectivity links to your smartphone, keeping you in control from anywhere on board. Available in 7-, 9-, 12- and 16-inch displays.

Starting at $399 • simrad-yachting.com
In 2019, Simrad introduced what it calls the most intuitive chartplotter available. The Simrad CRUISE is everything you need for simple and straightforward GPS navigation is right inside the box, including sunlight viewable display, mounting bracket, and a sonar transducer. Rotary dial and keypad controls make navigating through menus, creating routes and accessing temperature, speed, depth readings and battery voltage effortless.

Simrad HALO20+
Starting at $2,199 • simrad-yachting.com
The Simrad HALO20+ delivers an almost real-time view, with 60 RPM operation at close range for the ultimate in collision avoidance. Identify hazards in an instant with VelocityTrack Doppler technology and enjoy simultaneous short-and long-range coverage—up to 36 nautical miles—from a compact 20-inch dome antenna.


Lowrance has been a leader in marine electronics since it invented the first consumer sonar device in 1957, the famous “Little Green Box.” In the years since, Lowrance has created innovative solutions targeted toward inland and coastal fishermen. Their flagship HDS LIVE series offers premium performance for serious freshwater and saltwater anglers. The Elite Ti2 series of mid-range, easy-to-use touchscreen products are perfect for both inland and coastal fishing enthusiasts. The Hook2 series is focused on providing easy-to-use fishfinders at great prices.

Lowrance HDS LIVE
Starting at $1,149 (w/ transducer) • simrad-yachting.com
Lowrance’s high-performance line of fishfinder/chartplotters brings sleek design, fast processors, best-ever built-in suite of HDS navigation tools, and support for a wide array of new fishfinding technology. The Lowrance HDS LIVE includes a built-in Lowrance CHIRP sonar, support for Active Imaging, StructureScan 3D, and revolutionary LiveSight Real-Time Sonar. Navigate with preloaded C-MAP US Enhanced Inland and Coastal mapping, plus the new Genesis Live onscreen offering precision real-time mapping. Available in 7-, 9-, 12- and 16-inch display sizes.

Lowrance Hook2 Series
Starting at $119 (w/GPS) • simrad-yachting.com
The Lowrance Hook2 series of fishfinders and fishfinder/chartplotter combos boasts easy-to-use features found on high-end fish-finding gear at affordable prices. Auto-tuning sonar corrects settings for the clearest view, and a wide-angle broadband sounder more than doubles the sonar coverage of other models. Available in 12-, 9-, 7-, 5- and 4-inch displays.

Lowrance Elite Ti2
Starting at $599 (w/ transducer) • simrad-yachting.com
Powerful, yet affordable, the Elite Ti2 gives anglers access to features previously reserved for Lowrance’s premium displays. A 3-in-1 sonar solution, Active Imaging, combines Lowrance CHIRP sonar with Side and DownScan Imaging. Wireless networking delivers full connectivity without the hassle of cable installation. Connect to your smartphone with bluetooth calling and text notifications. Available in 7-, 9-, and 12-inch display sizes.


Known for creating user-friendly, intuitive devices, Garmin’s marine offerings include sophisticated chartplotters and touchscreen multifunction displays, sonar technology, high-definition radar, autopilots, high-resolution mapping, and instrumentation. The flagship GPSMAP series includes 7- to 24-inch multifunction displays, while the EchoMap Plus series offers 4- to 9-inch easy-to-use, easy-to-set up chartplotter/sonar combos.

Garmin GPSMAP 8600/8600xsv
Starting at $2399 • garmin.com.my
Garmin’s extension of its flagship GPSMAP 8600 series brings premium features like built-in sonar and new BlueChart g3 coastal cartography to smaller, more affordable display options. Available in 10-, 12- and 16-inch displays that feature full HD in-plane switching screens with multi-touch control, the all-in-one compact design eliminates the need for black-boxes, monitors, and external Wi-Fi antennas. Includes support for CHIRP, CHIRP ClearVü and CHIRP SideVü scanning sonars, and the full Garmin Panoptix all-seeing sonar product line, including the new Panoptix LiveScope LVS12 transducer.

Garmin EchoMap Plus
Starting at $199 • garmin.com.my
Garmin’s EchoMap combo series features 4- to 9-inch sunlight-readable keyed and keyed-assist touchscreens with BlueChart g3 and LakeVü g3 cartography products that have Navionics content built in for coastal and inland boating and fishing. For crystal-clear scanning of fish and structure, the ECHOMAP Plus series offers built-in CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP ClearVü and SideVü scanning sonar capabilities, and the bundled versions now include a Garmin GT transducer with a dedicated down element for increased ClearVü depth performance of 500 feet. The ECHOMAP Plus “sv” models also add SideVü scanning for customers who want to see what’s located on both sides of the boat. All 7- and 9-inch Plus units provide support for all Garmin Panoptix all-seeing sonar transducers, including Panoptix LiveScope.


With a history of over 40 years of innovation, Humminbird brings fishfinders, GPS systems, radar, and autopilot to anglers. They offer solutions for all types of freshwater and saltwater anglers with the powerful SOLIX series of 15.4-, 12.1-, and 10.1-inch displays, and the HELIX series of 5- to 12.1-inch chartplotters, now with Dual Spectrum CHIRP Sonar and MEGA Imaging+. New MEGA 360 Imaging transducers mount on Minn Kota trolling motors and sweep up to 125’ in every direction around your boat.

Humminbird SOLIX G2
Starting at $2,199 • humminbird.johnsonoutdoors.com
With the inclusion of brand-new technologies like MEGA Imaging+ and Dual Spectrum CHIRP Sonar, the SOLIX Series second generation (G2) units extend imaging and sonar capabilities to help anglers see further out to the sides of their boats, clearly identify bait, structure, and individual fish, and reach greater depths. These technologies are packaged in an easy-to-use interface that anglers can operate via touchscreen or keypad, all while customizing the screen with up to four independent viewing panes. Units also come equipped with AutoChart Live technology that creates and saves structure maps on any body of water, and are pre-loaded with Humminbird Basemap, a mapping system that includes contour maps for more than 10,000 U.S. lakes. Bluetooth is built into every unit, allowing anglers to sync smartphones to the units. Available in 15.4-, 12.1-, and 10.1-inch displays.

Humminbird HELIX G3
Starting at $499 • humminbird.johnsonoutdoors.com
HELIX G3/G3N units feature MEGA Imaging+, which gives anglers the ability to see out to each side and below the boat with 20 percent more detail than MEGA Imaging. They also come equipped with Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar, designed to help you see individual fish, clearly identify bait and structure, and reach greater depths and range. Humminbird Basemap comes standard, and AutoChart Live allows anglers to create fishing maps in real time. The HELIX G3/G3N family consists of five screen sizes (7-inch, new 8-inch, 9-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch).


With a legacy of marine navigation technology spanning over 80 years, Raymarine products are renowned today for their ease of use, rugged design, and reliability. Their comprehensive range includes the powerful Axiom multifunction navigation system, the Axiom Pro, which combines touchscreen controls with a keypad; the Axiom XL, which offers screen sizes to 24 inches; the Element series sonar/GPS units; and the Dragonfly series of simple yet advanced fishfinders in 4-, 5-, and 7-inch sizes.

Raymarine Axiom Pro
Starting at $2,299 • raymarine.com
Raymarine expanded its Axiom multifunction display series with the Axiom Pro, available with 9-, 12- and 16-inch screens. The line features HybridTouch, which combines touchscreen controls with a keypad for easy use in tough offshore conditions. Advanced display technology maximizes viewing angles and reduces blackouts when seen through polarized glasses, and a quad-core processor allows extra-fast response. Available with RealVision 3D and 1kW CHIRP sonar, the Axiom Pro is easy to expand into an advanced navigation network that includes multiple displays, CHIRP radar, Evolution autopilot, FLIR thermal night vision technology, and more.

Raymarine Element
Starting at $679 • raymarine.com
Building on the success of Raymarine’s Axiom displays, the Raymarine Element incorporates integrated RealVision 3D sonar technology, improving anglers’ underwater view with 3D bottom imagery and more precise location of fish targets. Element also introduces new patent-pending HyperVision 1.2-megahertz sonar technology featuring ultra-high CHIRP sonar frequencies and enhancing the DownVision, SideVision, and RealVision 3D sonar, allowing anglers to see structure, vegetation, and fish with lifelike detail. The Element series consists of 7-, 9-, and 12-inch display models.

7 on “2020 Fishing Electronics Buyer’s Guide

  1. LOU


  2. donald stevenson

    Electronics article to short, left out info like crazy. could get that info from brochure

  3. Greg Rice

    Don’t buy lowrance it has the worst costumer service of any unit on the market please consider this when you buy

  4. Greg Rice

    They talked big but wait till you have trouble with a unit they give you the run around

  5. Ty Sellers

    I agree with Greg about Lowrance customer service. One of the worst for any product i have ever purchased

  6. todd sarver

    i have a 1989 baha 28′ fisherman single big block inboard. i currently installed hydryaulicsteering. i am looking for autopilot that will follow fishfinder courses.do not want to spen $10,000 ehat do you recomend

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