You saved your money and bought a new fish finder with all the latest technology, but now you need to mount it to the boat. The possibilities seem endless, what do you do?
Every boat is designed and shaped differently, and there are so many different mounts being sold that it can be confusing. We have been there and done that several times!
To help get you on the water we have put together a list of the top fish finder mounting ideas. At least one of these ideas should help you figure out an optimal way to install your new fish finder.
Mounting Ideas for Fish Finders
First, thinks about where you plan to mount the unit. Some of these mounting ideas work much better on the bow than at the console, and vice versa. Start with some basic definitions.
- Console/Dash –Where the steering wheel, gauges, and instrument clusters are located. Fish finders on the console are used when the big motor is underway and you are actively looking for fish and structure or navigating to a new fishing spot.
- Bow – The front of the boat where the trolling motor is mounted. Bow mounted fish finders are used when the trolling motor is deployed, and you are actively fishing or trolling an area.
- Mounting for Quick Removal – Keep in mind whether you are mounting the fish finder permanently, or if you will need to remove the unit frequently.
- Kayaks and Small Boats – Small watercraft have far less space to attach mounts, and this limits your mounting options and the size of electronics you can support.
Mounting your new graph does not have to be stressful. Look over your boat and determine a few good mounting locations first, then check this list of ideas to see what type of mount would work best.
1. In-Dash Mounting (Flush Mount)
Flush mounting in-dash is a clean-looking way to mount a fish finder. Many times, new boats will come with small fish finders already flush mounted to the console.
While an in-dash mount might look great, this method is limited by the size of the console. Bass boats especially have gotten smaller and an in-dash mount is not an option for units over 7 or 8 inches big.
Each brand has its own flush mount kits for your specific unit. There will typically be gaskets, brackets, and hardware needed to secure the finder into the dash plate. Humminbird IDMK Kits are robustly designed out of sheet metal, whereas Garmin and Lowrance rely on 3M adhesive based gaskets and a few screws.
- Clean Look
- Fixed Mounted
- Limited by Console Size
- Screen Obscured by Steering Wheel
- Not Quick Removable
2. Gimbal Mounting
Often overlooked, the gimbal mount included with your fish finder is great for mounting a fish finder! The brackets are designed to securely hold your specific unit, have mounting holes ready to go, and come with hardware. The one drawback is you will need a flat space large enough to attach the bracket to the deck or gunnel.
- Designed for & Included with Your Unit
- Secure & Solid Mount
- Quick Removal
- No Swivel
- Must Have Flat Mounting Area
3. RAM Swing Arm Mount
This mount from RAM is one of the most overlooked and underrated options for mounting a fish finder. It is great for either mounting next to the console or up front by the trolling motor, or anywhere you have limited space.
The pedestal mount base adds some height to the fish finder, bringing the screen closer to you. The swivels give you a high degree of adjustability you need. And the base plate has predrilled holes for attaching the gimbal mount.
Is this mount better than the typical RAM ball and socket mount? 100% yes in our experience. The swivel knobs can be tightened down hard, and overall is more stable in rough water without slipping or flopping onto the deck.
- Highly Adjustable
- Solid and Secure
- Through Hole Bolts Needed
4. Bridge Mount for the Bow
Recessed trolling motor pedals are nearly standard in today’s fishing boats. A bridge mount is basically a sheet metal bracket bridging over the recessed area proving a convenient location for mounting your primary fish finder.
These types of mounts are very strong, make the screen easier to view, and come in a wide variety of configurations. The hardest part will be figuring out which brand and model will best fit your boat, especially if you are mounting dual fish finders.
The by PROcise Outdoors are great, with several designs with different angles and GPS puck mounts to choose from to best fit your boat. There are many other brands that are great as well like Precision Sonar and BoatLogix.
- Lifts screen closer, easier to view
- Gives back valuable deck real estate
- Securely mounted
- Big through hole or lag bolts needed
- Lots of similar-looking options from different brands
5. Bridge Mount for the Console
If you don’t have space to mount the gimbal bracket to the dash, a dash bridge mount can give your fish finder the lift up from the dash, and away from the steering wheel that you need.
The Dek-It Dash mounts come in single and dual fish finder configurations. These types of mounts are great for bass boats and fishing boats where there is a solid dash plate, but not enough space to mount flush or directly with the gimbal.
- Solid and secure mount.
- Utilizes the manufacturer’s bracket.
- Requires a large mounting surface on the dash.
6. RAM Universal Marine Ball & Socket Mount
RAM mounts have long been popular for mounting fish finders. They are simple to use, highly adjustable, and affordable. They feature a small base and different arm lengths depending on your boat needs.
RAM Ball & Socket mounts are best suited for small to medium sized fish finders, as they tend to lose grip on the rubber balls over time. This can result in slippage causing your locator to flop around when you hit a big wake or slam into a wave.
- Easy to install and use.
- Great for smaller electronics and kayaks.
- Larger fish finders tend to slip and move in rough water.
7. Swivel Mount – Johnny Ray
Swivel mounts are great for mounting on gunnels or consoles with flat surfaces above the steering wheel. Some small fishing boats are designed like this as well as center console boats.
The Johnny Ray swivels are very nice for this purpose. They use a permanently mounted base, with a push-button swivel plate that is also detachable.
The base is metal, and the mounting plate is molded from durable glass-reinforced nylon. The plate swivels 360 degrees around and can be quickly removed via the lever release.
- Compact and sturdy
- Full rotation for viewing anywhere on the boat.
- Only useful when mounted on flat surfaces.
8. Track Mounting
Track mounting is very common for kayak fish finders and some smaller boats. The tracks make it extremely easy to mount almost any accessory or tool to your watercraft.
YakAttack makes a nice universal track fish finder mount that will fit almost any smaller unit from the major brands. The mount has secure ratcheting arms instead of balls, sockets, and pre-drilled plates.
- Great for kayaks and boats with rail systems.
- Not the strongest mounts, can’t handle large units.
9. Railblaza Kayak Mounts
Railblaza makes a cool system of mounts for kayak fishing. You buy a Starport base that mounts to rails or through the hull, then add the R-Lock R fish finder mount.
The mount has 3 axes of adjustment and a predrilled mounting plate for directly attaching the unit via the gimbal mount. The whole system is very compact, yet sturdy, which is a real winner when it comes to fishing out of small boats and kayaks.
10. Kong Mount
The KVD Kong mounts by T-H Marine are very popular with big water anglers. They are overbuilt and super strong to handle the pounding from big waves. That strength comes at a price, costing several times more than comparable RAM mounts.
- Strong mount, securely holds large fish finders.
- Expensive compared to other mounts.
11. Pedestal Mounts
These extra tall mounts have been popularized by the explosion of “live” forward-facing sonar systems, such as Livescope, Active Target, and MEGA Live.
A pedestal is a long tubular pole with a base screwed to the deck. The pole can be several feet long to get the screen up to eye level when sitting on a chair.
The mount pictured is a Stowaway extending mount. It has adjustable height and can fold down to the deck for making runs and towing.
Live sonar requires you to watch the screen almost constantly, watching your lure and how the fish react to it. A pedestal fish finder mount helps reduce neck and eye strain by putting the screen near eye level.
- Raises your fish finder by several feet.
- Reduces neck strain when using live sonar.
- Can construct your view while driving, unless you get a foldable model.
*Last updated 2022-12-04 at 04:00 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API