Garmin Fish Finder Screen Sizes: A Comprehensive Guide 2023

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When navigating the vast waters of fish finder technology, choosing the perfect screen size for Garmin fish finders can be as elusive as the catch itself. Garmin Fish finders screen sizes can range anywhere from 5” (the ECHOMAP UHD series) till 24” (the GPSMAP 8624). However, choosing the right one requires one to consider various factors. Here is a comprehensive guide on Garmin Fish Finders screen sizes, where we dive deep into the world of cutting-edge marine electronics, GPS integration, and chartplotter screens.

Whether you’re angling for bass in a serene freshwater lake or embarking on a deep-sea fishing expedition, this screen size guide can help you choose the right screen size that can make all the difference.  Learn in detail about  screen size comparisons, and how to enhance your fishing experience with Garmin’s innovative screen size options.  Before delving into deeper details, let’s begin by examining the fish finder screen options available in the market to understand our choices.

Typical Dimensions of Screens Used In Fish Finders

When it comes to fish finder fundamentals, screen sizes span from approximately 4 inches to 12 inches, and this holds true for major manufacturers such as Garmin, Lowrance, and Humminbird.

This range is quite extensive, with a 4-inch screen falling into the category of smaller displays and a 12-inch screen considered larger.  

When it comes to Garmin fish finders screen size  you can choose from two screen size options: a 5″ VGA or a 7″ touchscreen display with pinch-to-zoom functionality. Both variants offer wireless connectivity and seamless media integration.  

Typical Dimensions of Garmin Screens Sizes Used In Fish Finders

How Do you Measure Screen Size for Fish Finders?

Keep in mind that measuring from side to side or top to bottom would result in a significantly larger dimension than the stated diagonal size of 7 inches.

Start from the Corners: When a fish finder’s screen size is indicated as, for example, 7 inches, it signifies that the measurement stretches from the bottom left corner to the top right corner OR from the bottom right corner to the top left corner of the screen.

Keep in mind that measuring from side to side or top to bottom would result in a significantly larger dimension than the stated diagonal size of 7 inches.

Always Measure from the bottom left corner to the top right corner or vice versa. For accurate measurements, use a flexible tape measure, starting from the outer corners of the screen and measuring diagonally. Avoid obstructions, double-check the unit of measurement, and cross-reference with manufacturer specs if available. These steps ensure you get the precise screen size, crucial for choosing the right fish finder for your needs.


Comparison of Garmin Fish Finder Screen Sizes

To provide a frame of reference, a typical laptop display measures 13 inches, an average iPad display is approximately 9.7 inches, and a standard iPhone 7 display comes in at 4.7 inches. When envisioning fish finder displays, the smallest among them would be roughly equivalent to the size of an iPhone, a medium-sized one falls a bit short of an iPad’s dimensions, and even the largest fish finder screen remains smaller in comparison to a laptop screen. Here is a detailed comparison of top selling Garmin Fish finders.

SeriesDisplay SizeSonar CapabilitiesCharts & MapsNetworkingConnectivity
GPSMAP® 8400/8600 Series10”, 12”, 16″Traditional, Scanning, Panoptix™Preloaded Coastal Charts and Inland Maps (Navionics®)SupportedFull In-Plane Switching (IPS) Touchscreen
GPSMAP® 7×2/9×2 & 12×2 Touch Series7”, 9”, 12″Traditional, ScanningCoastal Charts and Inland MapsNetworkingTouchscreen Controls
GPSMAP® 10×2/12×2 Series10”, 12”Traditional, ScanningPreloaded Coastal Charts and Inland Maps (Garmin & Navionics®)NetworkingWi-Fi® Connectivity
ECHOMAP Ultra Series10”, 12”Premium Sonar SupportPreloaded LakeVü g3 and BlueChart® g3 CartographyNot specifiedKeyed-Assist Touchscreen
echoMAP™ CHIRP Series4”, 5”, 7”, 9”Traditional, ScanningCoastal Charts and Inland MapsNot specifiedNot specified

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages Associated With Various Screen Sizes?

Various screen sizes, whether they are large or small, each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are a set of Pros and cons related to larger screen size in fish finders.

Advantages of Larger Screen Sizes

Larger screens provide better visibility, making it easier to read and interpret the data, including fish arches and underwater structures.

Bigger displays allow for more detailed mapping and chart information, helping you navigate and locate fishing spots more effectively.

On larger screens, you can often split the display into multiple windows, allowing you to view different types of sonar data simultaneously.

Disadvantages of Larger Screen Sizes

Fish finders with larger screens tend to be more expensive. This can be a significant investment, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

Larger screens can make the unit bulkier and heavier, which might not be suitable for smaller boats or kayaks with limited space.

Bigger screens may consume more power, potentially draining your boat’s battery faster. It’s important to ensure your electrical system can handle the increased power demand.

Battery longevity, depth of functionality, and cost considerations are some of the factors to be associated before finalising the screen size for your fish finders. Here are some of the pros and cons of smaller screen size fish finders.

Advantages of Smaller Screen Sizes

Fish finders with smaller screens are generally more affordable, making them accessible to a wider range of anglers.

Smaller units are compact and lightweight, making them suitable for smaller vessels or kayaks with limited mounting space.

Smaller screens typically consume less power, helping to conserve your boat’s battery.

Disadvantages of Smaller Screen Sizes

Smaller screens can make it challenging to see details, especially in bright sunlight or rough conditions.

Some smaller models may not support multiple window views, limiting your ability to view different types of sonar data simultaneously.

The smaller display size may limit the level of detail available on mapping and charts.

Garmin Screen Size And Battery Life

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. It’s evident that the size of your fish finder’s screen can affect its battery life. Larger screens typically consume more battery power compared to smaller ones because they require additional energy to illuminate their expanded surface area. To understand the impact of screen size on battery life, it’s essential to consider how fish finder batteries work.

garmin fish finder rechargeable battery

Rechargeable Batteries

Some fish finder models are equipped with built-in rechargeable batteries. These batteries can be recharged, and their capacity is designed to support the operation of the unit over extended periods. When using such models, the screen size may have a noticeable effect on battery life, as larger screens may drain the battery more quickly.

Garmin Fish Finders Boat Battery Connection_

Boat Battery Connection

Other fish finders are designed to connect directly to your boat's battery. This setup allows the fish finder to draw power from the boat's electrical system, which is often replenished by the boat's engine or solar panels. In this case, the impact of screen size on battery life is less significant, as the unit benefits from continuous charging while the boat's engine is running.

garmin fish finders battery-operated units

Battery-Operated Units

For specific fish finder units, especially those used in kayak fishing or other portable applications, they may rely on a separate battery that doesn't receive ongoing recharging. In such scenarios, the choice of screen size can be more critical, as a larger screen may deplete the battery more rapidly, potentially affecting the duration of your fishing expedition.

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Garmin Fish Finder Screen Size and Usability

When it comes to choosing a Garmin fish finder, the screen size plays a pivotal role in determining its usability. This article delves into the significance of screen size and its impact on your fishing experience.

Garmin Fish Finder Screen size and View

When the screen size is too small, all the data your device generates, such as fish identification, water depth, large fish, fish of similar sizes, and various sizes, gets compressed into a limited space rather than spread out across a larger screen. This compression can make it somewhat challenging to read and interpret the data, especially when compared to the clarity of a larger screen with brighter visual feedback. 

For instance, it might be difficult to discern a broader band of yellow color, such as an indicator for a hard bottom, when there isn’t sufficient room for detailed presentation.


If you have proficiency in interpreting fish finders, you can manage with a 4-inch display, but it's invariably more convenient on a 7 or 10-inch screen, particularly if it offers a split-screen mode for enhanced visibility and comprehension.

Which Screen Size Is Most Suitable for Boat-mounted Fish Finders?

The ideal screen size for boat-mounted fish finders depends on your budget and the features you need. Larger screens offer more data visualization but can be more expensive, so finding the right balance is key. 

Here are few factors to be considered wily choosing the same.

  1. Screen Size and Functionality: The size of a fish finder’s screen is closely tied to its features. Larger screens are common on fish finders with various functions like sonar, GPS, and imaging. They provide more data about what’s underwater.
  2. Balancing Screen Size and Budget: Picking the best screen size depends on your budget and fishing needs. Bigger screens often cost more, so it’s important to find a size that fits both your requirements and your wallet.
  3. Battery Life and Portability: Unlike portable fish finders, boat-mounted units don’t worry about battery life. They’re powered by the boat’s engine or electrical system. Focus on choosing a screen size that gives you a clear view of the data you need.
Garmin ECHOMAP™ Ultra series

Expert Suggestion

Consider the type of transducer and mounting method along with screen size. The right transducer is vital for sonar performance. For boat-mounted fish finders with various screen size options and advanced features, consider the Garmin ECHOMAP™ Ultra series. It offers a range of screen sizes and functionalities to suit different fishing needs and budgets.​​

What Screen Size Is Optimal For Portable Fish Finder Devices?

For portable fish finder devices, a screen size in the range of 4 to 7 inches is often considered optimal. This size strikes a balance between portability and visibility, making it easy to carry and use while providing clear data for fishing in various conditions.

Garmin STRIKER™ 4 Portable Fishfinder

Recommended Garmin Product:

The Garmin STRIKER™ 4 Portable Fishfinder is an excellent choice for anglers seeking a portable solution. It features a compact 4.3-inch color display, making it highly portable without compromising on functionality. The STRIKER™ 4 offers CHIRP sonar technology for detailed fish arches and structure, making it an ideal companion for on-the-go fishing adventures.

What Screen Size Is Recommended for Kayak-mounted Fish Finders?

For kayak-mounted fish finders, a screen size in the range of 5 to 7 inches is generally recommended. This size provides a good balance between visibility and portability, ensuring that you can easily read the display while navigating in a compact kayak.

garmin striker plus 5cv

Recommended Garmin Product:

Consider the Garmin STRIKER™ Plus 5cv as a suitable option for kayak-mounted fish finders. With its 5-inch color display, CHIRP sonar technology, and ClearVü scanning sonar, it offers clear and detailed fish and structure readings while remaining compact and kayak-friendly.

Fish Finder Screen Size For Ice Fishing

When it comes to ice fishing, a smaller screen size in the range of 3 to 5 inches is often preferred. This size strikes a balance between portability and ease of use in cold weather conditions, allowing you to read the display even while wearing gloves and keeping your gear compact on the ice.

Garmin Striker™ 4 Ice Fishing Bundle

Recommended Garmin Product:

Consider the Garmin Striker™ 4 Ice Fishing Bundle for your ice fishing needs. It features a 3.5-inch color display that’s ideal for ice fishing setups. This bundle includes a portable carrying case and a high-performance transducer for accurate sonar readings, making it well-suited for the unique challenges of ice fishing.

Best Fish Finder Screen Size For Deep-sea Fishing

For deep-sea fishing, where visibility and detailed information are paramount, Garmin offers a range of fish finders with larger screen sizes, typically between 9 and 16 inches. These expansive displays provide clear and comprehensive data on underwater terrain, fish activity, and navigation, ensuring that deep-sea anglers have the tools they need to navigate and locate fish effectively in challenging marine environments.

Garmin GPSMAP® 8400-8600 Series for deep-sea fishing

Recommended Garmin Product:

Consider the Garmin GPSMAP® 8400/8600 Series for deep-sea fishing. These chartplotter/sonar combo models feature full in-plane switching (IPS) touchscreen displays, with options ranging from 10 to 16 inches. It offers support for traditional, scanning, and Panoptix™ sonar, preloaded coastal charts and inland maps, and advanced navigation features, making them well-suited for the demands of deep-sea fishing where comprehensive data and precision navigation are essential.

Fish Finder Screen Size For Freshwater Lakes

When fishing in freshwater lakes, a fish finder with a moderate screen size between 5 and 7 inches is often an excellent choice. This screen size strikes a balance, providing sufficient visibility and detail for reading underwater features while remaining compact and easy to manage in smaller watercraft commonly used on lakes. It ensures that you can effectively locate fish and navigate in a variety of freshwater lake conditions.

Recommended Garmin Product:

Consider the Garmin ECHOMAP™ Plus 73cv for freshwater lake fishing. It features a 7-inch color display, CHIRP sonar technology, and ClearVü scanning sonar, which provide detailed fish arches, structure, and contours. The ECHOMAP™ Plus series is designed to optimize the fishing experience on lakes, offering excellent data visualization and navigation tools for successful outings on freshwater bodies.

Understanding Display Size and Split Screen Functionality

Depending on the fish finder model, like the Lowrance HDS, it might offer split-screen capability. This means you can see your sonar image on one side and GPS info on the other while fishing. This is useful for finding good spots but makes the screen narrower, making it a bit harder to see both your location and fish at once. You can watch a video to understand this better.

Can You Trust Smaller Displays for Accurate Plotter and Sonar Images?

Yes, whether on a small or large screen, plotter and sonar images are reliable; the fish finder won’t show things that aren’t there. The difference is in the level of detail. Bigger screens show finer details, while smaller screens make it a bit tougher to spot these details.


Selecting the right screen size for your Garmin fish finder is a pivotal decision that can significantly impact your fishing experience. The screen size should align with your fishing needs, budget, and the type of water bodies you frequent. Whether you’re exploring the expansive depths of the open ocean, navigating the serene waters of a freshwater lake, or ice fishing in frozen solitude, Garmin offers a diverse range of fish finder models with various screen sizes to cater to every angler’s preferences.

Remember, a larger screen provides enhanced data visualization and functionality, while a smaller one offers portability and cost-effectiveness. Striking the perfect balance is the key to optimizing your fishing success. With Garmin’s innovative fish finder technology and screen size options, you can embark on your fishing adventures with confidence, knowing you have the tools to locate and reel in the big catch. So, choose wisely, and let your Garmin fish finder screen size be your trusted companion on your aquatic journeys in 2023 and beyond. Happy fishing!

FAQs on Garmin Fish finder Screen Size

Garmin offers fish finders with a range of screen sizes, including 4-inch, 5-inch, 7-inch, 9-inch, and larger displays, depending on the specific model.
The screen size of a Garmin fish finder can vary depending on the model you choose. Garmin offers fish finders with various screen sizes to suit different preferences and needs.
The “best” Garmin fish finder can vary depending on your specific fishing requirements and budget. Garmin offers a range of models with different features. Popular options include the Garmin ECHOMAP series and the Garmin Striker series. Research and choose one that meets your needs.
Yes, Garmin fish finders are generally considered to be of high quality and provide reliable fish-finding capabilities. They are well-regarded in the fishing community for their accuracy and features.
Garmin is known for producing accurate fish finders, but the accuracy of any fish finder can depend on factors like transducer quality, water conditions, and user proficiency. It’s essential to understand how to use your Garmin fish finder effectively for the best results.
Garmin’s Panoptix LiveScope system is well-regarded for live scanning capabilities. It can be paired with various Garmin displays, including ECHOMAP and GPSMAP series units, to provide real-time scanning of underwater terrain and fish. The best choice depends on your specific needs and budget.

Gary Burrell

Chief Content Writer and Reviewer at Garmin Fish

Born in 1989, Gary Burrell is an Electrical Engineering graduate from the University of Tennessee. With 20+ years of experience, he has transitioned from engineering roles to becoming the Chief Content Editor. Gary’s unique blend of technical knowledge and editorial expertise has made him an essential figure in content creation, ensuring clarity and accuracy. His journey from an engineer to an editor showcases his adaptability and commitment to continuous learning.