Going Deeper With the Portable Chirp Sonar for Fishing Geeks

Gadgets Leisure Reviews Sports

The Deeper Chirp brings technology to your fishing trip by adding high-end sonar to your phone or tablet.

Being a confirmed geek, I tend to want to bring technology and science into just about everything I do. It is no surprise, then, that I wanted to tech up my fishing trips. Historically, having some trust-worthy sonar to get a peek under the water’s surface was relegated to those who owned boats and could hall a battery, transducer, and head unit around with them. It was an effective system but cumbersome and costly. Luckily, as with everything else that is tech-oriented, that technology has become smaller, cheaper, portable, and more effective.

Deeper has been creating amazing portable and castable sonar for close to a decade. With people carrying fairly powerful computers in their pockets over the last few years that are capable of connecting to GPS satellites and data simultaneously, what needed to be done was to create a micro-sized sonobuoy that can transmit information via a Wi-Fi signal to a phone, tablet, laptop, or PC. 

Unboxing and Setup

The Deeper Chirp comes in a small and very unassuming box, but the tech inside is massive. The army drab green ball comes with three anchor points to screw in the steel loop that you will be attaching your line to. You select the points based on the type of fishing you are going to do. This can be shore, bridge, or ship. I have found this to be very important since the angle you will be fishing affects how the Deeper sits in the water. Along the lower part of the Deeper Chirp, you will see a black gasket that will keep your electronic bits watertight. There are arrows that you need to line up to ensure this. Once open you will see another gasket that holds the micro USB port that will charge the unit. The gasket is easy to lift and access your port. Even though the Deeper should be watertight, you should be mindful of replacing the gasket once you are charged up. That should complete your physical preparation, so now you have to go to the device that you intend to use to read the unit and download the Fish Deeper App and the Deeper Smart Sonar App. Along with these two apps, it is best to also fire up Lakebook to upload and access your bathymetric maps and other incredibly useful utilities. This mapping is my main interest in the product, as I like to visit a lot of small lakes and ponds with my son to catch bass. Those ponds and lakes do not have detailed contour maps to tell me where the giants are hiding.

I decided to take the Deeper Chirp to my favorite saltwater fishing barge where I have been on the hunt for blackfish. Blackfish also, known as tautog or just taug to the locals, are sea fish that eat crustaceans, especially green crab that likes to hang out in rock piles. So the mission for the Deeper Chirp was to help me find those pile so that I could more efficiently target fish.

With the Deeper I was able to make separate recordings that I brought into the Lakebook software to see where they were in relation to Google Earth to be able to see baitfish at the top of the water and blackfish hovering 30 feet below.

A word of caution: don’t just use any rod and reel with your Deeper Chirp! The Chirp weighs in at a little over 3oz, so I recommend a medium-heavy to heavy action rod and a minimum of 20lb braid with a clip rated at 100lbs or more so that you don’t see your $300 investment go launching into the middle of the lake or worse, the ocean. I am personally using a Penn Fierce medium-heavy rod with 30lb Sensu braid and a 150lb clip.

Holding up my 20″ 5.5lb blackfish, which Deeper Chirp helped me find.

Even though the barge had a fairly limited area, the blackfish tend to gather in tight areas, so literally, a foot or two in either direction would put you off the bite. Being able to pinpoint the structure allowed me to do more catching and less fishing. I look forward to taking the Deeper Chirp on a tour of my favorite spots and am looking to add the armature for kayaks to my list of accessories so that I can map entire lakes and ponds. One other accessory that may be a must is the phone clip that allows you to attach the Deeper Chirp to your rod so that you don’t have to set it up and have to keep coming back to it, making it a great hands-free option.


Material: ABS enclosure

Compatibility: From iOS 12.0 and Android 5.0 to the latest iOS and Android devices

Sonar Type: 3 Frequency CHIRP – Narrow CHIRP 675 kHz (cone angle 7°), Medium CHIRP 290 kHz (cone angle 16°), Wide CHIRP 100 kHz (cone angle 47°)

Target Separation: 0.4 in / 1 cm. Narrow Chirp, 0.94 in / 2.4 cm. Medium Chirp, 0.94 in / 2.4 cm. Wide Chirp

Depth Range: 6 in / 15 cm.– 330 ft / 100 m.

Sonar Scan Rate: Up to 15 scans per second

Sonar Modes: Standard, Ice fishing, Boat

Bathymetric Mapping: uses smartphone or tablet GPS to map from boat/kayak / SUP

Operating Temperature: -4°F to 104°F / -20°C to 40°C

Operating Time: Up to 8 hours

Charging Technology: Fast charge, 80% in 45 min., 100% in 75 min.

Internal Battery: Lithium Polymer, 3.7V Rechargeable, 950 mAh

Power Adapter (not included in the box, recommended): Input 110V/220V. Output Micro USB, 5V 2A

Connection Type: Wi-Fi

Connection Range: Stable connection up to 330 ft / 100 m.

Color: Military Green 

A look at some Deeper Chirp tech info.

Final Thoughts and Recommendation

Being a fishing geek, I know that catching is about increasing your odds and finding the fish, so the Deeper Chirp achieves that in spades. Though it is not inexpensive, coming in at $300, the Deeper chirp is priced cheaper than other sonar units that come with its features. You simply cannot get bathymetric mapping GPS and app support at this price, and to be able to have all of that in an ultra-portable package is insane. Currently, Deeper is offering a sale price of $250, which may be the answer if you have a tech geek/fisherman in your family. So check it out.

Oh, and the Deeper Chirp even works in Chernobyl!

A sample of the Deeper Chirp was made available by the manufacturer. The views expressed in this article are of the authors alone and not the manufacturer or editorial staff.

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