Ultimate Guides

Best Ice Fishing Fish Finder – Reviews and Comparison 2020

Disclaimer: fishinggearx.com is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

The right kind of gear can go a long way in making your ice fishing trip a success. So, if you’re planning to go ice fishing, you should consider investing in the best ice fishing fish finder. This handy device can significantly improve your chances of catching fish. It works by displaying real time sonar so you can see the depth and if there are any fish passing through, which takes the guesswork out of fishing. However, not all fish finders will have what it takes to excel. That’s why we’ve created these ice fishing fish finder reviews of the best rated products in 2020.

Best Ice Fishing Fish Finder Comparison Chart

ice fishing fish finder reviews
  • Garmin Striker 4
  • Sonar: Dual Beam/CHIRP
  • Target separation: 1"
  • Display: 3.5" color
  • Power output RMS: 200W
  • GPS: yes
  • Noise Rejection: -
  • Max depth: 1,600 ft
top rated ice fishing fish finder
  • Marcum LX-7
  • Sonar: Dual Beam
  • Target separation: 1/2"
  • Display: 8" 4-Color
  • Power output RMS: 300W
  • GPS: no
  • Noise Rejection: 12 step
  • Max depth: 300 ft
best ice fishing fish finder
  • Humminbird ICE-55
  • Sonar: Dual Beam
  • Target separation: 2.5"
  • Display: 526 Segment 6-Color Fiber
  • Power output RMS: 300W
  • GPS: no
  • Noise Rejection: 10 step
  • Max depth: 200 ft
best ice fishing sonar
  • Vexilar FL-8se
  • Sonar: Dual Beam
  • Target separation: 1"
  • Display: 525 Segment 3-Color Fiber
  • Power output RMS: 50W
  • GPS: no
  • Noise Rejection: 10 step
  • Max depth: 120 ft
best flasher unit for ice fishing
  • Garmin Striker Plus 5
  • Sonar: CHIRP/ClearVu
  • Target separation: 1"
  • Display: 5" color
  • Power output RMS: 300W
  • GPS: yes
  • Noise Rejection: yes
  • Max depth: 800 ft
ice fishing flasher reviews
  • Humminbird ICE Helix 7
  • Sonar: CHIRP/Dual Beam
  • Target separation: 3/3"
  • Display: 7" color
  • Power output RMS: 500W
  • GPS: yes
  • Noise Rejection: 6 step
  • Max depth: 400 ft

Top 10 Ice Fishing Fish Finders Reviewed

Humminbird ICE-55

best ice fishing fish finderThe top rated ice fishing fish finder in 2020 is the Humminbird ICE-55. It comes with some of the most innovative features in the industry and it takes ice fishing to a whole new level.

This device comes with a backlit LCD display that features a 6-color fiber optic flasher. Each color indicates bottom, fish and your lure. The color palette is also adjustable with 3 different options of colors.

Another great feature of this ice fishing sonar unit is the target line. It’s a newly added feature to the Humminbird’s ICE series. It allows you to mark the exact depth on the flasher, so you can keep zoned it to where the fish are.

One more valuable aspect of this unit is the zoom feature. It offers an adjustable zoom that allows you to zoom in on a certain portion of the water column. And while you’re zoomed in, you’re not gonna lose the rest of the water column. The fish will still show up on the flasher. It will just have a thicker line and faster response in the zoomed in portion.

On the display, you can also view your cone angle. The ice fish finder uses dual beam sonar, which gives you the option of using either the narrow or the wide beam. The narrow beam produces a 9-degree cone angle, which is perfect for scanning deep waters and for getting greater detail right underneath the transducer. The wide beam, on the other hand, produces a 19 degree cone angle, which will give you wider coverage of the water area.

Two more features that make this unit one of the best value ice fishing flashers is adjustable gain and depth range. By adjusting gain, you can set a certain level of sensitivity of the flasher so it would match your fishing scenario. You can also adjust the depth range up to 200 feet. Alternatively, you can pick the automatic depth range setting, which will pick the depth that will work best in your particular situation.

The unit also comes with a 9 amp hour battery, which should last a full day of fishing even with the backlight on. It’s also a powerful unit with a power output of 300 watts, which allows the unit to pick up more details with more clarity.

If you’ll be ice fishing with some other flashers or fish finding units around you, it might create interference. However, this unit offers a noise reduction setting to combat this issue, so you can pick what would work best in your situation.

CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

PROS
  • 6 color fiber optic flasher.
  • Backlight feature.
  • Dual beam sonar.
  • Adjustable sensitivity.
  • Adjustable depth range and Auto Range.
  • Target line feature.
  • Zoom option.
  • 10-step interference rejection.
  • Carrying case.
  • Good battery life.
  • 2 year warranty.
CONS
  • Expensive.

Garmin Striker 4

ice fishing fish finder reviewsFor a more affordable ice fishing fish finder, we recommend the Garmin Striker 4. It’s a portable unit that can be used for ice fishing, kayak and canoe fishing.

The unit features a 3.5 inch color display. This is a small display size but it’s sufficient for ice fishing and it can display bottom structure, baitfish and target fish. Moreover, it can even display information on the split screen.

Its user friendly interface offers a keypad and easy settings selection. The keypad features buttons that are big enough to control even if you’re wearing gloves.

The device comes with a CHIRP transducer. It sends a sweep of frequencies, which provides a wider range of information and results in crisper fish arches and better target separation.

This unit can also function as both a fish finder and flasher. By switching to the flasher setting, you’ll be able to see the bottom structure, your jig or bait, and the depth of the fish that pass through the sonar beam.

The GPS feature might not be as useful for ice fishing but it does add to the versatility to the device. You could be using it for both ice fishing and boat fishing.

Except for tracking your location and speed, it also offers you a waypoint map. You can mark different positions, such as brush piles, stumps and docks. This way you could easily find your way back to them in the future.

This ice fish finder also comes as a portable kit. It includes a carrying case, a rechargeable battery, built-in transducer and different mounts.

Its transmitting power is 200 watts. So, it might not have the performance and responsiveness of the higher end fish finders. However, for the price, you get the best value.

CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

PROS
  • 3.5 inch color display.
  • Split screen option.
  • Dual beam sonar.
  • CHIRP sonar.
  • Flasher mode.
  • Maximum depth 1,600 in freshwater and 750 feet in saltwater.
  • Integrated GPS.
  • Waypoint map.
  • Good battery life.
  • 1 year warranty.
CONS
  • Small screen.

Marcum LX-7

top rated ice fishing fish finderMarcum LX-7 is also one of the best flasher units for ice fishing as it offers the most advanced ice fishing sonar. Its many features can really transform your ice fishing experience.

With an 8 inch display and four vividly rich color palettes to choose from, this ice fish finder is at the top of the line in this segment. The LCD screen provides images that are crisp and clear. It also offers an adjustable backlight, which is helpful for fishing in different light conditions.

The screen’s dashboard can display depth, range, gain, battery voltage, interference rejection, target adjust and more. And you can choose which combination of these features to display.

Another important feature of this ice fishing fish finder is the transducer. The unit uses exclusive Sonar Footprint technology, which takes less than 0.2 seconds to display real-time images of what’s happening in the water. And it offers you the options of 8 and 20 degree cone angles.

The device also has a good sonar range. It can scan down to 300 feet, which is plenty enough for ice fishing. Moreover, this ice flasher is also highly accurate, providing ½ inch target separation. This makes it easy to distinguish between objects underwater.

The sonar display also offers customizable views. You can display different combinations of vertical, vertical zoom, flasher and a traditional horizontal LCD graph. This device is customizable to provide the most convenience to your preference and fishing conditions.

Moreover, it comes ready for fishing right out of the box. The package includes a padded softpack, a battery and a charger.

Overall, if you don’t mind paying a bit more, this ice fish finder will offer you exceptional sonar performance, as well as excellent adjustability and customization.

CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

PROS
  • 8 inch LCD screen.
  • 4 color palette options.
  • User-defined dashboard.
  • Sonar Footprint technology.
  • Dual beam transducer.
  • 12-step interference rejection.
  • Selectable zoom windows.
  • Long lasting battery.
  • USB port for upgrades.
  • 2 year warranty.
CONS
  • High price.

Vexilar FL-8se

best ice fishing sonarVexilar FL-8se is also one of the best ice fishing sonar units. It’s a perfect choice for a seasoned ice fisher. It comes with all the features to make your ice fishing easier.

It features a three color flasher design with red color for strong targets, orange for medium and green for weak ones. This makes it easier to target specific fish and determine the best fishing spot.

This unit also offers 525 segments of the resolution, allowing you to see in greater detail what’s in the column of water. Moreover, there are also 10 interference rejection settings, which ensures that the device continues working distortion-free even if there are other fish finders or electronics devices around.

It also features an easy-to-read display. It comes outfitted with super bright LED technology, which provides sunlight viewing. The backlighting is also adjustable, so you can dim when you want to save battery.

The device also allows for adjusting sensitivity and depth. There are six depth ranges from 20 to 120 feet. So, this ice fish finder can be used in both deep and shallow lakes.

This unit is powered by a 7 amp battery, which is enough power for a full day of fishing. So, you won’t have to worry about a discharged unit while you’re out on the ice.

With the ice flasher unit itself, you also get a high impact, weatherproof case. You can use it for convenient carrying and holding the unit. The system also fits on top of a five gallon bucket, which provides easier handling while fishing.

CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

PROS
  • 3 color flasher.
  • LED backlit.
  • 525 segments of resolution.
  • 10 interference rejection settings.
  • 6 depth ranges.
  • Includes a high impact case.
  • 7 amp battery.
  • 2 year warranty.
CONS
  • Basic interface.

Garmin Striker Plus 5 Ice Fishing Bundle

best flasher unit for ice fishingGarmin Striker Plus 5 also makes a great option for ice fishing with its combination of traditional sonar and ice flasher modes. It comes with a GT8HW-IF transducer and a portable kit for ice fishing.

The ice flasher features a 5 inch display with a pixel resolution of 800 x 480. It’s crisp, clear and it offers LED backlighting, so you can adjust it to different light conditions. Moreover, it offers a keypad that provides intuitive and straightforward operation.

This device supports high and mid-range CHIRP, which gathers a wide range of information with clear fish arches and great target separation. It uses 16 to 24 degree beam angles and a depth capability of 800 feet. This allows you to cover a larger area in the water, returning more details, so you’ll know what’s coming.

If you would like to use this fish finder also on your boat during warm season fishing, you can additionally purchase an optional transducer with ClearVu sonar capability.

This fish finder is designed for ice fishing, so it also includes the circular flasher application. It displays the sonar information on a circular depth scale.

The circular scale displays sonar information with different colors, depending on the strength of the returned signal. It displays a different color for a stronger signal and a weaker signal, so you know if it’s the bottom, small fish or your jig.

Another thing that makes this ice fishing fish finder stand out is the ability to view the 2D sonar and the ice flasher in split screen. This gives you the ability to compare the two different types of sonar and get a better understanding of what’s happening below you in the water.

This digital ice fishing flasher also offers navigational capabilities. It features a built-in GPS receiver that allows you to track your location and create waypoints. However, the provided maps are very basic and you can’t upgrade them to more detailed charts. So, the main functions of the system are to save waypoints, such as the most productive fishing holes, to record your routes and to create contoured maps.

CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

PROS
  • Sunlight readable 5 inch display.
  • CHIRP sonar.
  • ClearVu capable.
  • Ice flasher setting.
  • GPS plotter.
  • Can save up to 5,000 waypoints.
  • Quickdraw Contours.
  • Includes battery and charger.
  • Includes a carrying case.
CONS
  • Maps are not upgradable.

Humminbird ICE Helix 7 CHIRP/GPS G3N

ice fishing flasher reviewsHumminbird ICE Helix 7 makes a good option for those who are shopping with a higher budget and who are looking for an all season fish finder.

The large 7-inch high definition display means that you’ll have plenty of room to view different information on the screen, including viewing it split-screen. It features 256 colors and LED backlighting so you can easily see the image even in the glare of the sun or in the reflecting light off the ice.

With the Dual Spectrum CHIRP sonar, you can see greater detail and you can reach greater depths. Whether you’re using the 2D sonar or the 1024-segment flasher, you’ll be able to see individual fish, identify bait and structure, and watch your lure. Its advanced CHIRP sonar offers target separation down to ¾ inches.

The ice fishing locator also offers an adjustable zoom. It offers 2X zoom on the flasher and up to 8X zoom on the 2D view. So, you can use the zoom to magnify the area where there’s fish.

It is also equipped with CHIRP interference rejection with six settings. By adjusting it, you can ensure that the competing sonar signals won’t interfere with your unit’s performance. You’ll get an uninterrupted clear view in both 2D sonar and flasher modes.

This portable ice fishing fish finder also offers a few connectivity options. It features Ethernet networking that you can use for connecting multiple fish finders or connecting your unit to add-on technologies. The device also offers Bluetooth connectivity that can be used for wireless control with an optional remote or for syncing with your smartphone. The smartphone option will allow you to use a free app for getting software and map updates.

To help you find your favorite fishing spots, this fish locator for ice fishing also features a built-in GPS. It will help you pinpoint your location and mark waypoints. It also includes an enhanced basemap that shows underwater terrain and various points of interest.

Moreover, the AutoChart Live Ice feature offers you to create contour maps of your fishing spots on the ice. It can create 1-foot contours, showing humps, drop-offs and other bottom details.

CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

PROS
  • 7 inch high definition display.
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP.
  • 1024-segment flasher.
  • Target separation down to ¾ inches.
  • Adjustable zoom.
  • 6 interference rejection settings.
  • Ethernet and Bluetooth networking.
  • GPS receiver.
  • Enhanced basemap.
  • AutoChart Live.
  • 1 year warranty.
CONS
  • Expensive.

Humminbird ICE-35

digital ice fishing flasherAnother excellent portable flasher is the Humminbird ICE-35. It’s one of the more affordable options, yet it also offers many attractive features.

The unit comes with a 3 color fiber optic display. The circular flasher displays bottom, fish and your lure. Its screen is bright and easily viewable in both sunny and dark conditions.

The ice fishing transducer offers dual beam capability. With the 9 and 19 degree angles, you can choose between narrow and wider coverage. It can also accurately scan as deep as 200 feet, delivering readings of fish, bottom structure and your lure. The depth range can also be adjusted. You can pick from up to 10X depth ranges.

There’s also a dynamic zoom setting that allows you to magnify a specific depth range. It provides better target separation, allowing you to spot even the tiniest fish.

Another thing you can adjust on this ice fishing flasher is the sensitivity. It features a dial that you can adjust in order to get the perfect match for your fishing scenario.

To ensure that you also get a clear image, the unit offers 10-step noise rejection. It adjusts the sensitivity of the device in order to reduce the interference coming from nearby noise sources. As a result, it eliminates clutter and false returns.

This ice fishing fish finder also comes ready for your next fishing trip right out of the box. It includes a battery with a charger, a transducer and a soft sided carrying case. Moreover, the included 7 amp battery is perfect for a full day of ice fishing.

CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

PROS
  • 3 color fiber optic display.
  • Dual beam sonar.
  • Maximum depth of 200 feet.
  • Dynamic zoom.
  • Adjustable depth ranges.
  • Adjustable sensitivity.
  • 10-step noise rejection.
  • 7 amp battery.
  • Includes everything for ice fishing setup.
  • 2 year warranty.
  • Inexpensive.
CONS
  • No GPS or mapping.

Marcum M Series Flasher

cheap ice fish finderOne more ice fishing flasher unit that stands out in 2020 is the Marcum M series model. It’s one of the most advanced flasher-sonar fish finders ever built, which will help you easily find the best spots for drilling your fishing holes and catching more fish.

It features a 3 color flasher with Marcum’s patented MBC lighting technology. It provides a bright and crisp color definition, making the display easily readable in all light conditions.

The device also offers excellent target separation. There are 3 model options in M series and depending on which one you choose, the target separation will be down to 2 inches, 1 inch and ¾ inches. So, if you opt for the more expensive option, you’ll have the best target separation and you’ll be able to identify each individual fish on the screen.

As for sonar, depending on the M series model you choose, it will have either single beam or dual beam sonar. The M1 and M3 flashers feature a single beam sonar with a 20 degree angle. And the M5 ice fishing flasher features a dual beam 8/20 degree transducer.

Other features include adjustable gain and adjustable depth ranges. The gain can be adjusted according to the depth of the lake. For example, if you’re ice fishing in a deep lake, you can turn the sensitivity all the way up, which would allow the sonar to scan down to 160 feet.

What makes this ice fishing flasher stand out is also the infinitely adjustable zoom. It allows you to magnify any part of the water column for getting a better view of whether the fish are.

To provide noise-free performance, the device also offers multiple step interference rejection. It makes sure that the sonar signals are returned clutter-free even if there are multiple other sonar devices surrounding you.

The flasher also comes ready for setup and use. It includes a battery that would last you about 30 hours when ice fishing in shallow lakes.

CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

PROS
  • 3 color flasher.
  • MBC lighting technology.
  • 2”/1”/3/4” target separation.
  • 20 degree or 8/20 degree transducers.
  • Adjustable gain.
  • Adjustable depth ranges.
  • Infinite zoom (on M3 and M5 flashers).
  • Maximum depth of 160 feet.
  • 1000/2000/2500 watt output.
  • Multiple step interference rejection.
CONS
  • No battery life indicator.

Deeper Pro+ Smart Sonar

fish locator for ice fishingIf you’re looking for the best ice fishing flasher on a budget, then consider the Deeper Pro+ Smart Sonar unit. It’s a portable fish finder that can be used for both shore fishing and ice fishing.

This fish finder includes only the sonar unit, which acts as the transducer. For displaying the sonar returns, it’s designed for syncing with your smartphone and then using it via a free app.

There are different ways to use this device. First of all, this fish finder can be used for fishing as a castable unit and it has a casting range up to 330 feet. Secondly, you can use it on a kayak or boat trolling it behind you or casting it out for scanning hard-to-reach areas. And lastly, the device can be used for ice fishing as a wireless ice flasher.

For ice fishing, you can view the flasher scale on your phone. And it scans down to 260 feet and provides 1 inch target separation. The dual beam transducer provides accurate scanning. It sends 16 scans per second, which makes it easy to see fish, structure and vegetation. There’s also a zoom feature that allows you to track even the tiniest lure.

The device comes equipped with a GPS and every hole you fish from is automatically marked and saved. The GPS also allows you to create detailed bathymetric maps right on your phone.

For the unit to operate, you don’t need any cellular data. It connects to your smartphone via Wi-Fi, which ensures that you don’t lose any data and you get rock solid connectivity.

This is one of the lightest ice flashers ever. Since there’s no additional display with the unit, it makes it a lot more portable. And the sonar unit is so small that it can even fit in your pocket.

CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

PROS
  • Dual frequency sonar.
  • 2D sonar and flasher options.
  • Split screen viewing.
  • Depth finder and water temperature.
  • Scans down to 260 feet.
  • 3 color palettes.
  • Waypoint marking.
  • GPS onshore mapping.
  • Lightweight.
  • Reasonably priced.
CONS
  • Not as accurate as a real flasher.

Garmin Echomap Plus 73cv

ice fishing fish finder comparisonThe last product we’d like to mention in our reviews of the best ice fish finders is the Garmin Echomap Plus 73cv. It’s excellent for year round fishing, whether you’re ice fishing or fishing from your boat.

The 7 inch display offers not only the keypad but also the touchscreen operation. The display is highly intuitive and customizable which allows you to choose the most used applications for your start page.

This device includes a CHIRP ice fishing transducer that offers you a selectable beam width. You can adjust it from 8 to 16 degrees, so you can choose whether you want to have a narrow or a wide beam. Its transmitting power is 500 watts, which gives it 800 feet maximum depth capability and the ability to provide fast sonar returns.

It is also equipped with a built-in flasher that you can use for ice fishing. The interface offers simple readouts for ease of use. In the settings, you can adjust the depth range and gain. And this sonar offers precise fish and jig detection.

The fish finder also includes a GPS receiver, so you can track your position on a lake. The device is preloaded with LakeVu g3 maps that cover over 17,000 lakes. In these maps, you can also save your waypoints, such as the best spots where you’ve drilled the holes.

The display is customizable, so you choose to have a combination of sonar, flasher and map side-by-side. This would provide you with all the essential information at a glance.

CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON

PROS
  • 7 inch touchscreen display.
  • Customizable screen options.
  • CHIRP sonar.
  • Adjustable beam angle 8-16 degrees.
  • Maximum depth down to 800 feet.
  • Built-in flasher.
  • Built-in GPS receiver.
  • LakeVu maps.
  • Includes a glove-friendly carrying case.
  • Wireless connectivity.
  • Sonar recording and rewind.
CONS
  • The touchscreen is not convenient to use when in gloves
  • Slight lag in the flasher dial mode.

What’s a Fish Flasher?

A fish flasher is a fish finder that is used mainly for ice fishing. These units have been around for many years and many anglers love them for their effectiveness and straightforwardness.

It features a flasher scale that displays the sonar returns, showing you what’s happening right under the ice. They use similar sonar to traditional fish finders in order to locate structure, bottom composition and fish.

The flasher scale also shows different colors, which represent the strength of the returned signal. Green is usually used for weak signals, yellow and orange are used for medium signals, and red for strong signals. However, some ice fishing flashers also offer adjustable color palettes, so these colors might differ.

By interpreting these colors, you can understand what’s happening in the water. You can see the bottom structure, the presence of the fish and your lure.

How to Choose the Right Ice Fishing Fish Finder? – Buying Guide

ice fishing fish finder buying guideAn ice fishing flasher can significantly improve the success of your ice fishing trips. However, not all of them will be able to do that. It all depends on the quality and performance. So, in order to find the best ice fishing fish finder take into account this list of features. Each of these features can impact the device’s performance and it’s usability.

Flasher vs Fish Finder For Ice Fishing

First thing you need to decide on is whether you would prefer a flasher or a graph ice fishing finder. Both use the same sonar technology and their main difference is in the display.

Some prefer the more intuitive LCD graphing units and find the multicolored circular screen too complicated. Many of these traditional fish finders can show near photographic images of the underwater, making it easier to interpret what you see.

However, many conventional fish finders display sonar history with a slight lag. You get a slight delay in receiving the information. This is especially true for older models. Many modern LCD fish finders also offer real-time sonar.

On the other hand, flashers provide real-time feedback, making it easier to tease the fish into baiting. It shows in real time what’s happening below the transducer beam.

Choosing between one and the other is a matter of preference. And if you would like to have both options, some manufacturers offer models that feature both 2D sonar graphs and flashers in one unit.

Size and Weight

Unlike boat fish finders, ice fishing flashers are not designed for fixed use. This means that you won’t be able to just leave it in one place but will have to carry it with you every time you go ice fishing. For this reason, it’s an advantage if the fish flasher is lightweight, compact and portable.

If it’s no more than just a few pounds, you’ll easily be able to take it out with you onto the lake. But if it’s too heavy, it will weigh you down and can impact your balance on the ice.

Portability

The size and weight of the ice fishing fish finder also go hand in hand with its portability. The most portable fish finders can even fit in your pocket, though most will be bigger than that. However, they still should be portable enough so that they wouldn’t drag you down as you walk on the ice.

To make sure that the device would be easily portable, also choose one that would come with a carrying case. It can be used for transporting the unit and storing all the flasher’s equipment, such as battery and transducer.

Display

The display is another important feature of an ice fishing fish finder. It determines if you’ll be able to easily view and understand the displayed sonar information.

If you choose an LCD fish finder, consider the size of the display, as well as its resolution and color. The size is important for being able to view the screen from a distance. Other advantages of a bigger screen include more information displayed at once and the ability to view different types of information split screen. For example, it would allow you to view the flasher and the 2D sonar graph side by side.

The color and resolution of the screen determine how easy it will be to differentiate different sonar details. A full color, high resolution display will provide crisp fish arches and clear bottom details.

One more display feature to look out for is backlighting. It will definitely be an advantage if you can adjust the backlit display according to light conditions at hand. This would make it possible to easily read the display even in direct sunlight or in the glare of the sun.

Transducer

If you’ll be using your fish finder for ice fishing, then you need to make sure that it comes with an ice fishing transducer. Most models will have it built-in.

Since this part is the main contributor to the performance of the flasher, look for a well built transducer that can offer long lasting durability.

Beam Angle and Frequency

Ice fish finders operate at different frequencies. It plays a major role in determining what you’ll see on the display. High frequencies are ideal for fishing in relatively shallow depths and faster lower frequency signals do a better job at providing more detail.

On most fish finders, you can switch between low and high frequencies in order to get the best result according to the situation. Additionally, some units also operate over a wide range of frequencies. These are CHIRP units that use a sweeping range of frequencies instead of just one frequency. This allows us to get a wider range of information about what’s happening in the water.

Ice fishing transducers will also use either single beam or dual beam transducers. If possible, opt for a dual beam option since it will provide better coverage of the underwater.

Typically, a fish finder will have a narrow and a wide beam. Usually between 7 and 22 degrees. Some units offer you to choose between the two, while others provide an adjustable range, allowing you to fine tune it to your preference.

The narrower the cone angle, the further down you’ll be able to see and in more detail. And the wider the cone, the shallower and wider will be the scan.

Depth Ranges

Fish finders also offer various depth ranges. Flasher units are designed for shallower waters since they are meant for ice fishing. That’s why they can reach depths that are maximum about 200 feet.

However, if you’re buying a fish finder, it will be able to reach a lot higher depths. They can scan as far down as 1000 or 2000 feet. Though this is the freshwater limit. The maximum depth in saltwater will be lower.

So, consider what types of fishing you’ll be doing and the bodies of water that you’ll be fishing in. For ice fishing, a flasher with a 200 feet maximum depth is enough. However, it will not be enough if you’ll go coastal fishing.

Interference Rejection

Another feature that many ice fishing flashers offer is interference rejection. It can be useful if you’re fishing with your friends or other devices around. This feature would eliminate any noise and make sure that the image stays clear. So, if you see an intermittent mark showing up on your display and it’s racing in a circular pattern, this might mean that you need to adjust this setting and remove the noise.

Zoom Mode

Most ice sonar units also offer a zoom function. It allows you to see in greater detail a certain portion of the water column. This, in turn, can improve target separation and precision.

This feature can be used when you know that certain fish hangs out in a particular depth range. For example, walleyes usually stay closer to the bottom of the water. So, if walleyes is what you’re going after, you would set the zoom to magnify the bottom ten feet.

Power

The power output of an ice fishing fish finder is closely correlated to its performance. More power means more penetrating sonar. However, it also means a quickly draining battery. So, it’s better to find a balance between power and good battery life.

Most ice fishing flashers also come with a rechargeable battery. So, another thing to check is how long will a single charge last or what is the battery’s power capacity. Typically, a 7-8 amp battery is enough for a full day of fishing.

GPS Navigation

Additionally having GPS navigation and maps can further improve your fishing success. It will let you find out the depth and structure of different lakes, so you can choose the perfect spot where the fish might be hiding.

Moreover, the system will allow you to save waypoints, so you can create a map of your favorite or most successful fishing spots.

Ice Fishing Fish Finder FAQ

What does an ice fishing flasher do?

An ice fishing flasher provides you with a view of what’s happening beneath the ice. You can see your lure, how it’s moving and its distance relative to the fish. So, when a fish starts approaching your lure, there’ll be a red or yellow line approaching the green line of your lure. If these lines converge, it can mean an imminent strike. Or you might see the fish lose interest and move away. In which case, you’ll see the lines distancing from each other.

Without access to a flasher, your ice fishing would rely mostly on intuition. Using this device, you’ll have the underwater information at hand and this will make your fishing more successful.

How to Use an Ice Fishing Flasher?

Once you’ve purchased your new ice fishing fish finder, it’s time to start understanding how one works. So, here’s a breakdown of the basics step in using an ice fishing flasher.

  1. First, make sure that your ice fishing flasher has power. Check if the battery has been fully recharged. You won’t get any use out of the fish flasher if it doesn’t have any power.
  2. The next step is setting your transducer length and lowering it into the ice hole. It should sit below the bottom of the ice edge. If you set it too high, the sonar waves might bounce off of the ice hole, which can create interference and an unclear image. This is especially important for older flashers since newer models can see through the ice better. However, it’s still recommended practice for any situation.
  3. Once you’ve lowered your transducer, you can turn on the flasher and start adjusting the settings. Start by setting the depth range.
  4. Next, adjust the gain, which is also known as the sensitivity. This controls the sonar signal and refers to the amount of power that the unit transmits. And the deeper the water, the higher should be the gain since it will need more power to bounce the signal off the bottom. Start by turning the dial up until you start getting a lot of interference and then slowly turn it down until the screen clears and you get a thick, consistent mark on the flasher.
  5. If necessary, use the zoom function, which can be especially helpful in deep waters. It will give you maximum clarity of what’s going on in the water beneath you. Find out which portion of the water column holds the most fish and then zoom into it. Or if you’re looking for some bottom dwellers, such as walleyes, zoom into the bottom ten feet.
  6. Once all the settings are adjusted, it’s time to lower your lure into the ice fishing hole. You’ll be able to see your lure clearly displayed on the flasher. It will be a bar that will move on the screen reflecting the movement of your lure. At this point, you might need to do some more fine tuning of the gain. For example, if your lure is flickering, tune the gain up a bit until it becomes a constant line. After this, any other line that you’ll see on the screen between the bottom and the ice will indicate fish passing through the beam.

Are larger screens better on ice fishing flasher?

Not necessarily. If you’re using a fish finder with an LCD display, you might benefit from a bigger screen. It will be easier to view the sonar information without squinting to see the details. However, a bigger screen is usually more draining on the battery, which means you’ll get less time fishing.

Can I use a regular fish finder for ice fishing?

Yes, you can use your regular fish finder instead of a flasher unit. They use the same sonar signal and they will both provide information about the fish that passes below you in the water. However, if you want to get more real time sonar results, a flasher usually performs better.

Can I use a regular fish finder in cold conditions?

In most situations, the answer is yes. Most fish finders are designed for operation in various weather conditions, freezing conditions as well. However, since it’s not always the case, it might be better to still check that the particular model you’re thinking of buying can safely operate in cold conditions.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a lot of great ice fish finders out there. That’s why understanding how they work and what features contribute to a good quality ice fishing flasher is important to choose the right product.

According to our research, the best ice fishing fish finder in 2020 is the Humminbird ICE-55. It offers all the best features from the high quality display to the powerful sonar. However, depending on your budget and your fishing needs, you might find one of the other products in our ice fishing fish finder reviews more suitable.

Comments are closed.