The cheap and substandard tools aren’t the ideal gears to travel with when fishing on ice-laden areas. You need specific tools that help you on this voyage. In this article, we share our thoughts on some of the best fish finders available to scan deep into the icy surface and pluck the fish you are looking for.
Fishfinders come in numerous types; they have different shapes, they have different features to offer. With the overcrowding of such devices in the market, finding one is never plain-sailing. Following are some points to consider when buying this fish detecting device:
First of all, the display is the much-talked-about part of a fish finder — irrespective of the season or time you are fishing in. Look for a device that boasts a large screen with a sharp resolution. Furthermore, the kind of detail the displays feeds to you. Most fish finders share information like water depth, temperature, and so on. Such details come in handy when scanning the area for fishing in frosty temperatures.
Or also identified as kHz, have a pivotal role to play in tracing the high-catching area. The finders with high frequencies are useful in scanning shallow regions, whereas the low frequencies are effective in deep waters. The current market has devices with both single and dual frequencies. Anglers preferred the dual ones, as these are flexible enough in tweaking the setting as per the condition.
Lastly, the power source is another impactful factor that determines the quality of your fishing in the cold waters. Having a long-lasting battery does make fishing with a tracker easier and smoother for long hours. When you are in the midst of ice waters, carrying an extra power source is highly recommended.
Best Ice Fish Finder
Ice fishing is incomplete without the best tools available on board. The following list of ice fish finders will help you locate the aquatic species in a jiffy.
1. Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer
The Garmin Striker 4 is an excellent package comprising features that most brands have failed to offer. The insights and mapping of fish around your vicinity is appreciated by angler spending the day in and day out in the waters. The finder has a mammoth screen just above the directional keys and a few control buttons.
This fish finder incorporates the use of CLEARVU high-frequency sonar and the CHIRP transducer to display an array of information and images of objects, structures, and fish. Furthermore, it also displays other details like depth, water temperature, and the shape of the bottom.
The built-in flasher shows sonar data in a classic format that is more ideal for ice fishing and vertical jigging. The impressive GPS feature allows you to tag the areas for more navigation. There’s also an alarm that alerts you when a school of fish moves around.
2. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder
Among the most affordable fish finders on the market, the Venterior VT-FF001 is a fancy-looking device with yellow edges and grippy black sides. This fish finder houses three buttons — setup, enter and a power on/off button. The device can map fish in temperatures between -20 degrees and up to 70 degrees. The included sonar can easily scan to a depth of 330-feet.
The finder comes pre-loaded with several useful features, namely battery saving mode, backlighting in low-light areas, and fish alarm, to name a few. The display has a more archaic feel to it; however, it feeds fishers with the most important detail required when fishing in cold temperatures.
The VT-FF001 offers an unparalleled and precise depth reading of water depth and fish location. The fish finder is also backed by a two-year warranty from the manufacturer. For anglers seeking a portable and easy-to-use tracking device, then this is the best one on the market.
3. Deeper Pro+ Smart Sonar Fish Finder
Third, on the list is the Pro+ Smart Sonar Fish Finder from the house of Deeper. This ball-shaped gadget has all the up-to-date qualities required from an ice fish finder. This appealing finder is laden with innovative features — you can pair this with your phone by simply downloading the Deeper app, and access all scans, maps, and points of interest, etc.
This feature-rich device is built to suit kayak, shore, and ice fishing. The fish finder can effortlessly scan 260-feet below the surface. The device integrates the use of double frequency waves — 90 kHz at 55 degrees and 290 kHz at 15 degrees. The GPS works extraordinarily well, courtesy of the high-graphics maps clubbed with bathymetry lines.
Moreover, the scans and readings can also be viewed on the Deeper’s cloud system, which can be highlighted for future fishing sessions. The size and incredible list of features make this the go-to ice fish finder.
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4. Anysun Underwater Fish Finder
Next on the best fish finders list is the Anysun Underwater Fish Finder. This heavily guarded device comes enveloped in a briefcase that sets it apart from other contenders on the list. The finder comes with a quality camera that captures crisp and clear images and displays them onto the 7-inch color monitor.
The monitor is studded with a sun-visor — made specifically for bright environments. The 800×480 pixel screen is cold-resistant and waterproof. You can easily monitor the area falling in the range of -20 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius temperature. The battery on this is top-notch — with a 4500 mAh battery that offers great service without any glitches or lags.
The camera supports a viewing distance of up to 16-feet, which may not be a problem when fishing in the icy-cold season. The only downside is that it is a bit bulky to have it onboard or carry it for an expedition.
5. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder
The HawkEye Fishtrax 1C is a premium fish-finding gadget that sports the look of a 90s handheld video game device. The small, bright color display houses control that help navigate to the preferred aquatic species. This finder features three operating modes — ice fishing flasher, regular fish finder, and data.
The ice flasher mode provides real-time readings, while the fish finder displays historical readings. The dual-beam sonar is highly effective in inspecting the waters up to 240-feet underneath the ice. The auto operation mode does make the device user-friendly with its automatic detect facility — it sets the depth range and sensitivity for easy findings.
The frequency stands at 200 kHz, which integrated with the Intelligent Sonar does help with detection. The Fishtrax 1C comes in three different variants — each of these is lightweight and portable. The overall functionality of the devices makes it convenient to use for ice fishing.
6. Vexilar SP100 SonarPhone
Closing the list with Vexilar’s SP100 SonarPhone — a green and white-colored peculiar-looking tracking device. The green sides are the fins that keep the finder afloat — with one end featuring a keyring holder. Much like the Pro+ Smart Fish Finder, this too also connects with your smartphone to get better access to all your scans.
The USP of the product is that it instantly activates when dropped in the water. The details from the finder can easily be transmitted using the T-Pod. The transducer comes with a transmit frequency of 125 kHz. This ball-like package has a control panel that boasts navigation keys, zoom in/on features, changing the view mode, and managing the real-time stream.
Vexilar’s SP100 is widely used for its portability and its functionality across different operating software. However, if you like leaving your phone behind — this may not be the one to shell money out on.
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Ice fishing is challenging and requires herculean efforts if you are a first-timer. While the activity might seem to be hard on — ice fish finders make this an easy-breezy task. Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer has been consistent with its performance, while the Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder is worth every buck spent to use it on icy areas.
Having covered some of the prominent products, we might have missed out a few. Have a favorite that you’d like us to try? Let us know in the comment section below and we’ll get back.
Do I need to get a fully waterproof fish finder?
Yes, of course. As your main motive is to pluck and scan schools of fish in the ice-packed region, having a waterproof fish finder is a must. Most fish finders are not entirely waterproof, but they still guarantee protection against splashes, rain showers, and light drops in the water. However, it is safe to read up on the manufacturer’s instruction manual for more clarity on the amount of protection the device offers.
How to use the fish finder on an ice-laden surface?
The initial step is to place the finder on the ice floor, which offers a birds-eye view of the fish present under the ice. You then proceed to drill a hole into the highlighted spot, dip the device in and start reeling in the fish you catch.