Best Ice Fishing Fish Finder 2020 – For the Money
With so many fish finders out in the market, getting the best ice fishing fish finder when winter sets in, and the different water bodies have frozen over, could prove to be a daunting experience, especially if you aren’t a professional fisherman or techy buyer.
This guide is therefore aimed at providing you with qualitative information on some of the best fish finders available in the market, their features, and some of the things you should consider before making that purchase even as you plan walking on that water-turned-ice to enjoy some great ice fishing adventure.
Best Ice Fishing Fish Finder In 2020
01. Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer
The CLEAR VÜ SCANNING SONAR of the Garmin Striker 4 makes ice fish finding nothing but a delightful adventure. Its high-frequency scanning sonar gives a clear near-photographic view of everything present in the water around your boat.
This device which comes in a 3.5, 5 and 7-inch display sizes has a keyed interface with dedicated buttons, making it both easy to use and install.
The display screen also gives you real-time information on the speed of your boat, thereby ensuring that you are moving at the very right speed for the intended fish catch.
Finding your way in and around your fishing environment is also vital, and with the high-sensitivity GPS present in the Garmin striker 4 fish finder, using the waypoint map feature helps you to easily navigate to different locations such as brush piles, stumps, and docks. It also allows you to determine your current location in relation to your marked-out waypoints.
02. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Ice Fishing Fish Finder
The Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder is that device that offers you more than just fish finding. Rather, it has the capability to detect and provide information on the depth of the water, the approximate location of fish, and areas that are occupied by either short or tall weeds.
This fish finder comes with a round sonar transducer and removable transducer float of about 25 ft cable length, giving you that added benefit of fishing right from the shore or on a bridge. Aside from its lengthy cord being foldable, this particular fish finder can detect water depths ranging from 3ft to 328ft.
One interesting feature of the Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder is its audible alarm feature which can either be turned on or off. When turned on, this impressive feature blares an alarm when it detects fish schools passing by, so you do not have to miss a catch.
03. Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
The Garmin striker 4 happened to be one of the most desired ice fishing locator used by anglers who want a hassle-free fish catching experience.
As it is armed with a CHIRP sonar technology that produces crisp clear fish arches with greater target separation.
Powered by a delicate technology, the Garmin fish finder for ice fishing is however simple and easy to use. Its dedicated buttons and keyed interface comes coupled with a varied screen/display size that is available in 3.5-, 5- and 7-inch sizes.
Its Waypoint map offers you the ability of viewing, marking, and navigating to locations such as brush piles, stumps, and docks. Its high-sensitivity GPS which is second to none allows you to know your location coordinates in relation to the waypoints you have marked. With this tool, finding your way back to safe shore or your boat ramp is also made easy.
04. Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar
The Hook 3x fish Finder is one of the most advanced ice fish finder and the perfect device when you desire clear optics on what is going on in the water beneath you.
It features a Led-backlit 3 inch color display that has a 320 x 240 resolution, making the screen details to be easily seen and read even under full sunlight.
On the Lowrance ice fishing fish finders, you do not need to manually adjust the settings, as its Advanced Signal Processing allows you to see not just the fish, but also the structure and bed details clearly, making it a top-rated ice fish finder. It’s Broadband sounder also helps you to easily identify fish targets, bottom contours, and many more.
Its ability to operate on a Dual-frequency of either 83 kHz or 200 kHz helps to provide a great view of what is beneath the boat.
To search large areas and to display larger fish arches, the 83 kHz sonar frequency is ideal for this as it provides up to 60 degrees of conical coverage. The 200kHz frequency is however ideal for vertical drop-shotting technique, as it gives up to 20 degrees of conical coverage.
05. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder with HD Color Virtuview Display
Irrespective of being a newbie or an experienced angler, the Fishtrax Fish Finder, which is available in 3 different models for varying levels of experience, has got you covered. Featuring an HD color Virtuview display, the FIshtrax 1C design is the ideal model for experienced anglers.
This device comes with three different operating modes, which are the Fish Finder, Data mode, and the Ice-Mode Digital Flasher; all integrated to give you a wonderful experience when out there doing what you enjoy doing.
The Fish Finder mode, for instance, does the job of identifying the fish presence, bottom contour and composition, and the overall depth of the water which is all displayed in HD color.
The Fishtrax 1C also has a user-selectable, dual-beam FishTrax Intelligent Sonar, which supports fine-tuning of the fish finder to adapt to any fishing style or platform. It comes equipped with a 100-level sensitivity adjustment, multi-level depth ranges, and auto-zoom bottom tracking.
06. Vexilar FL-8se Genz Pack with 19 Degree Ice Flasher – GP0819
The Vexilar FL-8SE brings nothing short of a whole new experience to ice fishing finding with the array of super cool features it comes equipped with.
It comes with the awesome three-color sonar flasher that shows weak targets in green, medium strength targets in orange, and strong bottom targets in red.
Aside from its super-bright LED technology, which helps to enhance view even during sunlight hours, the FL-8SE also offers six depth ranges of 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, and 120 feet making it adaptable for either shallow or deep waters.
With the Vexilar FL-8SE, worries overpower shutdown is not a concern as it comes with a super 12-volt 7-amp hour battery with charger, a built-in Ice-Ducer transducer, a Flasher, and an instructional video on how to best utilize your device.
07. Marcum LX-7 Ice Fishing Sonar System/Fishfinder – LX-7
The Marcum ice fishing fish finder (Marcum LX-7) with its 8-inch LCD (800 x 600px) display and Four user-selectable color palettes is the real game-changer when it comes to finding fish in ice. It has a great easy to use on-screen “Dashboard” that displays digital depth, battery voltage, range, gain, interference rejection (IR), target adjust, or a combination of any of these in any four user-selectable color palette.
Anglers who make use of the Marcum LX-7 have a fully customized window view that displays water-column vertical, vertical zoom, flasher-dial, and traditional horizontal LCD graph displays on its “Multifaceted Sonar Display.”
Manufactured in the USA, MarCum users do not have to worry about non-MarCum sonar users picking up interfering LX-7 pulses when out fishing, and its Sonar Footprint technology helps to display the scan area at any depth, with either 8° or 20° transducer cone angles.
08. Anysun Underwater Fish Finder
If your desire is to have a Fishfinder with a super sharp High Definition vision and a wide monitor of about 7 inches, then the Anysun Underwater Fish Finder is the very device you need. This professional fishing video camera comes with a 7 inch TFT color monitor.
It comes with a 15m cable that is fully waterproof, works in a dark environment, and is about 15m deep water. Its camera has an HD 700 TV line that provides a crisp clear image that is clearer than a 600TV line camera.
The casing of this camera isn’t just firm, but it is also made of metal, thereby making it very durable. To enable it to serve you for long hours, it features a built-in 4.5AH high capacity Lithium battery which, when fully charged could work all day.
09. Vexilar’s GP1812 FL18 Genz Pack 12Deg Ice-Ducer Combo
Ice fishing finding has experienced a big bang and revolution since the arrival of the Vexilar FL 18 which amongst many other qualities is a low budget but fantastic ice fish fishing finder.
Crafted from the very best materials available out there, this Vexilar FL 18 is another addition to the Vexilar range of super quality products that are made in the United States of America.
Weighing just about 10.23 pounds, the FL 18 is an outright fish finder that stands out from the rest; and it is known for controls that are very much easy to understand and user-friendly.
For its very affordable price, this ice fish locator comes with a zoom feature that allows you to experience a far greater and almost reachable view of everything happening down below the ice.
10. Lowrance HOOK2-5 Ice Fishfinder Machine
Made by Lowrance which is renowned for manufacturing quality Fishfinders, the Hook 2-5 Fishfinder made by world-renowned Lowrance comes top with its many exciting features and functionalities, making it the world’s easiest fishfinder.
It features a 5″ High-Resolution Solar MAX Display that gives a crisp clear view of fish and fish schools. Its interface is Easy-To-Use, and with dedicated keypads, you can easily make every needed adjustment with few key presses.
Its High CHIRP sonar feature ensures you do not waste time locating fish, as it makes its target location an easy job. The Hook 2 also offers an auto-tuning broadband sonar that doubles the CHIRP sonar coverage of most Fish finders. Also available in this device is a built-in Preloaded C-MAP US Inland Mapping and C-MAP US Coastal Mapping.
Ice Fishing Fish Finder Buying Guide
Due to the technicalities involved in how a fish finder works, buying one could be a rather complex task with the many options available with their different features. We have therefore taken our time to list out some of the essentials that need to be considered when making that purchase.
Factors To Be Considered
Ice fishing is quite different from the regular kind of fishing because, in this case, there is no boat to sit in or fish from. As the angler walks on the ice to his chosen fishing spot, gear weight is, therefore, a vital consideration since you do not want to affect your stability on the ice. A lightweight fish finder is, therefore, an appropriate choice any day.
Some fish finders are known to work only on a single frequency while some others work on multiple frequencies, thus making them a better choice when fishing in either shallow or deep water.
A frequency of 200kHZ will function well in shallow waters, while a frequency of 50kHZ or 85kHZ is good for deeper and broader waters, making it a deeper fish finder.
Screen Display And Size
The displayed output is very essential to your success when using a fish finder because it determines the kind of action you take. Some ice fishing fish finders display in colored form while some others display in black and white if you buy a cheap fish finder.
With a colored screen, you get to see the water depth and details clearer than on a black and white display.
A widescreen size would also allow you to view more details all at the same time without having to squint.
Since you’d be using the device outside your home, one crucial factor that should always be looked out for when buying an ice fishing fish finder is the battery power of the device. The stronger and long-lasting the battery is, the more suitable the device is as that means it can be used for longer hours.
An ice fishing fish finder is a device that is to be used in sub-zero temperatures, and that it means the materials from which it is made should be tough, strong, and able to resist wear and tear associated with such temperature.
You find them in plastic, bronze, and some other materials.
After all the other factors have been duly considered, getting the best ice fish finders for the money you have available remains a top priority. Whatever your budget is, a basic ice fish finder can always be gotten from most stores, and at the end of the day, it would offer some pretty good value.
For the pricing of the ice fish finder, there are various brands and models of affordable ice fish finders. There are cheap ice fish finder and some others that are low-cost ice fish finder. But whatever the case may be, do ensure you do not shoot way over your budget in getting that ice sonar fish finder.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a fish finder for ice fishing
Unlike regular fishing in normal temperature waters, ice fishing is carried out when lakes and water bodies have frozen over and have become covered with ice. A fish finder is therefore necessary for determining which particular point on the frozen water is best to find fish.
A fish finder ensures that your time out in the cold isn’t just spent moving from one point to another without any success at finding and catching fish. A fish finder, therefore, helps the angler to know the exact location where fishes or the particular kind of fish that he wants can be found underneath the ice.
What is a good fish finder for ice fishing
Having known that a fish finder is in its simplest definition a device that helps to locate where fishes are in any water through the sonar technology upon which it works. A good fish finder would, therefore, be one that helps an angler with the best of intel on where to find fish when out on water or ice.
Aside from just locating fish schools and individual fishes, a good fish finder should also provide information about other parameters such as the water depth, speed of the fishing boat, water temperature, underwater vegetation, and many more.
How to choose the right ice fish finder
Now that you have finally chosen to get yourself a fish finder, choosing the right ice fish finder is the next big step that needs to be taken. The question then is how do I choose the right ice fish finder?
Although the technology on which fish finders work seems to be pretty techy, yet an ice fish finder basically consists of two parts which are the transducer and the monitor. The transducers which send out and receive the sonar waves come with different kinds of the mount, so selecting one that is easy to install is important. Monitors that display the information received by the transducers are also available in different resolutions, sizes, and even whether as a colored display or Black and White display.
How to use an ice fish finder
So you have gotten that ice fish finder you’ve always wanted, it’s now time to test it out, but the entire unit looks complex and complicated to begin with. Since ice fish finders differ depending on the brand and model purchased, the first step in using your ice fish finder is to refer to the manual that came right with it. This would give the very best information about your particular model of the fish finder.
Once you have gone through the manual, the next step is to turn on the power so you can get familiar with the different options and features available on it.
Icefish finders come in not just different shapes and sizes, but also with a myriad of differences in their functionalities and features. There are those ice fish finders that are designed for the everyday professional fisherman, while some others are meant for those who just pastime with ice fishing.
But whatever part of the divide you fall, it is vital to know that the best fish finder for ice fishing does not have to be the most expensive or complex, but the one very one that serves best based on your fishing expectations and possibly budget.