Fishing & Hunting Tips

Best ice fishing fish finder

The frozen winter attracts a few chosen ones to dig a hole and drop a jig. I never understood ice fishing until got to experience it first hand. The feeling of being deserted eludes men and women to take up ice fishing as an enduring challenge.

To complete the task, you’ll need the best ice fishing fish finder along with some other tools.

Best Pick: Best ice fishing fish finder

$445.44
$499.99
in stock
47 new from $441.95
Amazon.com
Free shipping
$724.18
$729.99
in stock
31 new
1 used from $695.95
Amazon.com
Free shipping
$411.65
in stock
46 new from $407.53
Amazon.com
Last updated on October 17, 2019 2:37 am

Did you know that during early ice, fish may burrow into soft sediment or school together in a hibernation stage into the deep? But as the season progresses, the oxygen level plummets and they are forced to dwell near the water column.

We’ve listed 7 fish finder that offers better performance with a practical price tag. While you’re at it, grab one of these ice fishing boots if you need a pair. And if you’re planning to camp on the ice, don’t forget to pack your ice heater.

Top review geek’s choice

To save you more time, we already picked two of the best ice fishing fish finder out of seven. That doesn’t mean the others are not worth your hard-earned dollar. Our goal is to provide you credible information in a timely manner.

So, if you want a castable fish finder, then Deeper pro+ should be the best choice.

And for portable, go with Humminbird ICE-55 Fishing flasher.

Are you forgetting something? Heres a list of ice fishing accessories so you don’t miss any little things. Let the winter bring the best out of you.

1. Deeper pro+ smart sonar and GPS

Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar - GPS Portable Wireless Wi-Fi Fish Finder for Shore and Ice Fishing

 

Features

  • Wifi range: 330 ft
  • DownScan: 260 ft ( 90 kHz at 55° & 290 kHz at 15° )
  • Lakebook map access via the deeper bathymetric management platform
  • Built-in GPS
Overview: Technology took out the guessing game from fishing. Now, all you have to do is drop a fish finder and locate all the fish. Introducing the deeper pro+ smart sonar portable fish finder. Just drop the fish finder with your line into the hole and never miss a fish, again.

Sonar  & Transducer: You’re gonna be impressed by its dual-band sonar transducer. It makes your everyday fishing finding easier and adds more value, both in terms of money and efficiency.

Band 1: With this frequency, you’ll get 90 kHz ping at a 55° angle sonar cone. When you need to scan large bodies of water, this particular frequency will come in handy.

Band 2: If you need to use the higher capacity of the transducer, switch on to the band 2 frequency. It’ll work in a 15° cone at 290 kHz ping. Although the beam does not cover wider areas. But it goes deeper. 260 ft deep. Most anglers won’t need much depth scanning but it’s nice to have such powerful frequency at your disposal. Apart from fish, you’ll also able to see underwater structures and weedbeds. Such data can be useful to determine possible fish feeding spots.

GPS & Map: Deeper pro+ smart can draw maps on your smartphone on the go. Simply cast the fish finder and reel it back. The unit will create a detailed map of your phone. The deeper pro unit is one of its kind to create bathymetric maps from shore.

The unit has a built-in precision GPS to make the live mapping possible. Instead of Bluetooth, deeper pro uses wifi connectivity to integrate with your phone.

4 modes on deeper sonar pro+

After unpacking the deeper pro+, you’ll see 4 modes. Each mode is suitable for different types of fishing styles. Each mode will give you a unique feature and experience. Let’s find out about them.

  • Standard: This one is a basic fish finder featuring a 2D display.
  • Onshore GPS: The device uses this feature to draw a live map on your smartphone via WiFi connectivity.
  • Boat: Boat mode usually needed for trolling. But deeper pro+ can also draw a bathymetric map by connecting with your phone via WiFi.
  • Ice fishing: Once you lower the deeper pro+, the 2D side by side transducer scan will act as a circular ice fishing flasher. Also, in this mode split-screen feature will kick in.

Our thoughts: The deeper pro+ has versatile applicability.  You can use this device too-

  • Troll from a boat
  • As an ice fishing flasher
  • Kayak fishing
  • Traditional onshore fishing

And many others. In terms of capability and easy to transport, the deeper pro+ can give other fish finder units run for its money.

Pros
  • Long-range wifi and precision scanning
  • Greater depth scan
  • Data and maps can be saved using Fish Deeper app and accessible from PC via Lakebook
Cons
  • Charging port cover could be more durable

2. Humminbird Helix 5 FishFinder Chirp GPS G2 FB

Humminbird 410970-1 Humminbird 410970-1 ICE Helix 5 Fishfinder Chirp GPS G2 FB

 

Features:

  • Screen: 5″ diagonal 800H×480V TFT color display
  • Standard Sonar: X19 1521 CHIRP Ice transducer
  • Sonar frequency: 130-250 kHz
  • Power output RMS: 500 Watts
  • Depth: 400 ft

Overview: A perfect way to detect and catch fish with the Humminbird Helix 5 GPS G2. The Chirp Sonar of the Helix 5 is special. It has features like dual spectrum Chirp Sonar and Chirp interference rejection. The fish finder with amazing sharp display and precision GPS is worth your while.

Sonar & Transducer: The G5 rocks a special sonar. Nothing like the ordinary. It has dual-channel frequencies. This powerful dual spectrum Chirp digital sonar detects fish individually, recognizes baits and underwater structures while reaching beyond. The unit has a higher resolution of returns via flasher and typical 2D sonar.

Ice Helix G2 features XI 9 1521 Dual Spectrum Chirp Ice transducer. It operates at a 15-21° angle at 130-250 kHz. You’ll find this Ice Helix Chirp G2 transducer is usable in all the Helix 5 Chirp GPS transducer. After winter, you can operate Ice Helix 5 in your boat for summer trolling. Just use another transducer instead.

GPS & Map: The hummingbird built-in basemap will show you with a detailed view of underwater terrain based on data of freshwater from Lakemaster and NOAA. With its comprehensive icon system, you’ll be able to identify points of interest, marinas, day markers, hazards buoys, and another important navigational status. And with AutoChart ™ Live, you’ll be able to build a real-time map with up to 10,000 maps of lakes already stored.

Our thoughts: Hummingbird leads the fish finder industries for quite some time now. They offer featureful fish finder with amazing software and cloud-based services. The price may be a few dollars more than the rival models. But, what you get in return is quality and an assurance of unmatchable functionality.

Pros
  • Thousands of pre- loaded maps
  • Dual Spectrum Chirp Transducer
  • Switchfire™ Sonar
  • Battery, carry case and charger included
Cons
  • None

3. Marcum LX-7 Ice Fishing Sonar System

Humminbird ICE-45 Three Color Flasher with LCD

 

Features:

  • Display: 8″ LCD 800×600px
  • Four types of UI selectable colors
  • ½” target separation
  • 12-level interfere with rejection ( patented )
  • Smart sonar engine management 600 watts RMS

Overview: Marcum LX-7 ice fishing Sonar has amped up the ice fishing game. The unit is a blend of a digital fish finder and a part of Marcum LX flasher. This remix of techs has allowed the LX-7 to stand the test of time and render relevancy to date. Let’s see if the work of a classic with a modern touch works for you or not.

Sonar & Transducer: To see how accurately the transducer sends data, you need to look at the display first. It’s a cool 8 inch LCD display. The UI is simple so you’ll understand it’s proceedings right away. Also, you can select between four vivid color palettes.

Sonar works by sending a pulse frequency at the bottom. The pulse then collects data and received by a transducer. From there, the data gets converted into an actual digital image of the bottom.

As for Transducer, it’s high-end and offers a three-dimensional image of the depth. You can scan at two cone angles like 8° or 20° at ½” target separation. Such angles are actually good for ice fishing tasks. It’s the transducer that brings efficiency into the sonar technology.

Others: You’ll find a flexible cool looking dashboard once you turn on this fish finder. The settings offer a variety of features such as digital depth, interference rejection also known as the IR, target adjust and battery voltage.

There’s an option to choose 4 different colors from the color palette. You can also choose between manual and automatic range setting. There are four available zoom settings. Out of them, you can select your preferred zoom window. You can even zoom in an inch while on the current window.

Our thoughts: MarCum LX-7 Ice fishing Sonar fish finder is a combination of classic and modern tech. In its category, the LX-7 outshines it’s rival by quite a margin. So, if you’re a mechanical flasher user, give this one a go. I’m confident that you won’t bring back your manual flasher, again.

Pros
  • Clear LCD display
  • Dual-beam transducer
  • Software upgradeable via USB ports
Cons
  • Can’t use it on a boat

4. Humminbird ICE-45 Ice Fishing Flasher

Humminbird ICE-45 Three Color Flasher with LCD

 

Features:

  • Display: 526 segment LCD, three-color fiber optic
  • Dual Sonar beam
  • XI 9 19 Transducer
  • Frequency and range: 240 kHz at 19°
  • 455 kHz at 9°
  • Depth: 200 ft ( Max )
  • 225 watts (RMS) power output

Overview: Humminbird, a name that has been dominating the fish finding industries for decades. What sets this company apart is their dedication to finesse and functionality. Introducing the Humminbird ICE-45 Ice Fishing Flasher. You’ll find a couple of color flashers and palettes to choose from. And that amazing crisp LCD display is easier to read and offers a good viewing angle. Let’s find out whether the Humminbird ICE-45 Ice Flasher Fish Finder is worth your hard-earned cash or not.

Sonar & Transducer: Like other Humminbird fish finders, the ICE-45 rocks an XI 9 19 ice transducer. This given transducer can work in both 240 kHz and 455kHz frequency. Two conical beams are produced from this transducer. One works at 19° degrees for 240 kHz and 9° for 455 kHz. Note that the ICE-45 does not have a dual beam plus. So it can not shoot two beams simultaneously.

The unit has a depth capacity of 200 ft. But if you want to track jig, it can’t do it deeper than 12 ft. So bear that in mind. Right out of the box you’ll be getting a stabilizer floater and an 8 ft long cable. Unfortunately, the transduce doesn’t have any water temperature sensor.

Gps & Map: Please note that the unit does not have any built-in GPS capabilities. Also, no Chartplotter or other cloud-based mapping service is available with this one. Seems like Humminbird focused its ICE-45 Ice fishing flasher for ice angling only.

Others: Let’s talk about the control unit. If you want to track your lure in real-time, then guess what, the ICE-45 fish flasher features a 3-color fiber-optic flasher display. And the color palettes are also very user-friendly and easy to understand. The red one indicates bottom, medium-ranged fish are portrayed in Orange and green is for lower strength objects such as baits and lures.

Along with the XI 9 19 transducers, you’ll see a 12V 7.2A battery and a charger. With a full charge, this flasher will last about 8 hours. But there’s a downside, with the Humminbird ICE-45 doesn’t come with a CC ICE soft-sided carrying case.

Our thoughts: The display and included accessories right out of the box make the Humminbird ICE-45 an ideal fish flasher for those who only want an ice fishing fish finder. It doesn’t offer that much of a user during the summer so make your bet count.

Pros
  • Dual-beam sonar
  • 4 positions for manual and 7 positions for an auto range
  • Easy to assemble with included swivel mount
Cons
  • The jig might not be trackable under 120 ft

5. Venterior VT- FF001 portable fish finder

Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder, Handheld Fishfinder Fish Depth Finder with Sonar Sensor Transducer and LCD Display

 

Features:

  • Anti-UV LCD display
  • Green Led Backlighting
  • Transducer sensor: 4.6 diameter round
  • Depth: 328 ft (Max), 3 ft (min)
  • 45° Sonar Beam sensor angle
  • Transducer SideScan adapter
  • 4× AAA battery for power ( not included )

Overview: Those of you haven’t yet heard of Venterior, know that it’s a very well-known fish finding manufacturer. They produce each fish finder with a durable build quality, an easier interface and a practical price tag. Introducing the Venterior VT-FF001 portable fish finder. This wired sonar sensor transducer comes with a crisp LCD display, audibility and most important of all, portability. Let’s find out if this one of a kind fish finder finds a way into your tackle box or not.

Sonar & Transducer: First you need to set up the Venterior VT-FF001 fish finder. Just insert 4 AAA batteries which are not included by the way. Beware, don’t buy cheap batteries. Yes, it may save you some bucks but can end up causing more harm than good. So invest in rechargeable batteries.

You’ll get a 25 feet cable and typical rubber float. Compatible for Kayak and small boat angling. You can also cast it off a dock or dangle it down in an ice hole. Simply throw the sonar with that included rubber float. Use the tab for mounting if you want to attach the SideScan adapter to the boat hull. Later, lower down the sensor using a handle or something else. Since you are looking for the best ice fish finder, the Venterior operates gracefully. Just make the ice hole a bit bigger and lower the Transducer with the help of that long 25 feet cable.

The fish finder screen will follow this useful information through icons-

  • The fish alarm on/off
  • Weed indicator
  • Rock indicator
  • Water depth reading
  • The backlight on/off
  • Power saving mode on/off
  • Sensitivity level
  • Battery information

Please don’t spray or submerge the screen with water. Because the screen unit isn’t waterproof or resistant like the transmitter unit. Also, the performance will get affected by strong currents and murky water.

Our thoughts: If you ask me about my opinion about Venterior fish finder, I won’t hold back my thoughts. The unit is a good choice for those who want to do some recreational ice fishing. You won’t be able to go competitive or full-on professional mode with this fish finder. A perfect choice for those who are at their first ice fishing experience.

Pros
  • Affordable price tag
  • Outputs just enough useful information to detect fish
  • Good screen visibility ( under the sunlight )
Cons
  • Ideal for basic ice fishing
  • Performance gets affected by the surrounding environment

6. Humminbird ICE-55 Ice Fishing Flasher

Humminbird ICE-55 Six Color Flasher with LCD

 

Features:

  • Display: 526 segment LCD, 6 color fiber optic
  • Dual Sonar beam
  • XI 9 19 Transducer
  • Frequency and range: 240 kHz at 19°
  • 455 kHz at 9°
  • Depth: 200 ft ( Max )
  • 300 watts (RMS) power output

Overview: Humminbird, a name that has been dominating the fish finding industries for decades. What sets this company apart is their dedication to finesse and functionality. Introducing the Humminbird ICE-55 Ice Fishing Flasher. Just like the Humminbird ICE-45, the 55 model falls into the affordability range. But you need to pay a little extra for these following features over the ICE-45 model.

  • 6-color flasher instead of 3
  • Soft-sided carry case included
  • Two extra color palettes
  • The target line feature
  • More watts

You’ll find a couple of color flashers and palettes to choose from. And that amazing crisp LCD display is easier to read and offers a good viewing angle. Let’s find out whether the Humminbird ICE-55 Ice Flasher Fish Finder is worth your hard-earned cash or not.

Sonar & Transducer: Like other Humminbird fish finders, the ICE-55 rocks an XI 9 19 ice transducer. This given transducer can work in both 240 kHz and 455kHz frequency. Two conical beams are produced from this transducer. One works at 19° degrees for 240 kHz and 9° for 455 kHz. Note that the ICE-55 does not have a dual beam plus. So it can not shoot two beams simultaneously.

The unit has a depth capacity of 200 ft. But if you want to track jig, it can’t do it deeper than 12 ft. So bear that in mind. Right out of the box you’ll be getting a stabilizer floater and an 8 ft long cable. Unfortunately, the transduce doesn’t have any water temperature sensor.

Gps & Map: Please note that the unit does not have any built-in GPS capabilities. Also, no Chartplotter or other cloud-based mapping service is available with this one. Seems like Humminbird focused its ICE-55 Ice fishing flasher for ice angling only.

Others: Let’s talk about the control unit. If you want to track your lure in real-time, then guess what, the ICE-55 fish flasher features a 6-color fiber-optic flasher display. And the color palettes are also very user-friendly and easy to understand. The red one indicates bottom, medium-ranged fish are portrayed in Orange and green is for lower strength objects such as baits and lures.

Along with the XI 9 19 transducers, you’ll see a 12V 7.2A battery and a charger. With a full charge, this flasher will last about 8 hours. But there’s a downside, with the Humminbird ICE-55 doesn’t come with a CC ICE soft-sided carrying case.

Our thoughts: The display and included accessories right out of the box make the Humminbird ICE-55 an ideal fish flasher for those who only want an ice fishing fish finder. It doesn’t offer that much of a user during the summer so make your bet count.

Pros
  • Dual-beam sonar
  • 4 positions for manual and 7 positions for an auto range
  • Easy to assemble with included swivel mount
Cons
  • The jig might not be trackable under 120 ft

How to choose the best ice fishing fish finder- 9 attributes

Let’s just assume you didn’t like our listed products. We got that covered as well. In this section of the article, we will discuss how to choose the best ice fishing fish finder.

These following 9 attributes will help you identify one.

1. Display Type

You can choose two types of display. One would be the traditional fish finder with an attached display, another would be the castable fish finder that is accessible with the smartphone screen.

I prefer those castable fish finders. They are portable and easy to use. If you fish with at least one of your buddies, then utilize the advantage of both typical and castable fish finder. That’d be double trouble for the fishes.

2. Pixel Matrix

The number of pixel matrix on a fish finder display unit determines how clear the details would be. And since its an ice fishing scenario, attention to detail is all the more important.

If you’re using castable fish finder like the Deeper pro+. then screen resolution won’t is that big of a deal. But typical flasher or fishfinder should at least offer 800х480 pixel matrix. And don’t choose anything lower than QVGA backlit display.

3. Color or no color?

Black and white display in fishfinder units has become obsolete these days. So even if you find a good deal on such a unit, pass if you can. Because without a color display you would limit the ability to differentiate between fish, weed beds, underwater terrain, channel creeks, wrecks, obstacles, etc.

You’ll also have better visibility with modern-day color display in both night and day conditions. But still, if you want to opt for the black and white, you will have one advantage over the color display. Cheap price tag!

4. Weight

Unlike in the summer, you’ll have to move around the ice constantly. And since you cant glide through in a boat or kayak during ice fishing, the weight of the fish finder unit needs to be convenient.

Besides, proper ice fishing fish finder should be lighter and easier to operate. So keep an eye on the weight before you make a purchase. You will have to carry other stuff and the ice can be unpredictable.

5. Portability and durability

Ice fishing requires you to carry a lot of stuff. So your fish finder unit needs to be lightweight and portable. If you want your fish finder to fit in your pocket than go for a castable fish finder like a deeper pro.

A typical fish finder unit has batteries to power it. If you are going in along in the ice, I suggest taking a smaller and lighter battery. A castable fish finder takes the cake here. And since it syncs with your smartphones and demands no data charge, the future of ice fishing belongs to them.

6. The right frequency

You will find plenty of fish finder that offers single, dual and even triple frequencies. Now I cant make a blatant suggestion here. You have to know what will work best for you.

If you know the depth of the lake you’re gonna fish at, then choose high frequency if it’s shallow. Your fish finder units sonar will produce strong waves of frequencies and receive detailed data of the underwater scenario. Low frequency works better for higher depth.

A higher frequency like 200 kHz will detect and separate a single fish from a flock of fish. Whereas the wider and less intense 50 to 83 kHz frequency has a bigger beam cone angle with the exception of fewer details.

I suggest you opt for at least dual-frequency. You might compromise on portability but in return, better detection of fish, in both summer and winter.

7. Beam angle

Once you lower the transducer into the icy hole, it will start to transmit data back to your fish finder unit. Now you have to decide on the type of beam angle you need. My suggestion is to pick a fish finder that spreads out the beam cone to cover large areas.

But whatever you choose, a narrow beam will scan further down whereas a wider beam covers the ground. In terms of information quality, narrower is better and wider is weaker.

8. The power source

If you want better performance, clear and accurate data, make sure your fishfinder or flasher has a higher wattage. Higher watts not only produce better quality data but its also faster than lower and slower average watts.

A fish finder with batteries should offer adequate battery life that will last for at least a day. Castable fish finder unit, however, has an average juice of 8 hours. You could keep an extra battery pack for your traditional fish finder and a power bank to go with the castable. Please note that the power bank volt should match the charging adapter.

Don’t worry about battery life if you use a basic fish finder or flasher. They consume very little power during operation.

9. Transducer material

There are a variety of materials used to build the transducer. However plastic seems to be the choice of today’s manufacturers. Plastic transducers are waterproof and have the ability to endure extremely low temperatures. Something requires during winter fishing. You will also find transducer made from stainless steel, fiberglass and even wood for more intense fishing tasks.

FAQ

1. Where is the perfect spot for ice fishing?

 It depends, whether you are new to this water or not. Because thickness plays a crucial role here. If you’re looking to fish at a local water body then extracting this info would be easier. But if you are new, then asking any local angler or querying around the nearby bait shop will do the trick.

Perhaps you won’t have to be that invasive though. Every state has a number of angling community and groups available on social media. Just have a conversation before you go. You can also check the state agency websites for detailed statistics. If it’s early winter, dig near the dense underwater weed bed. And avoid digging holes in clear ice. Because nearby fish will get spooked and never return there as long your Shadow is intact. Never base on ice that is less than 4 inches.

2. What is the go-to lure/ bait for ice fishing?
Most of the veteran anglers will suggest live baits, to begin with. But my suggestion, don’t implement any sort of vai without proper lake statistics. Not all species of fish get attracted by the live baiting tactics. Start with a few small jigs, a few maggots, and preferable tungsten.
3. Which is the better bait- Live or artificial?
Artificial baits may perform better in some circumstances, but overall, live baits outperform fake ones. You’d want to go for from a single maggot to a full hook set up. You should use plastic maggots in a variety of sizes and colors. Don’t let them maggots freeze. Put them in a container or bag it in polythene like me.
4. What kind of technique should I use as a first-timer ice angler?
To me, the greatest technique of an angler is “observation”. Everybody from water requires different approaches, techniques, lure, and tackle set up. Start from the bottom and wait a bit. If there’s no bite than work you are up a little higher and continue that until you are close to the surface. If you still don’t get bites than move along with some other location and jig there. Eventually, you’ll find something. If you are using a fish finder or flasher than detecting a flock of fish should be easy. If nothing comes up in the sonar feed than drop the bait close to any underwater structures and weedbeds.
5. What is an ice transducer?

Also known as the Ice-Ducer transducer, the device specializes to withstand freezing cold water. The sonar picks up data much quicker with this one even on the move. You will be able to scan beyond any obstacles blocking the ice. The Ice-Ducer transducer aids the sonar so new anglers can get a better idea.

 

Finally. I always wondered why people would leave the comfort of the house to risk their lives into the icy lake to catch fish! For some of us its an adventure, an adrenaline rush. For others, it’s a popular age-old past time. But the main purpose is to drill holes and catch some fish. And trust me, even if you want to ice fish for fun, you won’t feel the fun entirely if you go empty-handed.

In this article, we listed the best ice fishing fish finder so you can relax or feed the adrenaline rush. I hope you will also find the buying guide and a few queries helpful as well. Until next time, dance on the ice and leave the song for summer.

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

Add comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts