These cool new electronics will help you put more fish on the ice
Thanks to today’s wide array of flashers, graphs and cameras you can see the fish down below, and even watch how they react to your bait. Here are some of the latest electronics made specifically for ice fishing.
MICRO 5.0 REVOLUTION
US$349, Aqua-Vu, www.aquavu.com
Key features: Extra-bright, waterproof, five-inch, high-resolution LCD screen; micro-camera on 60-foot cable with integrated deployment system; rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The promise: “The utmost in user-friendly underwater viewing.”
M1 FLASHER SYSTEM
$549.99, MarCum Technologies, www.marcumtech.com
Key features: Bright, multicoloured display with split-screen zoom; silent operation; rejects interference from nearby electronics; padded soft pack; two-year warranty.
The promise: “Dead-quiet operation with dazzling colour definition.”
HOOK-4 ICE MACHINE
US$279, Lowrance, www.lowrance.com
Key features: Four-inch, high-resolution colour display; CHIRP sonar, with history review option; built-in GPS antenna; includes U.S. charts, but optional global upgrades are available.
The promise: “Proven features at a great value without compromising quality.”
PANOPTIX ICE FISHING BUNDLE
US$1,799.99, Garmin, www.garmin.com
Key features: Includes Garmin’s echoMap CHIRP 73 cv chartplotter; loaded with 17,000 LakeVü HD maps; Panoptix transducer with scanning and real-time forward and down views; components also sold separately.
The promise: “A versatile hardwater solution.”
ICE HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2
US$499.99, Humminbird, www.humminbird.com
Key features: Five-inch, backlit colour display; CHIRP sonar; GPS chartplotting with Humminbird’s built-in cartography tools; micro SD card slot for optional maps or saving waypoints.
The promise: “Unprecedented viewing options for the ice angler.”
DEEPER SMART SONAR PRO+
$359, Deeper, www.deepercanada.com
Key features: Floating 2½-inch-diameter sphere wirelessly relays GPS and sonar data to your smartphone screen; scan/connection range of 260 feet; can also be cast or trolled during open-water season.
The promise: “The ultimate in smart sonar fishing.”
GENZ PACK FLX12
US$439.95, Vexilar, www.vexilar.com
Key features: Flasher range from five to 120 feet, with night mode and low-power mode for very shallow water; digital depth and battery-power readout; case designed by ice-fishing legend Dave Genz.
The promise: “Tough and easily adapted to upgrades.”
Sonar units for ice fishing fall into two basic types: flashers and graphs. When deciding which type to buy, consider the fish species you plan to target, how you fish and your budget.
Simple, durable, reliable and powerful, flashers use coloured marks on a circular display to show fish movements in real time. This gives instant feedback on how the fish are reacting to your bait. Novices may find the display confusing, however.
These winterized versions of standard, open-water sonar units show data in a scrolling display or multiple windows, often with GPS coordinates. Many graphs also easily convert for use on a boat. The scroll display introduces a slight delay, reducing its usefulness in teasing fish to bite. However, most new graphs feature a real-time window or a flasher-style view, which remedies that problem.
For more on this topic, see Gord Pyzer’s story: Graphs vs. flashers—what’s best for your style of ice fishing.