Online and mass media coverage has boosted ice fishing popularity, and ice fishing fish finders locate fish you can’t ordinarily see. Our top 10 ice fishing fish finders of 2017 reviews helps you pick the right fish finder, so you can catch more fish without spending your entire trip auguring holes.
What to Look for When Choosing Ice Fishing Fish Finders
Table of Contents
The ongoing march of technology has led to many new options for fish finders, but has also increased the differences between them.
Sonar Type: Fish finders can detect by flasher sonar, which spots any fish that pass between you and the bottom. Sweeping 2D sonar creates a detailed graph of the surrounding area, but tracks fish less accurately.
Display Type: Flashers may have LCD displays that indicate simply whether the device detects a fish below, or analog displays that flash to alert users to nearby fish. The 2D sonar models provide a planar display that refreshes with each sonar sweep. Newer displays may incorporate video camera feeds or combine multiple sonar views at once.
Convenience:. Simple fish finders do not require a great deal of battery power to run. Larger models offer more features, but can be much heavier to carry around and have shorter battery lives.
10. Anysun Underwater Fish Finder
This Anysun device detects fish by video camera. The waterproof camera contains built-in lights and can be lowered 15 meters into the water. The fish that it detects show up on a high-definition display.
- The camera operates well in cold water and gives an accurate signal.
- Water currents can shake the camera, making it hard to aim in a specific direction. Users cannot connect the unit to external devices, so you cannot record your catches.
9. Xikezan 1000TVL
The Xikezan 1000TVL offers a few more video options for fishers. The infrared camera exceeds 130 degrees, offers night vision and can record footage onto a micro SD card.
- Any fisher can improve through being able to record and replay their catches. The system’s screen can be attached to fishing lines, so you don’t have to look away from your reel to watch the feed.
- The camera cable shifts with the water. While weighing the camera down helps alleviate this problem somewhat, even weights do not fully prevent involuntary movement. The 1000TVL only runs for around six hours, so fishing fanatics may want a device with a longer operational time.
8. Lowrance Elite-3X
The Elite-3X is a true sonar unit, capable of being aimed without inserting any pieces into the water. The sonar flasher displays on a 3.5-inch screen that can distinguish the shape of the sea bed, temperature changes, and fishes in a 60 degree arc.
- The LED can be seen clearly in daytime and the backlight works well for night use. The simple design makes the Elite-3X work well as an introduction to sonar use.
- This product will not detect fish beneath thick or opaque ice, so some trial and error can still be necessary to find fish. The more sensitive sonar setting may misinterpret random objects as fish, as well.
7. Garmin Striker 5DV
Made by Garmin, the Striker 5DV combines flasher and 2D sonar features with global positioning technology. Users can save specific fishing sites and find them, while also marking obstacles or way points.
- The GPS features and ability to view sweeping and flasher data simultaneously lets fishers use the Striker 5DV for both ice or boat fishing.
- You may need some experience with flashers to make the most of the real-time sonar options, as the display emulates older analog sonar units with minimal additional information.
6. Garmin Striker 4 Portable
This entrant in the Striker series offers a clear, uncluttered display of flasher sonar and multi-frequency sweeps of the surrounding area. The sonar automatically records, permitting views of fishing hotspots you might have missed on the first pass.
- The Striker 4 weighs less than a pound, and the design is more durable than many fish finders.
- The small screen display limits the information you can see at one time. You will also need to purchase a separate transducer to make the most of the sonar range the Striker 4 can actually display.
5. Vexilar FL-8se
The FL-8se is a classic analog sonar unit for the seasoned ice fisher. Colors are used to represent the depth and size of fish, and can be adjusted to detect fish up to 120 feet below you.
- Water and extreme temperatures will not easily damage the resilient the FL-8se. The unit can be used close to other sonar without misinterpreting signals.
- The display and controls may confuse beginners not used to sonar technology.
4. Lowrance Hook-3X
Another Lowrance product, the Hook-3X condenses the sonar display even more, into a 3” display. The unit’s programming lets you see environmental and fish data without tweaking a large number of settings.
- The Hook-3X’s size lets you take it on any fishing trip. The display can be zoomed or shifted easily.
- The Hook-3X weighs slightly more than other small fish finder. The display does not update quickly or consistently, so the Hook-3X may be less useful on boats than on ice.
3. Venterior Fish Finder
The Venterior unit uses a transducer that descends into the water or, with an attachment, floats, which carries the sonar signal farther. The sonar can detect fish and the bottom of the water up to 100 meters.
- This unit’s detection range is farther than many other fish finders, but still has a simple design.
- Ice fishers will have to use this unit on clear ice or augur a hole to detect any fish with this device.
2. Deeper 3.0
The Deeper 3.0 is a floating sonar unit that conducts a wifi signal to Android or Apple mobile devices, and can use Bluetooth outside of your mobile range.
- This unit offers many more recording and dual display options than other fish finders.
- The sonar scans are slower than other units, and you will need to have a tablet or smartphone available to use thisdevice, which can be a challenge in cold weather.
1. Garmin Striker 4
This version of the Striker 4 is pared-down, but more efficient than the portable kit. Its display, sonar, and GPS functions are just as powerful, but have a slightly more intuitive control system.
- The Striker 4 weighs far less when you buy only the base unit, and still permits simultaneous flasher and sweep displays.
- You will still have to buy a separate transducer to maximize the unit’s range.
Whether you go ice fishing every season or are planning your first trip, our top 10 ice fishing fish finders 2017 reviews can help you land the perfect catch. These units differ in how they use and display sonar or video, and some systems can benefit experts more than beginners.