10 Best Ice Fishing Sonar (Expert's Opinion)

Few leisure activities depend as much on the right gear as ice fishing. Not only do you need to stay safe and comfortable, but you also want to make sure your ice trip is as productive as possible.

Ice fishing is a time-consuming activity and can be quite physically demanding. Therefore, it is doubly important to do everything you can to ensure a rewarding catch.

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Fishing gear manufacturers are constantly churning out new products to help anglers who don’t let a little cold come between them and their payoff. One of them is the fish finders . They are sonar devices that fishermen use to explore the depths of the water. Also called ice fishing sonar. These tools help anglers find the most productive areas to fish.

 Ice Fishing Sonar

Table of Contents

  • Best Ice Fishing Lights of 2020
    • These are the best ice fish finders
  • Reviews on the “Ice Flasher”.
    • Garmin Striker 4 with portable kit
      • Features:
      • Pros:
      • Cons:
      • Verdict
    • Marcum LX-7 Ice Fishing Sonar System Fish Finder
      • Features:
      • Pros:
      • Cons:
      • Verdict
    • Humminbird ICE-35 Tri-Color Flash
      • Features:
      • Pros:
      • Cons:
      • Verdict
    • Garmin Striker 4 with Fish Finder GPS transducer
      • Features:
      • Pros:
      • Cons:
      • Verdict
    • Deeper Pro + Smart Sonar Fish Finder
      • Features:
      • Pros
      • Cons:
      • Verdict
    • Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder
      • Features:
      • Pros:
      • Verdict
    • HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder
      • Features:
      • Pros:
      • Cons
      • Verdict
    • Anysun Underwater Fish Finder
      • Features:
      • Pros:
      • Cons:
      • Verdict
    • Lowrance Hook2 5 with SplitShot transducer
      • Features:
      • Pros:
      • Cons:
      • Verdict
    • Garmin 010-01872-20 Striker Plus 5 Ice Bundle
      • Features:
      • Pros:
      • Cons
      • Verdict
  • Ice Fishing Fish Finders - Buyer’s Guide
    • Types of fish finder
    • GPS capabilities
    • Screen quality and flexibility
    • Flash capabilities
    • Portability
    • Sonar CHIRP
    • Transducer frequency
    • A quick note on reading fish finders
  • In summary…

Best Ice Fishing Sonar of 2021

In this post, we’ll take a look at the top 10 fish finders available to ice anglers. We will also briefly discuss what they should consider when selecting a device of their own.

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These are the best ice fish finders:

  1. Garmin Striker 4 with portable kit
  2. Marcum LX-7 Ice Fishing Sonar System Fish Finder
  3. Humminbird ICE-35 Tri-Color Flash
  4. Garmin Striker 4 with Fish Finder GPS transducer
  5. Deeper Pro + Smart Sonar Fish Finder
  6. Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder
  7. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder
  8. Anysun Underwater Fish Finder
  9. Lowrance Hook2 5 with SplitShot transducer
  10. Garmin 010-01872-20 Striker Plus 5 Ice Bundle

Reviews on the “Ice Flasher”.

Garmin Striker 4 with portable kit

Ice Fishing Sonar
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Features:

  • 3.5 inch color screen
  • Integrated GPS
  • 77200 kHz CHIRP transducer
  • Integrated flasher …
  • A-scope real-time display
  • Water temperature sensor
  • Transmit Power: 200W
  • Maximum depth: 1,600 feet (fresh water) and 750 feet (salt water)
  • 20 ft transducer cable

Pros:

  • The Chirp sonar transducer results in a very high level of detail on the screen.
  • The real-time display works extremely well and shows the fish as they pass through the sonar.
  • A built-in turn signal for ice anglers and others who use vertical jigging.
  • The portable carrying case is ideal for anglers who change places frequently.
  • Users have the option of upgrading the CHIRP with a GT8 or GT15 transducer (sold separately).

Cons:

  • There is no integrated cartography.
  • The instructions given are a bit vague and need further research.

Verdict

Packed with features at a very reasonable price, this ice fishing finder is a great place to start for both beginner and serious anglers. The integrated turn signal makes it an excellent finder for static ice fishing and vertical jigging. Integrated GPS makes marking your favorite spots as easy as clicking a button. The portable kit allows for quick, easy and safe transport on the ice. It is the easiest to use and most accessible fish finder out there.

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Marcum LX-7 Ice Fishing Sonar System Fish Finder

Ice Fishing Sonar

Features:

  • 800 x 600px 8 inch color LCD screen.
  • Multi-faceted sonar display for a wide variety of simultaneous on-screen data.
  • It includes Marcum’s Sonar Footprint technology, scanning at any depth with cone angles of 8 ° or 20 °.
  • Ships with a 12V 9 Amp rechargeable battery.
  • Offers 12 ″ lens spacing.
  • It offers both infinitely adjustable zoom and bottom lock zoom.
  • Ships with a comfortable padded carrying bag.

Pros:

  • The customizable color palette allows you to find the most ideal display for the conditions.
  • The highly flexible user interface allows you to create your ideal “dashboard”.
  • Industry leading technology for an unmatched fish finding experience.
  • The large screen allows for a very high level of visual detail.
  • Excellent battery life despite the size.
  • The number of features doesn’t come at the cost of usability.
  • Extremely effective interference rejection (IR) technology.

Cons:

  • Large unit that may be difficult for some users to transport. Especially on long expeditions.
  • The price could be a deterrent for those on a budget.
  • Less effective in very shallow water.

Verdict

For the angler who can save the expense, the Marcum LX-7 represents the latest and greatest in digital fish finding technology. Make no mistake, this device is unmatched when it comes to finding the sweet spot on the ice to roll your fish. Sometimes it pays to specialize in a specific niche and this is what Marcum has done with the LX-7. If you are not limited by budget and looking for the best that money can buy, look no further than what is surely the best ice fishing sonar on the market today.

Humminbird ICE-35 Tri-Color Flash

Ice Fishing Sonar
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Features:

  • Dual beam sonar capable of evaluating depths up to 200 feet.
  • Built-in GPS with Humminbird Basemap.
  • CHIRP interference rejection.
  • 526 Segment 3-Color Fiber Optic LCD Center.
  • 800 W of power.
  • Weight: 5.4 kg.

Pros:

  • Constructed of an extremely durable material.
  • Can be upgraded with an optional transducer for summer fishing.
  • Wide selection of display options, each tailored to the needs of the ice angler.
  • Sonar history display to identify successful points and lures.
  • Able to withstand temperatures as low as -20 °.
  • The handy “demo mode” helps beginners learn the functionality of the flash units.

Cons:

  • It lacks the depth of features and functionality of certain similarly priced fish finders.

Verdict

An inexpensive ice fishing sonar is the ideal device for ice fishing purists. Its stripped-down features make it simple to operate, while the lack of high-tech distractions means your attention will be on ice. This does not mean that the device does not provide excellent functions for finding the fish! On the contrary, the Humminbird ICE-35 is one of the best flashing lights for ice fishing. It offers more than enough features to find fish at a reasonable price.

Garmin Striker 4 with Fish Finder GPS transducer

Ice Fishing Sonar
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Features:

  • ClearVu Sonar displays fish and structures in very high detail.
  • 3.5 ″ screen.
  • Maximum depth: 1,600 feet (fresh water) and 750 feet (salt water)
  • Integrated waypoint map.
  • CHIRP 77200 kHz sonar transducer
  • Integrated flashing.
  • 200 W transmission power.

Pros:

  • User friendly interface.
  • The physical buttons make this device ideal for use in low temperatures.
  • Excellent price for a very high quality device.
  • The integrated indicator is ideal for ice fishing or vertical jigging.
  • Upgradeable with a high-performance Garmin transducer.

Cons:

  • It lacks the clarity of high-end CHIRP sonar drivers.

Verdict

The Garmin Striker 4 is one of the most affordable fish finders for ice fishing. Despite its extremely affordable price, it offers several great features and has a very high build quality. This is a device that meets the fundamental needs of the ice angler, but without compromising on quality.

Deeper Pro + Smart Sonar Fish Finder

Ice Fishing Sonar
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Features:

  • Bottom fish finder ideal for shore and ice fishermen.
  • Excellent ice fishing depth finder.
  • It shows the location, size and depth of fish, as well as underwater structures and vegetation.
  • Integrated GPS.
  • Dual beam sonar frequency
  • 55 ° wide beam (90kHz) and 15 ° narrow beam (290kHz)
  • Weight: 91 grams.
  • CHIRP sonar technology.

Pros:

  • The GPS allows a comfortable bathymetric map -make.
  • Easily identify places where fish congregate.
  • GPS land mapping - toss the device, roll it up to build a detailed database of fishing spots.
  • Excellent launch range of 330 feet.
  • Extremely lightweight and convenient for travel.

Cons:

  • It depends on smartphone or tablet integration, which may not be ideal for some anglers who want to get away from their digital devices.

Verdict

Fish finders aren’t very popular with ice anglers, but don’t let that put you off. If you are looking for versatile ice fishing electronics, both ice fishing and shore fishing, this is the device for you. The Deeper Pro + Smart Sonar Fish Finder offers features that are ideal for shore fishing, but it is a more than adequate ice fish finder and comes at a very reasonable price. The lack of a screen (the device connects to your smartphone or tablet) makes this lightweight device the ideal portable fish finder for ice fishing.

Venterior VT-FF001 Portable Fish Finder

Ice Fishing Sonar
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Features:

  • It shows the depth of the water, the approximate location of the fish, as well as details of the vegetation and structure.
  • Convenient backlight
  • 5 user-defined sensitivity settings.
  • The built-in alarm sounds when schools of fish pass by.
  • Round transducer at the end of a 25 foot rope.
  • Includes an adapter for lateral scanning.

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable
  • The backlight mode ensures that the device can be operated at night.
  • It shows all the basic information an ice angler needs.
  • The device is very versatile and can be used for almost all types of fishing.

Cons:

  • Features and functionality can be slightly basic for anglers looking for more advanced fish finding aid.

Verdict

The Venterior VT-FF001 portable locator is one of the cheapest ice fishing locators on the market today. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that affordability results in a lack of quality and utility. This extremely portable unit offers more than enough precision to ensure that your journey on ice is a fruitful one.

HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Fish Finder

Ice Fishing Sonar
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Features:

  • High definition color “Virtuview” screen.
  • Features Hawkeye’s Dual Beam FishTrax Sonar.
  • Able to ride a ship.
  • Three modes of operation: Data Mode, Fish Finder Mode, and Ice Mode.
  • 100-level sensitivity adjustment.
  • Two frequency settings: 200 or 83 kHz at an angle of 14 or 26 °.
  • Dimensions: 2 x 3 x 6 inches.

Pros:

  • The three modes ensure maximum versatility and utility according to the needs of the fisherman.
  • For the ice angler, Ice Mode turns the HawkEye Fishtrax 1C into a high quality traditional ice flasher.
  • Landscape painting allows you to see a detailed representation of the world under water.
  • The interface and operation are extremely easy to use.

Cons:

  • He does not pick up and display the fisherman’s lure.
  • Battery life is not as long as competitive products.

Verdict

The HawkEye Fishtrac 1C is another product that offers great versatility. Thanks to its three modes, you can easily switch between functionality and display settings, which is ideal for ice fishing or fishing from a boat. This product is a great all-rounder and offers great features at a very affordable price.

Anysun Underwater Fish Finder

Ice Fishing Sonar
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Features:

  • IP68 camera with night vision.
  • A fully waterproof camera with a 15 meter cable.
  • 7 ″ cold and water resistant color monitor.
  • 9 to 12 hours of operation with a fully charged battery.

Pros:

  • Real-time visibility of the exact conditions below the surface.
  • Integrated sun visor for excellent visibility even in bright conditions.
  • The high-quality screen (700 HDTV lines) ensures excellent visibility of fish and subsurface conditions.

Cons:

  • The short cable length means that this ice fishing locator can only be used in relatively shallow water.

Verdict

Real-time camera technology may very well be the future of ice fishing technology. The Anysun Underwater Fish Finder offers ice anglers the opportunity to observe how fish respond to their lure. As “watching” technology improves and becomes more affordable for the average angler, it is to be expected that products like the Anysun will become more and more effective and popular. At a very reasonable price, this amazing device gives you access to an unprecedented level of visual information in real time.

Lowrance Hook2 5 with SplitShot transducer

Ice Fishing Sonar
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Features:

  • Wide-angle CHIRP sonar.
  • SplitShot transducer.
  • Preloaded with detailed maps of 4,000 US lakes.
  • SolarMax screen for excellent visibility outside.
  • 5 ″ screen size.
  • Weight: 1.4k kg.
  • Dimensions: 18 ″ x 10 ″ x 6 ″.

Pros:

  • Extremely easy to set up and operate.
  • The SplitShot transducer offers multiple views of the sonar: DownScan (ideal for vertical jigging and ice fishing) and CHIRP sonar (for a wide arc).
  • It has twice the coverage of traditional fish finders.

Cons:

  • A bit more expensive than some of the other options on the market today.

Verdict

The Lowrance Hook2 5 is one of those ice fishing fish finders that you know ice anglers want to spend time fishing instead of playing with their electronic equipment. That’s why it offers highly efficient self-tuning sonar and easy-to-navigate menus. Don’t let this priority lead you to think that effectiveness has been compromised. Despite the focus on automation, this is one of the best ice fishing sonar devices on the market today.

Garmin 010-01872-20 Striker Plus 5 Ice Bundle

Ice Fishing Sonar
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Features:

  • 5 ″ display.
  • Integrated GPS.
  • Garmin CHIRP transducer.
  • Includes Garmin QuickDraw software.
  • Integrated flashing.
  • Dimensions: 13.4 ″ x 10.1 ″ x 8.2 ″
  • Weight 5.4 kg

Pros:

  • Garmin’s high-end transducer results in unmatched clarity and target separation.
  • Experience the high quality of contour maps thanks to the extraordinary QuickDraw software.
  • Supplied with a practical portable carrying case.
  • Concentrate on showing the movement of the template.
  • Excellent screen visibility in all conditions.

Cons:

  • It is best for ice fishing but requires additional peripherals for summer outings on a boat.
  • A little more expensive than some budget anglers may want to spend.

Verdict

The 010-01872-20 Striker Plus 5 is an advanced flash combo for finding fish in ice. It is relatively high priced compared to the other options on this list. However, you get what you pay for. An industry leading transducer and fantastic display quality make it a must have for ice anglers who can afford it.

Ice Fishing Sonar - Buyer’s Guide

Fish finders offer a very wide spectrum of functions. Even the most tech-savvy angler can find himself overwhelmed with questions. If you are new to fish finding technology and looking to buy your first unit, here is a breakdown of the important factors to consider.

Types of fish finder

  • Traditional fish finders: These devices usually collect information about conditions under the surface of the water and display it as a graphic representation of physical reality. Along with information such as water depth and temperature, they also show underwater structures, vegetation, and fish. These types of locators are most commonly used on ships, but can also be mounted on other structures.
  • Fire Fish: Their design is quite rudimentary and the information displayed is typically limited to three data sets: The depth of the fish, the depth of your lure, and the depth of the water directly below you. These units are simple to use but extremely effective. Flashes are appreciated by many anglers who prefer to keep things simple and do not necessarily want to interact with a wide range of functions. Flashing lights are normally the most popular choice among dedicated ice anglers although they are also widely used by those doing any type of vertical jigging in deep water .
  • Helmet finders: Ice fish finders are extremely portable and designed to integrate with a smartphone or tablet. Before starting to fish in a specific place, this type of fish finder is thrown into the water and re-coiled. As this happens, the unit builds an underwater map of the area that is then displayed on the mobile device. Popular with shore anglers, hull finders are the most portable of all devices on the market. If you value a device that accommodates frequent movements or long walks through the ice, this is the product for you.

GPS capabilities

If you regularly fish in remote locations that can be difficult to find on a later trip, consider a unit that has a built-in GPS. This is a very useful feature when you need to “mark” a certain area in the ice that does not have distinctive features visible to the naked eye.

Screen quality and flexibility

When you go for a traditional search engine, you will always want the best display component that fits your budget. The quality of a fish finder’s images is directly related to its effectiveness. This is especially true for units that have a large amount of display information visible at one point.

Don’t skimp on this feature; it is one of the most important considerations. If you can afford a device that has a larger screen with a better resolution than a cheaper model, don’t hesitate to buy it.

Another display factor to consider is how visible the screen colors will be under different surface conditions. Some search engines do not offer configuration in this regard, which means that the data on the screen can be perfectly visible at night, but difficult to read in strong sunlight.

Flash capabilities

For an ice angler who also does a lot of boat fishing, a traditional fish finder that can emulate the functionality of a flasher is often a good investment. This may come at an additional cost, but the versatility it offers is definitely worth the price.

Portability

The weight and dimensions of a fish finder play a huge role in the fisherman’s day or night on the ice. Traveling long distances on foot with a large collection of equipment can be exhausting, and the last thing you want is to make the fish finder too cumbersome.

This is obviously quite a subjective factor, as some anglers may be quite comfortable carrying a large device with them, or some may use an ice fishing sled to carry heavy gear. Still, portability is not something to be overlooked.

Sonar CHIRP

If it is within your budget, consider opting for a unit that offers CHIRP technology in its transducer. CHIRP is state-of-the-art technology that emits a pulse that contains a very wide variety of frequencies, as opposed to the single, double or triple pulse offered by many search engines. CHIRP sonar results in images and data with much higher precision.

Transducer frequency

The sonar signal emitted by a transducer to collect information about the underwater world can be ideal for high precision, or for depth of penetration. A fish finder that offers flexibility in this regard is obviously ideal, but some anglers may not have the budget for such a device.

If this is the case, it is important to consider the following: Lower frequencies are better for depth, while higher frequencies are better for detail. While greater detail should always be the goal, this may not be possible - your finder is built exclusively for deeper water performance.

A quick note on reading fish finders

All fish finders will come with a manual that will show you how to read a fish finder. Since there are many types and each unit has its own unique display, it is best to consult the documentation for the unit or search for additional documentation online.

In summary…

While many fishing purists will insist on using instinct or that technology compromises the essence of fishing, there is still no feeling of reeling in a big one.

Fish finders allow ice fishermen the opportunity to do what they love the most: come home at the end of a hard day or night on the ice with a log full of fish.

More and more fishermen are turning to technology to help them make the most of their time on the ice.

Choose one of these high-end ice fishing sonar and enjoy fishing.