Best Ice Fishing Fish Finders. Comparison & Buying Guide
If you have been trying to get your hands on the best ice fishing fish finder but you haven’t had much luck up until now, you’ve ended up in the perfect place. We’ve taken the time to look at the reviews, sales figures, and various surveys in regards to the popular choices out there. Ultimately, we concluded that the Marcum LX-7 is the one you should bear in mind as it has been outfitted with most of the features you might be looking for. It’s equipped with a large 8-inch LCD and comes with four user-selectable color palettes. Besides, the interface is user-friendly and allows you to perform any modification you may wish and consult the data you are truly interested in. From what we have gathered about the unit, it seems that both the detail and the response are impressive as most buyers describe them as excellent. Should the Marcum LX-7 be out of stock, check out the second best option, the Lowrance Elite-3X.
Our top choices
This sonar system and fish finder is a winner when it comes to versatility as it enables hassle-free operation and can allow you to make the most of it. Since it comes with an 8-inch LCD screen, it goes without saying that you won’t be bothered by anything as the info displayed will be easy to visualize.
Since the model boasts the same four user-selectable color palettes of other units, it might be worth noting that you won’t have to go through a long and painful learning curve just to find out how to use the device. You can safely use the same color coding system of your dated ice fish finder, if you’ve owned one in the past.
Given that the interface made available by this system is easy to use, its many functions prove their worth and ultimately help you catch more fish. You can conveniently read the data at any depth.
While the capabilities of this product are impressive, there are some minor drawbacks that need to be considered when prospecting the market for such a device. One of them is that the Marcum LX-7 isn’t particularly budget-friendly, so you will have to decide whether the investment is worth it.
The 8-inch beautiful LCD screen offers excellent image quality, and it allows you to see all the information needed with superior accuracy.
It is good to know that you will not need a lot of time to get accustomed to the device as it doesn’t have a steep learning curve.
The amount of information displayed on the screen can be picked as you see fit; you will get information on depth, range, and other details with great ease.
The Sonar Footprint feature allows you to examine the bottom from any depth.
The graph displays follow traditional guidelines, so they are very easy to figure out.
You will need to purchase an anti-glare screen separately, as this screen will not behave as well as expected in strong light conditions.Buy from Amazon.com for ($729.99)
Compared to the aforementioned Vexilar model, this Lowrance one can be thought of as being way more versatile. For one, it can be utilized both for regular fishing and for ice fishing. Secondly, it actually comes with a 3.5-inch color LCD, which basically means you’ll be able to visualize your catch and the water details it’s swimming in. The display is backlit thus allowing users to work with it be it day or night.
Frequency is not a problem with this item, as users can choose between the 83 kHz and the 200 kHz one. The transom mount transducer is included in the pack, as well as a battery and a charger.
Lowrance is offering a 1-year warranty on this product.
Customers speak highly of how portable it is and of its ability to detect targets under the ice, at depths between 8 and 30ft.
This model is not intended only for ice fishing; you can use it with the same success rate for regular fishing so that you don’t have to purchase an extra device.
The color LCD screen measures 3.5 inches diagonally, offering plenty of room for displaying all the information you need.
Another thing that must be mentioned is that the display is backlit, allowing you to use it during the day and at night, with the same efficiency.
You will get some handy extras with your purchase, such as a transducer mount, a rechargeable battery, and a charger.
You can detect targets up to 30-foot depths when using this model.
You must be aware that only when you travel by boat or kayak at low speeds, the unit will provide the best results.
The accessories needed for using the transducer mount are not included in the package.
Buy from Amazon.com
This is a different type of unit, as it comes with a smartphone app. Although it’s remarkably versatile considering the types of fishing it can be used with, some users have expressed their concerns about ice fishing. As you already know, low temperatures can have a negative effect on the efficiency of electronics, tablets and cellphones included. However, if your mobile phone works fine in very cold weather, this is the right model for you.
The pack contains a smart wireless sonar that relies on Wireless Bluetooth to connect to your phone and display images thereon. The device comes with a rechargeable battery. As for frequency, you’ll be glad to know that this is a dual-beam fish finder, with ranges from 15 degrees to 55 degrees.
Customers state that the Deeper unit is a well-built smart sonar that works well with iOS and Android devices. According to some individuals, it’s very easy to use.
The wireless sonar installed on this model comes with Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to transmit data to your smartphone without a glitch.
This model is extremely versatile, and it needs an app to transmit data, but bear in mind that it will be able to do that in cold weather only if your smartphone can resist that type of conditions.
A rechargeable battery powers this wireless unit, which means that you can always have it ready at hand.
This is a dual-beam model that goes from 15 to 55 degrees.
You can hook up your fish finder with any Android device, and works with iOS devices, just as fine.
Be aware of turning off the sonar’s app when not in use, as it will end up draining your phone’s battery, as some users have pointed out in their comments.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($249.99)
Garmin Striker 4
If you’re not keen on the idea of spending a fortune on your next ice fishing fish finder, perhaps you should check out the specs of the Striker 4. As it is to be expected from a reasonably priced alternative, its features might fail to impress you if you’re expecting a large screen and an incredible freedom in terms of the changes you can make on its menu.
However, the model does offer several perks that need to be considered. For example, it comes with some of the latest technological advances in the field as it boasts a CHIRP sonar as well as various ordinary sonar functions. Plus, it comes with a built-in flasher and a built-in GPS which both allow you to make the most of the product.
The sonar that the model is accompanied by has a range of 750 feet in saltwater and 1,600 feet in freshwater. In case you fail to be satisfied with this range, you can always opt for transducers which are more powerful.
In short, if you’ve been looking for an affordable fish finder that can be used under many circumstances, be sure to consider the Garmin Striker 4.
The Garmin Striker 4 comes equipped with a CHIRP sonar and offers a broad range of sonar capabilities that you will surely enjoy.
The built-in GPS is an extra feature that you will find handy, regardless of your ice fishing destination.
A flasher is also part of the configuration, providing you with extra functions that are not easy to find in other similar products.
The range of the sonar is 750 feet when you fish in saltwater, and 1600 feet when you fish in freshwater, offering you plenty of versatility.
You will not get a particularly large screen if you decide to buy this unit, so you may not be satisfied with the clarity of information on the display.
Also, the menu is somewhat basic and does not offer you too much freedom or control over what the unit can do for you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($179.31)
As its name suggests, the Vexilar model comes with a 19-degree ice flasher. What’s more, the unit has a 12-volt 7-amp battery with its own charger. So how will you know when your catch is close? Fortunately even for beginners, the Vexilar has a 3-color sonar flasher. This means that you’ll be seeing weak targets in green, medium ones in orange and strong targets in red.
As for the depth, you might be surprised to learn that this fish finder has six depth ranges, from 20 to 120 feet.
The manufacturers are offering a 2-year warranty on the fish finder and a 1-year one on the battery.
The neat thing about this model is that it’s gathered more than 40 5-star reviews. It certainly wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that it’s among the most acclaimed items of the line.
The 3-color flasher is easy to figure out, as it offers a color coding for targets, to allow you to decide what to do next; the weak targets are shown in green, those that are a little closer in orange, and the most likely to catch in red.
The fish finder has six depths that go from 20 feet to 120 feet, presenting you enough versatility for the times when you go ice fishing.
The 7-amp battery comes with a charger so that you never remain without the possibility of using your fish finder.
You can keep a five-gallon bucket at the base so that you can easily gather there all the fish that you catch.
The battery compartment is semi-encased to offer protection, and also easy access.
If you try using more than one fish finder in the same area, you will get some interference, and that can influence the results you will be reading.
Buy from Amazon.com
If you’ve been looking for the top fish finders for ice fishing, you’ve come to the right place. We have taken the time to put together a short list of the three most important things to consider before deciding on a model. If you’re a beginner, it might be a good idea to look for as much info as possible in order to understand the basics of any unit.
Going on websites such as YouTube and watching an ice fishing underwater video can be a great help if you have no idea how the image will be displayed on the screen.
Ice fish finders can generally be split into two main categories. Some come with flashers, which means you won’t be able to visualize in detail what’s happening under the water, and others resemble traditional units, in the sense that they offer a screen display. More advanced models nowadays come with smartphone apps which allow users to see what’s going on under the water on their tablets or cellphones.
Even though they might look like they’re really basic, flashers are still the most popular type of units for ice fishing. They’re reliable and weather resistant, which is one of the most important features since they have to be able to put up with very low temperatures.
Power and frequency
Wattage is a crucial detail when it comes to buying the best fish finder out there, regardless of the season you’ll be using it in. Since image display is not that important for ice fishing units and power undoubtedly affects its clarity, we’ll tell you that readings are also connected to wattage. More watts will trigger faster readings, while fewer watts will inevitably lead to slower readings.
The matter of frequency is somewhat subjective, since you need to figure out which waters you’ll be angling in. Most models come with customizable frequencies, allowing users to select between 83 kHz and 200 kHz.
Unlike their classic counterparts, ice fishing units don’t depend on a large variety of extras. Handheld GPS units are great for storing waypoints so that you know your way around the lake the next time you go out angling. They also come in handy if you intend on doing your fishing with an ATV or a snow machine. If you pick a unit that works on batteries, you might have the nasty surprise of realizing that cold temperatures affect its efficiency.
If you aren’t sure about how satisfied you’ll be with the model you’ve chosen, make sure to opt for one manufactured by a brand that accepts returns.
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