If you are one among those who love fishing in ice, you must be armored with a good ice fish finder.
Ice fishing is so much harder than other types of fishing because, duh, you cannot see what is below the boat! How could you ever catch even one fish then? With a fish finder that is specifically designed for this occasion (and that can work in extreme temperatures), the whole process will be a whole lot easier.
Since we care about you and since we know that you have no time to search, we have done your homework for you.
In this review, you will find some of the best ice fishing fish finders, how to choose one, and some questions and answers.
List of The Best Ice Fishing Fish Finder:
- Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit – Best Overall
- HawkEye Fishtrax 1C – Runner Up
- Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar – Easy to Use
- Marcum LX-7 Ice Fishing Sonar – Four User-Selectable Color Palettes
- Humminbird 410970-1 ICE Helix 5 Fishfinder – Built-in UniMap Cartography
- Venterior VT-FF001 – Long-lasting Battery
Our Top Picks:
Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit
|3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 in.||8 ounces||1600 feet in freshwater and 750 feet in saltwater||LCD|
HawkEye Fishtrax 1C
|6 x 3 x 2 in.||10.2 ounces||240 feet||LED|
Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar
|3 x 5.3 x 5.9 in.||3.52 ounces||260 feet||–||Yes|
Marcum LX-7 Ice Fishing Sonar
|11 x 11 x 11.5 in.||13 lbs.||300 feet||LCD||No|
Humminbird 410970-1 ICE Helix 5 Fishfinder
|7.5 x 3.3 x 4.6 in.||8 lbs.||400||LCD||Yes|
|9.6 x 2.2 x 5.9 in.||15.2 ounces||330 feet||TN LCD|
The 6 Best Ice Fishing Fish Finders in 2020
1. Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit – Best Overall
This device provides you with two modes, Medium CHIRP and HIGH Chirp. The medium CHIRP, obtained at 77 kHz frequency, shows you a large area, while the high CHIRP is at 200 kHz and shows more on screen.
Why is that? Because the higher frequency beam covers an angle of 15 degrees while the 77kHz covers a larger 45-degree space. So, you can use the lower frequency to identify clusters of fish, then use the lower frequency to zoom in on individual fish you are targeting.
What is more magical is this badass device’s ability to scan down to 1600 feet deep in freshwater, and 750 feet deep in saltwater. The transducer stays on a suction cup mount, which will cause you no problem if you will only use it for ice fishing because you will just throw the transducer into the water and let it work its magic.
You can easily read the info on its LCD of 480X320 resolution as well as use it at night thanks to its built-in flasher.
- Can be used in freshwater and saltwater
- Comes with a portable carrying kit
- Charger not included
- The transducer is not of the best quality
- Transducer only works underwater
Garmin Striker 4 is an ice fish finder that never disappoints. It is easy to use, and has a high-quality screen.
2. HawkEye Fishtrax 1C – Runner Up
This babe comes in three models. The first one projects a single beam at a 14-degree angle. Its frequency is so high at 200 kHz. It also uses FishTrax’s Intelligent Sonar to enhance its detection. Furthermore, it features five sensitivity levels, a fish alarm, and backlighting to use it at night.
The second and intermediate model is better than the first one since it features a Dot Matrix Display and ten sensitivity levels. It also has a dual-frequency to enhance its scanning and allow you to detect exactly where the fish are.
Regarding the expert model, it comes with a colored display and three operating modes. You are free to choose the mode that better suits what you are doing, be it Fish Finder, Data, or Ice-Mode Digital Flasher for ice fishing.
It also goes the extra mile because it does not only show you the precise stuff that is underwater; it also detects the temperature and the battery readings. Think this is it? You are wrong because it also features a 100-level sensitivity setting to choose from. The rest of the features (yes, there is more) are similar to those of the intermediate model.
Regardless of the model you choose, you will enjoy the 75-meter range and a 15-feet long cable. Its intelligent sonar will help you get better information, and its precision will let you detect water temperature at different depths.
Sadly, its colored display is pretty small; however, it shows the temperature and the depth readings. Also, the bottom contents are shown in colors.
It is also versatile because it has several mounts, including one for ice fishing.
- Easy to use
- Has three models
- Battery life can last for 30 hours
- Small display
- No CHIRP sonar
This is one of the greatest fish finders for ice fishing on the market. It does not only give you the ability to choose between three-mode but also offers excellent features.
3. Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar – Easy to Use
Want to scan down to 260 feet? The very best Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar has got your back with its wireless connectivity that transmits the data to your smartphone via Deeper’s app. The 260-feet depth is quite enough, given that you will probably just dig a hole into the ice and push the fish finder in.
This baby’s sonar uses double frequency waves of 90 kHz and 290 kHz, with angles of 55 degrees and 15 degrees, respectively. This option allows you to find where all the fish are gathered, and then you can switch to a higher frequency to zoom in on the fish you want.
Moreover, you get two views, an aerial view, and a sideways view. The aerial view gives you a view of the area of water, and the sideways view shows you what is available in the depth of water. That way, you can pinpoint the place and depth of things. In other words, this device provides you with 3D information.
Deeper PRO+ Smart Sonar has got more in its pocket. It has a separate ice fishing mode that gives you a clearer and more circular view to help you fish. It also features color modes to be used in day and night.
- Can be used in salt and freshwater
- Easy to use
- Wireless connectivity
- Free app included
- Might lose its connectivity when it is too deep underwater.
This is the best ice fishing fish finder not only because it features a dual-frequency, but also because of its ease of use and versatility.
4. Marcum LX-7 Ice Fishing Sonar – Four User-Selectable Color Palettes
The 8-inch LCD screen has an excellent resolution of 800 x 600px that allows you to clearly see if there is any fish or not. Moreover, its four user-selectable color palettes let you see fish, lure, or structure.
Also, the dashboard that is displayed on the screen lets you see everything, be it digital depth, battery voltage, range, gain, interference rejection, target adjust, and any other setting.
Besides all of these features, you can see the vertical water column, flasher-dial, and the traditional widescreen graph display thanks to its multifaceted sonar display LCD windows.
Regarding the sonar, Marcum LX-7 Ice Fishing Sonar has an industry-exclusive sonar footprint technology that allows you to see down to 300 feet.
- Four user-selectable color palettes
- On-screen dashboard
- Easy graphical displays
- Easy to pinpoint fish
- Industry-exclusive sonar footprint technology
With a high-resolution LCD and an industry-exclusive sonar footprint technology, this babe will not disappoint you.
5. Humminbird 410970-1 ICE Helix 5 Fishfinder – Built-in UniMap Cartography
This impressive ice fish finder can find hidden fish with its Dual Spectrum CHIRP ICE Transducer down to 400 feet. Also, its 00H x 480V, 5′ 256 color display screen displays all the information you might need. It is even backed with backlight to ensure that you could use it at night. It also offers a digital readout so you can know the exact depth.
With 4000watts PTP power output, this babe is the best fish finder for ice fishing. It can even work in extreme temperatures, so it is definitely suited for ice fishing.
In case you love saving the best fishing spots you come across and in case you need a map to guide you go to certain places, it has a built-in UniMap cartography, so that all your waypoints get marked in the GPS chart. Moreover, you can save all these waypoints with the help of the micro SD card.
- Features a dual-frequency beam plus sonar
- Offers a digital readout
- Can work in extreme temperatures
- Finds hidden fish
- Comes with an ice transducer only
If you want a fish finder that can work in extreme temperatures and knows how to find hidden fish, you better get this one.
6. Venterior VT-FF001 – Long-lasting Battery
This is a good ice fish finder only if you are okay with having a device that does not support wireless connectivity. It comes with a 25-feet transducer cable. There is a float on top of the transducer, and it has a sonar that can scan down to 30 feet.
The beam angle of the sensor is 45 degrees. Moreover, Venterior VT-FF001 can measure the temperature of the water if it ranges between 20 degrees and 70 degrees. Its basic TN LCD shows various fish icons, what’s at the bottom of the water, and depth scale on the right. The kit also has a backlight mode that enables you to use it at night.
It even has five user-selectable settings for sensitivity, including battery save mode, backlight mode, fish alarm, side-scan adapter, neck strap, and a unit of measure where the water depth is shown either in meters or in feet. The sensitivity helps you find smaller fish, but higher sensitivity uses up more battery and limits the range.
You can even dip the transmitter itself in the water without damaging it because it is waterproof.
However, when the water is murky or has waves, the device won’t work correctly. It is true that this does not apply to ice fishing, but it is still an issue that you must consider.
- Long-lasting battery
- Can be used at night
- Two-year warranty
- Does not work correctly in below zero degrees
- The battery is not included
- Won’t work well in murky water and violent waves
In case you do not need a fish finder with a wireless connection, Venterior VT-FF001 will be just fine. Given that it can scan deep into the water, is waterproof, and backed with a reliable battery, you have next to nothing to worry about.
How To Pick a Fish Finder for Ice Fishing
1. The Type of Frequency
Different fish finders have different types of frequencies; namely, single, dual, and multiple. You just need to know that higher frequencies work well in shallow waters. The higher the frequency, the more detail you get because higher frequencies mean that the sonar waves sent to the water are higher. Normally, if you will fish in deep water, opt for fish finders with low frequency.
2. The Power Source
You better check the wattage of the battery if the fish finder comes with one, the duration it requires to get fully charged, and the duration after which it needs to be recharged. Such details have a direct effect on the productivity of your trips and enjoyment as well.
Moreover, the higher the wattage, the faster the info will be translated on the display.
3. Display Resolution
The number of pixels determines the resolution of the screen. The higher the number of pixels, the better the resolution of the screen. If you get a fish finder with high-quality resolution, you will be able to see all the details with crystal clarity.
It is pointless to inform you that fish finders with high resolution are more expensive than their fellow devices with low resolution. However, if you decide to put extra money to get that attractive resolution, you won’t regret it. You have our word for it.
4. Colour of the Screen
There are colored screens and black and white ones. It goes without saying that colored screens are way better than those who show all the information in black and white only.
A colored screen will help you read the sonar easier as well as lets you differentiate between the fish, rocks, and debris. Also, it allows you to read it in the dark, in dim places, and in cloudy atmospheres.
It will also be a significant step if you get a fish finder with backlit LED lights as it helps you differentiate between stuff underwater.
5. The Material of the Transducer
There are various materials of transducers, and you have to get one that fits your boat and needs. For example, if most of your fishing trips are casual, or just for fun, a plastic transducer will do. Plastic ones are waterproof, and they can’t retain water.
However, if you are more into intense fishing, get a transducer made from stainless steel, bronze, wood, or fiberglass.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can You Use a Regular Fish Finder for Ice Fishing?
Yes, as long as you have a portable fish finder with a portable power supply. Yous should also provide a means by which you can level the transducer in an ice hole.
How Do Ice Fishing Fish Finders Work?
There are two ways by which a fish finder can work under the water. Sadly, you can only have one of those ways and not both of them together.
There are flasher units that show you a real-life picture of what is underwater without showing any graphs. Although this is an old way of fishing, it is still quite reliable. It is the better option if you will only fish in ice.
The other option is the 2D sonar. These devices show a graph of what is happening below. They can also be switched to a flasher mode so that you can also see a real-life picture. However, most of the devices will provide you with a 2D sonar only without images. You should go for this option if you want to fish in the summer, too.
What Is a CHIRP Sonar?
The CHIRP sonar that is also known as Compressed High-Intensity Radar Pulse uses an improved sonar technology that, unlike the traditional sonar, sends a continuous range of frequencies from low to high. Consequently, it transmits more data than the conventional transducer.
After reading our review on the best ice fishing fish finders, we hope you have made up your mind. Since we know that it is not an easy choice, we will recommend you some devices.
If you want an ice fish finder that can scan down to 1600 feet in freshwater and 750 feet in saltwater, get Garmin Striker 4 with Portable Kit. It also features a dual-frequency and has an impressive LCD.
Get HawkEye Fishtrax 1C if you want a device with a battery that lasts for 30 hours! It also features three models, so you can choose whichever suits you best. Also, whatever model you choose, it will never disappoint you.
If you want a badass device that can find hidden fish, grab Humminbird 410970-1 ICE Helix 5 Fishfinder. It also works in extreme temperatures, so you can use it with confidence.