When the winter comes, freezes many bodies of water and seals the fish underneath the ice, it’s time for ice fishing. Once you reach your fishing spot, you need to drill a hole into the ice, and this is when the fish finder kicks in. With the best fish finder for ice fishing, you can locate where the fish are with ease, and here are the qualities you should look for.
Here are the best fish finders for ice fishing (Jan 2021 Update):
- Best Overall: ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER
- Best for Deep Water: Garmin Striker 4
- Best for Consistent Performance: Venterior VT-FF001
- Best for Carp: Deeper PRO+
- Lightweight: LUCKY FF718LiC
- Best for Beginners: HawkEye Fishtrax 1C
|6 Best Fish Finders for Ice Fishing|
Best for Deep Water
|Garmin Striker 4|
Best for Consistent Performance
Best for Carp
Best for Beginners
|HawkEye Fishtrax 1C|
Best Overall: ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER
- Know fish sizes - Patented sonar fish identifier technology
- Compact - 2 x 2 x 1 inches of dimension, 0.16 ounces of weight
- Long run time – 10+ hours
- Compatibility - Works with iPhone, iPod, or an Android phone 4.4 or higher
- Not work well with cloud cover
If you often go ice fishing, don’t miss the chance to try this device, it’s the best overall fish finder on this list. One of the best things about this product is its patented sonar fish identifier tech that tells you the size of the fish you catch through different light colors.
It has been complimented for working flawlessly, letting you see what the fish are doing beneath the ice, helping you figure out where to fish.
Besides, this fish finder offers high accuracy too, including depth, temperature, and bottom contour, helping you fish more effectively.
A plus point for ease of use and setup, making it the best for any angler that goes ice fishing. With 10 and more hours of run time, you can go fishing without worrying if the device will stop when you need it the most.
Another reason why this fish finder is good for anyone is that it works with both iOS and Android smartphones from as low as Android 4.4
|ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER Specifications|
2 x 2 x 1 inches
Patented sonar fish identifier technology
Works with iPhone, iPod, or an Android phone 4.4 or higher
All in all, the ReelSonar CGG-MY-IBOBBER is the best fish finder for the money, the full package of performance, quality, and portability.
Best for Deep Water: Garmin Striker 4
- Great depth range – 750 feet for saltwater and 1,600 feet for freshwater
- Easy view – waypoint map
- A wider range of information – CHIRP sonar
- Small screen
- Suction cups don’t stick very well
The Garmin Striker 4 offers a superior advantage for ice fishing in terms of depth range, up to 1,600 feet if you’re on freshwater.
Thanks to CHIRP sonar, its system has been claimed by users to work great deeper into the water, it even displays speed on the screen and marks the fish with clear images to enhance efficiency. The transducer works well as expected and particularly good for ice fishing.
Besides, the battery is quite strong as well, it can last all day long so you can fish on ice worry-free.
This product also receives positive reviews about its slick, portable overall package, you can literally bring it anywhere for your fishing trips. Plus, it’s easy to unpack and set up overall.
|Garmin Striker 4 Specifications|
3.6 x 1.6 x 5.9 inches
750 - 1,600 feet
The Garmin Striker 4 offers is a great product for the money and if you want to fish to a greater depth, don’t miss out on trying this one.
Best for Consistent Performance: Venterior VT-FF001
- Accuracy – sensitivity setting
- Convenience – neck strap
- Display not waterproof
The thing about this fish finder is its simplicity and affordable price, it lets you fish without distraction about what’s going on around the fishing location. It works consistently well and helps you fish throughout winter.
It also operates at high accuracy with a sensitivity setting that detects fish better. It even detects weeds, seaweed, and rocks.
The device comes with a neck strap so you can wear it instead of holding it in your hand all the time, offering enhanced convenience. The product is easy to use as well.
|Venterior VT-FF001 Specifications|
9.6 x 2.2 x 5.9 inches
If you are looking for a simple, cheap, efficient fish finder with consistent performance, this is a must-try.
Best for Carp: Deeper PRO+
- Data processing power - Computing on the phone
- Strong connectivity – Uses Wi-Fi
- Should be used with heavy cord
This product works just as it’s advertised. The sonar locates fish even in shallow water and the graph is easy to read too, allowing you to see much more than your naked eyes, including types of weeds, fish, the bottom type, thermoclines, etc.
It’s particularly effective for catching carp, showing different colors on the display so you can tell the fish from weeds. The fish finder helps you check the holes quickly and record locations automatically.
Its connection is strong and stable also. Even when you move around regularly, the device manages to maintain connected to your phone/tablet.
The biggest advantage of the Deeper PRO+ is that all computing takes place on your phone, meaning more processing power for data. Its accompanying app is also neat, easy to use, and offers many features as well.
|Deeper PRO+ Specifications|
3 x 5.3 x 5.9 inches
Computing on the phone
The Deeper PRO+ offers a competitive advantage for carp fishing with its great map and graph, data processing power, and solid connectivity.
Lightweight: LUCKY FF718LiC
- Lightweight – 6.7 ounces
- Flexible viewing – 3 color tones on display: blue, red, gray
- Not good for shallow water
- Not able to spot fish around cover like bass
The LUCKY FF718LiC will be one of the most lightweight fish finders you ever find on the market with a weight of only 6.7 ounces. But that doesn’t mean compromising the performance if that’s what you’re thinking.
On the wireless mode, this device maps out the bottom with high accuracy, helping you catch easily even when there are few fish there. It also lets you know water temperature, depth info, and if the fish are on the upper water columns or the bottom.
In addition, with its portable display, you don’t have to use your phone, saving the phone battery for other jobs. There are 3 color tones to choose from so you can view the information the way you like.
The product is also positively reviewed for ease of use.
|LUCKY FF718LiC Specifications|
4.9 x 2.8 x 1.2 inches
3 color tones on display: blue, red, gray
For those who want a portable fish finder that’s lightweight and easy to carry around, this is your perfect fit.
Best for Beginners: HawkEye Fishtrax 1C
- Simple navigation on the screen - VirtuView ICON Display
- Long cord – 35 feet
- Not show the fish size
The reason why we recommend this fish finder for beginners is its ease of use and affordability. If you just start to try fishing and are afraid of making a big investment, try this one.
The HawkEye Fishtrax 1C is the easiest to use ever. Navigation on the display is simple, the menu and scroll are easy to see, the screen comes at a reasonable size for viewing.
It’s also easy to set up with comprehensive instructions for first-time fishers.
This device is accurate, showing the depth of a school of fish for you with great reliability. And it comes with a long cord so you can throw the sonar as far as you can.
|HawkEye Fishtrax 1C Specifications|
6 x 3 x 2 inches
VirtuView ICON Display
Cord 35 feet long
Overall, the HawkEye Fishtrax 1C would make an amazing companion for beginners in fishing. If you are considering starting this as a new hobby but still hesitate, this is a go-to device.
How To Choose The Best Fish Finder for Ice Fishing?
The transducer frequency determines how deep the sonar signal can penetrate to gather information or how much detail you collect. It’s best to get a fish finder with flexible frequency, but if you have a limited budget, here’s what you should consider.
Lower frequencies: better for depth
Higher frequencies: better to detail
Another factor to take into account is the dimensions and weight of the fish finder as you have to travel over long distances and carry the equipment. So, when shopping for a fish finder, it’s recommended that you choose one that’s lightweight enough and not bulky.
Cone size, or sonar angle, plays an important role in your ice fishing. With a wider cone, you will be able to see more detail of what’s beneath and around you under the ice.
Which Brands Make The Best Fish Finder for Ice Fishing?
ReelSonar’s fish finders have received a lot of positive reviews from customers for its accuracy and overall performance. The reason for that is its focus on evolving technology for its products so you will have the best experience fishing on the ice.
Founded 30 years ago, this brand takes pride in making the best outdoor tools, aiming at addressing users’ needs. Here, you will find a perfect fit among various models of fish finders.
The one feature that makes Deeper stand out from competitors is its advantage in making smart tools. With nearly a decade of experience, it offers you fish finders with advanced technology to help you fish more efficiently.
Since its foundation in 1999, this brand has been specialized in making fishing products, especially sonar fish finders. It has a wide range of options for you to select, meeting any requirement you have.
This brand is well-known for its durability and great performance. Its 20-year experience in the industry ensures the best fish finders for you.
What are the differences between regular and ice fish finders?
While ice fish finders come with additional protection from the cold, regular fishfinders don’t.
Besides, an ice fish finder has an LCD display that works better and maintains a good resolution in sub-zero temperatures. Its transducer features insulation as well as additional seals to protect the gear against the cold.
Can you use a regular fish finder for ice fishing?
Yes, you can. Most modern fish finders can be used for ice fishing too. But you need a power supply along with leveling the transducer in an ice hole.
How do ice fishing fish finders work?
There are two ways the ice fish finders see what’s beneath you: flasher units and 2D sonar.
The flasher uses a rotating wheel to display the bottom as well as other targets in a series of lights in the spinning wheel. This means the bottom and targets are shown in real-time. Meanwhile, a 2D sonar fish finder displays the information on an LCD screen to indicate what you have passed over.
Is there any disadvantage of using fish finders for ice fishing?
High purchase cost
May take a long time to master the tool
Not able to handle greater depth, depending on models
Image quality reduces at greater depth
Are fish finders waterproof?
They are not likely 100% waterproof, but fish finders are water-resistant, meaning you can submerge the equipment in the water for a certain amount of time.
With this detailed guide, we hope that you have got all the information you need to choose the best fish finder for ice fishing. If you need further detail or help with other products, don’t hesitate to come back here for more useful guides.