Ice Fish Finder

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irishfish's picture
Joined: 1/14/11
Ice Fish Finder

Was wondering if you use an fish finder when you are out on the ice? Do you think it helps? Of course you can't make them bite but you can find them. Was wondering what type of finder you have. Would really like to get one for this season but at the same time, money is tight.

What's finder do you find works the best?

twitch's picture
Joined: 12/28/10

I seem to be able to have descent success catching walleyes without using one during the winter but have seen them make a huge difference when chasing panfish... perch, bluegills, and crappies...I have still been thinking of making the investment myself but have also been toying with which kind of unit to purchase...sorry I couldn't be more help


Frosty....'s picture
Joined: 6/9/07

1) Yes I do.

2) It helps immensely.  As you stated, helps in locating fish, after that you will know if they are active or not.  Know use in waisting time on fish that won't bite.  Will show you suspended fish that otherwise you would never know were down there.  I won't leave home with out it.

3)  I have a marcum lx3.  I have been quite happy with it from day one and have no complaints about it.  Hopefully other people will chime in with different units and experiences for you.


Ice fishermen are simple creatures, they just need a hole and their pole


pness03's picture
Joined: 10/30/05

Helps greatly, when tryin to find a spot i will drill a hole, if i mark fish were good to go, if not im gonna move.    Last year on lake of the woods we got to our shack put the vexilars in and the walleye/saugers were 8-10 feet off the bottom, if we didint have a finder, we would have been sittin there with our thumb up our ass all day with our lure on the bottom of the lake


TrophyTaker's picture
Joined: 9/21/11

I also will not leave home with out my vexlair.
Most times when locating a new spot i'll just have a bottle of water too and pour it on the ice and use my deucer to shoot through the ice w out drilling. Works great to find your drop offs without drilling, helps to have less snow and clear (somewhat) ice tho. Even a simple FL-8 vexlair used would be the way i would go off bisman or craigslist. just my .02

jmdinco's picture
Joined: 9/28/11

I use a Vexilar FL-8 Genz Pack & love it.  I've had it for about 8 years with no issues.  I think you can pick up used ones for pretty cheap.  There are better ones out there, but they'll cost more, and the FL-8 works just fine for me & my kids.

Once you learn to read those flasher units (which isn't hard), you'll start to feel like they're almost as necessary to have as an auger.  Besides giving water & fish depth, you can tell what kind of mood the fish are in based on how they respond to your presentation.

My ice fishing partner last year had a Showdown unit that he liked a lot.  Different presentation, but similar data.  I prefer Vexilar's tri-color system over the grey scale that his Showdown used, but to each his own.

- jmd

normp70's picture
Joined: 8/31/05

 wont leave home w/o it. i have an fl-8. Once you really learn your unit you really get precise with it. 


KillJoy's picture
Joined: 9/10/09

I'd never fish without one......ever. Not say'n you cant catch fish w/o one but its a whole new world down there when you have a sonar. I use a Vexilar fl 8. Old School. But all the ones out there are going to do the trick. I'd get one.


holmsvc's picture
Joined: 4/14/03

I have a Marcum LX5 and wouldn't go fishing without it.  If you are looking for an affordable flasher I would look at the Marcum LX1.  The LX1 comes with a 5 ft bottom zoom.  If you mostly fish for walleyes and perch I think the zoom is a huge help.

simmsjs's picture
Joined: 1/8/04

 I will not fish without a fish finder. Like someone said, it is a whole new world below the ice. I run 522c lowrance on my boat. I bought the ice kit for it and use it for ice fishing. It works awesome. If you have a boat and have a depth finder on it, look into an ice kit. This is the most inexpensive way to have an icefishing fish finder. 


sdwxman's picture
Joined: 4/6/07

I have an Lowrance X67C ice machine for sale. 

This might be what you are looking for. Make me an offer if you are interested.

I am going to use my HDS 5 now with an ice pack. I just bought this unit from Cabelas:

Its pretty damn slick. Bring on the hardwater!

johnr's picture
Joined: 2/18/04

 I use a Vexilar FL18 HD pro pack flasher, and have for the last 2 yrs. Love it, just like stated, you are only guessing with out using one.
Would drive back home once getting to my spot to pick it up if I forgot it. As important as bait..


gillgetter.'s picture
Joined: 3/16/09

I run a showdown and I wont leave home without it. Any sonar is better than no sonar and will make you fish better.

"Catch em cut em up and eat em" Quote from a 3yr old fisherman.

WILDEYES's picture
Joined: 8/6/07

one thing about having a finder is you will sit there all day staring at it . I have a 67c ice pack good unit does the job IT WONT BE LONG NOW 1ST ICE AAHH :O 

Captain Ahab's picture
Captain Ahab
Joined: 12/1/08

I left mine at the hotel room one time up at LOW and I paid my buddy's wife to use her sonar.  He was trying to get her to hold out for more, but she took the bait for $10 or $20.  Fishing without one really stinks.  I run an FL-18 i bought back in 2000.  This will be my 11th season with it and it has taken a beating and kept on tickin'.  Whatever you choose will be better than fishing "blind".  If money was no object that Marcum LX 7 looks like an amazing unit and I have always been a Vexilar guy.

"Diligence is the mother of good luck."

"The constitution only gives people the right to pursue hapiness.  You have to catch it yourself."

"Well done is better than well said."

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

All by:  Benjamin Franklin.

"The solution to any problem - work, love, money, whatever - is to go fishing, and the bigger the problem, the longer the trip should be."

Author: John Gierach