Best Ice Fishing Fish Finders in 2021: With Pros & Cons

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Ice fishing is a popular wintertime activity enjoyed by many. One way to enjoy a full ice fishing experience is to get yourself an ice fishing fish finder.

An ice fishing fish finder is a device that gives ice anglers accurate information about where the fish are present in a certain body of water. The benefit of such devices is that they greatly improve the chances of catching fish.

This article will help you find the best ice fishing fish finder for your next ice fishing trip this 2021.

Best Ice Fishing Finders in 2021

best ice fishing fish finders

Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder

With the Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder, you can get solid information about what is under the lake and get alerted to what lies beneath it.

The DownScan Images and Lowrance CHIRP Sonar work together to provide better target separation and contrast to reveal fish so you can concentrate on catching them.

Now, you can put an end to guesswork and frustration with the best fish finder for ice fishing. With this device, not only will you be able to identify the location of the fish, but you’ll also be able to see the fish as it lights up on the screen once detected.

It also provides high-detail lake maps with contour data for more than 4,000 US inland lakes. You can create custom contour maps with Genesis Live, allowing you to plot your favorite spots onscreen with greater detail.

Furthermore, the HOOK Reveal autotuning sonar works like a charm for better bottom imaging, increased sensitivity, and less clutter.

This feature automatically adjusts settings for the most comprehensive view of underwater terrain, with the clearest target separation.

The Lowrance Hook Reveal 7 Fish Finder is also easy to use so you can spend more time fishing and less time figuring it out. However, some users reported that it takes time to start up and find satellites.

Pros
  • DownScan Images and Lowrance CHIRP Sonar
  • Better target separation
  • Provides high-detail lake maps
  • Creates custom contour maps
  • HOOK Reveal autotuning sonar
Cons
  • Takes time to start up

Lowrance HOOK2 Fish Finder

The Lowrance HOOK2 series of ice fishing sonar gives you everything you need to track your location and mark your ice fishing spots.

With the use of high-resolution SolarMax display capability, you can be sure that whatever your fishing adventure is you’ll have the device you need to catch the big one.

This feature provides accurate displays, even in shallow depths, to mark key fishing areas for easy identification or target of fish enabling you to see everything under the water.

Moreover, the autotuning sonar automatically tunes to the clearest signal to detect fish and identify the best ice fishing spot, so more time is spent fishing and less time is spent adjusting settings.

This ice-fishing sonar also offers more scanning power than any other fish finder in its class.  It delivers unsurpassed CHIRP sonar coverage which gives you the advantage to scan for targets wider and deeper than ever before.

The Lowrance HOOK2 Fish Finder is available in 4-inch, 5-inch, 7-inch, 9-inch, and 12-inch screen sizes which makes it the best portable fish finder for ice fishing.

However, some stated that this ice fishing finder has low battery life so keep that in mind if you’re going to fish for an extended amount of time.

Pros
  • High-resolution SolarMax display
  • Autotuning sonar
  • Offers more scanning power
  • CHIRP sonar coverage
  • Available in many screen sizes
Cons
  • Low battery life

Humminbird HELIX 7 Fish Finder

The Humminbird HELIX 7 Fish Finder delivers all the ice fishing mapping details you need to locate fish in your area with an easy-to-use, interactive format developed for optimum simplicity and performance.

If you’re looking for a great fish finder for ice and boat, the Mega Side Imaging and Mega Down Imaging features of this device will give you an edge.

It provides the clearest underwater view allowing you to clearly distinguish structure, submerged objects, and fish of up to 125 feet on either side of your boat as well as 125 feet below your boat.

With these features, you can see everything below the ice and underneath your boat like never before which means no more guessing where the fish are hiding.

This device is powered by Humminbird’s proprietary Low Q CHIRP transducer and Dual Spectrum CHIRP.

It offers great performance and two ways to search namely the wide mode for maximum coverage and narrow mode for maximum detail.

With these two display and search modes, you can add or remove detail, account for water depth, temperature, and turbulence, and even watch lure presentations all at the push of a button.

Although the Humminbird HELIX 7 Fish Finder is a complete package that includes a transducer and mounting hardware, power cable, and gimbal mounting bracket, a lot of users pointed out that the transducer wire is too short.

Pros
  • Mega Side/Down Imaging
  • Detects up to 125 feet
  • Low Q CHIRP transducer
  • Dual Spectrum CHIRP
  • Wide and narrow search modes
Cons
  • Transducer wire is too short

Deeper PRO Smart Sonar

Designed for ice anglers of all skill levels, the DEEPER PRO is packed with features that help ice anglers save time, land more fish, and explore more lakes.

This is an advanced fish finder that can detect fish up to 330 feet away and scans down to 260 feet. The sonar displays the size, length, and direction of your catch with precise 2.5 cm separation.

It goes beyond standard sonar displays to tell you more about what’s lurking below and picks out everything from tiny fish to large predators with exceptional precision.

The GPS Mapping feature allows for instant sharing of all data such as your scans, maps, points of interest, photos, and notes with friends for detailed analysis onshore using the Fish Deeper app and web platform.

This feature also enables you to watch underwater objects in real-time, make marks on your map when they appear, and create bathymetric maps right in your boat.

The Deeper PRO Smart Sonar is a great addition to your boat or kayak accessories. It is an easy-to-use device that doesn’t require drilling, cables, and wiring.

Even so, others observed that the connection is not stable and often disconnects even under normal conditions.

Pros
  • Scans 330 feet away and 260 feet down
  • Precise 2.5 cm separation
  • GPS Mapping
  • Provides real-time data
  • Creates bathymetric maps
Cons
  • Connection is not stable

Garmin STRIKER Plus 5 Ice Fishing Finder

The Garmin STRIKER Plus 5 ice fishing fish finder is specially designed with a bright, high-resolution color display to make it easier to see the structure of the bottom of the ice.

This fish finder features a bright, sunlight-readable 5-inch screen display and built-in GPS that supplies depth, water temperature, and more. It also supports ClearVü scanning sonar for even more precise viewing.

Reveal waters that other sonar systems miss, thanks to its high wide Garmin CHIRP ice fishing transducer. It allows for a wide viewing angle for crisp, clear fish arches and excellent target separation.

Not only does it have ice fishing modes tailored for ice fishing enthusiasts, but it also has built-in Garmin Quickdraw Contours mapping software to let you create maps based on the area you’re fishing.

In addition, this feature allows you to store maps with 1’ contours for up to two million acres.

The only thing is that the Garmin STRIKER Plus 5 Ice Fishing Finder doesn’t include preloaded maps so you have to take the time to map out your location as you explore.

Pros
  • Bright sunlight-readable screen
  • Built-in GPS
  • Supports ClearVü scanning sonar
  • Quickdraw Contours mapping software
  • Stores maps
Cons
  • No preloaded maps

Garmin Striker 4 Ice Fishing Finder

The Garmin Striker 4 Ice Fishing Finder has what serious ice anglers need to outsmart the big one on the ice.

This ice-fishing sonar provides you with detailed bottom contour mapping and has improved depth reading in the lower range, improved sensitivity to objects under ice, and a more stable sight-reading.

It includes waypoint map creation and marking allowing you to easily navigate back to your favorite fishing spots to locate fish whether they’re underwater brush piles or docks where big fish likes to hang out.

Aside from that, it features a Chirp sonar that sends a continuous sweep of frequencies providing a wider range of information.

The Chirp sonar is able to create crisper fish arches with better target separation allowing for more effective targeting.

This device is a compact yet well-equipped fish finder. It offers a keyed interface with dedicated buttons for a simple operation. It is also easy to use and easy to install, which makes it a perfect entry-level fish finder.

The Garmin Striker 4 Ice Fishing Finder is available in 3.5-inch, 5- inch, and 7-inch display sizes enabling you to choose what suits best for your ice fishing needs.

However, some users found this product to work a little slower and tend to lag.

Pros
  • Waypoint map
  • Chirp sonar
  • Better target separation
  • Keyed interface with dedicated buttons
  • Available in many screen sizes
Cons
  • Tends to lag

How to Choose Fish Finders

how to choose fish finders

GPS and Mapping

GPS, or a global positioning system, is a satellite-based navigation technology that can pinpoint your exact location.

It’s an important feature to have on an ice fishing fish finder unit if you frequently fish in remote and unfamiliar places or if you are exploring new lakes and fishing spots as it can be difficult to pick out landmarks.

Furthermore, it not only makes it easier to find an exact location and return to it but also lets you store locations for easy access.

Aside from GPS, an ice fishing finder with contour mapping is a useful feature to look out for as well which shows depth in feet below the water.

It enables you to create, plot, or map out your location with greater detail allowing you to find the best ice fishing spots every time.

Ice fishing depth finders are more expensive than units with GPS, but they’re worth it if you need complete confidence when you’re on course.

Display

Second, you need a good contrast and high-resolution screen to have easy and clear access to the data, photos, and maps that you want to see and can withstand the rigors of ice fishing and freezing weather.

You should be able to view the screen in bright sunlight, dim-lit places, or with your gloves on, which is helpful if you’re trying to read it in any condition.

The higher the resolution, the more precise the information you get from the screen. Ice fishing locators with higher resolution come with a higher price tag but try not to skimp on this feature as it’s crucial when you’re trying to locate fish under the water.

In addition, take into consideration the display size of fish finders. This can vary greatly between models, but generally, a large screen will give you more detailed images.

Frequency

CHIRP sonar is now the leading edge of modern fish finder technology. Ice fishing fish finders with CHIRP sonar cost more but you should take advantage of this technological advancement if you’re a serious ice angler.

The main advantage of CHIRP sonar is that they transmit a longer pulse with varying frequency than traditional sonar which produces only a singular frequency.

It emits a wide range of frequencies in a pulse pattern and puts more energy into the water for a precise broadband frequency.

Each pulse pattern starts with a low frequency that is suitable when ice fishing on shallow areas.

Likewise, it modulates upward to a high frequency over the duration of the pulse which is advantageous in deeper regions.

This variation in frequencies provides higher accuracy and greater detail of the movement under the water regardless of the location and zone depth.

Final Words

A good fish finder is a necessary tool for anyone who enjoys ice fishing. With the use of such devices, you no longer need to rely on your naked eye or guesswork to know what’s happening at the bottom of the frozen lake.

These portable devices can tell you everything you need to know about the nearby underwater world so you can get a hold of the big one.

There are several factors to consider when looking for an ice fishing fish finder and with the options available right now, it can be overwhelming to choose.

I hope this article has provided all the necessary information to help you make a wise decision.

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