Best fishing products

A few tips for using your fish finder when ice fishing

Are you feeling a bit puzzled as to how you can get the most of your fish finder while you’re doing your ice fishing? If that’s the case, we recommend having a look at the following tips and tricks as they address several critical factors that should be considered when you’re on the ice.

Learn to read a flasher fish finder

If the model you own is a flasher, you need to learn the basics of understanding the things that are displayed on the flasher screen. In most cases, such units will offer you good information with regard to the depth of the readings as well as the bottom. The circle represents the distance between the top of the water and the bottom of the water. The column makes it possible for the user to look at his or her lure come down the column using a green color marking. Once the lure has reached a certain depth, it’s likely that it’s observed by a fish. If the target is interested in your lure, it will be displayed as a line that will come close to the bait until it becomes a thicker green line. Once the fish and the lure become a single line, all you have to do is pull them up. An LCD flasher mode also exists in several classic fish finders that you’d typically use during the summer. Humminbird and Garmin sell several models that are worth their weight in gold simply because there’s no limitation as to what season you can use them in.

Choose the best of both worlds

If you still haven’t bought a fish finder and are considering selecting a flasher or a 2D sonar, perhaps it’s important to point out that the second are highly recommended. These are the only units that can allow you to visualize a graph of what is going on under the ice. The capabilities of a 2D sonar are close to infinite as you’ll be able to utilize the same device under many circumstances. You’ll also have the freedom to select the right sonar angle depending on what you have in mind and the amount of detail you may need.

Take advantage of a 2D sonar

Another tip we can give you is that you should try to compare the two images that the device can show you at the same time. You can see both the flasher mode and the 2D mode on the same screen, thus getting a better picture of what’s happening beneath you. If you have no intention getting a hefty model that weighs too many pounds and makes it difficult for you to use it both in the summertime, perhaps you’d benefit from using a model such as Fish Hunter. When used in ice fishing mode, this type of fish finder can allow you to look both at the graph and at the actual visual representation of the environment underneath the ice.

 

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Useful info

A few tips for using a fish finder in your kayak

If you’re a first-time user, you’re probably asking yourself how you can take advantage of all the features and benefits offered by a fish finder while doing your fishing in your kayak. There are several methods of installing a transducer on a kayak, and believe it or not, all of these are often times easier when compared to setting up the device on a regular boat. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that can take your kayak fish finding experience to a whole new level.

Mount

There are three types of ways you can install a transducer on your kayak. You can either mount it in the hull, through the scupper hole, on the back near the rudder or use a suction cup transducer. Of all these methods, the most convenient one seems to be the last one in spite of the fact that it’s less cost-efficient as you’ll probably have to purchase the suction cup separately. However, getting a portable kit is advantageous for many reasons, and one of the most important ones seems to be that you can unmount the transducer at any time.

Stick with smaller screens

It goes without saying that you don’t have a lot of room in your kayak, so it might be worth noting that getting a too large fish finder can be counterproductive. We’re mostly referring to the display. Using a fish finder with the screen the size of a tablet is not a good idea. On the one hand, you’ll have to protect the screen somehow because chances are that it’s not waterproof.

Unless you have an unbeatable cover, stay away from fish finding apps

Products such as Fish Hunter or Deeper have become very popular over the years and that’s due to the fact that they’re less expensive compared to their traditional counterparts. However, in most cases, these include just the transducer and an app that you can use with your smartphone or mobile device of your choice. While such an option is beneficial to use when fishing on an actual boat, it might be less suited for kayak fishermen because water tends to get all over the place. As such, you’ll either have to buy a transparent and water-resistant cover so that you can protect your cell phone or tablet or just risk damaging the device. No cover, regardless of how efficient it seems to be, is absolutely impervious to water, and saltwater, even more so.

Pick an easy-to-use fish finder

On the same note, it’s important to emphasize that some people find it hard to understand the information that is being displayed on the screen of a fish finder when they’re trying to do their kayak fishing. There are several portable models that make it very easy to see what’s under your boat and that’s due to the fact that they don’t rely on the arch design that most fish finders use. They actually depict targets as tiny fish.

 

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Best fishing products

Our review on FishHunter PRO

1.1 FishHunter PRO

 

The good

Thanks to its powerful Wi-Fi capabilities it is able to detect and transmit signals faster and at a farther distance than fishfinders with Bluetooth technology.

It comes with a wireless design that allows you to use it on almost any fishing trip, and this also makes it easy to carry and take it around.

The PRO from FishHunter can transmit high resolution images that allow you to clearly see bottom contours, along with any prey that is swimming in the area.

You will appreciate the long lasting battery that can hold a charge for up to 10 hours, especially on all day fishing trips.

 

The bad

A few consumers have noted that problems with connectivity can occur. This usually only happens when you are casting in several locations and the range will improve once you have decided on one spot.

The reviews do state that this fishfinder can be attached to your pole, but due to its heavier weight this generally only recommended if you are using a deep sea or surf casting rod.

 

 

The verdict

It is easy to see why this is often considered the best portable sonar fish finder. It comes with Wi-Fi capabilities that are advertised as being up to 4 times faster than models that use Bluetooth technology so you don’t have to worry about missing  fast moving prey. It also has a range over 150 feet which allows you to search for fish farther away from the boat or shore.

1.2 FishHunter PRO

One of the biggest advantages of the PRO is its wireless design. Not only does this make the fishfinder easily portable, it also allows you to use it in a variety of scenarios. It can be tied to your rod for boat or shore fishing, and it is also able to accurately detect underwater objects at trolling speeds up to 2.5 mph. With depth capabilities down to 150 feet and jig tracking abilities to 100 feet you can even use the PRO for ice fishing.

 

The PRO uses three sonar frequencies to accurately detect fish and bottom structures and will display the data on your smartphone. You can choose to see the data in “raw view” which allows you to interpret the information in real time. Beginners and experienced anglers will appreciate the “fish view” function that simplifies the data so you know at a glance where weeds and underwater structures are, along with any fish in the area. When you are ice fishing you can also take advantage of the unique flasher that allows you to keep any eye on your jig, and it will even display depth and water temperature.

 

You will also appreciate the long lasting lithium polymer battery that is capable of holding a charge for up to ten hours. This ensures that this fishfinder will be able to last, even through an all day fishing trip. With the Pro from FishHunter even a novice angler will be able to come home with something to brag about.

 

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Best fishing products

Our review on Signstek FF-002

1.1 Signstek FF-002

 

The good

According to the best portable fishfinder reviews the FF-002 is designed to be easy to use so you can concentrate on your line.

The round sensor is capable of providing you with accurate depth readings down to 120 feet, along with temperature readings.

You will appreciate how easy the display is to read in low or bright light, and the clearly marked controls make it a breeze to operate.

The transducer comes with a long lasting rechargeable battery and the ones in the receiver are also easy to replace, even when you are out on the water.

 

The bad

A consumer has mentioned that the transducer will occasionally stop transmitting data back to the receiver, and needs to be recast before it functions properly again. While this can be frustrating, this issue is often due to a low battery charge and is rarely a problem with the design or construction of the unit.

 

 

The verdict

If you are a novice or even an experienced angler and are looking for a fishfinder that is accurate and easy to use, you might one to take a look at the FF-002 from Signstek. Its wireless design makes it easy to carry and pack with the rest of your gear, and the clearly labeled controls ensure that you can quickly navigate through the menu. The round, orange transducer ties easily onto your rod and will transmit the sonar data back to the handheld receiver. This versatile design allows you to use this fishfinder when you are casting from the shore or off of a boat.

1.2 Signstek FF-002

There are 10 settings for sensitivity and several ranges for depth so you can locate fish in deep or shallow water. With depth capabilities ranging from 2 feet down to 120 feet you will be able to go after a variety of fish. You will also appreciate being able to view the contours on the bottom, along with receiving accurate temperature readings. All of the information is clearly displayed on the small receiver.

 

You will be able to clearly see the sonar readings on the receiver in almost any lighting. The backlit LED screen displays the data in a format that is easy to see and understand. Bottom contours and underwater obstacles are clearly shown, along with any fish that are swimming in the area. With four grayscale levels you don’t have to worry about not being able to see important information that could determine the success of your trip. You can even zoom in manually or take advantage of the automatic bottom tracking function when something appears that you want to take a closer look at.

 

Everything you need to use this fishfinder right out of the box is included, though you do need to purchase 4 AAA batteries for the receiver. The transducer comes with a rechargeable battery that is designed to last for a full day on the water. The convenient neck strap allows you to keep your hands free for your rod, and you will also appreciate the easy to read owner’s manual that will walk you through the simple setup steps.

 

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Best fishing products

Our review on Humminbird Fishin’ Buddy MAX

1.1 Humminbird 410050-1

 

The good

With dual beam sonar and impressive depth capabilities you will never have to guess what is swimming underneath your boat.

If you have been looking for a durable fish finder that is designed for use with boats, the Fishin’ Buddy MAX might be just what you need.

One of the main advantages of this fish finder is its hands free design, which is always an advantage when you are trying to reel in a large catch.

The small display is incredibly easy to read, even in bright sunlight.

 

The bad

It has been mentioned in reviews that the lack of a handle can make it difficult to mount and remove the fish finder. While this would make it easier, it should be noted that this unit is designed to fit on several styles of boats and a handle could limit where the fish finder can be placed.

 

 

The verdict

If you are looking for a fish finder that is designed mainly for use on boats then the Fishin’ Buddy MAX could be the perfect choice for you. It comes with a portable clamp that easily and securely attaches the transducer to the side of the boat so you don’t have to worry about losing it at high rates of speed or in rough water. The transducer also comes with dual beam sonar and a depth capacity of 600 feet.

1.2 Humminbird 410050-1

The dual beam sonar allows you to see the contours on the bottom, along with any structures and obstacles that might get in your way. Certain species of fish also like to hide in underwater debris and with the ability to detect targets down to 600 feet very little will escape the sonar. When you want to zoom in on a potential target or use the transducer is shallow water simply switch the frequency of the beam.

 

The sonar will instantly transmit the images to the 3.5 inch color display that is easy to read in low or bright lighting. The screen will display the contours on the bottom, along with depth, water temperature and any fish that are detected swimming nearby. With this fish finder from Humminbird it is easy to find the best places to get a bite on your line.

 

You will also appreciate the “hands free” design of this fish finder, especially when you need to concentrate on your line. The receiver can be mounted on top of the long transducer pole so you can still see the sonar images without having to take your hands off of your fishing rod. This fish finder will never be responsible for letting “the big one” get away. Everything you need is included with the Fishin’ Buddy MAX, except 8 AA batteries. It is designed to be easily portable, and its clamp style mount allows you to use it almost anywhere. Accurate and easy to operate, even experienced anglers will enjoy the accuracy and convenience you get with this fish finder from Humminbird.

 

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Best fishing products

Our review on Humminbird PiranhaMax

1.1 Humminbird 409680-1

 

The good

You will appreciate how easy this fish finder is to use, especially when you are trying to concentrate on your line.

The dual beam sonar is capable of detecting fish and underwater objects in deep water and can also zoom in for improved clarity.

The PiranhaMax comes with several convenient features that help ensure every fishing trip is something to brag about.

This fish finder from Humminbird comes with everything you need to use it right out of the box.

 

The bad

Most of the reviews are positive with the exception of some consumers noting that this fish finder is not the best choice for use with a kayak. Not only is it too heavy at 10 pounds, the one foot power cable is also too short.

 

 

The verdict

As the best portable fish finder from Humminbird you expect the PiranhaMax to be easy to use and accurate, and it does not disappoint. There are only four buttons on the receiver so you can easily access the menu and select the settings that are right for your trip. The color display is incredibly easy to read, even in bright sunlight. You will be able to clearly identify target and bait fish, along with view the bottom contours and any underwater structures. This way you know the best place to cast without having to worry about snagging your line on the bottom.

1.2 Humminbird 409680-1

You will appreciate the dual sonar beam that can detect fish in deep water, and with Down imaging capabilities you can easily see exactly what you are casting for. The simple interface makes it easy to switch between a wide or narrow sonar beam, and the high resolution display ensures that the images are crystal clear.

 

Even though this portable fish finder is priced affordably, it still comes with most of the features that you expect from Humminbird. With the “Fish ID+” function you can easily identify different types of fish and decide whether or not it is worth casting for. The depth alarm will let you know when you have reached the maximum limit, and even experienced anglers appreciate being alerted when a fish is detected. This allows you to take a break and move around when nothing is biting without worrying about missing a potential target. You will also love how easy it is to zoom in on a potential target, simply tap the button on the receiver.
Since everything you need is included, with the exception of an inexpensive 9 volt battery you can start using this fish finder right out of the box. There is a convenient case that makes carrying the receiver and transponder a breeze, and it can even be used as a protective mount for the display. While this unit is resistant to water is still recommended that you keep it covered as much as possible. There is also a suction cup mount for the transducer, along with a short power cord

 

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Best fishing products

Our review on Lowrance Mark-5x

1.1 Lowrance 000-10234-001

 

The good

This fish finder from Lowrance comes with dual beam sonar, along with DownScan imaging capabilities so you know exactly what is underneath the boat.

Everything you need to get started comes with the Mark-5x including a convenient suction cup mount for the transducer.

You will appreciate the large 5 inch screen, along with the clearly marked controls that make it easy to navigate through the menu.

It’s easy to use design makes this fish finder a great choice for beginners or experienced anglers who want to be able to concentrate on their line and not on the device.

 

The bad

It has been noted that this fish finder can withstand brief exposure to water, but it is not designed for use in the rain or other wet conditions. While this does not affect its performance, as long as it stays dry, it is something to consider.

 

 

The verdict

With a dual beam sonar that is capable of detecting fish at depths down to 200 feet and DownScan imaging there is very little the Mark-5x can’t sense in the water. It can even detect underwater objects at boat speeds up to 50 mph, though it is really only accurate around 8 mph or less. When you are in deeper water the sonar can be set to 455 kHz and easily switched to 800 kHz when you want to get a closer view of a potential target.

1.2 Lowrance 000-10234-001

The sonar images are transmitted to the 5 inch display on the receiver. The images are set to be easy to interpret so even first time users know exactly what they are looking at. Easily tell the difference between bait and game fish, and have a clear picture of the bottom. With the Mark-5x you will always know what you are casting for. The LED screen can also be adjusted for easy viewing in direct sunlight, and the keys are backlit so you can even use it in the dark.

 

Everything you need is included with this fish finder, including a convenient suction cup mount. This allows you to mount the transducer on the side of the boat quickly and easily. There is also a convenient carrying case that makes storage a breeze. The case can also be used to hold the receiver so you can still see the display and keep both hands on your rod. There is also a battery and convenient charger included so you can get started right out of the box.

 

There is very little not to like about this fish finder from Lowrance, especially if you are new to the sport. The backlit buttons are clearly marked so you can easily navigate through the menu and select the settings that best suit where you are fishing. The crisp sonar images are displayed in “photo style” so beginners know exactly what they are looking at. This is a feature even experienced anglers appreciate since it allows them to concentrate on their line and not on the display.

 

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Best fishing products

Our review on Lowrance Elite-4

1.3 Lowrance 000-11821-001

 

The good

With CHIRP sonar and downscan capabilities you will be able to easily identify game and bait fish in deep and shallow water.

One of the reasons this is considered the best Lowrance portable fish finder is the color display that can be divided into three screens for optimal viewing.

The GPS capabilities ensures that you never get lost on the water, and the SD card slot is compatible with most map cards so you can easily navigate on unfamiliar lakes and rivers.

You will also appreciate how easy the menu is to navigate, especially when you are trying to concentrate on your line.

 

The bad

Some consumers have mentioned that the transducer can make a loud “clicking” noise which often startles any nearby fish away. In most cases this is due to a loose connection and not a problem with the unit’s performance abilities.

 

 

The verdict

If you are looking for a fish finder that works great in deep water, the Elite-4 from Lowrance might be the perfect unit for you. The dual beam sonar can detect targets in deep or shallow water, and the transducer can be used for ice fishing or trolling behind the boat. You also have the advantage of the CHIRP sonar which makes it easy for you to identify bait and game fish, along with the DownScan imaging so you have an accurate idea of what is underneath your boat.

1.1 Lowrance 000-11821-001

The 4.3 inch LED color display is backlit for easy viewing in bright sunlight. The color display can be easily split into three screens so you can see the chart, DownScan imaging and CHIRP sonar readings at the same time. With all of the information you need at your fingertips you will always know the best place to toss in your line. The display is also designed to be easy to operate, and the clearly marked buttons make it simple to navigate through the various settings.

 

What really sets this fish finder apart is its GPS capabilities. The 16 channel internal antenna is designed for accuracy so you always know where you are going, even on unfamiliar waters. You also have the option of adding an external antenna for a small fee. There is a waterproof slot for SD micro cards, and it is compatible with most popular map cards. The Elite-4 also comes with built in memory capabilities so you can store routes and waypoints you find along the way. No matter where you are fishing in North America the Elite-4 can help make it a successful trip.

 

There is a convenient case that makes it easy to take this fish finder with you, and it also helps to protect the receiver from water damage. There are zippered and mesh pockets on the side, along with two trays that are perfect for storing extra bait and lures. Versatile and easy to use, this fish finder from Lowrance might be just what you need for your next trip.

 

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Best fishing products

Our review on Hawkeye F33P

 

1.1 HawkEye Portable Fish Finder

The good

With its versatile design you can use this fish finder in a variety of scenarios, and you will appreciate how easy it is to operate.

The compact receiver is designed to fit comfortably in your hand, and it comes with a liquid crystal icon display that is easy to read in most lighting.

You will appreciate its accuracy, along with its ability to detect fish in deep and shallow water.

All of the functions you need to have a successful fishing trip are included on the F33P from Hawkeye.

 

The bad

There are very few complaints about this fish finder, though one consumer did mention that the connecting cable can come loose in rough water. While this will affect the performance of the unit if the receiver is not connected to the transducer, this generally only happens in extremely rough water when it might not even be safe to be out fishing.

 

 

The verdict

One of the main advantages of this fish finder is its versatile design. You can choose to mount it on a boat or kayak, or simply toss the floating transducer into the water from the shore or off a pier. It is also that easy to use, after turning it on. The receiver comes with controls that are clearly marked so you can easily navigate through the menu and select the settings you need. As an added bonus this portable fish finder also comes with a convenient guide that will walk you through the simple setup steps.

 

The small receiver fits comfortably in your hand, and you will appreciate the easy to read display. It’s compact size also makes it easy to carry, and it can even be stored in your pocket or with the rest of your gear. The liquid crystal display ensures that all of the sonar images are crisp and clear so you know exactly where to place your next cast. The screen is also polarized to prevent any annoying glare that can make it difficult to read in bright sunlight.

 

With the ability to detect targets in deep and shallow water you can easily go after a wide variety of fish, and since it updates the depth readings 4 times per second you don’t have to worry about missing anything. It is accurate to the closest 1/10 of a foot, and is able to detect targets in depths ranging from 1 ½ feet down to 99.9 feet. This makes it easy for you to find larger game fish that are worth bragging.

 

All of the functions that you need to have a successful trip are included with this fish finder from Hawkeye. The sonar will transmit images of the bottom structure and contours, along with any fish swimming in the area. Beginners and experienced anglers will appreciate the “fish id” so they can easily distinguish between bait and game targets. The F33P will even display and mark the height of any weeds that might tangle your line when you are reeling in a fish.

 

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Best fishing products

Our review on Hawkeye FT1PX

 

1.2 HawkEye FT1PX FishTrax Portable Dot Matrix Fish Finder

The good

It comes with a versatile design, and is also easy to use so you can concentrate on fishing.

The display uses a dot matrix that ensures you can clearly see the sonar images in low or bright lighting.

The dual frequency sonar ensures that you can detect fish in deep and shallow water, and it also allows you to track on the bottom.

You will appreciate the included features that still allow this unit to come at an affordable price.

 

The bad

The only real downside to this fish finder from Hawkeye is that it doesn’t not come with a flasher for ice fishing. One can be ordered at an additional cost, but if you frequently fish in colder climates this is a factor that should be considered.

 

 

The verdict

While this may look like a basic fish finder, Hawkeye ensures that the FT1PX comes with all of the functions you need to have a successful fishing trip. One of the first aspects you’ll notice is its versatile design that allows you to mount it on a boat or kayak. It is also designed to be portable so you can use it from shore or anywhere else you like to fish.

1.3 HawkEye FT1PX FishTrax Portable Dot Matrix Fish Finder

Hawkeye also understands that you want to concentrate on casting, and not on operating the fish finder. That is why the FT1PX is designed to be easy for even beginners to operate. The handheld display comes with buttons clearly marked so you can easily navigate through the simple menu. The bright display is also designed to be easy to read in almost any light, and since it uses a dot matrix you will be able to clearly make out the sonar images. See the contours on the bottom, along with any holes or underwater structures where some fish like to hide. The small screen will also display any fish detected by the dual frequency sonar.

 

With two frequencies you can scan deep and shallow water for a variety of targets. It can also be adjusted for sensitivity so you can detect more fish in the sonar beam. The more fish that are detected the better your chances are of landing one worth bragging about. There is also a function that allows you to track potential targets along the bottom. The other advantage of the dual sonar frequencies is that you can easily set the fish finder to meet the needs of your environment.

 

To ensure you catch something when you are out the FT1PX also comes with several helpful and convenient functions. You can remove surface clutter from the display that can be confusing to see, and adjust the scroll speed and depth range. The contours and composition of the bottom are also displayed so you can locate holes where some species of fish like to hide. Knowing the contours of the bottom will also help you know where to place your next cast. Lightweight enough to mount on a kayak or comfortably hold in your hand and easy to use, you might want to consider taking the FT1PX with you on your next fishing trip.

 

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