How to Use a ice Fish Finder

How to Use a ice Fish Finder: For Ice Fishing

A fish finder is an essential device to find fish under the water used by the boatmen. Naturally, Fish finders work with the technology of the SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging) system. A fish finder is indeed a significant device for those interested in fishing as a leisure activity. If you have the right tool, i.e., the suitable Fish Finder with you to help, you will be able to perform your work quite quickly.

To help you with fish finding, we are going to provide you with some useful information regarding the features of a fish finder and when to use them. We will also write about different types of Fish Finder so that you can know which one to choose for specific fish finding tasks.

Types of Fish Finder

There are three types of fish finders that work in ice fishing, and these are as follows:

  • Flashers
  • Traditional Fish Finders
  • Portable Fish Finders
  • First tab

  • second tab

  • third tab


Flashers are elementary sonar-based portable devices. At first glance, flashes may seem a tad confusing, with simple readout dials that change color depending on its finding. Most flashers will let you know the depth of the water if any fish are passing underneath where your bait is. However, interpreting this information depends on the required familiarity with the tool and its usage.

What is a fish finder, and How Does it Work

A fish finder is an essential device used by boatmen to find fish under the water. Fish finders work depending on the technology of the SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging) system. A fish finder is a significant device for fishing, for those looking forward to fishing as a leisure activity.

A fish finder displays the location of a fish in a digital screen of an LCD or a CRT type. The technology of the fish-finder was first applied in the 90s and has been upgraded continuously since today. Nowadays, Fish finders’ technology is getting developed, including even systems like GPS, electronic compasses, and radar. It makes the device even more reliable than ever before.

How do you read the sonar chart when ice fishing?

To use a regular fish finder for ice fishing is not very different from a boat. Have a necessary grip on how a sonar image is created, getting the utmost from the device. The information on a fish finder is a continuously scrolling image of the bottom and represents a snapshot as the sonar sends out sound waves.

The scrolling image provides a history of what has happened a second ago. You can regulate the speed of the scroll to get a faster update of what is happening below the ice. Since the bottom is almost always the same in one spot, any change on the screen is visible. You can also see your jig on the sonar how fish respond to it.

Ice Fishing with Traditional Boat Fish Finder

If you have a boat with a finder, you can use the fish finder for ice fishing as well. First, remove the transducer, cable, and fish finding unit from the boat. Next, you have to create some rig to place the transducer level while it’s in the ice hole. There are a few conditions here; a custom made mount is perhaps the best option.

You have to overcome a couple of additional challenges as well; for example, how you will power the fish finder, you need to create a 2nd dedicated ice hole just for the transducer. Besides, depending on the integrity of your boat, it may be a difficult task to remove or add a fish finder.

It may mightbe a significant mistake to rectify if something gets damaged. For these reasons, boat fish finders are our least favorite option to consider out on the ice. However, if you get a less used boat fish finder, it could be an excellent option.

Ice Fishing with a Portable Fish Finder

Portable fish finders provide numerous advantages over boat fish finders when it changes to ice fishing. Here, you will need to drill a second dedicated ice hole to the place of the viewfinder. However, the rest is relatively straightforward. Usually, attach the portable fish finder to a line or rod, adjust it to your phone or tablet, and finally place it in the ice hole.

Once you have done these, you will receive information back of what’s occurring beneath the ice. There are a couple of things to do for not losing or damaging the portable fish finder.

Make sure that the ice hole doesn’t freeze over with the fish finder. It is not an effortless task to remove solid ice from the fish finder. Furthermore, you have to ensure that it doesn’t get swept under the ice sheet.

To keep the fish finder live and smooth, check it regularly. Last, make the hole wide enough so that the ice sheet doesn’t hinder the sonar of the transducer. If you find a lot of noise or false readings on your phone, then guess that the ice sheet is likely causing interference.

How to Make Your Boat Fish Finder Portable for Ice Fishing?

Someone may think if they will be able to use fish finders for ice fishing. Yes, we can convert most of the modern fish finders to work for ice fishing. What you will need is a portable power supply and a way to level the transducer in an ice hole. Making a regular fish finder into portable requires some creativity.

The first step is to select a battery working with your unit. Use at least a 12 volt 7 amp-hour (Ah) battery to empower most units for fishing around half a day. For using a more extensive period, you can use a 12 to 15 Ah battery.

Prices may vary, but you will get a rechargeable one like the mighty max 12 volt 12 Ah deep cycle battery for less than $30.

So far, it is the latest battery for this performance. Once you get the power supply fixed, the next step is a way to transport everything in one tidy package. You can improve portability by adjusting the ice transducer and plugging it into your open water fish finder unit.

It would lessen the trouble of removing the sensor from your boat, and it eliminates excessive wire while on the ice. Manufacturers, including Hummingbird and Lowrance, make it easy and sell boat-to-ice conversion kits.

Why Convert A Boat Sonar For Ice Fishing?

Though Ice Fishing is more complicated than fishing with ordinary Fish Finder, you can use a fish finder if you want to perform ice fishing. However, you may need to complete a bit of setup and create a DIY solution. You have to purchase an ice transducer and portable battery.

Some would argue that you don’t even need the ice transducer instead of using the boat transducer that came with your unit. Your regular conductor will work smartly in this case. Keep it hanging horizontally just below the bottom of the hole for best results.

Final thoughts

A fish finder is a very crucial device for finding fish used by those interested in finding fish under the water in their leisure time.

Fish finders work with Sonar technology. To find fish expected, you will need a perfect device. If you have a suitable Fish Finder with you, it will help you find fish quickly and comfortably.

If you want to find fish under icy water, have a perfect tool. It needs no telling if you are a professional or non-professional fish finder; you need a suitable device for your performance.

We have tried to provide you a clear conception about the activities of a regular fish finder and fish finder for ice fishing. Decide which would be best suited for you.

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