Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

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Jonny
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Jonny » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:11 pm

kenn1320 wrote:
Jonny wrote:
kenn1320 wrote:Fished all my life without a flasher, always did well. My buddy however has a flasher now and said it's a huge game changer. He said he won't fish without one. That got me reading this thread. Thanks for all the great info.


Using a flasher really depends on where you are fishing and what for. When I go for panfish in less than 15' of water, I have long inline rods that are probably 4' long for hole hopping. My dad and I were in la crosse about 2 weeks ago and easily out fished everybody with flashers. Not to sound cocky, most guys had 5-10 decent fish, we had our limits of huge fish.

Now fishing deep water, using bigger baits, or going for game fish, I want a locator. You get less bites and need to make them count. And on lakes like lake poygan and Winnebago, you need to make sure you are on fish. If you aren't on fish, I don't care how good of a fisherman you are, you won't catch any.

Point being, a flasher is an aid. It doesn't make you a better fisherman. It helps you catch fish but will also cost you fish if you don't know how to use it. The biggest piece of advice is to fish the way you normally do. Do not fish the locator. I always mark fish with it but most don't bite. You have to learn how to know the difference between fish you will catch and not catch. Would you ever hunt a buck that is 100% nocturnal? It's the same thing. I think if you are serious into ice fishing, you should have a flasher, but that doesn't mean it always needs to be used.


That's my thought as well. We always moved. Not a fan of sitting the same hole for hours. I run and gun locating fish that are biting. Seems the flasher would slow you down. Doesn't do any good to stay at a hole marking fish that won't bite. On the other hand he says he can tell right when he is gonna get a bite, or know when to reel in cause a pike is close to his bait. I clamp on a lead weight, find the depth. Then I start close to bottom and work the water column looking for aggressive fish or suspended fish. No bites after 10min, I'm punching a new hole.


I have to agree and disagree here. It really depends on species. I have 3 lures I use for panfish. I change colors of plastic on them. If I can't catch fish on those three lures, screw it, I move or go home. Not worth it.

Now when I go to poygan, Winnebago or any featureless basin lake where the fish can be anywhere, I will argue you do need a locator. I have seen guys bounce around with no locators not catching fish and I can follow right behind them and catch fish using a different lure. Having a flasher allows me to see the reactions to the baits. Many times one switch of the bait goes from no bites to filling buckets with white bass. Without a locator, I am banking on luck and a certain lure.

But yes, using a locator requires many of the same skills you would use when not having a locator. I fish for at most 10 minutes. No bites, I leave. During this I change baits a lot if I am marking fish to see if something works. Eventually over time you learn what works and what doesn't. I have a rod set up with each bait I have absolutely hammered fish on at one point on that lake. And a locator allows you to tease fish which I believe results in more bites. Pulling a bait away at the right time works awesome some times. But again, this is only for a portion of my fishing. The other portion is a long skimmer, a long rod and a bag of plastic and keep moving til I get some.

A flasher can 100% slow you down. No argument there. But if used right, it is a huge advantage. Just depends on your situation. I wouldn't own one if I just fished shallow lakes for panfish


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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby kenn1320 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:58 pm

Most all my fishing was anchor Bay and canals, so yes 12ft is deep. The lake I fish now has super deep water, but we catch crappie suspended say 10ft in 18ft of water. Never used plastics and things like that, tear drops and chicken skin or wax worms. Mainly pan fish and perch. I've been out of it for some years, hence looking into flashers based on his findings different than I experienced years ago.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Jonny » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:45 am

kenn1320 wrote:Most all my fishing was anchor Bay and canals, so yes 12ft is deep. The lake I fish now has super deep water, but we catch crappie suspended say 10ft in 18ft of water. Never used plastics and things like that, tear drops and chicken skin or wax worms. Mainly pan fish and perch. I've been out of it for some years, hence looking into flashers based on his findings different than I experienced years ago.


I like a flasher to find the depth the fish are at and once I am dialed in I put it away.

As far as fishing with plastic vs live bait, I think it is about 95% confidence. Haven't used live bait for panfish ice fishing. Just never have. Boat fishing is different. But for ice fishing I like wedges and noodles. Purple and red are used about 98% of the time. Crappies tend to like purple and red flat out catches tons of fish. Oh and if you are targeting crappies, I love a black rocker. Have caught many limits on a black rocker and purple wedge.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby kenn1320 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:47 am

Great info Jonny, thanks for the advice.

Was watching vids of the marcum 3ltci. The zoom feature seems pretty cool. Watching guys catch walleye on the ice looks so cool.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for. ice fishing

Postby Dhurtubise » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:44 pm

You will appreciate a flasher for your ice fishing. I have that sonar function on my lowrance and i do use it for vertical jigging lakers, but my 400$ flasher is ten times better for that than my 1500$ lowrance. The info on the flasher is immediate and you just can't replicate it's efficiency with the lag that you get from a graph.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Dewey » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:26 pm

My Humminbird Ice 55 flasher I ordered will be here Tuesday.

Today I picked up a Helix 7 Sonar/GPS for my boat on sale at Fleet Farm. Exactly what I was looking for. $70 off and couldn't pass that deal up. 8-)

Should be able to swap it with my flasher if I really want GPS and Sonar.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby dirt nap giver » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:59 pm

If I remember correctly, you should be able to power up
Your Humminbird while in the barn and go into your maps with stored waypoints and use those on a handheld GPS.

Another option would be to download My Humminbird on your PC, then plug in your SD card and upload the waypoints onto your computer, then transfer those to your handheld.

Good call on the Helix.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby DEERSLAYER » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:22 pm

Dewey wrote:
DEERSLAYER wrote:I wouldn't be too worried about a break down either. It was just a thought. The specs look a bit different to me on their web site as far as features go. It will be interesting to see what they have to say.

Just got a reply back from Humminbird and they claim the Ice Helix 7 is the same base unit that is sold for boat use.

I got away from this thread for a few days and just seen this. I was comparing it to units that were networkable and had some other goodies I thought you would want for your boat. I didn't realize exactly what you were looking at.

I haven't ice fished in a long time and I decided I wanted to make sure I had a graph for my boat that had a flasher option (I'm looking to buy right now) for ice fishing, but after going down to the lake and watching and chatting with a guy that had a small inexpensive Lowrance graph I could care less about the flasher option. Now I understand why so many pro's have switched over. After seeing one in action on the ice I think a modern graph (the older ones are known to lag) is the way to go. Either way I think having electronics is a big plus. It lets you see what's going on and see the interaction between the fish and your presentation so you can change things up like switching colors, cadence, lure type or size. It seems like if your good you can usually get the fish to bite by interpreting what you see on the screen and knowing how to respond.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Dewey » Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:52 pm

I'm all set now I just need to find some spare time to get out ice fishing. Scouting comes first now that much of the snow is melted and sign is very visible.

Got my Ice 55 all set up and ready to go. Looks like I may need to buy another ice box base with wider mount if I want to use my Helix 7. Thinking I may just buy another transducer, battery and power cable as well and have both options available if I need them.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Dewey » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:04 am

Just wanted to update this thread.

Been using my Hummingbird Ice 55 and it works great. I no doubt caught fish I never would have without the flasher. Combined with the Navionics app on my phone really changes how I ice fish.

Also I mentioned the Helix 7 and possibly using for ice fishing. I just bought one for my boat and was happy to figure out I can easily swap my Ice 55 flasher in the ice box with the Helix 7 Sonar/GPS. Easily swapped it with a few spacers on each side for the bracket knobs as the Ice 55 unit is slightly wider. Best part is the Ice 55 transducer and battery hookups are exactly the same on the Helix. I can swap the units out in less than a minute if needed and have GPS and Lakemaster maps. 8-)
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby Jonny » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:11 am

Dewey wrote:Just wanted to update this thread.

Been using my Hummingbird Ice 55 and it works great. I no doubt caught fish I never would have without the flasher. Combined with the Navionics app on my phone really changes how I ice fish.

Also I mentioned the Helix 7 and possibly using for ice fishing. I just bought one for my boat and was happy to figure out I can easily swap my Ice 55 flasher in the ice box with the Helix 7 Sonar/GPS. Easily swapped it with a few spacers on each side for the bracket knobs as the Ice 55 unit is slightly wider. Best part is the Ice 55 transducer and battery hookups are exactly the same on the Helix. I can swap the units out in less than a minute if needed and have GPS and Lakemaster maps. 8-)


Now that is awesome. I know my marcum or my dads vexilar can't do that
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby BassBoysLLP » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:31 pm

Can't go wrong with a marcum. Their flashers and cameras are #1. Vexilar is great as well. I like the flashers for ice fishing. I run the boat lowrance on the atv/sled with a ram mount, but as hodag mentioned the gps/map stuff is overrated. You can use your hunting GPS and download the Navionics app to your phone to give you lake contours.
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Re: Best flasher/electronics for ice fishing

Postby DEERSLAYER » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:32 pm

Dewey wrote:Just wanted to update this thread.

Been using my Hummingbird Ice 55 and it works great. I no doubt caught fish I never would have without the flasher. Combined with the Navionics app on my phone really changes how I ice fish.

Also I mentioned the Helix 7 and possibly using for ice fishing. I just bought one for my boat and was happy to figure out I can easily swap my Ice 55 flasher in the ice box with the Helix 7 Sonar/GPS. Easily swapped it with a few spacers on each side for the bracket knobs as the Ice 55 unit is slightly wider. Best part is the Ice 55 transducer and battery hookups are exactly the same on the Helix. I can swap the units out in less than a minute if needed and have GPS and Lakemaster maps. 8-)

The navionics app is great, but I have found that it is not always very accurate. I think if you use your autochart this summer you will be able to really pin down the very best spots for ice fishing next year.
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