Fishing

The 9 Best Ice Fishing Fish Finders of 2020

Best Ice Fishing Fish Finder

Photo: humminbird.com

Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned angler, ice fishing can prove intimidating when you’re struggling to locate fish in expansive waters.

That’s why investing in an ice fishing fish finder is a wise choice. These handy gadgets implement advanced sonar and other technologies to help identify exact fish positions in icy waters.

They will detect fish locations, water depth, underwater topography, and many more variables, effectively making your fishing experience more rewarding.

In our ice fishing fish finder review, we look at these devices in more detail and help you choose the most ideal one for your fishing adventures.

9 Best Ice Fishing Finders – Review

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4

1. Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 (Best Overall)

  • Advanced CHIRP sonar
  • Multiple sonar beams projection
  • Superior 1,600 ft./750 ft. depths
  • Detailed information output
Venterior VT-FF001

2. Venterior VT-FF001 (Best Inexpensive)

  • Pocket-friendly price
  • 5 robust sensitivity levels
  • Intuitive controls & LCD
  • Decent 328-ft max. depth
Deeper Chirp Sonar

3. Deeper Chirp Sonar (Best Compact & Portable)

  • Compact & lightweight
  • High-performance CHIRP sonar
  • Fast 45-min battery charging
  • Smart Wi-Fi connectivity
Eyoyo Q1506

4. Eyoyo Q1506 (Best Camera Finder)

  • High-quality 1000TVL camera
  • Large 7-inch display
  • 12-piece IR light system
  • Long 8-hour battery life
Lucky FFC1108-1

5. Lucky FFC1108-1 (Best for Beginners)

  • Versatile multi-environment finder
  • Detailed information output
  • Decent 328 ft. max. depth
  • A compact handheld display unit
Deeper Pro+ Smart

6. Deeper Pro+ Smart (Most Advanced & Smart)

  • Smart Wi-Fi connectivity
  • GPS-capably with data backup
  • Efficient dual-beam sonar
  • Compact castable design
Deeper Pro Smart DP1H20S10

7. Deeper Pro Smart DP1H20S10 (With Superior Imaging)

  • High-resolution structure imaging
  • Powerful dual-beam sonar
  • Cloud data-saving capability
  • Compact & castable unit
ReelSonar iBobber

8. ReelSonar IBobber (With Long Battery Life)

  • Superior 10-hour battery life
  • Bluetooth device connectivity
  • GPS-powered location tagging
  • Built-in LED beacon
Lucky FF1108-1CT

9. Lucky FF1108-1CT (Easy to Use)

  • 2 simplified user modes
  • Intuitive LCD color screen
  • Robust device settings
  • Capable of detailed mapping

PRODUCT

1. Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4

(Best Overall)

Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4
  • Advanced CHIRP sonar
  • Multiple sonar beams projection
  • Superior 1,600 ft./750 ft. depths
  • Detailed information output

2. Venterior VT-FF001

(Best Inexpensive)

Venterior VT-FF001
  • Pocket-friendly price
  • 5 robust sensitivity levels
  • Intuitive controls & LCD
  • Decent 328-ft max. depth

3. Deeper Chirp Sonar

(Best Compact & Portable)

Deeper Chirp Sonar
  • Compact & lightweight
  • High-performance CHIRP sonar
  • Fast 45-min battery charging
  • Smart Wi-Fi connectivity

4. Eyoyo Q1506

(Best Camera Finder)

Eyoyo Q1506
  • High-quality 1000TVL camera
  • Large 7-inch display
  • 12-piece IR light system
  • Long 8-hour battery life

5. Lucky FFC1108-1

(Best for Beginners)

Lucky FFC1108-1
  • Versatile multi-environment finder
  • Detailed information output
  • Decent 328 ft. max. depth
  • A compact handheld display unit

6. Deeper Pro+ Smart

(Most Advanced & Smart)

Deeper Pro+ Smart
  • Smart Wi-Fi connectivity
  • GPS-capably with data backup
  • Efficient dual-beam sonar
  • Compact castable design

7. Deeper Pro Smart DP1H20S10

(With Superior Imaging)

Deeper Pro Smart DP1H20S10
  • High-resolution structure imaging
  • Powerful dual-beam sonar
  • Cloud data-saving capability
  • Compact & castable unit

8. ReelSonar IBobber

(With Long Battery Life)

ReelSonar iBobber
  • Superior 10-hour battery life
  • Bluetooth device connectivity
  • GPS-powered location tagging
  • Built-in LED beacon

9. Lucky FF1108-1CT

(Easy to Use)

Lucky FF1108-1CT
  • 2 simplified user modes
  • Intuitive LCD color screen
  • Robust device settings
  • Capable of detailed mapping
Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4

Photo: Garmin

  • Power Source: 1 x Li-Ion battery
  • Display Size: 3.5 in.
  • Max Depth: 1,600 ft./750 ft.
  • Sonar: CHIRP (77/200 kHz) sonar

The advanced sonar technology, superior depth range, waterproofing, and robust supporting features make Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 our best overall ice fishing fish finder.

This finder implements the top-of-the-range compressed high-intensity radiated pulse (CHIRP) sonar which sends multiple continuous frequency beams, generating a wider information range than that achieved by single beams. Professional anglers will appreciate the accuracy boost.

It offers the most efficient blend of sonar technology and performance, thanks to a superior maximum depth of 1,600 ft. in freshwater, and 750 ft. in saltwater. Both of these depths are the highest of all the models on our list.

All the vital information is displayed on a spacious 3.5-inch screen that represents data in many useful formats such as waypoint maps. You can also capitalize on the high-sensitivity GPS of this finder to backtrack your boat to the ramp.

If you’re a beginner angler, you may find setting up and using Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 for the first time, slightly intimidating.

Pros:

  • High-performance sonar
  • Multi-frequency beams
  • Reaches superior depths
  • Detailed information types

Cons:

  • Not the easiest to set up

2. Best Inexpensive: Venterior VT-FF001

Venterior VT-FF001

Photo: Venterior

  • Power Source: 4 x AAA Batteries
  • Display Size: 2.5 in.
  • Max Depth: 328 ft.
  • Sonar: Single-beam sonar

Venterior VT-FF001 is a sonar-driven fish finder that offers a lot of value for money especially in its reliability and decent depth reach.

It offers you 5 user-selectable sensitivity levels, which boost operational flexibility, even allowing you to ignore small fish when necessary. You can easily select between battery saver mode, backlight mode, fish alarm, and unit of measure modes.

You’ll also enjoy using the finder because of its simplicity. Simply toss the sonar transducer into the water and then turn on the 2.5-in display unit. It will show both the water level and then approximate fish depth in case a school of them is passing by.

Speaking of depth, the sonar sensor will detect reliably up to 328 ft. below the transducer. This is a great depth for ice fishing.

The Venterior VT-FF001 may be inexpensive, but it requires 4 AAA batteries to run, and they are not included with the finder. You will need to buy these separately.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive and user-friendly
  • Flexible sensitivity modes
  • Simplified and intuitive LCD
  • Decent depth range

Cons:

  • The 4 required batteries are not included

3. Best Compact & Portable: Deeper Chirp Sonar

Deeper Chirp Sonar

Photo: Deeper

  • Power Source: 1 x Li-Ion battery
  • Max Depth: 330 ft.
  • Sonar: CHIRP sonar

If you’re looking for a compact, portable, and reliable fish finder for your ice fishing adventures, you can’t go wrong with the high-performance Deeper Chirp Sonar.

It adopts a castable design, which allows for size minimization to simplify transportation, handling, and storage. The entire finder is only 3.2 ounces in weight, and 2.5 inches in diameter, which makes it incredibly compact.

At the heart of the finder is the high-performance CHIRP sonar emits 3 robust beams at 7°, 16°, and 47° angles. Target separation is at 0.4 in. while the sonar can achieve accurate scanning in water depths of 6 inches to 330 ft.

You’ll also be pleased with the fast charging performance of this finder. You can charge its Li-Ion battery to 80% in 45 minutes, and up to 100% in 75 minutes.

It will also connect to iOS and Android devices using a device-generated Wi-Fi signal that allows connection to your smartphone.

At close to $300, however, the Deeper Chirp Sonar doesn’t come cheap. If you’re on a budget, you may consider other cheaper options.

Pros:

  • Compact and portable design
  • Efficient sonar performance
  • Fast battery charging
  • Robust device connectivity

Cons:

  • Pricey for the budget buyer

4. Best Ice Fishing Camera: Eyoyo Q1506

Eyoyo Q1506

Photo: Eyoyo

  • Power Source: 1 x Li-Ion battery
  • Display Size: 7 in.
  • Max Depth: 49 ft.
  • Sonar: No sonar

The high definition camera system of Eyoyo Q1506 makes it an excellent camera-based ice fishing finder that relies on powerful infrared light for illumination.

It utilizes a 1000TVL IP68 waterproof camera that is also capable of finding fish in the dark, thanks to a 12-piece infrared LED lighting system. The camera manages a viewing distance of up to 3 meters.

Color images captured by the camera are displayed on a large 7-in TFT monitor, which has s resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. Also, there’s a removable sun visor included to safeguard the screen and increase visibility in bright sunlight.

The rechargeable 4500mAh lithium-ion battery powering the unit has a life of up to 8 hours on a full charge. Then there’s the waterproof carry case that allows for convenient transportation of the finder. 

Because the Eyoyo Q1506 finder uses an IP68 camera system, its maximum underwater reach is limited to between 19 ft and 164 ft. This model goes up to 49 ft.

Pros:

  • A high definition camera system
  • Large display screen
  • Capable of night vision
  • Decent battery life

Cons:

  • Limited maximum depth

5. Best Finder for Beginners: Lucky FFC1108-1

Lucky FFC1108-1

Photo: Lucky

  • Power Source: 4 x AAA batteries
  • Display Size: 2 in.
  • Max Depth: 328 ft.
  • Sonar: Single-beam sonar

The compactness, ease of use, and simplified modes of the Lucky FFC1108-1 make it a great fish finder for ice fishing beginners.

It is a very compact unit that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand and displays information generated by a sonar transducer operating underwater to support ice, kayak, sea, and shore fishing.

Vital information such as water depth, fish depth, fish location, weed detection, and sensitivity indicator are some of the many information types shown on the receiver’s 2-in. anti-UV LCD.

The single-beam sonar transducer manages a depth detection range of 3ft. - 328 ft., which is a decent reach for a beginner finder. 5 sensitivity options support the efficiency of this finder in different fishing environments.

A slight disappointment with the Lucky FFC1108-1 fish finder is that the 4 AAA batteries needed to power the unit are not included.

Pros:

  • Ideal for multiple fishing environments
  • Compact and easy to handle
  • Detailed information output
  • Decent maximum depth

Cons:

  • Required batteries are not included

6. Most Advanced & Smart: Deeper Pro+ Smart

Deeper Pro+ Smart

Photo: Deeper

  • Power Source: 1 x Li-Po battery
  • Max Depth: 260 ft.
  • Sonar: Dual-beam sonar

Deeper Pro+ Smart packs superior connectivity technologies that make in not only advanced but also a very smart ice fishing fish finder.

Since this finder supports Wi-Fi connectivity, you can sync it with your iOS or Android smartphone and similar devices, where you view different kinds of information on the Fish Deeper App. The app will even store fish location history for future reference.

Regular and seasoned shore anglers can take advantage of detailed data handling, and even capitalize on the finder’s built-in GPS to create detailed bathymetric maps.

Powerful dual-beam sonar scans down to 260 ft below the transducer at a rate of 15 scans per second to maximize reliability. Also, because the finder is castable, it is compact and easy to handle.

The advanced features of Deeper Pro+ Smart do come at a steep price, however. This fish finder is not pocket-friendly, especially if you’re on a strict budget.

Pros:

  • Advanced connectivity features
  • Information backup capability
  • Reliably built-in GPS
  • Efficient castable sonar scanner

Cons:

  • Pricey for the budget buyer

7. With Superior Imaging: Deeper Pro Smart DP1H20S10

Deeper Pro Smart DP1H20S10

Photo: Deeper

  • Power Source:  1 x Li-Po battery
  • Max Depth: 260 ft.
  • Sonar: Dual-beam sonar

The Deeper Pro Smart DP1H20S10 ice fishing fish finder excels at high-resolution structure imaging, which enhances the device’s ability to create advanced typographic maps from the comfort of your boat or kayak.

This hi-res imaging capability boosts the finder’s capacity for deep fish scanning, especially when paired with a powerful dual-beam sonar transducer that scans a maximum depth of 260 ft.

It will connect seamlessly to your mobile device because it comes with Wi-Fi support. The device creates a hotspot for your smartphone to pair with, even in the absence of an internet connection.

You can save all the scans and maps the finder creates to a Lakebook, a proprietary bathymetric management platform by Deeper. Finding fish hot spots later will be much easier.

Finally, it implements a castable design that guarantees compactness, ease of handling, and storage convenience.

On the downside, the battery life of Deeper Pro Smart is not that great. Only on rare occasions does it go past 4 hours, especially when paired to a smartphone.

Pros:

  • High-resolution imaging
  • Powerful sonar beam
  • Data backup capability
  • Compact and easy to store

Cons:

  • Battery life could be longer

8. With Long Battery Life: ReelSonar IBobber

ReelSonar iBobber

Photo: ReelSonar

  • Power Source: 1 x Li-Ion battery
  • Max Depth: 135 ft.
  • Sonar: Patented sonar

ReelSonar IBobber stands out from the pack by offering an extended battery life of over 10 hours, which is impressive compared to that of rival models.

And because the battery is a rechargeable Li-Ion one, it will give you maximum operating convenience because of its charging flexibility.

The gadget connects with your iOS and Android devices that support Bluetooth 4.0 and above, allowing seamless data transmission on trip logs, sonar readings, depth readings, and even various histories through an app.

GPS spot tagging combines well with interactive maps to help create waypoints you can later use to simplify navigation.

To improve your ice fishing experience, the finder has a built-in fish siren, and also emits a powerful LED beacon, both of which make it great for ice, carp, and night fishing.

On the downside, however, ReelSonar IBobber manages a maximum scanning depth of 135 ft. only, which is slightly limited compared to the depth capacity of some rival models.

Pros:

  • Superior battery life
  • Device connectivity support
  • GPS-enabled for tagging and navigation
  • Enhanced luring features

Cons:

  • Limited max depth

9. Easy to Use: Lucky FF1108-1CT

Lucky FF1108-1CT

Photo: Lucky

  • Power Source: 1 x Li-Ion battery
  • Display Size: 2.4 in.
  • Max Depth: 328 ft.
  • Sonar: Single-beam sonar

An intuitive LCD screen, two simplified user modes, compactness, and reliable sonar performance make Lucky FF1108-1CT an easy-to-use ice fishing fish finder.

There are 2 simplified user modes offered by this finder: transducer and simulation modes. Simulation mode is especially great because it allows you to experiment with all functions, before using them.

It comes fitted with a 2.4-in TFT color LCD that produces clear images and other information types. On this screen, you can view underwater contours, water depth, water temperature, and even fish size (big/middle/small).

Ease of use is further enhanced by multiple display modes, brightness and sensitivity adjustments, zoom, and many more similar settings.

The transducer manages an impressive scanning depth of 328 ft. and its single-beam sonar operates at a 200kHz frequency for detailed mapping.

It’s disappointing, however, that Lucky FF1108-1CT’s handheld unit is not waterproof. Extra caution is necessary when handling the device in the proximity of water.

Pros:

  • Simplified user modes
  • A bright and clear display
  • Multiple display options
  • Detailed mapping capability

Cons:

  • The receiver is not waterproof

How to Buy the Best Ice Fishing Fish Finders

How to Buy the Best Ice Fishing Fish Finders

Photo: humminbird.com

1. Power Source

Most of the ice fishing fish finders available today are powered by batteries. The batteries can be either rechargeable (li-ion), or non-rechargeable.

Your choice of fish finder power source should be determined by the nature of your fishing activities and your expectations of the accessory.

Naturally, we all want a device with the longest battery life, such as the 10+ hours that ReelSonar IBobber manages.

If you opt for a finder with non-rechargeable batteries, ensure you carry enough backup cells during your fishing expeditions.

2. Display Quality

Some ice fishing fishes finders have display screens built into them, while others support connection to devices that will then display the information relayed from under the water.

LCD screens can be integrated into fish finders to display useful information such as water depth, fish location, water temperature, and sensitivity levels.

Some advanced models such as Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 will even use GPS to show waypoint maps, which help with navigation.

Look for displays that are backlit, preferably colored, and big enough to show multiple information pieces.

3. Coverage Area

The coverage area of your ice fishing fish finder is the distance the sonar transducer or any other sensor can scan for fish, underwater.

Typically, coverage is represented in feet. It can be vertical (depth) or horizontal distance, measured from the transducer. Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4 manages an impressive depth of 1,600 ft in freshwater and 750 ft. in saltwater.

Another way to think about the area is through the beam angle. By casting the sonar beam at different acute angles such as 15° and 55°, which combines with the depth distance to widen the coverage radius.

4. Frequency

If you opt for a sonar-based fish finder, which is the most ideal choice, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with beam frequencies.

Sonar transducers send out beams at varying frequencies, which are the number of pulses produced at a given time interval, typically in 1 second.

Lower frequencies such as those below 100kHz are ideal for deep water fish scanning, and that’s why they are associated with wide beams.

Higher frequencies, often above 200kHz are optimized for detailed scanning, which produces high-resolution images of fish.

If possible, choose a sonar fish finder with multiple frequencies for more scanning versatility.

5. Portability

Since you’ll be carrying your ice fishing fish finder with you when angling, its portability should be a priority.

You should not struggle to carry or store a fish finder especially because it is an essential fishing accessory. Compact and lightweight finders such as the 3.2-ounce Deeper Chirp Sonar are highly portable, and space-economical.

Ultimately, most of the best-performing models available today are relatively portable, so this is not an issue you’re likely to struggle with.

6. Durability

No one wants to be getting fish finders replacements now and then, or the inconvenience of device failure when out in fishing in the deep icy waters.

That’s why fish finder durability is paramount. Durability is determined by the build quality and any form of proofing applied to the finder.

Sonar transducers and even underwater cameras are built to resists water up to certain depths, so it's wise to confirm the same on your chosen model.

Others such as Eyoyo Q1506 come in waterproof cases that protect vital devices against water splashes when out fishing.

FAQs

1. What Is the Difference Between A Regular and Ice Fish Finder?

Performance in different water conditions. Regular fish finders work reliably well in normal water temperature, but they are not suited for use in cold icy waters.

Ice fishing fish finders will withstand low water temperatures of even less than 0°C, and still perform optimally because they are purpose-built for such conditions.

2. Are All Ice Fishing Finders Waterproof?

No. Most sonar transducer units – those that go into the water – are waterproof up to certain depths. Underwater camera finders are also built to be waterproof.

Often, however, the display units that show scanning and location information, are not waterproof. So, caution is necessary when handling them.

3. How to Use Ice Fishing Fish Finder Effectively?

Speed is vital. When using sonar-based finders, it’s recommended moving your kayak or other vessels at slow speeds, typically less than 5mph, for the most accurate scans.

Also, ensure the transducer’s bottom is resting horizontally on water. And check the water temperature to ensure it is within the acceptable range for optimal finder performance.

Conclusion

Our ice fishing fish finder review demonstrates the value these accessories add to both professional and enthusiast anglers.

If you’re looking for the best finder available today, choose Garmin 010-01550-00 Striker 4, which is our top pick. It scans superior depths, implements high-performance CHIRP sonar, and has a detailed display.

If you’re on a budget but still demand quality and reliability from a fish finder, Venterior VT-FF001 offers all that at an affordable price.

And if portability is a priority for you, opt for the compact and lightweight Deeper Chirp Sonar.

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