As the seasons change and anglers start to transition to cold weather fishing, there is no reason to leave powerful fish-finding electronics on your boat. Fishfinders/chartplotters can be just as valuable on the ice as they are on the water. With styles as personalized as the lures they use, we’ve talked to a number of pros and product experts to get their top tips and some new ideas for how to best use your fishing electronics on the ice.
Jake Romanack of Fishing 411 TV uses his Lowrance fishfinder/chartplotter to navigate out on the ice safely. “My Lowrance GPS unit saves a plot trail while I cautiously head out on the ice, marking a safe path home. Each day I’m on the water, I change the color of the plot trail so I can easily see exactly where I’m fishing and it helps me predict future movements of fish.”
Essential to navigating the ice, GPS technology helps anglers hone in on the best fishing spots. “I use the base map that comes standard on the Lowrance HDS units to zero in on bottom structure that looks promising,” adds Romanack. “I also use my GPS unit to navigate to specific waypoints I have caught fish on during previous trips – or even to check out spots I have fished during the open water season. It’s easy to share waypoints from one unit to another by simply saving them on a mircoSD card and transferring the information to units used on the ice.”
Lowrance product expert Jacob Scott uses the custom waypoint feature when drilling multiple holes. “A great way to make the most out of your time is to use the customized waypoint feature. Every time I drill a hole, I drop a waypoint. During the course of the day, some holes may be over better structure or may be producing more fish. You can then go to that waypoint and change the symbol, so it stands out. This is a great way to focus your energy where the fish are biting.”
Gary Parsons of The Next Bite uses his Lowrance Elite-Ti2 with WiFi connectivity to monitor different holes. “Drill a remote jigging hole about 20-30 feet from your shack. Using the WiFi networking feature of the Elite-Ti2, you can put a display by the remote hole and link that unit up with the Ti2 that you are using in the house. You’ll actually be able to monitor the fish on your outside hole while you stay nice and warm inside your shack.”
Keith Kavajecz uses his fishfinder for much more than simply finding fish. “Once you identify that a fish is in the cone below you then you can watch for signs that the fish is interested. I tend to have two lures in place at two different depths. Watching the marks move lets you know which lure the fish is heading toward. I also watch the marks move to judge the attitude of the fish. If the mark doesn’t really separate from the bottom, then you are looking at a lethargic fish and you may need to shake your lure a bit to attract them. Sometimes, you’ll see that mark separate from the bottom and come scorching in and then you know to just leave your lure still and let them take a bite or pull away to make them chase.”
The latest innovation in ice fishing electronics is the new Lowrance LiveSight™ Sonar Ice Transducer. Maximizing anglers’ time during the winter months, Lowrance HDS fishfinders – when combined with the LiveSight Sonar Ice Transducer – gives anglers a game-changing, real-time view that reveals how fish react to a lure or bait presentation as it happens. Featuring the widest sonar beam and longer range than similar sonar technology, LiveSight Sonar delivers an unparalleled view beneath the ice allowing anglers to watch fish movements in real time. The LiveSight Sonar Ice Transducer comes with a mount for convenient suspension through a hole in the ice.
Not only does the LiveSight Sonar Ice Transducer give you a great down-looking view, but you can also angle the LiveSight Sonar slightly forward and rotate it below the ice to get a view of structure and fish around the area. This saves time when preparing to drill the next hole.
A Portable Power Pack is required to use the LiveSight Ice Transducer with HDS LIVE 7 or HDS Carbon 7 displays. HDS Carbon displays also require the compact, PSI-1 module to work with the LiveSight Sonar transducer. The PSI-1 module can be connected directly to the display via its sonar port and Ethernet connection.
For more information on the new LiveSight Ice Transducer, visit: www.lowrance.com/lowrance/activity/ice-fishing