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Ice Fishing Electronics: Spot What You Got

Go big or go home, and ice fishing electronics are one way to help. They're winter's version of polarized glasses used in the summer that show ice anglers what lurks below the water's surface. A view of what's under the ice is pretty cool and very interesting. But there is a practical side to this kind of technology: ice fishing electronics can help you catch more and bigger fish. Here are three types of ice fishing electronics that provide information that would make even James Bond blush.

Flashers: Flashers are sonar-based units that show objects in the water column directly under your hole. They're fish finders for sure, but they also show depth below. A neat feature for rod/reel anglers is they'll show your lure's depth. Flashes help ice fishermen see how deep the fish are which enables them to deliver a bait or lure like room service.

GPS/Chartplotters: Boaters know the value of having a GPS/Chartplotter on a console as they show both where and how to go.  With an ice fishing GPS/Chartplotter you'll see the cartography of the terrain in the form of a chart. Many reveal depths, drop offs, inflows and outflows, shallows, and channels. The GPS function reveals access points, shows your position so you can chart a direction, and stores away points that mark honey holes for future visits. They are invaluable during a white out, and since they don't show things like thin ice you'll need to use common sense and good judgment.

Underwater Cameras: Game cams are invaluable for showing deer, turkey or other animals are working through an area; underwater cameras do the same for showing the kind of fish down below. Underwater cameras show pictures of schools of fish, baitfish, and the size of fish. If you don't like what you see it's easy to pick up and move.

Traditionalists say that ice fishing electronics don't guarantee that you'll catch fish and they're right. But when technology is combined with experience it's a program that is tough to beat.

Watch these short ice fishing videos for more tips on gear, safety, bait and more!

Photo credit: Chip Leer


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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.