Best Ice Fishing Fish Finders of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons


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The best ice fishing fish finder can help you to track movement under and around your fishing spot with ease.

From fish alarms to CHIRP sonar, there are plenty of fantastic features you will love to use.

It is a highly innovative device that provides you with all of the most important information to make your trip a success.

Comparison Chart

LUCKY Start Fish Finder for Ice Fishing

LUCKY Portable Wired Fish Finder

Lowrance HOOK Reveal 5 SplitShot Ice Pack

LUCKYLAKER Ice Portable Fishing Fish Finder

RICANK Portable Ice Fish Finder

Best Ice Fishing Fish Finder Reviews

1. LUCKY Start Fish Finder for Ice Fishing

If you’re an avid ice fisher who has never tried using a fish finder before, this model is ideal.

Even with its many functions, it is a user-friendly device that will help improve your catch percentage.

Product Highlights

The LUCKY Start Fish Finder has several beginner-friendly functions useful for ice fishing, such as:

  • Wireless Design

When ice fishing, the last thing you want to worry about is getting tangled in wires. Fortunately, this fish finder is wireless, requiring only four AA batteries for operation.

You will also like how its wireless design makes it easier to fit into your tackle box together with the rest of your gear.

  • Adequate Depth Capability

Keeping track of depth is essential, especially for ice fishing, because you need to know where to place your lure.

With this fish finder, you will have a depth rating of up to 100 feet or 30 meters. As such, you’ll easily be able to track fish movement well below the transducer.

  • Sonar Coverage

When you place your transducer in the water, you want to make sure it captures movement at a reasonable angle.

The LUCKY Start Fish Finder features a 90-degree beam that tracks a large area.

When it picks up any underwater activity, it will be displayed on the two-inch, black-and-white screen.

With this, you will easily be able to differentiate between fish location, fish size, and more.

  • Built-in Alarm

You won’t want to spend all of your time watching your fish finder when out angling with friends.

With the help of the built-in fish alarm, the device will sound off when the device detects fish. Hence, you will know precisely when is the best time to drop your bait into the water.

  • Backlit Screen

Fishing at night is a great way to spend some peaceful time outdoors. However, your fishing gear will need to be easy to read and see in low light.

Thankfully, this fish finder has a backlit screen that ensures all of the data and icons show brightly, even in dark conditions.

  • Durable Materials

The majority of this device is made from ABS plastic, helping protect it against accidental drops.

It also ships with a neck strap so that you can easily wear it around your neck instead of holding it and occupying your hand.

  • Replaceable Batteries

It is important to note this device consumes a lot of battery power. Make sure you have several pairs of backup batteries for continuous use.

What To Like About It 

There is a lot to appreciate in this fish finder, especially if you want a device that is easy to operate.

The sonar is sensitive, which will quickly alert you to movement under the ice, and the fish alarm is loud.

We also love the fact that it comes with a neck strap so that you can use it hands-free.

What Not To Like About It

The largest disadvantage with this device is that it consumes a lot of battery power, even without a color screen.

To address this, we recommend choosing high-quality batteries; otherwise, the device won’t turn on.

PROS

  • Easy to operate
  • Sensitive radar
  • Noticeable fish alarm
  • Convenient carrying options

CONS

  • Requires high-quality batteries
  • Consumes a lot of battery

2. LUCKY Portable Wired Fish Finder

The LUCKY Portable Wired Fish Finder is another affordable option with straightforward functions.

It is a fantastic device for first-time users who don’t want an excessive number of features to work with.

Product Highlights

This fish finder offers just the right kind of features and power for ice fishing.

There are several highlights you should consider for your next angling excursion, like:

  • Multipurpose Design

This device is handy for ice fishing but can also be beneficial for several other activities.

It is easy to affix to your boat for standard boat fishing and is also ideal for muddy water fishing.

Considering the sonar is relatively sensitive, it is a far better solution for spotting wildlife in murky conditions. You can also use it in both saltwater and freshwater.

  • Key Readouts

One of the largest benefits of this fish finder is that it provides the most important readouts for successful angling.

Not only will you be able to find fish but also read the water depth and temperature. It also displays the bottom contour so that you always know where your lure is.

On average, this device reaches depths up to 328 feet or 100 meters. It lets you travel to deeper depths than with other entry-level fish finders.

  • Built-in Sonar

With the use of this device’s sonar, you can scan the area around your fishing hole. It provides a 45-degree beam angle, operating on a 200kHz frequency.

Because it’s stronger, this device is more useful than other entry-level options.

  • Replaceable Batteries

When you head out onto the ice, be sure to bring spare batteries with you, as this unit will need them.

It requires four AAA batteries for operation, or you can choose to use rechargeable batteries.

  • Dot Matrix Display

This fish finder features a dot matrix display, which saves more battery life than color displays.

Also, the readouts are clear and easy to read both in direct sunlight and at night.

What To Like About It

The screen on this fish finder is quite impressive for its size, as it displays bold and easy-to-read graphics.

You’ll also appreciate that it scans bottom contours easily and provides precise readouts about fish location.

All of the functions are easy to use, especially if it is your first time owning a fish finder.

What Not To Like About It

When ice fishing, it’s important to have spare batteries on hand because they are likely to drain quickly in freezing temperatures.

Another concern with this device is that the screen is smaller than expected.

PROS

  • High-quality display
  • Easily scans bottom contours
  • Precise readouts
  • User-friendly functions

CONS

  • Batteries die quickly in cold temperatures
  • Smaller screen than expected

3. Lowrance HOOK Reveal 5 SplitShot Ice Pack

The Lowrance HOOK Reveal 5 SplitShot Ice Pack is one of the more luxurious fish finders for ice fishing.

It comes with a variety of fantastic features that help make every angling trip more enjoyable.

Product Highlights

This device packs a powerful punch, allowing you to access the benefits of a high-quality fish finder.

Here are its most unique features:

  • FishReveal Technology

As with most Lowrance devices, the HOOK Reveal 5 SplitShot Ice Pack is equipped with FishReveal.

This technology helps add target separation to your readouts, ensuring the CHIRP sonar provides accurate images.

The DownScan imaging is essential for illuminating fish on your display and differentiating them from structures.

  • High-Detail Maps

Another exceptional feature of this device is the built-in inland maps available for you to use. You’ll have access to the details of over 4,000 lakes throughout the United States.

You can also create custom contour maps with the added benefit of GPS plotting by using Genesis Live.

  • SplitShot-Enabled

If you want to see the most accurate information about movement below your boat, you’ll be thankful for having SplitShot.

This device is SplitShot-enabled, which means all you have to do is add the transducer to boost the fish finder’s capability.

There’s also the highly reliable CHIRP sonar that guarantees high-resolution images.

  • Auto-Tuning Sonar

Dealing with the sonar settings on your fish finder can be challenging, especially for beginners.

With this, the fish finder makes all of the appropriate adjustments on your behalf.

Once the transducer enters the water, the HOOK Reveal 5 will autotune the sonar for the best possible images.

  • Five-Inch Display

If you want a fish finder with a reasonably sized display, this model is a fantastic option.

It has a five-inch screen that shows crisp and clear views under the ice, regardless of where you are positioned.

You will also love the integrated SolarMAX display that makes the screen easy to read in direct sunlight.

What To Like About It 

The Lowrance HOOK Reveal 5 SplitShot Ice Pack is a fantastic addition to your collection with its intuitive, user-friendly design.

The straightforward interface makes navigating menus simpler, and the beginner-friendly buttons are ideal.

Also, you will have a collection of US maps available for you to use to chart your favorite fishing spots.

What Not To Like About It

Unfortunately, if you were hoping this device also included mapping Canadian lakes, you’ll find that it doesn’t.

Also, the ice pack isn’t as secure as expected, which can cause the fish finder to slip out at times.

PROS

  • Intuitive design
  • Easy interface
  • Very simple to set up
  • Convenient built-in maps

CONS

  • The ice pack isn’t secure
  • Not for Canadian waters navigation

4. LUCKYLAKER Portable Ice Fish Finder 

The LUCKYLAKER Portable Ice Fish Finder is a great option both for ice fishing and boat fishing.

It comes with a few unique features for cold weather, making it a reliable choice for frozen temperatures.

From water depth display to a wide assortment of applications, it could be what you’ve been looking for.

Product Highlights

Thinking this might be the one? Let’s get into some of its most impressive features for ice fishing.

  • Cold Protection

The first notable feature of this unit is the cold protection for the transducer.

You will notice a unique blue housing wrapped around the device so that the sonar can penetrate ice layers easily.

You will also find that the housing reduces interference by up to 30% compared to other models.

  • Useful Data Display

There is plenty of useful data the device lays out, including water depth up to 328 feet.

You will also be able to scan bottom contours and differentiate between weeds, rocks, sand, and more.

Engaging the sonar provides accurate readouts of fish locations and fish schools, further enhancing your experience.

  • Handheld Design

It’s important to consider investing in a portable fish finder, especially if you travel often.

The LUCKYLAKER Portable Ice Fish Finder is perfect for hands-free use, as it comes with a neck strap.

You can also quickly stow it in your pocket when moving from one hole to another.

  • Battery-Saving Mode

To help preserve the life of your device, we recommend utilizing the battery-saving mode.

This feature allows the sonar to detect movement when it appears rather than scanning consistently.

With this, you can get over six hours of continuous use from your unit.

  • Customizable Metrics

The blue backlit display gives you the ability to customize the measurements the fish finder provides.

Anglers can freely choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius, depending on their preference.

What To Like About It 

You will particularly love this device because it lets you get depth measurements without having to drill several holes.

It also comes with a built-in alarm, which alerts you to fish movement in your area.

The small and compact design makes it highly useful for travel, as does the battery life, which offers several hours of scanning.

What Not To Like About It

The largest concern with this fish finder is the quality of its graphics.

Some of the displayed information lacks definition, making it challenging to differentiate between fish and vegetation.

PROS

  • Gets depth measurements without drilling
  • Has a built-in alarm
  • Small and compact size
  • Impressive battery life

CONS

  • Lacks definition
  • Low-quality graphics

5. RICANK Depth Finder With Temperature

The RICANK Depth Finder With Temperature is slightly different than your average fish finder.

While it provides accurate readouts, it does so in a smaller and more convenient package compared to other models.

Product Highlights

Despite its compact construction, you are sure to get a lot of use from this device.

Here are its most helpful features for ice fishing:

  • Various Readouts

This fish finder is designed to provide you with the most important readouts for ice fishing.

You’ll be able to review water depth, fish size, water temperature, and whether fish are in a group or not.

All of the readouts are updated four times per second at up to 300 feet deep for the most accurate metrics possible.

  • Durable Design

Compared to other fish finders, this model is more durable because it has a significantly smaller screen.

The entire unit is also water-resistant and features a non-slip grip and rubber housing.

You’d be able to submerge it up to 100 feet in freezing water, which also makes it useful for snorkeling.

  • Fish-Attracting Lamp

One of the more unique features of the RICANK Depth Finder With Temperature is its fish-attracting lamp.

This unique component causes the device to illuminate in the water, capturing fish's attention in the area. The two-tone lamp is automatically engaged but can be turned off.

  • Quality Sonar

The built-in sonar is useful for scanning for fish activity up to 45 degrees away from your fishing hole.

It also operates at a 200kHz frequency, giving it more than enough power for up-to-date information.

What To Like About It 

This highly portable fish finder comes with user-friendly functions that beginners will love to use.

It is designed to scan through the ice, so you don't have to worry about drilling numerous holes to scan for fish activity.

Also, you will find that the water depth ratings are very accurate.

What Not To Like About It

If you’ve never used a fish finder before, you will likely have to find instructions on YouTube as the written ones aren’t useful.

Also, the device has a tiny screen that can be challenging to read for some anglers.

PROS

  • Very portable
  • User-friendly functions
  • Easily scans through the ice
  • Highly accurate water depth

CONS

  • Low-quality instructions
  • Small screen

Buyer’s Guide

When buying a fish finder for ice fishing, you’re going to need to ensure the model you choose has everything you need.

Let’s get into some of the essential features that top-end, ice-friendly fishing accessories have to offer.

1. Type

The first thing to consider is the type of fish finder to use. There are three primary types to consider: fish finder, castable, and fish flasher.

Fish Finders

Fish finders come with built-in sonars and many other features in their small, compact, and portable bodies.

The sonar is responsible for scanning underneath the ice to show you a visual representation of where the fish are.

You should also be able to see vegetation and fish-holding structures.

Castable

Castable fish finders latch onto your line and can be cast into the water.

Since the sonar is directly in the water, these units provide more accurate readouts.

Fish Flasher

Fish flashers are recommended for experienced anglers as they don't provide as many user-friendly data points.

These devices show fish as either red or green rings, signifying their size and location.

The readouts you receive can help you move your line to the best spot to capture the largest fish.

2. Frequency

Another important feature to consider is frequency, as this tells you how accurate your readouts will be.

The majority of fish finders will either offer single or multiple frequencies. Of course, the majority prefer those with more than one frequency.

The more frequencies the unit offers, the easier it will be to find a signal with limited interference.

Also, adjustable frequencies allow you to change the sonar's sensitivity.

For example, when fishing in murky conditions, high sensitivity settings can help you find fish easier.

3. GPS

GPS features are very convenient to have in fish finders, as they help you chart your fishing course.

Some of the higher-end options will come with built-in maps where you can add custom waypoints.

These features are ideal for orientation and can also be useful for returning to your favorite fishing spots.

4. Sonar

The sonar in your fish finder is one of its most important features because it influences your readouts.

There are two main types of sonar: traditional (2D) sonar and CHIRP.

CHIRP sonar is the more luxurious option because it offers multiple adjustable frequencies and accurate data.                                                                                                                                                                    

On the other hand, 2D sonar can be useful for first-time users shopping on a tight budget.

5. Targeting Cone

The last feature to think about is the targeting cone. When the sonar is pushed into the water, it captures information within a specific area.

Targeting cones are typically expressed to the degree, such as 45- or 90-degree angles. The larger the targeting cone, the more information your fish finder will display.

Ice Fishing Fish Finder FAQs

1. Will a fish finder work through ice?

Fish finders for ice fishing will certainly work through the ice, which is their largest convenience.

With one on hand, you will no longer have to worry about drilling holes to capture movement in your area.

2. Can you test a transducer in a bucket of water?

Considering transducers will not work out of the water, testing them in a bucket can be a useful tip.

When you do put the unit in, it should show approximately four times the surface’s distance.

3. Do I need an ice transducer?

Ice transducers can be very beneficial, as they are specifically designed for cold temperatures.

Otherwise, you could shock the electronics in your fish finder, rendering it useless.

Fortunately, the majority of ice fishing fish finders are designed with insulated mechanics for frozen temperatures.

4. Can you use side imaging ice fishing?

Side-imaging works for ice fishing just as it would for traditional boat fishing.

When combined with down-imaging tech, you can see fish movement on either side of your hole and at adequate depths.

5. How do you read ice fishing sonar?

Ice fishing sonars are easy to read, as is any other type of fish finder.

As the sonar pushes out a signal into the water, the device will display the information on the screen.

These readouts will tell you the depth of fish activity, how many fish are in the area, and its water temperature.

Depending on the quality of your device, you might also see the size of specific fish.

Which Is the Best Fish Finder for Ice Fishing?

Thanks to its unique design, we’ve concluded that the Lowrance HOOK Reveal 5 SplitShot Ice Pack is the best ice fishing fish finder.

This model is specifically meant for ice fishing, ensuring it provides the most accurate readouts quickly.

You will love its high-quality display, insulated features, and FishReveal technology to help you navigate below the ice.