Author Topic: Second but last ice session?  (Read 4736 times)

Offline FishingFredrik

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Second but last ice session?
« on: Mar 30, 2023, 03:16 PM »
I've been at it pretty hard this season, making the drive up to Winni from the Boston area where I live. It's been a really good season, though it was frustrating having to wait longer than expected for it to get underway. I achieved the one big goal I had set for this season, which was to figure out the white perch and catch some chunky ones. And I got into them good a handful of times. New to ice fishing in North America, It's been a blast trying to figure out a new species. I'm still jigging blind (without the use of electronics other than Navionics), and only use artificial lures (no bait), but my modification of Eurasian Perch jigging for the whites in Winni has worked well.

What may have been the last session of the season, I had some nice action on Winni on Tuesday and counted 10 nice smallies, 14 whites (the biggest at 2.2lb) and 58 yellows through my hole alone. My buddy Mike had a big haul of whites as well in the afternoon (pictured).

Sharing some photos here that will help keep me impatient all summer long.
 



























Luck is only a small part of it.

Offline fishingidjit

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #1 on: Mar 30, 2023, 03:53 PM »
Nice pics , looks like you are figuring it out quite nicely! :thumbsup:

Offline FishingFredrik

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #2 on: Mar 30, 2023, 05:06 PM »
Nice pics , looks like you are figuring it out quite nicely! :thumbsup:

Well, I don't have prior reference points but yes - the action as been good as far as I can tell. And the freezer is full of whitie fillets :)
Luck is only a small part of it.

Offline bassin212

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #3 on: Mar 30, 2023, 05:54 PM »
nice work! Way to figure it and have a successful season
Tight Lines!

Offline bikrsrule

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #4 on: Mar 31, 2023, 06:11 AM »
imagine how well you would do with a flasher, just sayin..

Offline DowneastPescador

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #5 on: Mar 31, 2023, 05:50 PM »
Beauty white perch. The flasher really changes the game.

Offline Lv2hunt

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #6 on: Apr 04, 2023, 06:20 AM »
Nice haul way to go!
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day teach him how to fish and he will sit there and drink all day!!

Offline FishingFredrik

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #7 on: Apr 04, 2023, 10:37 AM »
I might have spoken too soon - it looks like there's still ice within reach. I'm not going to risk my life for a few dinks, but if the ice test checks out, why not take advantage, right?
Luck is only a small part of it.

Offline fishingidjit

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #8 on: Apr 04, 2023, 01:04 PM »
I might have spoken too soon - it looks like there's still ice within reach. I'm not going to risk my life for a few dinks, but if the ice test checks out, why not take advantage, right?

IMHO, Late ice is dangerous ice .

Offline FishingFredrik

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #9 on: Nov 20, 2023, 09:29 PM »
It would seem there hasn't been much action on this forum since I posted this in early April. It may have something to do with that thing we call summer.

I think I had a great last season with several nice hauls of white perch, yellows, smallmouths and lakers. I noticed that someone on this thread had posted: "imagine how well you'd do with a flasher". While I generally embrace new tech and rely on AI a lot in my job, I have resisted using a sonar on the ice. I think I've been afraid of taking away the element of surprise when the fish hits. And also that once I'd tried fishing with a sonar, I wouldn't be able to go back to fishing without one.

Well, I have changed my position and am currently trying to figure out what kind of sonar / flasher to get. I definitely need to read up on the different kinds of technologies and features available, as I've been out of the sonar loop for almost two decades. What I do know is that I'm looking for a unit that has GPS/Navionics and, well, whatever you guys recommend in terms of fishfinder technology. I'd greatly appreciate all and any pointers, suggestions and rationales.

Cheer,
Fred
Luck is only a small part of it.

Offline TheCrittaC

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #10 on: Nov 21, 2023, 08:51 AM »
It would seem there hasn't been much action on this forum since I posted this in early April. It may have something to do with that thing we call summer.

I think I had a great last season with several nice hauls of white perch, yellows, smallmouths and lakers. I noticed that someone on this thread had posted: "imagine how well you'd do with a flasher". While I generally embrace new tech and rely on AI a lot in my job, I have resisted using a sonar on the ice. I think I've been afraid of taking away the element of surprise when the fish hits. And also that once I'd tried fishing with a sonar, I wouldn't be able to go back to fishing without one.

Well, I have changed my position and am currently trying to figure out what kind of sonar / flasher to get. I definitely need to read up on the different kinds of technologies and features available, as I've been out of the sonar loop for almost two decades. What I do know is that I'm looking for a unit that has GPS/Navionics and, well, whatever you guys recommend in terms of fishfinder technology. I'd greatly appreciate all and any pointers, suggestions and rationales.

Cheer,
Fred

I have a Vexilar FL-8 and a Garmin Echomap 73cv (no Panoptix). I haven't used the Vexilar since I bought the Garmin. The Garmin is far more than twice the unit than the Vexilar is for roughly twice the price. I also use the screen in my boat.
I do notice a slight (less than a quarter second) delay on the screen with the Garmin that isn't there on the Vexilar. It seems to be shorter when in CHIRP mode.

Offline jigmaster5

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 21, 2023, 08:57 AM »
What I do know is that I'm looking for a unit that has GPS/Navionics and, well, whatever you guys recommend in terms of fishfinder technology.

If you want Navionics in your FF, you'll need to buy a Navionics mapping chip. Newer FF's have a chip slot - just make sure it's compatible. You buy the FF, buy the chip + battery....then connect everything together.

For me, I've gone away from FF's and towards underwater cameras.  You learn so much watching the fish on camera.  But the camera is best in shallow (<20') and fairly clear water.  For 20'+ and dirty water, a FF is better.  You can get cheap underwater cameras online for not alot of $ and they work great. Super light, too.  Take up almost no space compared to a FF + battery.

If $ is no object, I know some guys that swear by forward facing sonar.  Hummingbird 360, Lowrance Active Target or Garmin Livescope.  Drill some holes, stick the transducer down the hole, spin it around.  If no fish, move 100 ft and drill another hole.  Repeat until you are on fish.  If the fish move, you can find them again and get back on a bite.

Offline bassin212

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #12 on: Nov 21, 2023, 09:04 AM »
There’s a couple different options. All preference really. If you fish in a boat in the open water months than a Unit with GPS and sonar will be a great investment. If you want to go with a more cost effective route you could always buy the Navionics App on your phone and then buy a less expensive fish finder dedicated to ice fishing like a Vexilar or Marcum.

I have Humminbird units and the Helix 5 is a good entry level unit. 5 stands for 5” screen. Garmin usually has a bundle where you can get there unit and navionics chip. I believe with Garmin you’d want a EchoMap. Garmin has a partnership with Navionics and Humminbird uses LakeMaster. You can still use Navionics with Humminbird but I think some of the more sophisticated features aren’t compatible. That being said, it’s been a non issue for me and lakemaster chips around here aren’t nearly as good as Navionics.
Tight Lines!

Offline FishingFredrik

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #13 on: Nov 21, 2023, 08:53 PM »
Thank you, TheCrittaC, Jigmaster5 and Bassin212! I appreciate your POVs - really helpful. Since I'll be fishing mostly in 20ft+, I think I'll start with a FF rather than a camera. But I can see how a camera would provide a much more nuanced understanding of how the fish behaves and responds to your lure. The forward-looking sonar technology seems amazing. I can see how that can be incredibly helpful in searching for fish...almost too helpful, perhaps. ha! The forward-looking (rotatable on the ice for a 360 view) transducers appear to be a little bulky to me, and they, as you say, seem pretty pricey as well. I couldn't justify spending $3,000 on that. I'm not sure I'm ready to take a leap from "fishing blind" to James Bond level, cutting-edge, see-everything-sonar-technology. If I were to limit myself to a drop down, vertical transducer, what technology and what brand of FF would you suggest?  Black Friday & Cyber Monday are coming up and I think I'd be willing to drop say $1,500 for a set-up all in. Cheers!
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Offline bassin212

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #14 on: Nov 21, 2023, 09:59 PM »
Do you ever fish out of a boat? Some of these fish finders can come with additional features that would benefit you in open water like down imaging or side imaging. Side imaging allows you to see structure up to 200’ on either side of your boat driving around 5mph. Down imaging is the same except you’ll only see what is directly under the boys cone angle. If those features interest you then I wouldn’t get anything smaller than a 7” screen.

If this will only be used for ice fishing then I would probably stick with a 5” or 7” screen and you will just want a chart plotter/gps combo with traditional sonar. Humminbird also makes a Helix “ice” version which comes with the ice transducer and can only be used for ice fishing. In my opinion it’s kind of pointless because I’d rather buy a fish finder I could use on a boat, kayak, etc.

I would recommend either Garmin EchoMap series or Humminbird Helix series. You’ll want to consider purchasing the transducer specific for ice fishing as well as some type of ice fishing shuttle. Then you’ll also want to consider a battery (I prefer lithium) anything around 10AH should be fine for the smaller screens.
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Offline Steve H.

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #15 on: Nov 22, 2023, 05:59 AM »
If you don't have a boat, just get a $350 Vexilar flasher. Takes jigging to the next level while still (relatively) low-cost and simple. Tons of fun.

Offline FishingFredrik

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #16 on: Nov 22, 2023, 09:30 AM »
Thanks for your input, Steve H and bassin212 - those are definitely useful things to consider. I will be looking into getting either a kayak or a bass boat this spring, so the side imaging sounds appealing. I do like the simplicity of the Vexilar / flasher - the price point is also more attractive for one of those ;)

Happy Turkey Day!

F
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Offline jigmaster5

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #17 on: Nov 22, 2023, 10:12 AM »
If I were to limit myself to a drop down, vertical transducer, what technology and what brand of FF would you suggest?  Black Friday & Cyber Monday are coming up and I think I'd be willing to drop say $1,500 for a set-up all in. Cheers!

Alot of it is personal preference...for ex., I can't stand a vex-style flasher...gives me a headache.  (again, personal preference - some guys love them & swear by it)

For the Navionics chip, I'd recommend Garmin (as others have said above).  Some come w/ a nice case to use icefishing - some don't.  Make sure to double-check when ordering.

If no case, then I'd recommend a Genz Blue Box.  Pretty easy to mount anything & modify to suit your needs.

You'll also need a battery....I've had good luck w/ Dakota Lithium batteries....lots of other batteries out there.  Not cheap, but the batteries last a long, long time.  You'll also need terminal connectors....most H/W stores have those.

Lastly, you might want to consider how you would rig on a kayak or boat...and what model makes sense for dual duty on ice & open water....perhaps a different transducer, too...that can be an expense for Spring....just think about how you would do it.

So, Navionics chip, Garmin FF, some kind of case or Genz Blue Box to transport, battery + charger.  You can get nicely set-up for $1500 (or less).

Offline FreshwaterPhil

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #18 on: Nov 22, 2023, 11:11 AM »
I have both the Humminbird ice 35 and Marcum base model (M1?). Low budget, very basic, but they don't freeze up and have days of battery life even in very cold weather. Compact and lightweight as well.

I'd suggest trying one of those for the season, and then deciding on whether or not you want to take the plunge and go all out with something like Livescope or equivalent type units. Those are next level crazy, but can be bulky to haul around if you run and gun, and use much more power. Not to mention about 10x the price of base models I mentioned.

The base models typically keep decent resale value, you can always sell it, or keep as spare unit.

Offline FishingFredrik

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #19 on: Nov 22, 2023, 01:47 PM »
Thank you, jigmaster5 and FreshwaterPhil ! I really appreciate it. As I've been fishing without electronics to date (which sounds CRAZY to a lot of people), mobility, and minimizing weight have been top priorities for me. I rarely stay longer than 7-10 mins in a single hole, and all the gear I carry fits in the compact box/seat visible in the photos above. I am also on foot, mostly.

Carrying a FF unit with a battery means that I'll probably increase the weight of what I'm used to carrying by 80-120%. So, I am looking to equip a sled which has a comfortable seat, and the FF strategically mounted such that when I change holes, all I need to do is to pull the sled right up to the hole, drop down the transducer and sit down. I think Livescope - while incredible - will be too bulky for my personal liking and for the liking of my wallet as well.

I hear you on Garmin + Navionics. I haven't entirely ruled out Hummingbird. I do think that I'll want a little more features and functionality than what a classic Vexilar offers.

Holler if you stumble across any great Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals. Happy Thanksgiving!! /Fred
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Offline bassin212

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #20 on: Nov 22, 2023, 01:58 PM »
Checkout bassfishing electronics. They’re local to NH I believe and have used/demo units for sale. I also believe basspro has a black Friday deal going on, on some garmin units
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Offline FreshwaterPhil

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #21 on: Nov 22, 2023, 02:25 PM »
Thank you, jigmaster5 and FreshwaterPhil ! I really appreciate it. As I've been fishing without electronics to date (which sounds CRAZY to a lot of people), mobility, and minimizing weight have been top priorities for me. I rarely stay longer than 7-10 mins in a single hole, and all the gear I carry fits in the compact box/seat visible in the photos above. I am also on foot, mostly.

Carrying a FF unit with a battery means that I'll probably increase the weight of what I'm used to carrying by 80-120%. So, I am looking to equip a sled which has a comfortable seat, and the FF strategically mounted such that when I change holes, all I need to do is to pull the sled right up to the hole, drop down the transducer and sit down. I think Livescope - while incredible - will be too bulky for my personal liking and for the liking of my wallet as well.

I hear you on Garmin + Navionics. I haven't entirely ruled out Hummingbird. I do think that I'll want a little more features and functionality than what a classic Vexilar offers.


Like you, I pack very light. I don't use a shelter, I stay warm by moving and drilling holes every 5 minutes or so, unless I run into a nice school of fish.

For the most part, I leave the Humminbird in the sled, so everything moves with me. I drill, and drop down the transducer as I go along. I comes with a foam float that keep it at the right depth.



Won't work with the marcum, as it comes with a built in retractable arm to hold the ducer in place.





Offline Ruimachado

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #22 on: Nov 23, 2023, 03:23 PM »
If the objective is to stay minimalistic look into a castable fish finder, I use the garmin striker cast without gps, does just fine for ice fishing up to 80ft(haven't tried anything deeper than that yet) and actually has a decently wide cone for shallow water, paired with my phone on a mount to the sled with a 20000mah power bank and I can fish whole day without much fuss, garmin says the battery on the striker cast lasts 8h, I have fished from sunup to sundown many times without recharging it, usually my phone will die before the fish finder hence  carrying the power bank.
Pros are portability and half decent unit for the size, haven't noticed much lag at all using it.
Cons, if you're fishing with someone else using a FF it will be impossible to use it, the interference is wild(haven't had a problem when the other person using a flasher), thick ice you loose a little bit of your cone since it floats in the water oppose to a FF or flasher that you drop the transducer below the ice, not a concern for me since I mostly fish MA and the ice is never thick enough to affect it, only time I had trouble was 3 years ago on Winnipesaukee, 26" of ice plus snow on top, could still see the jig on 50ft of water but had to play around with the settings and lost a little sensitivity.
I understand that a unit like I use is not for everyone, but is small and light(fits in my pocket) and I don't use it when camping on the ice, I have a underwater camera for that, it's mostly a jigging on the move unit, great to check depths even thru the ice and my fish finder for the float tube on open water, unit will be 4years this season and still going great

Offline FishingFredrik

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #23 on: Nov 23, 2023, 07:05 PM »
Thank you for the additional information!  Super helpful. A lot to think about. Knowing that any kind of the most basic FF will completely revolutionize my ice fishing, I'm trying to prevent myself from getting something ridiculously advanced and pricey.

My hesitancy to get a FF previously has been a) apprehension about taking away the element of surprise of the hit, and b) the thought of how frustrating it must be to see fish beneath my feet and not having them hit my lure, ha! While the object of ice fishing is to catch fish, clearly, I think the pleasure it provides me isn't necessarily proportionate to the amount of fish that I catch. There is more to it than that. One part of it is figuring out the pattern and behavior of the target species on any given day.

I think I might brave the crowds at my local BassPro store tomorrow, Black Friday to take a look at the different options.

Thanks again!
Luck is only a small part of it.

Offline FreshwaterPhil

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #24 on: Nov 23, 2023, 08:25 PM »
It changed my game by time. Especially lakers, bass. They tend to hit suspended at given depths on most days. This one appeared in my ice hole after I pulled my line out and was about to move a new hole. I saw the giant mark just as I was about to pull the ducer, dropped my line down immediately and bang. Never would have known without my unit.





Offline Steamtrain

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #25 on: Nov 24, 2023, 07:03 AM »
Good luck getting a ff!

I’ll add, get a ff with a display you can see easily and comfortably.

Offline Steve H.

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #26 on: Nov 24, 2023, 09:24 AM »
I use the garmin striker cast without gps, does just fine for ice fishing up to 80ft

Way off topic (sorry), but I got one of these recently for hike-in trout ponds with my float tube.  Pretty sweet, super small and light, and works great!  Much easier to find the deeper holes where the trout are hanging out and there's no rises to reveal their locations.

Offline bassin212

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #27 on: Nov 25, 2023, 06:32 PM »
Check out the thread “best ice fishing deals” thread on the general forum. 



https://www.landmsupply.com/marcum-m1x-flasher-system
Tight Lines!

Offline FishingFredrik

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Re: Second but last ice session?
« Reply #28 on: Nov 25, 2023, 09:04 PM »
That's pretty nifty, Steve. That Garmin Striker seems like great value. Thanks for the link, Bassin212. I am going to see if I can find any deals on Cyber Monday.
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Offline bassin212

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