Fish Finder Tech

Best Ice Fishing Fish Finders 2024

With ice fishing becoming more and more popular, there are lots of options on the market right now to choose from. How do you know which one you really need? With ice fishing, since you don’t fish on a boat, you don’t really need a fish finder that mounts to one. For the most part, the portable fish finders are more than acceptable to use however there are specific fish finders made for ice fishing. In this post we will review some of the top ice fishing fish finders/ice fishing flasher/sonar unit(s), and provide you with information on where to purchase them.

Marcum MX-7GPSLI Marcum LX-7 Vexilar FLX-20 Marcum LX-6s Vexilar FLX-28
marcum lx-7 ice fishing vexilar FLX 20 ice fishing fish finder marcun lx 6 vexilar FLX 28
Frequency: 200 khz Frequency: 50/200 kHz Frequency: 200 kHz Frequency: 50/200 kHz Frequency: 200 kHz
Transducer: Dual Beam 8/20 Degree Ice Transducer Transducer: LX-Series Dual Beam 8/20 Degree Ice Transducer: 12°, 19°, Pro-View Transducer: LX-Series Dual Beam 8/20 Degree Ice Transducer Transducer: Pro-View
Screen: LCD Screen: LCD Screen: N/A Screen: LCD Screen: N/A
Screen Size: 7" Screen Size: 8" Screen Size: N/A Screen Size: 6" Screen Size: N/A
Resolution: 800 x 480 pixels Resolution: 800x400 pixel Resolution: N/A Resolution: 640x480 pixels Resolution: N/A
GPS: Internal, High Precision GPS: N/A GPS: N/A GPS: N/A GPS: N/A
Maps Included: Navionics® Basemap Maps Included: N/A Maps Included: N/A Maps Included: N/A Maps Included: N/A
Memory Card Slots: Micro SD Memory Card Slots: N/A Memory Card Slots: N/A Memory Card Slots: N/A Memory Card Slots: N/A
Backlit: N/A Backlit: Yes Backlit: N/A Backlit: Yes Backlit: N/A
Best Price (Amazon) Best Price (Bass Pro) Best Price (Amazon) Best Price (Bass Pro) Best Price (Amazon) Best Price (Bass Pro) Best Price (Bass Pro) Best Price (Amazon) Best Price (Bass Pro)

Things to Consider

Find out things you should look for when buying a Fish Finder...

Looking for the best ice fishing fish finder? Here is a breakdown:

Marcum MX-7GPSLI

ice fishing fish finder

Key Features:

  • Sonar Quality: High-performance sonar with excellent interference rejection.
  • Display: Lagless, bright display with great display options and high luminance.
  • Transducer: Dual Beam 8/20 Degree Ice Transducer.
  • Frequency: Operates at 200 kHz.
  • Screen: 7" LCD with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.
  • GPS: Internal, high precision GPS.
  • Maps: Comes with a Navionics® Basemap.
  • Memory Card Slots: Features Micro SD slots for additional storage.
  • Depth Finding: Offers manual, automatic, and dynamic depth finding options.
  • Construction: Durable build with a reinforced Kevlar transducer cord.
  • Battery Life: Long battery life with a Lithium Shuttle for extended use.
  • Ease of Setup: Minimal setup required, essentially plug-and-play


  • Fantastic sonar
  • Excellent interference rejection
  • Lagless, bright display
  • Great display options
  • Minimal setup


  • Subpar mapping out of the box
  • Takes a while to learn to navigate
  • Screen is smaller than the LX-7
  • Only one operating frequency

Marcum LX-7

marcum lx-7 ice fishing

Key Features:

  • Target Separation: 1/2" target separation for precise readings.
  • Range Functions: Auto Range, Dynamic Range, and Auto Zoom features.
  • Transducer: LX-Series Dual Beam 8/20 Degree Ice Transducer.
  • Frequency: Operates on 50/200 kHz.
  • Screen: 8" LCD screen with a resolution of 800x400 pixels and backlight.
  • Display: Innovative screen space utilization with a six-color flasher and various data displays.
  • Interface: Operated by touchpad, featuring buttons for key functions like zoom, range, interference rejection, etc.
  • Features: Includes Auto Range, Dynamic function for range extension, adjustable Auto Zoom, and Target Adjust.
  • Interference Rejection: 12 steps of interference rejection.
  • Transducer Flexibility: Dual beam transducer with 8° and 20° beams, suitable for different fishing conditions and depths up to 300 feet.
  • Overall Impression: Recognized for its innovation in providing comprehensive information on a single screen, despite some limitations like screen glare and interface complexity.


  • 1/2" Target Separation
  • Auto Range
  • Dynamic Range
  • Auto Zoom
  • Dual Angle Transducer
  • Multiple Views
  • 6 Colour Display


  • No CHIRP
  • Screen Prone to Glare

Vexilar FLX-20

vexilar FLX 20 ice fishing fish finder

Key Features:

  • Display: Super bright display with three-color LED showing signal strength.
  • Target Separation: 1/2" target separation for precise fish and structure identification.
  • Zoom Functions: Auto Zoom and Low Power Zoom for detailed viewing.
  • Split Screen: Offers 6' and 12' split-screen options.
  • Interference Rejection: Excellent interference rejection to reduce noise from other devices.
  • Frequency: Operates at 200 kHz.
  • Transducer Options: Compatible with 12°, 19°, and Pro-View transducers.
  • Interface: Simplified control with three knobs for all settings.
  • Night Mode: Dimmable LEDs for comfortable night fishing.
  • Pack Options: Available in Genz Pack, Pro Pack, and Ultra Pack, each with different features and accessories.
  • Construction: Designed for durability and ease of use, especially in ice fishing conditions.


  • Super Bright Display
  • 1/2" Target Separation
  • Auto Zoom
  • Low Power Mode (and Low Power Zoom)
  • 6' and 12' Split Screen
  • Fantastic Interference Rejection


  • No CHIRP
  • Flasher Only

Marcum LX-6s

marcun lx 6

Key Features:

  • Target Separation: Offers 3/4" target separation, allowing for precise detection of fish and structure.
  • Range Functions: Auto Range and Dynamic Range for easy and effective depth determination.
  • Transducer: LX-Series Dual Beam 8/20 Degree Ice Transducer, suitable for various ice fishing conditions.
  • Frequency: Operates on dual frequencies of 50/200 kHz.
  • Screen: 6" LCD with a resolution of 640x480 pixels, backlit for better visibility.
  • Display Options: Features a 6-color display, with multiple view options including flasher style, vertical column, and graph mode. Includes a split-screen function.
  • Interface: Controlled via a responsive touchpad, though navigating menus may require some familiarity.
  • Zoom Feature: Standard zoom function, especially useful for focusing on specific sections of the water column.
  • Transducer Capabilities: Designed for ice fishing, offering both narrow and wide cone options for depth and precision.
  • Portability and Case Design: Highly portable with an improved case design compared to the LX-6, making it suitable for new ice anglers.
  • Overall: A feature-dense and affordable unit, ideal for beginners, with the only drawback being its relatively small screen size, which can be mitigated through various adjustments.


  • 3/4" Target Separation
  • Auto Range
  • Dynamic Range
  • Dual Angle Transducer
  • Multiple Views
  • 6-Colour Display
  • Improved case VS the LX-6


  • No CHIRP
  • Screen is on the small side

Vexilar FLX-28

vexilar FLX 28

Key Features:

  • Super Bright Display: Offers clear visibility with very bright LED lights.
  • 1/2" Target Separation: Accurately differentiates between targets as close as half an inch apart.
  • Auto Range: Automatically determines and displays the depth of the water.
  • Auto Zoom: Includes a split-screen view for detailed observation of selected water depths.
  • Weed Fishing Mode: Optimizes sonar for clearer readings when fishing in weedy areas.
  • Low Power Mode: Reduces power consumption and interference in shallow water.
  • 6' and 12' Split Screen: Enables viewing of different segments of the water column simultaneously.
  • Fantastic Interference Rejection: Effectively minimizes noise from other devices in the water.
  • Pro-View Transducer: Offers a wide range of depth (up to 300 feet) and is made from cold-resistant material for durability.
  • Pack Options: Comes with either the Pro Pack or the Ultra Pack, featuring additional accessories like tackle boxes and rod holders.


  • Super Bright Display
  • 1/2" Target Separation
  • Auto Range
  • Auto Zoom
  • Weed Fishing Mode
  • Low Power Mode
  • 6' and 12' Split Screen
  • Fantastic Interference Rejection


  • No CHIRP
  • Flasher Only

How to Choose an Ice Fishing Fish Finder

Key Features to Consider

Display Quality:

The display is like your window into the watery world below. You want a screen big enough to read at a glance, with crisp resolution that doesn’t look like an old-school video game when showing fish and structure. And since you’ll be out in the glare of the sun reflecting off the ice, or in the dim light of early dawn, getting a finder with a screen that's readable in all lighting conditions is a big plus.

Sonar Capabilities:

Sonar is the bread and butter of any fish finder. You've got options like CHIRP, which sends out a continuous sweep of frequencies for better detail, or dual-frequency, which is great for showing you the difference between a school of minnows or the lunker you’re after. It's about getting that clear picture of what's beneath you, so you’re not just drilling holes willy-nilly.

Portability and Durability:

Out on the ice, you need gear that can withstand the cold and won’t have a meltdown if it takes a little tumble. Look for a finder that's compact, easy to lug around, and won't crack under the weight of your boot if you accidentally step on it.

Battery Life:

Cold weather is the arch-nemesis of battery life. Look for a fish finder with a battery that can handle the cold and won’t bail on you quicker than your buddy who forgot his thermal socks.

GPS and Mapping:

Having built-in GPS and mapping features is like having a treasure map where ‘X’ marks the hotspot. It's perfect for marking those spots where you hit the jackpot so that you can find your way back or share it with a pal (or not!).

Additional Considerations

Transducer Types and Performance:

The transducer on your fish finder is like the probe droid the Empire sent down to Hoth – it's what scouts out the fish. Understanding the differences between transducer types, like cone angles and frequencies, ensures you're getting the most accurate reading of the underwater landscape.

Ease of Use:

Nobody wants to fiddle with a million buttons with gloves on. A finder with a user-friendly interface will save you from frosty frustrations.

Compatibility with Ice Fishing Gear:

It's all about the setup. Make sure your fish finder plays nice with your other ice fishing kit, so you can focus on the fish, not fumbling with gear.

Budget and Value for Money

Prices for fish finders can range from “my first fish finder” to “I might need to take out a second mortgage.” Spend within your means, and remember that the most expensive option isn't always the best for your specific situation. It's about finding that sweet spot where cost, quality, and features intersect.

So, unwrap that thermal blanket, pour yourself a steamy cup of joe and start sifting through fish finders with these tips in your tackle box. Remember, the right fish finder won’t just help you catch more fish; it’ll make your whole ice fishing experience more successful and enjoyable. Tight lines and clear displays, my friends!

How Do Ice Fishing Locators Work?

Traditional Ice Fishing Flashers

Take the Vexilar FLX28, for example. Traditional ice fishing flashers offer a straightforward circular display, lighting up in colors like red, yellow, and green, which signal various aspects underwater. Red typically denotes the lake's bottom or indicates fish depth, while green tends to highlight weed presence or other cover. These devices are valued for their ease of use and have a loyal following among anglers due to their reliability and straightforward performance. Even without the bells and whistles of newer technologies, flashers have stood the test of time as effective fish-finding tools.

Ideal for anglers seeking a no-frills visual of what's below the ice without extra features like GPS.

Modern Digital Ice Fishing Locators

On the flip side, digital locators such as the Humminbird Helix 10 possess a sizable LCD offering a multifaceted view akin to standard boat-mounted fish finders. Suitable for both open water and ice fishing use, they show a detailed representation of the sonar returns, often complete with a flasher mode for fans of the familiar display. They earn their stripes by incorporating GPS and mapping capabilities, allowing you to chart lake layouts, mark favorite spots, and expertly navigate uncharted waters. Though they're on the pricier end of the spectrum, digital locators win over tech-savvy anglers thanks to their sophisticated functionalities and customization.

These are excellent for those who prioritize detailed displays, require automatic depth tracking, and value GPS maps for navigating new or lesser-known fishing grounds.

Summing it up, modern locator technology certainly makes ice fishing more efficient, but if GPS and mapping don't hook your interest, a traditional ice fishing flasher could serve you just fine – helping you peer into the watery depths and hopefully, leading to a more fruitful ice fishing expedition!

How To Read An Ice Fishing Fish Finder

Imagine a flasher's display marked with icons for a lure, a fish, and the lakebed. Flashers use color-coded signals to represent the strength of sonar echoes. Typically, green signifies weaker echoes from softer objects like vegetation, yellow indicates medium-strength echoes, possibly from fish or smaller objects, and red represents strong echoes from hard surfaces, usually the lakebed.

The intensity of the sonar return tells you about the sonar's encounter underwater and how much of the signal was reflected back to the unit. For instance, when the sonar wave meets vegetation, it doesn't bounce back entirely, yielding a green signal. Conversely, when it hits the lakebed, the signal returns in full force, creating a red display.

To gauge the water's depth, watch for a continuous red band. This band might be interspersed with green or yellow if the bottom is somewhat soft. If there's no distinct red band, you might need to modify your sonar's range by utilizing the associated control.

how to read an ice fishing fish finder

By tweaking the gain, or sensitivity, you control the redness of objects on the display, making it easier to differentiate between various underwater elements. Increasing the gain will show more items as red, while decreasing it results in fainter signals. Briefly playing with the gain can help you better spot fish amidst the underwater terrain.

It's worth mentioning that flashers may present data differently across brands and models, so it's essential to refer to your specific unit's user manual. This guide not only helps with accurate interpretation but also often provides manufacturer's tips to maximize your flasher's performance.


Can I use my ice fish finder in both winter and summer conditions? 

Absolutely, many modern ice fish finders are designed for year-round use. Convertible models come with an ice fishing mode and a traditional open-water mode, along with appropriate accessories (like transducers and mounts) that make the switch between seasons a breeze.

What are the pros and cons of using a flasher vs. a digital sonar unit for ice fishing?

Flasher Pros: Real-time response, simplicity, durability, typically has a longer battery life, and may be more dependable in extremely cold conditions.
Flasher Cons: Less detailed information, no GPS or mapping capabilities, and a less intuitive display for new anglers.
Digital Sonar Pros: Advanced features, GPS and mapping capabilities, detailed displays with history, adaptable for various fishing types, and often customizable.
Digital Sonar Cons: Generally more expensive, could have a steeper learning curve, and may require more power.

How do I properly maintain and store my ice fish finder to ensure its longevity? 

To keep your ice fish finder in good shape, always clean it after use, protect it from extreme temperatures when not in use, and store it in a dry place. Remove the batteries to prevent corrosion, and consider a protective case to shield it from accidental drops or scratches.

What are the latest technological advancements in ice fishing sonar technology?

The latest advancements include better battery performance in cold weather, higher screen resolutions, and improved sonar technology like CHIRP for clearer imaging. Also on the rise are mobile integration and Wi-Fi connectivity for seamless updates and data sharing.

How important is screen quality in an ice fish finder, and what should I look for?

Screen quality matters a lot, especially for clarity in direct sunlight or low-light situations. Look for a high-resolution screen with good contrast and backlighting. A screen with anti-glare properties and a size that suits your eyesight and preferences is also crucial.

Can I use my ice fish finder for other types of fishing, like kayak or shore fishing?

Yes, multi-purpose fish finders are available that can be used for various fishing styles. These units come with different modes and transducers suitable for kayak, shore, and boat fishing, among others.

How does ice thickness and clarity affect the performance of an ice fish finder?

Ice thickness and clarity can impact sonar performance. Thick ice, particularly if it's bubbled or has layers of slush, can absorb or scatter the sonar signal, reducing your unit's effectiveness. For best results, ensure your transducer is placed in firm contact with clear, solid ice.

What safety precautions should I take when using an ice fish finder?

Always check the ice thickness manually before setting up. Use a floatation device and carry rescue spikes. Make sure to secure the transducer and fish finder cables so they don't become a tripping hazard, which could cause injury or damage the unit.

Are there ice fish finders specifically designed for beginners?

Yes, beginner-friendly fish finders are available, often featuring simplified controls, intuitive displays, and basic sonar capabilities that cater to those who are new to the sport or who prefer a straightforward approach to ice fishing. We recommend the Vexilar FLX-20 because of it's user-friendly interface.

Benefits of Ice Fishing Fish Finders

There are many advantages to a ice fishing fish finder.

  • They are the best choice for a fisherman who requires a mobile device and options when fishing.
  • These units can pack away into a tackle box and cast off from many different locations.
  • These units are usually cheaper and smaller than mounted devices but offer lots of value for the price.
  • A lot of them are used with a phone or a tablet by way of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Why Trust Fish Finder Tech

At, our commitment to accuracy and authenticity is as deep as the waters we explore. Our mission is to guide anglers through the vast ocean of fishing technology with honest, in-depth reviews and state-of-the-art advice. The world of sonar equipment and navigational tools can be as complex as the ecosystems beneath our boats, but our team of seasoned experts makes it accessible and easy to understand.

Our editorial team consists of passionate anglers, marine enthusiasts, and tech-savvy writers who not only have first-hand experience with the nuances of fishing technology but bring a journalist's eye for detail and a zeal for research. We dive deep into each product, scrutinizing specifications, and putting gear through rigorous field tests to ensure we recommend only the most reliable and effective equipment.

We're constantly casting lines for new information, interviewing product designers, engineers, and fishing professionals who share insights into the practical application and engineering behind the gear. This allows us to provide our readers with a comprehensive understanding of product features, performance, and value. operates with complete editorial independence. Our reviews are unaffected by advertising; our focus is solely on providing transparent evaluations and sharing the pros and cons of each product. We're committed to helping our community make informed decisions, whether they're seasoned anglers or new to the sport, ensuring that every purchase is a step towards an enhanced fishing experience.

In navigating the currents of the latest fishing gear and innovations, you can trust to be your compass, steering you towards the tools that will enrich your time on the water and potentially yield the best catches of your life.


We hope that these reviews will be a valuable resource in choosing the best device for you and help you choose a fish finder you need. Whether you’re going to be casting off from the shore, into holes in the ice, or using a kayak, these units will prove useful.

There are many models available with affordable price tags. They are all easy to use but have distinct drawbacks and advantages. That’s why you should choose the one that best suits your needs. If you’re more comfortable with buying and using a portable sonar fish finder after reading our articles, then we have been successful.

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