Electronics for “Hard” Water

   02.16.16

Electronics for “Hard” Water

Many good open-water anglers are lost on a lake without high-end boat electronics. Sensitive sonar and GPS units have made the search for fish and structure easier, surer, and save a lot of time between strikes.

It’s the same for ice fishing, though not nearly as many winter anglers rely on electronics as they should.

Modern portable flasher-unit fathometers like the popular Vexilar FL-8 readily show suspended fish through the ice, and often those are the targets most likely to strike lures and baits. The Vexilar FL-8 has a three-color display, making it easy to determine structure, depth, fish, and even lures and baits deployed below the ice.

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At times fish hugging the bottom must be found through the ice, and sonar with a bottom-zoom feature like the Vexilar FL-18 is helpful.

Some avid ice fishermen successfully employ underwater cameras to help pinpoint fish for exacting lure and bait presentations. Aqua Vu is the best-known brand, and some models are so sophisticated they have underwater floodlights, digital read-outs of how deep a camera is lowered, and in what direction it’s pointed–thus giving an accurate fish-eye view of the chilly world of walleyes, panfish, bass, and pike below hard water.

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