Ice Fishing with a Flasher: How to Read an Ice Fishing Flasher
Ice Fishing Flasher
An ice fishing flasher is one of many ice fishing electronics that can help you enjoy more successful time out at the ice hole. An experienced ice angler usually knows about an ice flasher and is more than happy to use a high-tech method that finds fish targets and best fishing spots for you to set up your ice hole. If you haven’t tried fishing with a fish flasher, this season might be the best time to give this ice fishing finder tool a try.
Ice fishing flashers are a type of fish finder that employs sonar to detect the depth of the water and fish and the activity of the fish as they react to your lure. There’s a bit of a learning curve for using a fish flasher, but once you get the hang of it, using one will be easy and will make your job as an ice angler a lot easier.
Getting Started with the Flasher
First, let’s go over the basics of using an ice fishing flasher.
Start by hanging the transducer about a foot deep into the ice hole. Once it’s in, you’ll turn it on with a twist to the first depth, which is usually about 20 feet. The flasher will show a red bar if you’ve immersed it deeper than 20 feet, so you’ll need to up it to the next level if this is the case. You’re aiming for a few inches of red on the screen. The changes in the reading are due to the dial adjusting to the sensitivity of the sonar unit, which is finding your lure and how far the fishare from the bottom of the body of water.
Ice fishing flashers can also help you specify your fish targets. You’ll want to turn it down if you want to catch larger fish or turn it up if you are aiming for smaller fish.
Once you’ve identified the overlay depth scale on the flasher, you’ll need to identify when fish are coming near your lure. You do this by using the flasher’s interference reducer (IR) button. It keeps your display clear and reduces the distortion. There are also some flashers that have a zoom feature, so you’re able to monitor the range of the water column and zoom down at least five feet. These extra features are great for beginners because they really help you identify the best fishing spots.
Reading an Ice Fishing Flasher
Once your flasher is set up and ready to go, you’ll need to figure out how to read it.
On your flasher, you’ll see the bottom of the lake, your lure, cover in the area, and fish that are nearby. The size of the objects are represented by varying colors on the flasher. So, for example, if you drop your flasher into an area with a lot of vegetation, you’ll see green bars on the screen instead of red. Yellow and green is an indication that a fish is nearby. Red and yellow near the bottom also mean a fish is close. You’ll be able to watch the color changes that occur as you drop your lure and you’ll know when it’s near the bottom based on the color of the flasher.
It’s probably best to experiment with moving your flasher and lure into and out of different holes to get a feel for what the colors indicate and what they mean in regard to catching fish.
The best way to find fish quickly with a flasher is to figure out bottom circumference and flasher cone angle, both of which provide information about where fish are in proximity to your lure. As an example, if you’re dealing with a fishing hole with 20 feet of water, you’ll have a five foot wide cone. At 40 feet, your cone will be 10 feet wide. If there is a fish on the outside of the sonar cone or away from the cone angle, you’ll get just a weak signal, but if a fish is right below the flasher, you’ll get a reading that has a thick red line.
Flashers help you know exactly when to drop your bait and be able to keep an eye on things once your bait is underwater. Once you know there’s a fish in the area, you can work your bait slightly off the bottom to see if you get a bite. As fish get closer to your bait, you’ll know it because the flasher will indicate it by a thicker line. This really takes the guessing out of ice fishing because you know when and where to be a little bit more aggressive with your fishing. It keeps you from wasting a lot of time and trying to figure out if there is something there or how you need to react to get the fish’s attention. A flasher isn’t going to automatically hook a fish for you, but ice fishing sonar technology can make it a lot easier to find a fish – then it’s up to you to do the rest.
Evaluating the Condition of Your Hole
Another great way an ice fishing flasher helps you is by providing information about the hardness of the bottom of your fishing area. Keep in mind, harder bottoms usually mean fewer fish. If you get an all red line or just thin green lines, it usually means you’re dealing with a rock-hard bottom because the sonar cannot penetrate the hard bottom. Soft bottoms show as wide bands and help you find fish which are more likely to be feeding in areas with softer bottoms.
Flashers also help you cover water and give you greater mobility. To find schools of fish, you’ll need to keep moving as the day wears on. Flashers let you check holes quickly, so you aren’t wasting hours in each hole getting nowhere. It’s one of the easiest ways to “fish fast” so you aren’t sitting and waiting only to find there is nothing it the area. It also makes it easier to fish for differing species by switching out your lures as you move from hole to hole. Many anglers like to set up a single hole and sit and wait when ice fishing, but you really do have more success if you are willing to be mobile. An ice fishing flasher makes mobility much easier.
Source of featured image: canva.com