Using Regular Fish Finders for Ice Fishing. Is It an Option? – Fishing & Hunting

Fishing is one of the most relaxing activities out there, especially if you have all the right equipment packed with you– here is how you can select the ‌‌best ice fishing fish finder. However, if you are a hobbyist angler and you are wondering about whether or not you can use a regular fish finder to up your chances of catching something during the cold season, this article contains all the answers for you.

It is likely that you are aware that employing a fish finder can considerably increase your chances of catching fish. If you are the type of person that enjoys fishing at any time of year, investing in gear that can be used specifically during the winter months can prove to be a significant financial investment for you. However, it should be mentioned that a standard fish finder built of robust materials can be just as useful during the colder months of the year.

How to convert a regular fish finder into an ice fish finder?

The vast majority of fish finders may be used for ice fishing. However, in order to accomplish this, you must make two little adjustments. A portable power supply is required, and a method of leveling the transducer in the ice hole must also be devised, both of which are described below.

Despite the fact that some anglers believe that you do not absolutely need to invest in a specific transducer, doing so is highly advised for the reasons listed below. ice fishing transducers have a tiny profile and are therefore easier to transport than other types of transducers.

The other type, however, is that they are also self-leveling and that they are supplied with an additional cord that contains a foam float that allows you to alter the depth of your gadget according on the thickness of the ice. They are also constructed in such a way that they will not be destroyed as a result of being exposed to low temperatures.

In order to make your conventional fish finder portable, you must first purchase a battery that is compatible with the machine that you now own. One useful tip to bear in mind is that 12 to 15 Ah batteries have, on average, higher cold tolerance and, according to some, a longer life span than other types of rechargeable batteries. The use of an insulated carry case is also recommended.

The fact that certain fish finder manufacturers supply conversion kits for you to use if you want to change your boat’s fish finder into one that can be used for ice fishing is an extremely useful piece of information to be aware of.

You can therefore save money by not needing to purchase a new fish finder during the winter months if you already have a low-cost boat fish finder that you are not scared to take out and use for ice fishing. In contrast, if your boat’s fish finder is prohibitively pricey, it may be advisable for you to invest in a specialized one, particularly if you enjoy going ice fishing on a regular basis.

Do I need to drill an additional hole?

When using a fish finder, you will, as you may assume, have to use a lot of holes. In other words, you should not insert the device into the same hole that you use to insert your rod into the device. As a result, you should avoid making any extra moves because they will almost certainly have an impact on what the finder displays.

Prepare a hole as large as possible for the fish finder by drilling a hole through the ground. Once the hole has been drilled, insert the transducer into the hole to obtain a reading of its condition. Given that you have received a clear reading from the transducer, you may proceed to put it in a sturdy location so that it does not move around. As soon as this is completed, you will be free to pursue your favorite recreational activity.


Before you use your conventional fish finder to go ice fishing, you should take a few precautions to ensure your safety. For example, you must try to keep the device as far away from the elements as you possibly can while using it. This means that while you are not actively using the finder, you must cover the screen of the finder with your hands.

When you remove the gadget from the water, pat the cold water down with a dry towel to prevent it from freezing and causing damage to the item. If the finder that you are using begins to malfunction, the best thing that you can do is to store it in a dry and, if feasible, warm environment. The majority of the time, this occurs when the device’s batteries become faulty or damaged.

Regular fish finders vs. ice fish finders

In addition, as we previously stated, using a conventional fish finder rather than a dedicated ice fishing machine is more cost effective in the long run. The standard gadgets can be used on a boat, and if you already own one, you are most likely aware with how it operates, which is an extremely crucial feature to take into consideration.

However, it should be noted that there are some disadvantages to using these equipment for ice fishing that should be considered. Starting with the fact that they have to be dismantled from your boat every year in order to be used for ice fishing, you run the risk of causing significant damage. Furthermore, they may not be as robust when used in freezing temperatures, and you will have to purchase a new transducer in order to continue using them.

As an alternative, specialised ice fishing finders are portable, self-leveling, and equipped with mapping and charting features that can be quite useful to fishermen when fishing on ice. Nonetheless, it should be noted that some models are quite pricey, and that some of them are not suitable for usage all year round due to their design. You will need to experiment with them until you learn how to use them correctly, just like you would with any other new technology. This might be challenging, especially if you are limited in your time available to you.


If you want to save money and you are not the type of fisherman who goes fishing on a regular basis throughout the winter, it may be advisable for you to stick with your standard fish finder instead of upgrading. The ultimate result will be that you will save money while also being able to catch fish regardless of the season you are fishing in.

It may, however, be advisable for you to invest in a specialized fisher if you are a fishing fanatic who goes fishing frequently, particularly during the winter. Even though purchasing an additional device will cost you some additional money, it will provide you with all of the assistance that you require when fishing during the colder months.

Ice fishing tips

However much you enjoy fishing by yourself, one of the most important suggestions you should keep in mind as a newbie fisherman is to go on your ice fishing trip with someone who has more fishing expertise than you. Being alongside a more experienced fisher can make the entire procedure more pleasurable and, more crucially, more successful, because ice fishing has its own set of rules and regulations to follow.

Furthermore, before you embark on your first excursion, be certain that you have packed the appropriate equipment and that you are dressed in clothing that will keep you warm in the cold. When it comes to footwear, there is one item of apparel that you should not skimp on when you are out shopping.

Don’t go overboard when it comes to your dress selection. Putting on clothing that is either too warm or not warm enough can be just as uncomfortable as the opposite. When shopping for clothing, look for items that are breathable, moisture-wicking, and comfortable.

Learn the skills one at a time, starting with the most basic. One mistake that newcomers make is attempting to learn all of the skills in a single excursion. As you may assume, this will not provide you with the results that you are seeking to achieve. As a result, rather than hopping from one approach to another, the best thing you can do is pick one and devote your time and effort to mastering it. Once you are confident that you can handle it, try a different one.

Safety is perhaps the most critical factor to consider, and it is one that should never be overlooked. You must keep in mind when fishing that the ice does not remain homogeneous throughout the body of water in which you are casting your line. Make sure you know what you’re doing and that you utilize an ice pick in order to avoid any unexpected accidents.

It should go without saying that you should avoid ice that forms over moving water because this type of ice is typically lesser in strength. Getting in touch with a local who is familiar with the area might also be really beneficial.

In the event that you are going ice fishing alone, make sure to bring your phone along so that you can call for assistance if something goes wrong. In a similar vein, you should make certain that someone is aware of your whereabouts. This can assist rescuers in locating you in a timely manner.