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Thread: fish finder myth?

  1. #1

    Default fish finder myth?

    I have a "fishin'-buddy" fish-finder that goes over the edge of a drift boat, I haven't used it in 8 years since I was back in Oregon. The other day someone told me I could just put it onto the ice and it would read the depth right through the ice. Myth?
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  2. #2
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    try it, let us know, it could work...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  3. #3

    Default

    Never tried it, but I'm sure the transducer would have to actually be in the water. There can't be air between the transducer and the water.

  4. #4
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Maybe

    Some units can shoot through the ice. But usually, you chip out a small hole, fill it with water and then place the transducer in the hole and shoot. A cup of water has worked on occasion too. My portable we had a bracket that would lay along the edge of the hole, transducer below the ice.

    It all depends on the units power and the thickness of the ice.

    Remember that the only way that you are going to see a fish though is if it is actually in the cone. In 8-10 feet of water, the fish would probably have to be right in the cone (1-2 feet of space) to pick up the fish. We have mounted the transducer on a swivel and side-shot to see how far they were away from our hole.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  5. #5

    Default I'll Try It

    I'm not really looking for fish, not that it wouldn't be a bonus, but it would help on those lakes to find a deep spot instead of augaring into gravel over and over! I'll let you know how it works.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  6. #6
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Default Hand held depth finder

    I have the IDEAL depth finder for sale in the swap and sell section. Reads depth to 99' operates on one 9 volt battery. Check it out only $75.00 262-7837

  7. #7
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Its not a myth! I have used a depth finder on the ice for years, especially on lakes I'm unfamiliar with. I use it more to find bottom structure than actual fish. When the ice is less than about 6 inches thick you can just put the transducer right on the ice. When the ice is 6" to 2' thick you'll need to drill a shallow hole, about 2", fill it with water then put the transducer in the hole. with ice thicker than about 3' all you'll get is a depth reading.

    Ops sorry Dave just shot off my response without reading yours past the "Maybe"
    Last edited by Rick P; 11-05-2007 at 13:07. Reason: Added PS

  8. #8

    Default Questions for Rick P

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    Its not a myth! I have used a depth finder on the ice for years, especially on lakes I'm unfamiliar with. I use it more to find bottom structure than actual fish. When the ice is less than about 6 inches thick you can just put the transducer right on the ice. When the ice is 6" to 2' thick you'll need to drill a shallow hole, about 2", fill it with water then put the transducer in the hole. with ice thicker than about 3' all you'll get is a depth reading.

    Ops sorry Dave just shot off my response without reading yours past the "Maybe"
    Questions:
    1.So if the ice is 4 feet thick, can I get a depth reading still by putting it right on the ice, or do I have to make a small hole and fill it with water?
    2.If it is say 4.5 or 5 feet, can I get a depth reading at all?
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  9. #9
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildog View Post
    Questions:
    1.So if the ice is 4 feet thick, can I get a depth reading still by putting it right on the ice, or do I have to make a small hole and fill it with water?
    2.If it is say 4.5 or 5 feet, can I get a depth reading at all?

    1) In my experience with ice thicker than about 6" you need the hole with a small amount of water to get any reading that is reliable. If you just put the transducer on the ice at thicknesses greater than 6" it will often only tell you how thick the ice is.

    2) Thickest ice I've used it on was about 4' I'll have to drag it along when I go north this winter and see if I get any reading with ice thicker than 4'.

    BTW I have found over the years that results varied greatly from unit to unit depending on transducer type and signal strength. Oh and coffee seems to work as well as plain water.

  10. #10
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default But...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick P View Post
    1) In my experience with ice thicker than about 6" you need the hole with a small amount of water to get any reading that is reliable. If you just put the transducer on the ice at thicknesses greater than 6" it will often only tell you how thick the ice is.

    2) Thickest ice I've used it on was about 4' I'll have to drag it along when I go north this winter and see if I get any reading with ice thicker than 4'.

    BTW I have found over the years that results varied greatly from unit to unit depending on transducer type and signal strength. Oh and coffee seems to work as well as plain water.
    ..it only works well if their is no air trapped between ice layers. Such as if it snowed, or slushed, then re-froze, it can cause problems.

  11. #11

    Default

    When I was a kid my dad use to use windshield washer fluid on the ice. Almost everyone did until a newspaper article came out explaining that windshield washer fluid wasn't exactly the most enviromentally friendly thing to do. Now, I carry a water bottle with me and pour a little on the ice and take a depth reading. When I find what I'm looking for I drill a hole and then put the transducer down the hole and drop my line down. I use a Vexilar which is designed for ice fishing.

  12. #12
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Sayak
    Large bubbles in the ice can also affect the readings, again I use it to find bottom structure and drop offs. To use it for fish location you basically have to drill through the entire thickness of the ice.

  13. #13

    Default Can't wait to try it this year

    I'm pretty excited to use it now, I've had it for years and didn't know that all this time I could have been using it instead of drilling right into gravel, rocks, mud, etc all these years looking for a deep spot on lakes such as susitna and louise.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  14. #14
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Wilddog
    Drop me a PM I'd be happy to have you tag along on one of my ice fishing trips, I have a heated shanty too.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildog View Post
    I have a "fishin'-buddy" fish-finder that goes over the edge of a drift boat, I haven't used it in 8 years since I was back in Oregon. The other day someone told me I could just put it onto the ice and it would read the depth right through the ice. Myth?
    Some transducers can be mounted to the inside of the haul but the type you have I don't think will work through the ice. Yours is made to lowered over the side of a boat into the water. You need a transducer will a better depth rang to get through the ice.

  16. #16

    Default

    I remember when the LCD's where just coming out. My old man bought one, made a box for it and we used it ice fishn in MN.

    To locate fish or depth, just pour water on the ice. no need for chipping or drilling holes of any depth. Unless your transducer is not flat.

    Not all fish finders are going to have the umph to get through 5' of ice. But they should.

    I have the marcum LX5 and love it. It's worth every penny. I couldnt justify it if I was just tinkering around for trout, but if you're serious about big hardwater fishn, it wont let you down.

    I'll try and get the info and maybe a pic of my old mans setup. It's back in Mn so it might be a couple of days. It worked great, was a pretty cheap unit. Being he's a welder the box is homemade. The transducer was mounted on a rod we dropped down the hole just below the ice though with the right settings you didn't need to do this. We ran the unit on a small dirt bike battery.

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