Ice fishing sonar technology has come a long way. First flashers became popular, then competition pushed them to get better and better. Some models even allow the addition of underwater cameras. One of the newest fish finder technologies to come about is smartphone and tablet compatible sonars. These devices are tiny, and they send a signal via bluetooth to your Android or iPhone application. These signals can have a range of nearly 100 feet. That makes them ideal for shore fishermen or kayak/canoe fishermen who want to extend their fish locating capabilities. Now you can toss a transducer up underneath an overhanging branch to see if a school of fish is hanging out underneath. But wait, we’re talking about ICE FISHING here. One of these bluetooth fish finder companies has made great strides in making their sonar ice fishing friendly. This company is called Deeper.
The Deeper fishfinder has two cone angle/frequency combinations. In ice fishing mode, the unit displays a flasher on your phone or tablet, utilizing a 290kHz, 15° cone angle. This gives a couple SIGNIFICANT advantages over a traditional flasher. For one, the transducer has no cords to tangle up in and weighs only 3.4 ounces. Talk about light weight hole hopping. You can carry nothing but a bucket, rod, hand auger, and ice scoop for hole hopping on those early ice trips! The transducer will fit in your pocket! Did I mention the price yet? It retails for $240. How much is that new Marcum? Quite a bit more.
Surely, there must be some disadvantages to this device, right? I mean, if you had all the capability of a flasher without the size and half the price, everyone would be using one! To be sure, there are disadvantages. The video goes in depth testing certain criteria, like interference, battery life, and signal delay, among other things. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal style as a fisherman. The Deeper works excellent for the mobile guys. Hole hopping and hitting the short, rapid bites around dawn and dusk are where it excels. It doesn’t fit the extended trip style as well. Limited battery life is one of the main drawbacks. While you can carry portable battery packs (and I usually do anyway for my phone and camera batteries), you need to remove the device from the water and unscrew the housing to charge. For a 4-day weekend, you’ll need to go without a flasher for several short stints if you plan on fishing the entire time.
Let me know what you think. I will be using the device because it fits my style well, as shown in the video (the middle segment of me crappie fishing really represents my typical fishing trips). Some of my friends won’t be using it because it doesn’t fit their style. Is this a device that would work well for you?