I have been on many ice fishing trips and i’ve used many types of different equipments over my ice fishing career, but i haven’t seen any piece of equipment that is as useful and as strange as flashers are. Most people can’t even grasp what they are used for, and i don’t blame them. At first glance, flashers look like some kind of color palette, which is pretty hard to interpret. The worst part about all this is that there is little to no information about flashers available online. That’s why i wanted to write this post and clearly answer some of the most common flasher-related questions i’ve seen asked online.
To put it simply, flashers work like this : they measure sound waves in the lake, thus giving you some idea of where the fish are likely to be. It is very effective in helping you choose the right spots to fish. It also measures how solid an object is. For example, water is not solid, it is liquid, and the fish are more solid than water, so that will help you identify where the fish are.
I love using the flasher, because i’m the kind of person who always doubts whether he’s in the right spot. Flasher allows me to judge my chosen spot with some certainty, so i can have peace of mind. Not only that, but it also allows me to see my jig and the situation around it. Usually, jigs will be marked as green on the monitor, and when you see yellow or red objects approaching it, that’s clear sign of some fish action. If you see that fish aren’t taking the bait, then you have the opportunity to change positioning or some other thing to improve your chances. Normally, if you were to make some kind of mistake, you would have no way of knowing. But with flashers allowing you to have all this information about what is going on underwater, you are much better equipped to experiment with your setup. Flashers are especially useful for data-driven OCD people like myself. I can’t rest well if i don’t certainly know that my ice fishing setup is done properly. When you’re buying a flasher, make sure that it has both – good underlying technology and solid quality screen. You should also read the manual, as it will be good guide in helping you interpret the colors on the screen. As i said before, it might seem confusing at first, but give it some time, and you’ll get better with practice. If you buy it used and it doesn’t come with a manual, you can check out reviews of your flasher on Youtube. The manufacturer might also have the manual published on their website.
Some flashers are simpler, while others are more advanced with advanced features. But even the more advanced versions are likely to come with option to automate most things. Simple, affordable flashers are also likely to allow you some degree of freedom in customizing your flasher’s settings. The feature of my flasher that i like the most is the zoom feature. This feature allows you to ignore the waters that are empty and focus all your attention and screen size on the areas that are active. This is much better because it makes better use of your screen size, and you are focused on waters that actually matter. This feature is adjustable, so if something changes, you can set it back to default. Most flashers, as far as i know, come with this feature pre-loaded.
Outside of steep learning curve, flashers don’t really have any disadvantage. They require little to care in terms of maintenance. The only thing that you might have to do is change a battery once in a while. Also, because it is electric, you should be careful around moisty frozen lake. You don’t want water getting inside. Having ice fishing flasher is really no brainer. If you can afford it, i definitely recommend getting one. It’s somewhat expensive, but no more expensive than good ice fishing shelters (about which you can learn here) or ice fishing apparel.