The Beginner's Guide to using an Ice Fishing Sonar

The Beginner’s Guide to using an Ice Fishing Sonar

Every year, a new set of anglers both young and old learn to use ice fishing sonar or flashers for the first time.  That said, I encounter many anglers on the hardwater each year that still have their ice sonar depth finder on default factory settings from when they bought the unit 10 years ago.  Whether you’re brand new to the game, or it’s old-hat, here are some answers to age old questions along with new ones to keep it interesting and catch more fish.

Consistency pays dividends finding walleyes

How To Be More Consistent On The Water

Everyone wants to be successful on the water. We all love to post on social media and to talk about the fun we had catching fish and spending time together with friends and family. The old adage says, a bad day fishing is still better than a day of work, but no one really likes having a bad day of fishing.

Once you dive into this worthy hobby you will quickly realize that a bad day is relative. For the beginner it could be not catching a single fish. For the guide it could be not filling out a limit. And for the professional it could be not making a top-ten but catching 40-50 target species fish during the eight hour day.

Can I use a MarCum on my boat? LX-7 Dash Mount

Can I use a MarCum on my Boat?

It’s this time of year when our ice sonar is swapped for long rods and soft water, but that doesn’t mean your MarCum should be put in the back corner of the garage. All sonar systems, digital or mechanical styles, offer keys and cues that help anglers be more successful on the water

That’s especially true in small crafts like kayaks, canoes, or small skiffs where a larger, permanently mounted traditional LCD display isn’t in play. Here’s just a few ways to trick your craft, whatever it may be, and get the very most from your MarCum.

Mississippi Pool 4 Walleyes

How To Fish Pool 4 For Early Spring Walleyes

Minnesota’s early May fishing opener is a date most avid walleye anglers have circled on the calendar, but long before May is the pre-opener down on Pool 4 of the Mississippi River.  Warm spells in February, all the way through the traditional opening day, offer anglers a great chance at not just knocking the rust off, but catching both numbers and size for walleye and sauger both.  
As Joel Nelson says, “There’s no better feeling than the slight “tick” of the rod tip or a line-jump as a shallow-water walleye inhales some plastic. “

Finding, Then Catching - Sonar/Camera Combo, a 1-2 punch

The Sonar / Camera Combo – Finding, Then Catching

Tony Roach is no stranger to that game, as he fishes across northern Minnesota each winter, doing his best to put clients continuously on panfish, perch, and walleyes. It should come as no surprise then that underwater viewing systems are a key part of his strategy, and have been since their inception.

His camera and digital sonar approach mimics his now-famous “ice-trolling” concept of roaming select structural elements while drilling holes continuously, in an effort to both locate fish and stay on them. Few have drilled as many holes in the hardwater as Tony, and fewer yet have followed that up with as much underwater viewing as he has either.

The upshot is a 1-2 punch of underwater viewing and sonar that focuses on two main parts; the finding, and then catching, each of which utilizes different strong-suits of cameras and traditional sonar.

The Best Ice Fishing Sonar for 2022


Since introducing cutting edge sonar technology to mechanical flashers nearly 20 years ago, MarCum has sought to build the best sonar on-ice, bar-none. Recent advances saw MarCum bringing the first digital sonar to the market, giving anglers a host of ample options when hitting the ice this winter. Read on to gain a better understanding of your options, and ultimately decide which is best for your style of fishing.

MarCum's eastern Canadian repair facility Raytech Electronics

Raytech Electronics

New Hope, MN (11/18/21) –Based on the growing demand for MarCum products in Eastern Canada, the Minneapolis manufacturer has engaged Raytech Electronics, a warranty and maintenance service center to enable owners to receive service without having to hassle with international shipments. Raytech will be handling warranty and non-warranty repairs for MarCum consumers starting November 17th, 2021. This new relationship is expected to decrease repair service times by at least 5 business days for Eastern Canadian customers.