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Ice fishing like a computer game

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Ice fishing like a computer game
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Winter is coming and it brings the ice fishing season with it. As every year it is worth to refresh the tackle for winter fishing. To take out of the closet rods, mormyshkas, spoon lures and the rest of lures. Has anything changed? Is there anything else to think about? Ice fishing hasn’t changed a bit in last decades, has it? Nothing more wrong! There is a device that revolutionized this technique in North America many years ago, by making it more effective and nicer.

This device is the first ice fish finder, “Flasher” type, made by Vexilar company – unquestionable leader in the sonars industry on the USA market.

Profits that comes from the use of this device are huge and anybody who tried this device at least once can learn them. Flasher is very light, specially designed for ice fishing fans. It has ultrasound transducer in a patented system called “Iceducer” and a computer that analyses them with round screen. This device not only shows the depth, but also shows the differences in the bottom structure and composition. The most important feature is the screen projecting in real time. Fishfinder shows to us what is happening below us, under the ice surface, when and where our lure is. But also, thanks to special screen that shows colour fractions (from green through yellow to red), we are able to determine the approximate size of objects in water or to differentiate our lure or fish from plankton. Solid ice base allows to concentrate attention on lure and fish around it. They are the only moving objects on the screen.

Vexilar’s Flasher is very easy to use and fishing with it becomes something like a computer game, where lure becomes our hero. We can steer it and see what is happening around it at the moment. Lure is shown as a green fraction on the screen, moving exactly as our lure. We can place it on any depth over the bottom and observe, if there is any reaction. If there are some fish near the lure, they appear on the screen as following fractions on the screen shortly, coloured from green (fish entered a transducers cone area) to yellowish – orange when fish gets closer to our lure – the centre of the cone. The thicker and more red the stripe becomes, the closer to our lure the fish is – it means that fish is just below or close to our lure and we can expect a bite in any moment. Sometimes we see that the fish is not interested, but 20cm higher there is another one. We can raise our lure a bit then and observe if it brings any effect. There are hundreds of examples to be described.

The main advantage of using Flasher is the ability to check what is directly below the ice cover, exactly where we want to fish. In some favourable conditions we can even skip the drilling part – that is if ice is smooth and clear, or we are using old, frozen icehole – it takes only to put the transducer on the surface of ice (just like when USG examination is performed) and situation becomes clear. If there are fish under the ice we will see them. What is more – the transducer can be put at the angle and, as a result, we can examine the close surroundings of the place we want to fish (even few metres around). Soon, we will know if it is worth to stay in that place or to look for some other location on the ice- covered lake.

Every ice fishing fanatic tried to catch a common whitefish at least once and each one knows well, that it is not a simple task, especially if we are targeting large ones. And this is another advantage of Flasher – it shows us a complete section of water – from the surface (ice) to the bottom. There is no chance that fish swimming by will not be noticed. Thanks to Flasher we will know what is the precise depth our lure should be kept at to reach those large, pelagic whitefish. It relates also to other predators, large perches in particular which, as we know, can feed on different depths during the winter.

In the USA this technology has revolutionized ice fishing years ago. Now no one can imagine ice fishing without such a device. In Russia, Mid and Eastern Europe the Flasher is getting more and more popular and used widely. It is not a trend, but efficiency, simplicity of use and the saving of time when searching for fish that made it so popular.

In Poland Flashers fish finders are distributed by the Salmo Company.

Models available are: FL-8se Propack II, FL18 Propack II equipped with chargers. Also the LPS-1 is available – it is an electronic depth meter. All of the devices have metric scale.

Krzysztof Jankowski

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