Monday, December 20, 2021

Maximize your FLASHER this winter on the ICE

The flasher...the oldest electronic fish finder known to anglers.  It is also the most durable, reliable and fastest resource we have on the water too.  The signal is instant with no need to digitalize the signal.  It is by far the best tool to catch fish on the ice.  Hundreds of thousands of anglers will grab their flasher and head to the ice this winter in the Midwest hoping to enjoy a winter day on their favorite slab of ice.  I have been grabbing my Vexilar flasher since 1999 to enjoy my time on the ice.  It seems like forever ago when my then girlfriend, now wife of 18 years, gave me an FL8 for Christmas.  I loved ice fishing, mostly sight fishing on the river backwaters, but that FL8 really showed me what I was missing.  The simplicity of the machine was amazing back then, and it is still today.  However, Vexilar, like all other electronic companies have fine tuned their products to make them better with many upgrades over the last few decades.  Last year Vexilar introduced the FLX30BB, and of course it is better than previous options.  If you want an in-depth look at the FLX-30BB click HERE for a past blog entry on that topic.

Back to the basics, how to maximize your flasher this winter; each fall and winter I get to visit stores and bait shops around my area to help consumers with purchases and educate people on usage of flashers.  Each year a few things always dominate the conversations and seminars.  If you can remember and use these two different pieces of knowledge on the ice, you will catch more fish in 2022.

Tip #1- Know what you are looking at:  This graphic sums things up pretty well.  The lines on your flasher are not random, each and every one of them have meaning, our brain has to determine what they are communicating with us.  

The biggest thing to remember from this graphic is that there are NO FISH deeper than eight feet of water.  Red is the key color to zone in on, this is the indicator that the fish is directly below you.  Yellow and Green are off to the side, thus the return "ping" from the transducer is longer and shows up deeper than eight feet.


TIP #2-
When using a Vexilar to search out fish or structure beneath the ice be sure to use it to its full potential.  First, turn up the gain to at least "2".  Second swirl the transducer (gently and slowly) around the hole to see any fish or brush in the water column.  This is often know as "stirring the hole".  Lastly, know how much you are looking at under the ice, see the graphic below to understand just how much your Vexilar is telling you.  With some simple math you can maximize your efforts in drilling the holes where they are needed.

This chart tells us that when we use a 12-degree cone we can see a 2.2 foot diameter circle below us.

In summary, a Vexilar is a tool that we need to use properly.  We can use it as basic as we want, however if you have an FL18, FL20, FL22, FLX 20, FLX28 or FLX30BB you have a lot of options that you can dive into to make you a better angler on the ice.  Enjoy the ice, release as many fish as you can and be sure to enjoy a few fish on the table with friends and family this winter season!

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