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Am I the last person that doesn't use a flasher?

12/2/19 @ 12:58 PM
User since 2/13/10

In the past few years, I can't remember seeing a person or a group of guys that didn't use flashers.  You see the occasional kid or friend/girlfriend that got dragged along not using one, but everybody with with the ice gear has a flasher.  I heard of guys who forgot their flasher or battery and just turn around and don't go.  I read on here many many times that guys won't fish without one.  I'm not picking a fight, but really just wan't to know if anybody feels like it ruins the fun of it as it does for me.  I fish mostly 12-14' feet of water or less for panfish, but occasionally 18-20' for panfish or walleye.  I don't fish deep water mid-lake basins for suspended crappies.

I stare a computer screen all day, I don't want to stare at a flasher.  It is one more thing to carry out onto the ice.  One more thing to get tangled in the fishing line.  The absolute best thing for me, when ice fishing, is doing the perfect drop or rise with the 1/128th jig and plastic and getting a hit out of nowhere.  Always being ready for the strike and the surprise of it is thrilling.  Just like casting from a boat, that strike is a blast.  A long time ago, before flashers, we used to look down the hole in 6' of water and sight fish. I didn't like that either.  I found that I could catch more fish by not looking down the hole and just concentrating on the perfect presentation.  I see so many guys drop their flasher in, see some gills 1' off the bottom.  rig up a heavy jig or jigging spoon, with 4 waxies or spikes and drop it down to them and then jiggle the heck out of it, and then get frustrated when they don't bite.  Sure there are days when the aggressive presentation is going to work, but they are few and far between in the dead of winter.

Guys tell me flashers can serve two functions. First finding the fish and fish depth and next "working" the fish.  I'm confident in my presentations and "working" the fish because I've caught 10,000+ panfish with it over the years.  And with a light presentations that sinks like food (3-4" per second drop),  you find the suspended fish on the drop.

So, is there anybody else that retired their flasher because they simply prefer to fish without one?

TODAY @ 9:21 AM
.Long Barrels
User since 12/9/14

I get a kick out of guys using them for panfish in 6 ft or less, I personally think it's silly.  I suppose if it gives you confidence fine,  but most I know that just jig for gills sitting back watching the springs do better.  I see it every year time and time again.  Then when you are outfishing the technology guys,  they mope around like the world is ending.  it's all about confidence and head games.  I guess my point would be if you can't work a 2-5 foot water column w o a locator....that's your shortcoming.  It's not hard to figure out what fish like or where the active fish are.  I work the whole water column all day.  when you find the active fish you keep at it.  when it shuts down,  you work the whole column again,  use different techniques.  Eventually you get back on fish.  It's different when you are fishing a deep water basin with roaming fish.  When you are in a shallow bay with weeds,  the fish didn't leave.  it's a matter of different feeding times and where in the water column are they active.  None of which is tough to figure out in 2-6 feet.

TODAY @ 8:30 AM
User since 7/20/09

I use one if I fish over say 8'.  Shallower or in weeds its not as necessary since you can't see much anyways and its skinny water to check.  I fish with guys every year that don't use one and I tend to blow them away, until I'm done and let them use mine.  Not trying to sound arrogant but it happens time after time, even with guys that I know are pretty good fisherman.  That's really why so many guys use them, its almost cheating.  I just don't use them in shallow water much.

They also work well for finding cribs.  You can put a little water on the ice and set the puck in that.  It will read through the ice then.  Saves me from drilling a lot of holes to locate them.

I know its been a good day when I close my eyes and see flasher lights.  Of course bobbers do the same thing to my eyes haha.

TODAY @ 1:01 AM
User since 12/26/10

I have had one since 1981,and always take one with me.Many trips I never used it,but it's there if needed.The contraption I put together in 1981 probably weighs more than the best Panoptix set-up.But I found a lot of fish in areas no one was at.It helped me find those suspended perch on Mendota,plus the bonus crappies.

12/5/19 @ 5:05 PM
User since 1/4/09

I'm just a casual ice fisherman and am no expert for sure...

But, here's a pic of suspended crappie coming thru in 10 fow. They only appeared for a couple minutes. I caught two of them and I'm confident I would have caught ZERO without my graph.

If you're in 10 fow +, the ability to see suspended fish is even more pronounced and important IMO.

12/5/19 @ 4:51 PM
User since 3/17/06

A few years ago, in mid December, while I was getting my truck to go go back and get my gear (no snow on the ground,  didnt want to wreck my sled dragging it on asphalt) some a-hole stole my Showdown.  

Had the week off work and wanted to fish every day during the perfect conditions,  3-5 inches of ice, first ice, fish really active. So I just used my hand held GPS,  fished good spots from years past. Did good all week, so I never did buy another Showdown that winter.  Most days I'd go to a good gps spot and drill less than 10 holes, catch fish all day. A few times I just drilled 2 holes and sat in one spot 4 to 6 hrs, catching one fish after another.  Didnt miss the sonar much at all

Now that would not be the case if I wasn't using the gps to set up on good spots every time. But didnt need the sonar to catch fish. As others said below, I just concentrated on my rod tip and fished the whole water column top to bottom. Required non stop concentration,  because you dont have a screen telling you if there's a fish down there or not. Had fun doing it, personally. 

Next winter I did buy another Showdown.  I could just fish the rest of my life using old gps coordinates,  but that gets a bit boring.  I like to try new lakes or areas of big lakes I've never fished before,  exploring can be a welcome change and even a bit of an adventure.  Going to a new lake/area I do use a lake map, but often drill 60 to 120 hole searching for really good spots. I can check all those holes much faster with sonar and just fish big concentrations of fish, which in turn becomes a new waypoint for future use.

So I do it both ways, sonar and no sonar, depending on how firmiliar I am with that particular body of water.

12/5/19 @ 2:40 PM
perch chaser
User since 2/6/03

 Not that I don't use a flasher, but it's all in your personal preferences. When fishing shallow weed flats for pan fish I usually don't spend a lot of time at any one hole. If there they bite right away or not at all, time to move on.  For mobility and ease of drilling  I use a 5" auger on a power drill and would rather stare at a spring then a screen. Besides I hate it when the gills get all tangled up in the cords. Being retired I can usually pick bluebird days which makes the 5" holes not a problem.

12/5/19 @ 11:37 AM
User since 12/19/10

Hook is what you would call a “man’s man”!  I heard he doesn’t even use fire to cook his meat because that would be cheating!! Look out Chuck Norris!   

12/5/19 @ 8:09 AM
User since 2/6/06

I get for many money's tight, and it's hard to spend a lot of technology for hunting and fishing.  It took me a while to justify buying my flasher.  But to say people who use them or treestands etc. are not hunters or fisherman is silly.  It reeks of justifying the way they fish by tearing down others.  You don't need to justify  it.  Hunt or fish like you like.  I like my flasher.  

12/5/19 @ 6:59 AM
User since 1/6/16

Do not use any electronics for ice fishing. Same goes for deer hunting. No tree stand, no food plot, no feeding the deer.  Those people who have to use the latter for success are not HUNTERS or FISHERMAN. 


 I'm going to assume that either you are trolling or just full of it. When you hunt do you use a high powered rifle? Or even a fancy compound bow? Both of which give you a tremendous advantage over your prey. To say that those who use technology or even a tree stand for Christ's sake are not sportsman is about as ignorant a statement as I've ever seen on here, and I've seen a lot. 

12/4/19 @ 4:16 PM
User since 11/11/14

We live in a fast paced world. Not many who care to slow down and just enjoy the basics. Most of my poles are homemade. I too would rather slow down and so called smell the roses.

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