Lake-Link Home

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?

12/8/19 @ 3:42 PM
ion x
ion x
User since 1/4/17

I dont use one. No point in 6 ft of water 

12/7/19 @ 7:52 PM
Bull Gill
User since 2/7/02

I been using flashers all the way back to the 60's I own at least 3 vex's keep one on the sled or the quad, truth is only break it out  rarely , fish 12 foot or less most of the time, with a long ice rod .being 6 foot maybe a little less these days with a 36 inch reach and a 4 foot rod ,I can cover the  water from bottom ta bottom of ice every time I go down unless I find that all the actions is at one depth, I have a low personal limit in a normal winter after I have my 6 ta 8 gills I start fishing right under the ice for crappies a flasher when they are right under the ice is about useless but these flasher dependent fisherman all ways smile and walk away from the nutty old guy when I tell them what I am doing,,,,,,,like I said had flasher sense the 60,s very rare back then sports writters and a few guides had them used them alot till I got older and was taught how ta run a rod correctly I ain;t never been super good but better than most on the ice , worked a sport show or two in my life teaching people how ta use flashers some people just need a crutch ya got ta believe they are down there and your good enough ta out smart em many need the flasher for confidence I don't............

12/7/19 @ 11:13 AM
MEMBER since 1/6/16

Maybe not, but we're a dying breed.  I've never even used a flasher for ice fishing and actually enjoy the thrill of the hunt as you do.  Typically I do pretty well by changing up my jig colors, trying different presentations, moving periodically, etc.  No fancy poles or reels for me, and I typically fish in anywhere from 6' to 20' of water and primarily for panfish.  Some days are a skunk, but it is pretty rare.  I also like to fish in quiet locations.  Radios on the ice are a nuisance, as well as too many guys that have had too much beer and use a lot of foul language.  I think too many people are in it for as many fish as they can catch, no matter what the cost.  I just like getting out in the fresh air and enjoying the quiet time.  Bringing home fish is a plus.

12/6/19 @ 3:58 PM
User since 12/19/10

“.Long Barrels, I agree with everything you said”. Boy you sure don’t hear that often here! Lol. But I do agree, using a flasher in shallow water doesn’t make much sense. 

12/6/19 @ 1:35 PM
User since 3/17/06

Good points,  Long Barrels.  I agree with everything you said. The lakes I usually fish seem to have mostly small gills and bass shallow,  but sometimes big crappie in the evening.  Alot of the lakes in my area, I'm fishing in 24 to 32 ft of water for the really big panfish.  But I realise a lot of lakes aren't like that at all.

12/6/19 @ 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.

12/6/19 @ 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.

12/6/19 @ 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.

Advertise here
Advertise here
Please take a moment to visit our sponsors. Without them we would not be here.