Someone might argue that Garmin Striker 4 Bbuilt-in GPS Fish Finder is not the best for ice fishing, but I cannot find a better in the hundred bucks range.
Normally thinking human knows that meaning “the best “is a very subjective concept. For me, this Garmin device is the best of the established requirements I found on the net.
I like fishing and ice fishing is one of my favorite. Not to be said that I am crazy about sitting in the cold but in certain conditions, ice fishing can be a great pleasure.
This winter in my location, Latvia, is coming very late, and ice on the rivers and lakes is not yet safe. The weather forecast is promising, and I am about to make the first winter fishing trip to our neighboring northern Estonia on the lake Peipus where officials have set the strict regulations about safe ice fishing. Now it’s allowed.
I’ve been doing it for ten years, and I like it. Not every time you catch a lot of fish, but the fish are there, and you should find them. Mostly it is a perch, roach, pike, and burbot.
The main problem or luck is to find the good fishing spot. You have to drill dozens of holes to find the edge of hollow or underwater rocks where usually fish are feeding. Then try different fishing gear and bait. Nothing unusual or strange but it the 21st century and there are tons of electronics out there to ease this job.
The first one I use for three or four years is Navionics Marine Charts on my iPhone. It is really helpful but just to find very approximate depth or to mark already found good spots. I have noticed before in my posts that phone apps are great but that smartphone itself, iPhone in particular, hardly can be used in the cold. The only way is to take it out from the inner pocket, a quick check for position and back to the warm place either battery indicator shows 1% or dead at all. Even the Best External Battery Charger relatively little can help throughout the day.
What to do and how to solve this issue?
I hope that I found a good one for affordable price and it is Garmin Striker 4 Bbuilt-in GPS Fish Finder. I do not know what means „Bbuilt“ I guess it is just a mistake. After reading manufacturer’s data and descriptions, I always move to Amazon Customer Reviews and found that it is rewarded with almost five-star evaluation.
Here is one. For full review see here
„…Last weekend I went fishing with my friends at Lake of the Woods, Mn. and fished in heated ice fishing shacks. There were two people in each shack. I used my Garmin on the flasher mode with the transducer that came with the kit and it worked perfectly. There was minimal interference from the devices used even though we were only about 4 feet apart. We were in heated shacks, so I don’t know how the cold would affect this Garmin. I did not need to buy a special transducer. I was able to see the fish and my jig near the bottom of the lake in 22 ft of water…“
This time let’s not talk about fishing from the boat option. I can only say that for the price this device is very good and hard to find a competitor.
So, what am I looking for to help me in winter fishing?
As I wrote above, I need GPS fishfinder which is durable, low temperatures resistant, convenient (small size and quick startup), low power consumption to not worrying stay without it. Maybe I forget something, but these are the main features for convenient ice fishing.
I want to remind that smartphone in my deep inner warm pocket is just as an emergency device to make a help call or to check position by Google map if I get lost in a fog or snowstorm.
Does Garmin Striker 4 Bbuilt-in GPS fishfinder is what I really need?
It has GPS receiver to mark holes, make trail or find fishing spots by geographical coordinates either my own from previous years times or given by friends. The accuracy of sat nav devices (GPS, GLONASS) is good enough to fulfill that task, especially if it is located in open sky areas like a lake, river or sea.
Unfortunately, I read that Latitude and longitude information is not available on this unit, but you can show the GPS Lat/Lon data (I am not sure about it). If you go to the waypoint map screen, edit the ‘overlay numbers’, and you can edit one of the fields to ‘GPS Position’ – this will show the position you are at. So, just do homework in your warm office and insert your friends fishing spots before you go fishing.
According to the Owner’s Manual the Temperature range is from -15° to 55°C (from 5° to 131°F). Not bad at all as in more lower air temperatures fishing is no longer cozy. As a confirmation, I found the one-star review on Amazon that it doesn’t work accurately below -14 C. I think that need to find a solution to protect the device from freezing winds and it is no so hard to DIY mounting on the sleds that I always carry for fishing tackle and ice drills.
When it comes to the size of Garmin Striker 4 then for me 3.5 inches display is minimum for more or less comfortable use. Please note this unit does not come with a battery and 12V DC power source is needed. Here is an option
I found in my garage one spare battery from kids Fisher Price Power Wheels, hope it is still in good condition. Anyway, I hope that those batteries capacity must be enough for ice fishing day and if you stay for another day just recharge during the night either from wall jack or your car’s battery.
GARMIN STRIKER 4 provides you with both a fishfinder and flasher all in 1 unit.
For ice fishing, the built-in flasher will show you the bottom, whether it is solid or muddy, your jig or weighted bait, and the depth of fish as they swim into the sonar beam. You can even watch how high your jig is being lifted and dropped and whether fish move toward or away from it.
In conclusion and as the confirmation the right choice (I hope so) for my first ice fishing electronics here is the video I found.
Definitely, there are other more powerful and with more features units on the market, but Garmin Striker 4 Bbuilt-in GPS Fish Finder is good enough for the first one.
Have a good time fishing!