By Montana Grant

Posted: December 26, 2021

Ice Fishing season is upon us. As the ice finally freezes up, all Icemen get anxious to hit the Hard Water. We dig out our ice sleds and gear. A mouse family had made a huge nest in mine. After they were relocated, I grabbed my auger, rod racks, buckets, and other essential Iceman gear.

Last year I upgraded to a Battery Powered drill/ auger. It cut great if I had enough batteries. Early season was no problem but as the ice got thicker, it took more battery to cut holes. I have since upgraded my Makita hammer drill to 6-amp batteries. I store the unused ones in dry socks until needed.

This year I upgraded my fish finder technology. In the past I used a Hummingbird Fishing Buddy to check depth and locate structure/ fish. It worked fine. I sold it to a Brother Iceman. My new Garmin Striker series fish finder came with a padded case, and gear needed for my canoe and / or ice connection. It also has a Kayak base if needed.

Thank goodness for YouTube videos. Assembly and tips are aplenty on videos. I have assembled my fish finder rig and plan to use it this week. It has a narrow and wide cone image. I will be in less than 30 feet of water so the wide setting will be my starting point. I plan to set the Gain on high so I can see my jigs. Range will be on Auto and Chirp at 77. These settings came from watching other Icemen operate their Strikers.

Some of the ideas I saw were simple. One suggested that I attach the suction cup bracket, without the cup. The wing nut bolt and grooved adjustment allows you to perfectly align the transducer, so it is perpendicular to the water. Another idea was to set the screen so you could see 2 variations of the images. Water temp. and depth readings also show up automatically.

I am looking forward to seeing how my new technology will work. Proof will be in the limits that may fill the ice surface.

With this new technology, I will be able to Strike!

Montana Grant