You want to be catching fish out on the ice, not figuring out how to adapt your Striker 4 to ice fishing. This post will coach you through the setup process and tweak your Striker 4, so it’s ready to hit the ice. We’ll review the Striker 4’s features, how to set it up, and suggest a few adaptations for ice fishing that will help give your Garmin Striker 4 year-round usability plus added value.
The good news is that the Garmin Striker 4 is built to meet all your fishing needs on the open water. The great news is that with a bit of ingenuity, you can use all but a few of its features when ice fishing with the same impressive results.
Garmin Striker 4 Functions
If you’ve been fishing the open water with a Garmin Striker 4, you already know it’s packed with many higher-end features. If you’re considering a Striker 4, rest assured, it will be money well spent. Let’s take a look at what the Striker 4 offers anglers.
Striker 4’s Dual Sonar Advantage
A twin signal sonar transducer features Garmins’s proprietary Clear-Vu sonar and CHIRP sonar, which produces a range of frequencies (77/200 kHz). The CHIRP signal generates clear images to identify fish and see activity near your baits, underwater structure, and bottom contours.
The Striker 4’s standard Chirp sonar is upgradable, enabling it to yield clearer images and reach depths of 1,800’ with the addition of the Garmin GT-15 transducer .
WayPoint Mapping With On-Board GPS
On-board GPS makes it easy to mark new hot spot coordinates and quickly find your way back to an old favorite fishing hole. The Strikers Clear Vu sonar displays submerged structure and allows you to save locations for future outings.
Traditional Flasher Display
A Standard flasher display is easily readable, making spotting fish a snap. The flasher display also monitors fish activity near your bait, allowing you to adjust lure action when jigging beneath the ice.
Setting Up Your Striker 4 For Ice Fishing
Garmin Striker 4 Tutorial Introduction to the Basics Class #1… Getting Started
Garmin Striker 4 Tutorial Device Configuration Settings Class #2… Basic Settings
If you’re unboxing your Striker 4 for the first time, you will find:
- The Striker 4 fishfinder.
- Data/power cable.
- Tilt and swivel mount.
- Open water transducer.
- Transom and Motor mounts.
These materials are perfect for open water fishing, but to get the most out of your Striker 4 when ice fishing, you’ll need to buy the Garmin Dual Beam IF Ice Fishing Transducer . This transducer is highly mobile and comes with a float attached to the cable to safely float it in an ice hole and give you the most precise images.
If you don’t want to spring for another transducer, relax, there’s a work-around. The great thing about sonar is it can shoot through the ice and still give you good images. So you can often scan an area for fish before drilling and limit the number of unproductive holes you drill. Well, talk more about this later.
To help you decide which is best for you, check out this video:
Finally, if you feel like pampering yourself a bit, Garmin has a bundle to adapt your Striker 4 to the ice fishing environment. The Garmin Small Ice Fishing Kit, 010-12462-10 includes:
- GT8HW-IF transducer
- bag with handle
- foam float
- rechargeable battery and charger
The bundle gets the job done, but it selects a lead-acid battery for you; many anglers prefer the advantages of Lithium-ion batteries, including lower weight, even voltage through out the discharge period, and thousands of recharges.
How To Use The Garmin Striker 4 for Ice Fishing?
So far, we’ve learned about a few modifications you should consider making to your Striker 4, including a new transducer and portable-rechargeable battery. Next, we’ll look at using it out on the hard water.
When ice fishing with the Striker 4, its onboard GPS helps out as soon as you step on the ice. The GPS guides you to previously saved waypoints and productive fishing spots. You simply need to follow the GPS to the selected location.
Once there, It’s time for the workaround mentioned earlier. Start by clearing away all snow and debris from the ice, making a snow circle on the ice, and filling it with water. Then take your transducer, a standard transducer will work, and press it against the ice.
Sonar can shoot through surprisingly thick ice and still give good to fair quality images. What you’re looking for now is fish. Why drill a spot not marking fish. If you find fish, break out your auger and begin drilling your ice hole.
After you’ve found fish, you need to decide if you’ll use your sonar in the same hole you’re going to fish through or drill a second hole. There are pros and cons to both ways. When using one hole, you run the risk of the transducer cable tangling with your fishing line when you have a fish on. Many ice anglers believe a transducer or camera in the hole spooks fish.
The next option is to drill a second hole for your transducer 3-4 feet away from the fishing hole. This is the method I favor because it still gives you a good view of your bait and clears your primary hole for fish.
A third option is to use your transducer on the surface of the ice. You’ll still be able to mark fish and track their actions, though you may lose some image clarity. Scanning through the ice can limit the number of dead holes you drill and keeps you highly mobile.
Wrapping It Up
Ice covering your favorite fishing spot? There is no need to pack your Garmin Striker 4 away until the water clears in the spring. By adding a new transducer and portable, rechargeable battery and making a few minor adjustments to your fishing techniques, you can enjoy all your Striker 4’s benefits all year.