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I am in favor of fishfinders in general, flashers for ice fishing, and all that. I've got one that I can start using if X-mas would just get here soon. I fished with a group of people yesterday, though, and one Vexilar FL-8. You can see fish when it looks like the bottom suddenly moves up a couple of inches (typically following your jig), but the Vex had nothing to do with fishing success. With the Vex, you could see the fish and be frustrated by your inability to get it to bite, but without it, you just jigged until you got a bite. The non-vex fishers had much more success on this occassion! I suspect under different conditions a flasher would help out more, but in this case it seemed only to help confirm that your fishing frustrations were warranted (you KNEW the fish were there, AND not biting).
 

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TroutFishingBear said:
cutthroat: I bet by your descriptions you were fishing for lakers. There are tricks to the trade to get them to bite once you get them on the vex screen. It is helpful for getting lakers to bite, but it is not necessary to find lakers as they are almost always glued on the bottom anyway.
However, it is great for suspending fish like crappies, rainbows, and kokanee.
Actually, the group was fishing dowdy for browns and stocker rainbows - no lakers there (that we know of).  I didn't use the vex, but watched other try to use it, and the one thing I noticed with all of them, is that they jigged as usual (which was producing lots of fish for everyone else), but as soon as they saw a fish, their jigging pattern and tactic changed (slowed down and less active), and most often the fish swam away!  It was really more of an observation on human psychology than fish behavior, I think.  They probably could have gotten some of those fish to bite by sticking with their typical jigging technique and perhaps changing the timing a little.  

Regardless, I still look forward to gettin my finder for X-mas, and trying my own hand at being frustrated by ornery fish.
 
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