An Affordable Fish Finder

December 4, 2017

MarCum ShowDown Troller article

I was a latecomer and somewhat skeptical about electronics for ice fishing. Being somewhat of a fishing minimalist, I like to keep things simple. My fishing strategy is to be mobile rather than stationary. No fish in 15 minutes? I’m moving! The more gadgets, the harder it is to “run and gun.”

The last thing anybody wants is a fish finder with a complicated interface and a steep learning curve. The choices of ice fishing electronics can be overwhelming. Price tags cause a double and triple take.

What a pleasant surprise to discover the MarCum ShowDown Troller 2.0! It wiped out all my doubts and misconceptions. I can honestly say it has helped me catch more fish.

The ShowDown tells me exactly how deep the water is. This is an important starting point especially if you are exploring new areas of familiar waters or traveling to lakes you haven’t fished before. It vividly tracks even the tiniest jig or bait as it drops down the hole. Most importantly, it reveals if there are any fish in the water column at that moment, and if so, at what depth they are holding. It’s fascinating to watch on the screen and see the fish move in to investigate your bait. You can see their reaction to various jigging actions and what attracts or repels fish.

One tactic I learned was to keep my bait just above the marked fish. It seems the larger, more aggressive fish will readily move up to hit your offering. Being a bottom-bouncer most of my ice fishing life, I was surprised at how often fish are suspended. Of course, the ShowDown reveals this and takes the guesswork out of keeping your bait at the proper depth.

Another tactic is to drill either a straight line of holes or a dozen or so holes in the area about the size of a tennis court. (This works best if you have a power auger.) You can then take readings quickly from hole to hole and, when fish are marked, have at it!

While not an exhaustive list, here are the main features and benefits of the Marcum ShowDown Troller:

The Ultimate in Portability
This unit fits in the palm of your hands. You can slip it in your coat pocket or stow it with your other ice fishing gear. The unit measures 5-inch long by 2-1/2 inches wide and an inch and a half deep. The transducer cable is 6-feet long. The unit weighs less than a pound.

User-Friendly Interface
The ShowDown has a vertical 5-inch screen with an LCD backlit display for daytime viewing. The control buttons have ample size and its operation is quite intuitive. Before you go out on the ice, read the manual to better understand all the functions. There is also a simulator mode to practice with and learn quickly. The learning curve was very short for me.

Affordable
No need to take out a second mortgage, the Marcum ShowDown Troller is just a little over $200.

Versatility
The Showdown Troller is not just for ice fishing. If you have a canoe, kayak or float tube you now have a year-round fish finder!

Other Features
The feature-rich ShowDown has a depth range of 120-feet, a 20º transducer, 25 sensitivity settings, an Ice-Mode that activates an internal heater for extreme cold and an amazing 2-inch target separation. 6 AA batteries (not included) should run about 20 hours. You can also run it on a 12-volt battery, but you’ll sacrifice some of the portability advantages.

Unlock some of the mystery of the winter underwater world and catch more fish this season with a Marcum ShowDown Troller 2.0.

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