Whether you run and gun like Tony Roach, or just want to lighten your load, MarCum’s ShowDown Troller 2.0 [Product 'SHWDT-2.0' not found!] is the most portable and powerful tool to scout structure and find biting fish under the ice.
An innovator of “ice trolling,” the in-demand fishing guide and ICE FORCE pro drills hundreds of holes and stays on the move, fishing multiple productive spots much in the same way he would in the open-water season.
“A big part of ice trolling is finding fish to make sure you’re on the right path and right depth,” he explains. “It takes a lot of work to drill holes, so when you can have something as portable as a Troller right at your fingertips to not only check for depths but to find fish, it gets you dialed in much quicker. And the quicker you can get on those fish, the better the experience you’re going to have out on the ice. It’s one of those tools that’s almost a must-have.”
The Troller is also a “fantastic stand-alone unit,” Roach says. “It’s a really light, portable unit that gives you all the features that you need and then some.” Features include two-inch target separation, a 10-level Interference Rejection system, 120-foot range with 25 sensitivity settings and Auto Bottom Lock Zoom, which tracks and magnifies structure so you never miss a bottom-hugging fish again.
“With Auto Bottom Lock Zoom, you can skip from hole to hole, shallow to deep, and always stay zeroed in on the money zone – that critical area near bottom swarming with gills and fins – from walleyes and perch to sunfish and pike,” explains Roach, who enjoys more than 90 days a winter on the ice.
But doesn’t take a pro like Roach to find and catch fish with a Troller. An elegant simplicity makes its logical, vertical display easy to interpret. “Top is top, bottom is bottom,” Roach explains. A numeral indicates water depth. A thick black bar marks the bottom. Each quivering blip on the vertical LCD screen above that is a fish. With both automatic and manual settings, the Troller delivers for ice anglers of all experience levels.
“It’s a great introductory unit for someone that’s just getting into ice fishing,” Roach says. “It’s also a great complementary unit for anglers that want to get out and hole hop, ice troll.”
It’s a great tool too for experienced anglers who simply want to travel light, like on first-ice, on secluded walk-in Boundary Waters lakes, or in regions where thinner ice prevents vehicle travel to and from your honey hole.
“It’s perfect when you have to bring as little gear as possible,” Roach says. “Hang it around your neck with the lanyard and you can check for depth and fish with one hand and jig with the other hand. No lugging all sorts of stuff around.”
The Troller’s five-inch LCD screen shows depth, fish, lures and structure in staggeringly sharp resolution. And it features an internal heater that keeps you finding fish on even the coldest days on the ice.
Exceeding MarCum’s own benchmarks in sonar design and performance, the Troller generates 4,000 watts of power, and functions continuously for 20 hours on just six double-A batteries. When used with an optional Performance Pack, it can run on a 12-volt rechargeable battery for days.
ShowDown 5.6 and 5.6 Dual Beam
Been fishing hardwater with a mechanical flasher your whole life but ready to upgrade to digital sonar?
Just starting to expand your fishing from open water to ice, but so accustomed to your boat’s sonar that you’d rather not have to learn to interpret the circular display of a mechanical flasher?
Consider a ShowDown 5.6 [Product 'SHWD-5.6' not found!] or ShowDown 5.6 Dual Beam [Product 'SHWD-5.6DB' not found!]. Both units offer an amazing arsenal of powerful features packaged into a small, user-friendly unit.
“They can fit a lot of anglers’ needs,” Roach says. “For someone that’s just getting into ice fishing, by far, the Showdown units make the most sense, because top is top and bottom is bottom – you’re visually looking at a water column in a vertical display. It’s really easy to pick up – ‘There’s my jig coming down. There’s the bottom. There’s the fish.’ That’s why Showdowns are so popular.”
ShowDown sonars are great also for experienced anglers seeking the digital advantage.
“A mechanical flasher can only write so small, because of the bulbs in them,” Roach explains. “A Showdown’s LCD screen can write much, much smaller – it paints a better picture of what’s going on down there. Instead of displaying a big, red blob coming up to the big, red blob that’s your bait, it provides a more refined return.”
With 8,000 watts of power, both the Showdown 5.6 and Dual Beam units provide an incredibly discerning half-inch target separation. “That’s really powerful,” Roach says. “I can tell if a fish is within a half-inch of the bottom, if it’s within a half-inch of my bait, or anywhere in between.”
That’s important when fish are belly to the bottom. “I can tell a fish from a change in bottom depth,” Roach explains. “And that’s really, really important when you’re on the move and you’re looking for fish fast.”
Fishing in a crowd? No problem. No nearby anglers’ sub-par units will jam your Showdown 5.6 or Showdown Dual Beam’s signal. That’s thanks to an impenetrable interference rejection system, which features 10 levels of adjustability.
Additional features include an infinitely adjustable Zoom and Auto Bottom Lock Zoom. “You can zoom in anywhere in the water column and really get dialed into a particular bite and how a fish reacts to your presentation,” Roach explains.
The Showdown 5.6’s transducer provides a 20-degree coverage cone. The Dual Beam unit provides a 20–degree cone ore a more precise 8–degree cone.
“The 20-degree cone gives you a wide look below your honey hole,” Roach explains. “The 8-degree cone allows you to hone in on the spot on the spot.” To really dial into a bite, you can switch back and forth from one cone angle to the other with the simple push of a button.
Being digital, all Showdown units operate without any moving parts. No moving parts mean a long battery life and improved durability in extreme cold conditions.