Stream trout in lakes tend to cruise the lake in search of food and can be among the toughest fish to locate during the winter months. One day they may be near the bottom and another they may be right under the ice. A fish finder is especially useful in locating trout.
As you are probably aware, the device we are talking about is not a fish locator but rather, a depth locator. Most fisherman use a fish locator but most fisherman do not use it properly and can not interpret what they are seeing on the screen.
Panfish, such as sunfish and crappies are typically suspended during the winter. Their exact depth will depend on what types of foods they are finding. Your best strategy is to use a fish finder to best identify the depth at which the fish are located. If you do not have a fish finder, vary the depth at which you are fishing, until you locate the fish.
Portable fish finders are the better choice for those who lease their boat. Also if you ice fish or “fly-in” fish, a portable unit would be more suitable for you. They usually come with their own carrying case and battery power supply. Most of the fish locators come with the transom mount for installation. The portable units come with the transducer already attached to the transom with the use of a suction cup.