It wasn't but a few years ago when we were all lining up towers with trees or using Loran-C as the method of locating our secret hotspots.
While ice fishing this week I ran into an old friend at the boat launch who was getting ready to head out on the ice. He mentioned that he has been doing well and that I should follow him out. I let him know that I was waiting for a friend and if he just gave me the GPS coordinates, I'd meet him out there. He then told me that he didn't have a GPS—I was pretty surprised! Today, it's vital, especially on the Great Lakes.
With the expense it takes just to go fishing, I don't think one can claim it's a cost issue. Units are very reasonable and there are even apps available for your smartphone. I use a Humminbird 597 flasher/GPS combo when ice fishing and it allows me to navigate home safely, use a Lakemaster navigation card to identify structural elements and use the flasher screen while fishing—which is paramount.
I recently loaned a backup Humminbird 386 to a close friend and he was amazed after just an hour what an advantage it gave him. In order to keep your fishing game on the up and up, at least consider what modern technology can do for you, especially from a safety standpoint.
Some new trends I can live without, especially like Justin Bieber. However, GPS/flasher units for ice fishing? Not so much.
Capt. Ross Robertson