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Maps For Locating Fish

Maps For Locating Fish by James Smith
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Whether you have a GPS installed on your boat or just carry a hand-held GPS, one or the other are very important to enhance your fishing experience. No matter what species you are fishing for, if you start catching some nice ones, punch in a waypoint, so you’ll be able to return to that same spot another day. Then follow up with your lake fishing maps for more detailed underwater contours, humps, drop-offs, etc. My final suggestion is do not leave your cell phone in the car. You can never tell when you may experience a problem on the water. It would be nice to know you can call the marina, another fishing friend or home to alert someone of your dilemma.

Here are some helpful hints that I have found help make me more consistent:

Hot Spot Maps-Newer ones have GPS coordinates
Locations of good fishing for the most part have been the same for years.
Learn to read a map-look for structure, sharp drop-offs, narrow channels, points,
bars, deep water, etc

Research hydrological map sources. Navigational maps, aerial photos of your lake.

Check with DNR office in area. Talk with fisheries manager.
Biologists locate nets in areas that are going to product fish.
Local biologist can tell you known spots to start fishing from.

Check with local sport/tackle shops.
They hear what the guides are telling them
Most of them fish the local lakes themselves
They are interested in seeing you do well, you’ll be back for more business.

Check with local resort owners.
Many have maps available for their customers.
Many have a cadre of guides.

Hire a guide your first time visiting a new area
Take copious notes on patterns, lures, colors, best times, etc.
Make sure you have your map with you-Your guide will most likely mark-up
a few other spots you don’t get to on that trip.
Most guides will treat you right as they want you back for more business and/or referrals.

Visit the local watering hole where the guides have a brew or two.
Buy a round after making acquaintances.
Don’t be bashful, introduce yourself, and ask questions.

List of map suppliers:
Canadian Map Co.
Canadian Hydrographic Service
United States Geological Service-Map Department
Milwaukee Map Co.
U.S. Boating Charts on DVD — 3000 NOAA coastline chars and river charts
from the Army Corp of Engineers — with GPS Real-Time Navigation software.

Personal experiences:
First put in GPS coordinates at the dock before you leave.
Minaki locate buoys and mark GPS positions.
Look for rock humps and plot GPS location.
Keep logbook with GPS coordinates.

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