Your boat is ready, and so is your gear. ¬†Now it’s time to go fishing, so pull out your fishing map and study the water. ¬†Lake maps, pond maps, and saltwater charts all reveal places to go fishing. ¬†How to fish them is part of the fun.
Nautical Charts for saltwater fishing are my favorite kind of fishing map. ¬†Nautical charts are a great way to learn about a new area, research a favorite stretch, see channels and markers, harbors, drop offs, flats, structure, and areas that run foul. ¬†The only downside to a printed fishing map is that they don’t show changes that occurred during the winter. ¬†No power necessary, just keep ’em dry and match them up with a compass.¬†
Freshwater topographical maps are great, too. ¬†Pond and lake maps show similar detail of drop offs, structure and areas that run foul, and they’ll show inflows and outflows as well. ¬†Some topo maps are fishing focused, and they list public ramps, commonly caught fish species, favorite local lures, and hot places to fish. ¬†Some even include fishing techniques. All you need is tackle and a fishing license.
Electronic Chartplotters make for a perfect day on the water. ¬†Mount one on your console or use your phone. ¬†Charts can be easily updated, and if you travel to a new area then add new charts and roll. ¬†The ideal is to pair the chartplotter with a depth finder so you’ve got a total view of the fishing subject.
Google Earth makes for a great fishing map and¬†is outstanding for entrance and exit points to put you as close to your fishing spot as possible. ¬†Google Earth is ideal for finding remote ponds or streams off the beaten path. ¬†Those ponds and streams might be a total bust. ¬†Or they might offer some of the best fishing of the year. ¬†