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Old 10-28-2020, 02:21 PM
Mojo-NC Mojo-NC is offline
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Default How Have Improved Electronics Changed Your Fishing?

I've relied on paper lake maps for a long time to help determine locations to fish, and then used my sonar to work the correct depths. It has definitely helped me catch fish. However, having a GPS with lake mapping built directly into my fish finder has further improved my fishing significantly. I've been fishing my home lake for almost 20 years, and to my knowledge until Navionics, I don't think there were any maps of the lake available at all, not even paper. Navionics now has the lake completely mapped. I can go right to very specific locations where I have had success in the past and waste no time getting right on one, then heading to the next.

The other day, I fished a bunch of my favorite spots for about 4 hours without having as much as a bite. It was a beautiful day, 80 degrees, and water temps were in the low 70's. None of my tried and true methods were working. I tried spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and several different styles of plastics, but still still nada. My electronics and waypoints weren't helping at all, until...

As I was leaving one of my spots, I was slowly idling along while eating a sandwich and sipping on a cold beverage, and also paying attention to my electronics. I got out into 30' of water on a long submerged mid-lake point and noticed something interesting on my screen, so I dropped a waypoint. I decided to try a drop shot rig. I no sooner dropped it down and had a bite. It felt like a Tom Boley video moment - first see the fish on the screen, then drop down and bam, immediately catch 'em. Believe me, that usually does not happen to me. I ended up catching over a limit of bass plus a nice crappie, and either missed or lost at least that many more fish over the next hour. I tried fishing several different locations that had similar bottom structure and contours, and was successful at each new spot.

I went back out a couple of days later and had the same success. Now I have new waypoints to fish over the course of the next year.

How have improved electronics changed your fishing. Do you have any good examples to share?
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:58 PM
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kzoofisher kzoofisher is offline
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Similar to your experience with pinpointing spots. I don't know how much time I save each trip by being able to head right to a waypoint but it feels like a lot. The same for picking a new area to fish and driving right to the X foot depth and checking it out. How long did it used to take me to search an area and triangulate my position to try to get on the *right* spot? Though honestly, I'm still in the habit. If I bang a couple fish I look at the shore for landmarks even though I have a waypoint.

Another big difference is locating the edge of cover that changes through the season. From the early growth to the fall die back, being able to look to the side and quickly find the outside edge, inside edge and windward edge has increased my productivity.

Depth highlight has been a great tool, too. I don't remember where I got turned on to it, probably Al Lindner, but finding a productive depth range and then lighting it up all over the lake reduces motoring time significantly. I don't mind going for a boat ride when I'm not fishing. If I am fishing I want my line in the water.
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Old 10-28-2020, 07:30 PM
Ozark Bob Ozark Bob is offline
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As both of you stated. It is the accurate mapping and GPS location that makes most of the difference. In my opinion being able to use the chart features (at least on Lakemaster ) to show you easily where the depths and even vegetation are so you can follow through on your discoveries and your plan on the water. Even without getting involved in any of the search features provided as well. Imaging sonar also has given us eyes under water that can also show us what is actually down there( less guessing). After the initial learning curve it does become second nature. I don't think it is so good the fish don't have a chance but it sure helps me. Bob
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:07 PM
kswalleyer kswalleyer is online now
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^^^what those guys said^^^

night and day from old map days ...assuming....you take the serious time to master your electronics. It takes devoted time on the water and tech support at times. This weekend I dropped 2106 brush piles on my GPS from State of MO for Truman, Pomme, Stockton and Bull Shoals in 5 seconds. Many times you can do real well running brush piles for all species here...If you do master your electronics , they are game changers, if you don't, probably kind of a waste of money IMHO
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:52 PM
Ozark Bob Ozark Bob is offline
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Bull Shoals have been refreshed and moved within the last year. They are holding fish. Many of the old locations are almost non existent and the newer ones have moved from many of the old piles as much as 100 yards. Well worth updating. There is like 800 of them! Bob
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:46 PM
kswalleyer kswalleyer is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozark Bob View Post
Bull Shoals have been refreshed and moved within the last year. They are holding fish. Many of the old locations are almost non existent and the newer ones have moved from many of the old piles as much as 100 yards. Well worth updating. There is like 800 of them! Bob

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Old 10-29-2020, 08:49 AM
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I occasionally look at depth and water temp. Spotlock is a great tool. But in general I just look at basic lake depth maps and get a good idea of what I want to do. Its nice to have a good map on the GPS. But about 3/4s of the lakes I fish have no depths on the chip.

I'm in no hurry to get new stuff. I'd rather catch 5 fish in a relaxed way then 10 glued to a screen stressing over 20ft this way or that.
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Old 10-29-2020, 09:06 AM
Mojo-NC Mojo-NC is offline
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Last year in September we did our first fly-in fishing trip in NW Ontario. Prior to the trip, we spoke to several guys who had fished the lake previously. One was kind enough to share a few of his waypoints with us. With that little bit of information, we were able to immediately get on fish. His waypoints represented a June pattern and we were in September, but the fish were still in the same general area, just a bit deeper. Once we fine-tuned the optimal depth, we applied the information to the rest of the lake with very successful results. We found fishy areas by studying the contours and pulling spinner rigs through those areas. Once we got on fish, we dropped waypoints and picked apart the areas using jigs, then dropping more waypoints.

We will hopefully go back to the same lake next August, and we will have all of the waypoints from our last trip. There will be no triangulating necessary, and no aging memories to confound our locations. I hate to say it's almost too easy, but it kinda is.

At another Canada lake where we have been fishing for the past 15 years, they originally gave us a hand-drawn paper map of the lake with popular fishing areas marked. I was not aware of any contour maps before Navionics. We still caught fish using fish finders indicating only water temperature and depth. Now we have Navionics contour maps of the lake and all of our popular spots marked with detailed waypoints. Even so, each year we still "accidentally" stumble on new places that would not be obvious from lake contour mapping. We drop waypoints on those spots too and it gives us plenty of choices of more isolated places to fish away from the crowds. I can't think of anything other than GPS and lake mapping that has helped my personal fishing success more.
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:01 AM
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It's not only improved gps mapping or spotlock that has changed the way I fish, but also improved 2d imaging, side imaging and down imaging that allows me to better find the fish before I wet a line. While I once studied paper maps trying to find favorable looking areas to look for fish hoping that I might be close to the spot, now I can study electronic maps in real time and accurately search specific spots for fish. If I see no fish, I move on.
When I find fish, I no longer have to throw out marker buoys if I'm fishing specific structure or if trolling, I can precisely follow my last pass if I choose to do so or I can choose a contour and automatically follow it.
For me, technology has greatly increased my efficiency when I'm on the water.

That being said, I'm not always sure that more and more technology is always a good thing for our fisheries.
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Old 10-29-2020, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPKyllo View Post
It's not only improved gps mapping or spotlock that has changed the way I fish, but also improved 2d imaging, side imaging and down imaging that allows me to better find the fish before I wet a line. While I once studied paper maps trying to find favorable looking areas to look for fish hoping that I might be close to the spot, now I can study electronic maps in real time and accurately search specific spots for fish. If I see no fish, I move on.
When I find fish, I no longer have to throw out marker buoys if I'm fishing specific structure or if trolling, I can precisely follow my last pass if I choose to do so or I can choose a contour and automatically follow it.
For me, technology has greatly increased my efficiency when I'm on the water.

That being said, I'm not always sure that more and more technology is always a good thing for our fisheries.
In place of throwing out markers I like to set up a way point where I find something of interest than set up points around the area a want to fish to stay outside of it, I use the casting rings for distance and approach it from all sides.
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