Modern technology is an amazing thing. It sends spacecraft to the edge of the galaxy and allows us to communicate in real time with someone halfway around the world. Most anglers, though, are not getting as much as they could out of the technology they probably already have.
A good example of this is with mapping — the subject of my latest edition of Project E. It’s all about finding “the juice” every time you’re on the water.
I know that sounds pretty crazy. How can you find the best spots every time out? But I’m serious. If you’re running a modern sonar unit with mapping capabilities, you have all the technology you need right there in your boat. In fact, if you think about it, you probably have more computer power than was available for the first NASA launches into space! Our stuff is that good now!
With C-Map Genesis Live and my Navionics chip, my Lowrance unit will map any body of water on which I launch my boat. In the YouTube video, I explain the process in detail, so if you run Lowrance equipment, you can easily match what I’m doing step-by-step. Other brands offer mapping options, too, so check and see what’s possible with your equipment.
In the video, you’ll see me mapping a private lake near my home in Oklahoma. Of course, that lake had no previous mapping; it’s on private property. Unless the property owner had it surveyed topographically, no such map exists. Creating one myself was the only way to get a map, and since I hope to fish there several times in the future, it’s well worth the time to do it myself. It’s going to make a huge difference in my fishing.
But mapping like this is not only helpful on waters that otherwise don’t have maps. It’s technology I use almost everywhere I go, even to those lakes that are well mapped and that I’ve fished dozens of times before.
Why? Because traditional maps — paper and even the electronic ones that come on sonar units or chips that you can buy — are like snapshots. They’re frozen in time and don’t reflect the very latest changes.
There’s a pretty good chance that your favorite bass water is over 50 years old, and that the map you’re using was created even before the lake was impounded. If that’s true, your map is less valuable than it could be. Siltation, current and the decomposition of cover has changed the way it looks under the surface, changed the way bass live and feed there and changed the way you should fish it.
You can catch up to all those changes by mapping the water yourself in just a few minutes or a few hours, depending on the size of the area you choose to cover. At the very same time you could be marking brush piles, vegetation and all sorts of bass cover that probably wasn’t even there when your current map was created.
Maybe best of all, you can make your map in really small topographic increments — as little as 6 inches with Genesis Live — and you can focus on the area or the type of water that interests you most. If you do most of your fishing on one small section of river or lake, map that section really thoroughly so you have a better idea of what’s down there than anybody else who fishes it.
If you’re trying to improve your ledge fishing in 15 to 25 feet of water for summertime action, map the ledges really carefully. If you want to know every detail of the points on your lake, crisscross them until you can see everything.
That’s the kind of detail that can make a real difference in your fishing! It certainly has with mine.