“Marker buoys - who needs them?!” That is
what I once thought and have heard throughout my fishing lifetime.
Until I stumbled upon an innovative version of the traditional gaudy
fluorescent orange and yellow “jugs” a few years ago, I avoided
using them all-together. Fishing markers are largely unpopular with
many anglers today for two reasons: often they attract more anglers to
a specific location, and they occupy a relatively large amount of
valuable space in a tackle box or storage compartment.
Fisherman’s Marker. They measure 2-1/2” x 2-1/2”
x 1-1/2” and come in colors white, lime green and black.
Jeff Lamphere from
invented a solution. He calls it the Fisherman’s Marker. Not only
are these markers dramatically smaller in size than traditional buoys,
they also come in non-attractive colors. The smaller size and flat
design occupies less space and allows for ease in stowage.
Non-attractive colors meanwhile provide camouflage from other anglers:
white for sunny days, and black for low-light conditions.
started development on the Fisherman’s Marker while fishing at his
. One of his favorite fishing spots on the lake was a small, shallow
rock bar located one mile offshore. Water depths of 40 to 50 feet
surrounded the bar, making it a prime spot for fishing. “Once we
located the rocks, we would mark it with a buoy.
If you ran your motor over the rock pile more than once, you
would scare the fish and push them into deeper water – generally not
getting them to bite,” recalls Jeff.
“After we marked the rock pile, we would float quietly over
it and catch fish on every drift, mostly nice walleyes and smallmouth
With Jeff’s success came undesirable attention, however. “It
seemed like within minutes of throwing a marker buoy, our spot would
become Grand Central Station. As
soon as other fishermen saw our float they would motor up to it to
check the depth and many times start fishing extremely close to the
buoy marker we had thrown out - ultimately spooking the fish and our
bite would be over.”
It was after this repeated occurrence that Jeff
decided to look for a small discrete marker that people would not
notice – one that would not attract other fishermen in the area.
After a fruitless search, he decided to fabricate one of his own out
of a small block of wood, painted white. That small block served Jeff
well the rest of that summer and fall, eliminating
artificially-crowded spots. Thus began the initial development of the
Fisherman’s Marker today has certainly evolved from the first
prototype, yet it remains a secret tool among weekend anglers and
tournament fishermen alike. Jeff receives new testimonials and
creative on-the-water applications every month. Anglers can pinpoint
the exact locations of underwater structure, breaklines, and even
bedding bass. Smaller, more compact markers offer the angler the
additional ability to efficiently mark structure with the placement of
multiple buoys as opposed to fewer deployments of larger, traditional
While Global Positioning Systems (
) continue to evolve, the marker buoy serves an important role that
cannot be replaced by modern technology. An angler often has to
traverse, or crisscross a single weedline multiple times in order to
locate a defined edge. As a result, the tracking display becomes an
indistinguishable conglomeration of trails. Global Positioning Systems
are limited in this capacity. Deployed markers, on the other hand,
offer a concise, visual delineation of the underwater structure.
courtesy of FLW Outdoors
Team Kellogg’s Pro Dave Lefebre of
uses the Fisherman’s Marker in this capacity. “When fishing a
weedline, I like to place markers along the edge that I am targeting.
I will have several markers out at a time - six or more for a single
stretch. The neat thing about the Fisherman’s Marker is that their
compact size allows me to easily carry a dozen in the boat at a
Dave will also customize his marker by cutting
the pre-spooled line to a specific length. This ensures that his
marker will not completely unroll in large waves. “I organize my
markers in sets, generally in 5-foot increments, with the depth
clearly marked on top. Even before heading to the lake, if I know that
the weedline is generally 8-feet deep, I will pack my 10-footers.”
Sight fishing for bedding bass is not a technique that anglers
commonly associate with marker buoys. Bass are easily spooked during
certain phases of the spawn. If an angler has to target bedding bass
at a distance, or at a greater depth, placing a marker buoy can
establish a floating landmark in low visibility conditions. Light
refraction also is a common challenge for sight fishermen, especially
in deep water. The actual position of a bass has to be interpolated
with every cast to compensate for the refracted image. With a
definitive point of reference, anglers can be assured of proper lure
position and focused on provoking the bass into a strike.
Another useful application of the Fisherman’s Marker does not
include marking structure at all; it is position triangulation. An
angler can drop a buoy off the bow, and have an immediate reference
point for use in conjunction with two aligned features onshore. With a
marker buoy aside the boat, a second set of features is not needed for
triangulating a spot. Similarly, when an angler locates an active
school of fish offshore, simply dropping a marker over the edge is
both practical and quick. There is no need to throw a marker into the
active school, and the precious time saved stumbling back to the
unit can be spent landing additional fish.
While fishing tools come and go, there are an innovative few that
deserve a permanent place in any angler’s tackle box. The patented
Fisherman’s Marker is one tool no angler should be without. For more
information on the Fisherman’s Marker, visit Jeff’s website at www.fishermansmarker.com,