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In 1995 Lowrance Electronics introduced the GlobalMapģ 2000,
the world's first LCD product to offer integrated GPS, mapping and
sonar capabilities. Since
1995 Lowrance Electronics has made great strides to remain on the
cutting edge of technology and continues to offer anglers a wide
variety of products to choose from.
Boating electronics have certainly come a long way in the last
20 years. Gone are the
days of only using paper topographical maps and tying colored strings
onto tree limbs to mark a favorite new hot spot.
Boating electronics revolutionized the fishing industry by
allowing anglers to utilize GPS technology, but donít throw out all
of your paper maps just yet. There
are reasons why angers should consider using paper topographical maps
in conjunction with their GPS and sonar units.
advancements in boating electronics there are so many more options
available to anglers in the form of GPS mapping systems and sonar
Back in 1995 when Lowrance Electronics exploded onto the GPS
market they created their own mapping system. At first the system was
pretty general, so anglers still needed to use paper topographical
maps to locate the lakeís contours and to mark ridges, but
everything became much easier to find with longitude and latitude
coordinates, which are now displayed on GPS units. Anglers
no longer have to rely on a compass and a paper map to find their way,
or to even locate a prized piece of structure.
To say the least anglers are spoiled and we have everything
literally at our fingertips to quickly and easily find longitude and
latitude, navigate safely and find structure.
The best part is all of this can be done in half the time that
it once took.
Lowrance raised the bar another notch with their inaugurated
mapping systems. If you
are fortunate enough to have a Lowrance LCX-26c or a LCX-111c you know
how wonderful they are. With
these units all of the maps of the Nationís lakes are stored on the
unitís hard drive making accessing the information extremely easy.
After years of fishing and using both methods Iíve come to
the conclusion that itís very beneficial to use and compare the
paper topographical map with my GPS map,
rather than relying on just one source to do the whole
job. First and foremost
itís important to realize that not all topographical maps are
created equal. In my
experience, Iíve found that generic or locally printed maps are
usually more accurate and provide more information than the nationally
printed maps like Hot Spots. As a rule of thumb I compare several maps before buying and
specifically buy the map with the greatest amount of detail.
A good topographical map will show creeks, flats, humps and
structure. Sometimes a
paper map will also show if a lake has something unique to offer.
For example, northern lakes have crips that smallmouth bass
like to use. These
details are sometimes missed by GPS mapping systems. Believe me,
itís the little subtle details that if overlooked, could make a huge
Iíve found that itís very beneficial to compare my paper
map to my GPS map while Iím on the lake looking for specific pieces
of structure. In
addition, I also transfer longitude or latitude coordinates from my
GPS unit onto my paper map to study later, or for future reference.
To get a really good understanding about what a specific piece
of structure looks like, I read my topographical map while using my
sonar. I boat in really
close on the first couple of passes by using the contour lines on my
GPS unit. The technology
of my Lowrance units combined with a good topographical map allows for
a much better perspective of what lies under the water.
After studying both maps, been on the water and know the lay
of the lake, itís time to use a great feature of a GPS mapping
system, creating ďway pointsĒ.
Once a key area or piece of structure is found like described
above, simply save the location on the GPS system by creating a ďway
pointĒ. These features
allow anglers to saving tons of valuable time and easily return at a
later date by pin pointing the exact location of key areas.
Remember, the reason for comparing the two maps is to make
sure nothing is overlooked, which is crucial during tournament time.
Taking the time to compare the two maps will provide anglers
with a better understanding of the lake as well as a better overall
visual layout of the lake. This
is especially beneficial if itís a body of water that youíre not
familiar with. Take the time to use both mapping systems and Iím sure
youíll see great results.
A special ďThanksĒ to all of my sponsors: Jasper Engines
and Transmissions, Yamaha Motors, Ranger Boats, Lowrance Electronics,
Svanda GM Motor Group, Wave Ind., Maxima Line, Kistler Rods, Minn
Kota, Plano, Mr. Blitz and Nameoki Village Marine.
sure and log onto my web site www.chadmorgenthaler.com
and signup for my fan club. E-newsletters
are forwarded monthly and one lucky winner each month receives a
summaries are posted after each tournament and pro tips are updated
every two weeks. Itís a
great source of bass fishing information.