I grew up fishing in an era where most anglers didn’t own an electronic fish finder. Instead, they would locate the best fishing spots by busting out a series of maps and charts. They would use those tools, along with their knowledge of fish biology, to determine where they should wet their line. With that said, I thought that I would run down a list of some maps and charts that can be helpful to anglers that don’t own a fish finder. Here they are:
Bathymetric maps are what my grandfather would rely on the most when he was searching for a prime fishing spot. They are helpful to anglers because they depict underwater structures where the fish are known to gather. For example, during certain times of the year, saugers are known to congregate around deep, rocky channels. Hence, a bathymetric map will show anglers where those rocky channels are so he can target them in hopes of catching saugers.
Hydrographic charts are helpful to anglers because they indicate how deep the water is in certain areas as well as depict the location of buoys and underwater hazards as well as bridge clearances. As such, an angler can use the information on the chart in order to safely navigate his boat through the water.
Some hydrographic charts also include details on the water’s dissolved oxygen levels, saline levels and pH levels. That information is also helpful to anglers because those things play a role in where the fish may be located as well as what species of fish may be found in the water. For example, a northern pike is said to need a dissolved oxygen level of 6.0 mg/L. Therefore, an angler can look at hydrographic map that includes dissolved oxygen levels and determine whether or not he’s likely to be catching any northern pike while fishing in those waters.
Topographical maps depict the surface of land and show the location of such things as mountains, trees, bodies of water, boundaries and roads. They can help an angler locate boat ramps, natural wind breaks and places to set up camp for the night. Because the maps also depict boundaries, they can help an angler determine what fishing licenses he may need to fish in certain areas. For example, some bodies of water, like the Delaware River, run through multiple states. When I lived in the area, I had to be careful of what section of the river the river I was fishing in because the fishing regulations varied by state.
Fish Attractor Maps
Fish attractor maps are also helpful to anglers because they depict the location of man-made fish attractor sites. Some merely list the GPS coordinates of where the fish attractors are located. Others are more detailed and include elements found on topographical maps, hydrographic charts and bathymetric maps as well.
Killeen Gonzalez enjoys fishing with her family. She has also traveled extensively.
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