Why Having A Fishing Map is Mandatory

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What is a Fishing Map?

By dasytnik/shutterstock

Many people have heard the term ‘fishing map’ in passing, but for beginners, it isn’t lucidly clear what it refers to. A fishing map is actually just as simple of a concept as it sounds: it’s a map of fishing on a given body of water. At its simplest, it show general hot spots where fishing is often good. They can also include detailed hydrographical information, and pinpoint spots for specific species of fish.

Fishing maps can cover lakes, rivers or even specific parts of an ocean. There’s even maps tailored to the type of fishing you plan to do.

No matter where in the world you plan to do your fishing, there’s a map for it and you’ll discover a major advantage when working one. Today there are digital versions available that can be used with a onboard GPS, iPhone or iPad, or laptop. The advantage of using digital maps with a GPS unit or iPhone is the ability to show your current location on the map, and to track your path.

The art of cartography has gone extremely high tech with today’s fishing maps, so when you take advantage of what they have to offer you can locate structure like a true pro.

Why Do People Choose Fishing Maps?

Most of today’s fishermen are using fishing maps to gain that extra edge because let’s face it, any of us could hit a given body of water, take one look and wonder where in the world we are supposed to begin. Even a seasoned fishing veteran stands to gain insight using these maps because he or she will be able to better pinpoint where the fish are most likely located.

Good fishing maps can quickly help you locate the top fishing spots on a body of water, and minimize the amount of time you spend searching for fish. Maps with accurate hydrographic details can show details like small points, shoals, or mid-lake humps that you might never know where there is you didn’t have a map.

What Kinds of Fishing Maps Are Available?

The nice thing about the variety of unique maps offered for today’s fishermen is that they are able to cover so many places. You will easily be able to select exactly the area that you want to fish and get a very detailed map shipped straight to your door.

Since so many people have come to love the ease of fishing with a map in hand, the industry has become a lot more specific. Are you going to be hitting a river in the hopes of hauling in a big one? That’s no problem because you can pick up a salmon fishing map. If you’ll be operating higher up in the mountains, then a trout fishing map would be more suitable. These give you a much better idea of where your chosen species is hanging out at the moment and where they are likely to be found.

If you aren’t looking to be quite that specific about what type of fish you will be targeting, then you can generalize to a specific form of fishing instead, like fly fishing. Pick up a fly fishing map that is designed to cater specifically to your chosen fishing method and it makes things a lot easier for you.

By dasytnik/shutterstock

However, it is not all about just lakes and rivers because, as we said, there are marine fishing enthusiasts who can definitely benefit from a map. A saltwater fishing map can help this type of angler be more effective in his hunt for anything from blue fish to striped bass. Keep in mind that there is a huge variety of maps to choose from, so finding the one that will work best for you may take some time and research.

Lastly, you can even get maps based on locations. You might get an Alabama map if you are fishing down south or if you plan to be in Canada, you’d get a Canada fishing map to guide you. You can pick up great maps that cover whole areas, or more specific ones that offer highly detailed information in a smaller area.

In short, for almost any kind of fishing you want to do – there’s a map for it.

What Sorts of Results Can I Expect From a Fishing Map?

You can certainly expect to be getting a whole lot more bites than normal when you have a map in hand. This is because you are not wasting time looking for structure and fish, and spend your time focused on prime fish holding locations. Armed with the insight that fishing maps provide, you are bound to catch more fish in the long run.

Tips for Using Fishing Maps to Your Advantage

  • It might sound trivial, but make sure you order your map well in advance of your trip so you can study it and have it before you go.
  • Be sure to get the most specific, up-to-date map for your location (which includes new jetties or any new man made fishing spots, for that you will need the most updated maps) so that you can so you find/catch precisely what you want.
  • Study your map before you hit the water so you aren’t trying to find the best location while you are on-location.


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Martin Garagher
Martin was born in a fishing village near Baja peninsula. He knows the art of fishing since he was 6 years old. He is now an accomplished fisherman with many decorations in his belt. He currently works as a professional fishing trainer and an author in many international fishing magazines.

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