Author Topic: Map better contours or structure/edges?  (Read 673 times)

Online Muggsy

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Map better contours or structure/edges?
« on: Aug 12, 2019, 05:34 AM »
I took my new Helix 7 out on the open water recently and played around a bit with the autochart live feature, which is intended to accurately map depths and contours. My H7 is simply the GPS version, no SI or DI, intended for ice fishing only as I have an older HB SI unit for open water.  The Autochart was pretty neat and I can see where what I mapped was much more detailed than the old CT paper contour maps for the small waters that I fish. I am ice fishing for panfish, jigging only, no tip ups or live bait.

I'm debating whether to purchase the Autochart PC program to get a little deeper in to this mapping thing but I'm torn between what is more important; to have a more accurate record of contours only or whether spending time with my SI unit marking structure and weeded ledges, weed lines, etc., is more important than super accurate depth contour with no structure. I do have some features with way points on them, or areas where we've caught lots of fish on other open water trips.

My question boils down to whether features and structure is more important than accurate contours. I'd appreciate some opinions on what you'd prioritize.
Maybe someday I'll think of something clever to write here...but I doubt it.

Offline Slabseek3r

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Re: Map better contours or structure/edges?
« Reply #1 on: Aug 12, 2019, 10:06 AM »
It all depends on the lake. If there is a ton of structure all over the lake, I'll look more at contours, as I have found the fish will go towards the contours with too much structure. On lakes that have a moderate or very small amount of structure, I try to find structure, while structure on contours is the best.
Formerly Just a random ice fisherman-didnt care for that name anyway
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Offline hardwater diehard

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Re: Map better contours or structure/edges?
« Reply #2 on: Aug 12, 2019, 11:14 AM »
I would think a detailed contour map would be much better ..small divots on a large flat may hold fish  when times are tough or weather pattern changes..this would be a great detail to have in your arsenal . Contours ...drop offs..inside outside turns etc are important and should be fished as structure based on your target species preferences .
Give a man a fish he eats for a day .Teach a man to ice fish he has an obsession for a lifetime

Offline matzilla

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Re: Map better contours or structure/edges?
« Reply #3 on: Aug 12, 2019, 02:03 PM »
is the lake you're fishing already mapped with Lakemaster? if so buy the card and save your time....go search for brush piles, weed lines, etc.

Catchin' Fish

Online Muggsy

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Re: Map better contours or structure/edges?
« Reply #4 on: Aug 12, 2019, 05:32 PM »
I had already checked the Lakemaster chip and my waters are not mapped. Here in CT, they've mapped around a dozen or so and none of them are water that I fish. They did some big water (for our area of the country) but nothing small.

Edit to clarify: The maps in the H7 do show for some of the waters I ice fish, but the the contours are not accurate at all. There are about 15 lakes that have been done in HD but none of mine.
Maybe someday I'll think of something clever to write here...but I doubt it.

Offline gorf37

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Re: Map better contours or structure/edges?
« Reply #5 on: Aug 13, 2019, 02:42 PM »
I bought a Garmin EchoMap for mapping, and I'm enjoying it for both mapping and for the best sounder I've ever owned.  For me, mapping first has been my priority, because once a map is completed for the first time, the areas with more contour definition pop-out, so I can focus future mapping on those spots.  Depending on the size of water bodies you're mapping, you can eventually be 'done' with a map.  Nothing better than trolling around with a downrigger with 100% confidence about where the contours are! 

Admittedly, I run around with traditional sonar, SI, and map all running, so I'm doing both rather than choosing like you are...

Online Muggsy

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Re: Map better contours or structure/edges?
« Reply #6 on: Aug 13, 2019, 05:17 PM »
Part of my issue is I'm not using a motor when I'm out fishing; my oars are my only propulsion so I don't cover too much area on a given trip. Same with ice fishing at this point; I'm walking there, not riding there! I'll let it stew a bit and see what develops and if this idea fades out of my interest, which has been known to happen.
Maybe someday I'll think of something clever to write here...but I doubt it.

Offline hunts2long

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Re: Map better contours or structure/edges?
« Reply #7 on: Aug 14, 2019, 05:56 AM »
Rowing does seem like it will take time, but a lot of fish have been caught that way. I have the Helix 7 on my boat, I haven't tried making a map. I jig fish so also a "spot on the spot" type fishermen. I work good looking spots that hold fish until I find "the spot" that holds fish most of the time. It is then that I mark it with a waypoint. Those spots are usually rock piles, a ledge, an old road bed  with a stone wall near the old riverbed, etc. I have fished this lake for about 60+ years so many of my spots were located with a slip sinker and just feeling the bottom. I really do like my Helix 7, it has more features than I will ever use. Fish finders have come a long ways since the Green Box. Good Luck and just go fish, I am heading out now....h2l
Northville, NY

Offline papadarv

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Re: Map better contours or structure/edges?
« Reply #8 on: Aug 17, 2019, 08:33 AM »
Take a look at Navionics Web Map. I see some smaller ponds in Conn. with contours, west pond for example. 0.23 miles across.. You can also annual subscribe to get there Boating app, $14.95 yearly. The app can WiFi connect to WiFi enabled sonar. Vexlar SonarPhone, RayMarine has a few etc. letting you record contours, auto upload to navionics and a week later download updated maps with your recorded contours.
http://www.bluewaterweb.com/Navionics-Map.html

 



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