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GPS Lake Maps –
New Software To Help Your Fishing
As an outdoor writer I have the opportunity to test many new and innovative products before they actually “hit the market”. Some of these products are really good .. and some just don’t do much to enhance the market.
During the month of December I was heading to Lake Falcon to get in some warm weather fishing while the blizzards were terrorizing the northeast part of our country. I don’t fish Falcon very often and needed all of the advantage I could get. My good friend pro angler Tommy Martin was one of my main contacts and he turned me onto the GPS Lake Maps product .. And I sure am glad he did.
The new software comes in the form of trails and waypoints which are uploaded from an SD memory card to either Lowrance or Humminbird units. This is NOT contour information but data specifically intended as a valuable supplement to your existing Lowrance or Navionics mapping information.
The data shows the exact location of rivers, creeks and drains as well as submerged roads, submerged bridges, submerged pond dams, levees and fence rows. And when I say “accurate” I mean just that.
Bobby Feazel is the developer of this new software and states, “All the information is computer generated from historical USGS Topographic maps. Extensive field testing has been done and we feel that the accuracy of the data is outstanding.”
To give you a better idea of what the chip contains, here are some stats from Sam Rayburn, Toledo Bend and Lake Fork.
Sam Rayburn – The Sam Rayburn lake map consists of 21 trails. Two trails consisting of 311 miles of river, creeks and drains. Nineteen trails locate 59 miles of submerged roads. Twenty two waypoints locate 3 submerged bridges, 11 old cemeteries and 7 recurring lily pad areas.
Toledo Bend – Toledo Bend is a very large lake covering 186,000 acres. The GPS Lake Map contains 5 trails/tracks showing the river, creeks and drains from the dam to Logansport consisting of 674 miles. There are 18 trails/tracks showing 41 miles of submerged roads. Waypoints mark 57 submerged bridges, 4 pond dams, 4 cemeteries and 13 historical lily pad areas. There are also a few ‘points of interest’ marked such as churches, a school and a store.
Lake Fork – The Lake Fork chip has 2 trails/tracks showing 180 miles of river, creek and drains. There are 18 trails/tracks showing 20 miles of submerged roads. Waypoints locate 58 submerged pond dams.
I did not have any problems with the straight-forward set of loading instructions for my Lowrance units and loading the data to a Hummingbird unit should be just as easy.
Since the GPS Lake Map trails identify different types of information, such as creeks, roads and levees, I recommend that you color code the information to make it easier to read. Each trail will have a name such as ‘creek’, ‘road’ or ‘levee’ for identification. I just went into my trails options and easily changed the creek and river trail data to red (use whatever color you want) so that it showed best when overlaid to your Navionics or Lowrance mapping data.
Each GPS unit is set at the factory for a maximum number of waypoints, trails and data points per trail that can be stored so refer to your user manual for these limitations if you are trying to load to an older unit. You should have no problem uploading the new data to units built in the last few years.
In a short period of time I have found bridges and tank dams that I am not sure I would have ever found without the GPS Lake Map data, especially on lakes as big and complex as Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend.
And those creek and river channels that are so hard to follow with the trolling motor just got easier. But as with any GPS product I would be careful when running boat lanes, especially with our fluctuating lake levels.
Lakes completed at this point include:
TEXAS – Arrowhead, Belton, Bob Sandlin, Brandy Branch, Cedar Creek, Choke Canyon, Conroe, Cooper, Cypress Springs, Fairfield, Falcon, Fayette County, Fork, Grandbury, Hubbard Creek, Limestone, Livingston, Martin Creek, Monticello, Palestine, Ray Hubbard, Ray Roberts, Richland Chambers, Sam Rayburn, Squaw Creek, Stillhouse Hollow and Toledo Bend and Welch.
LOUISIANA – Caney, Bayou D’Arbonne, D’Arbonne
ARKANSAS – Beaver, Bull Shoals, Felsenthal, Greers Ferry
GEORGIA – West Point
MISSOURI – Stockton and Table Rock
There is one lake on each chip and the cost is $44.95. You can however order a chip that has both Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn for a total cost of $74.95.
SWAMPLAND TACKLE (www.swamplandtackle.com) handles all internet orders and there is no added shipping cost. Swampland Tackle, (985) 852-1703, 102 E Main St., Houma, LA 70360
The chip can also be purchased at the following dealers:
LOUISIANA – Toledo Town & Tackle (Many) and Country Station (Broussard)
TEXAS – Martins Corner (Milam), Tri-Lakes Tackle (Lufkin), Wulf Outdoors (Center & Athens), Needmore Tackle (Sam Rayburn) and Hales Tackle Shop (Nacogdoches)
The GPS Lake Map data is a valuable addition to your current arsenal of fishing equipment. I give it a “thumbs up” and I know you will too.
Good Fishing – JB