Creating custom maps with Insight Genesis will help you find more fish-holding structure faster. Interpreting and using those maps is the next step in catching more and bigger fish.
We recently asked a Lowrance pro-staffers to record sonar data while fishing on Lake Keowee and Lake of the Ozarks and then upload the data to Insight Genesis and make custom maps. We then asked a few other pro-staffers to look at the maps and describe how they would use the contour layer to target fish, based on fish behaviors. We didn’t even give them the vegetation or composition layers and they still came up with some great spots on Lake Keowee and Lakes of Ozarks to target. Scroll to the bottom of the image below to learn how they interpreted the data.
(The numbers on Fig 1.above correspond with the numbers in the text below)
1. The back of the creek where the fish will push shallow during the spring. Often times, what appear to be creeks on Lake Keowee can still be deep at the back. Also, for the winter time, the ditch leading to the back may hold fish.
2. I like this bank that quickly drops off really quickly. The deep docks on these banks will often hold fish during the winter and summer, especially if cover is nearby. This would be worth investigating more.
3. A hump that is close to a bank that quickly drops off. Fish will stage near the hump. The hump also gives big fish a chance to stay in deep water, but also have the chance to push bait into the shallower water on the hump. I’d spend my time in close proximity to this spot
Lake of the Ozarks
With the PINK-highlighted areas in Figure 2 below, our pro-staffer identified that these saddle and bay areas offer some structure and potential weed growth with proximity to deep water.
With the YELLOW-circle areas in Fig 3 above, our pro-staffer told us that the central area highlighted looks like a big point extending into deep water. The points to the north of that (not marked) and south of that have some structure and potential weed growth on them. He also pointed out that the bays offer some protection from the wind and more potential for weed growth. He said the southern bay looks to have a creek coming in at the end, which could offer some warmer water and baitfish early in the year. The vegetation output in Genesis will help identify these key weed lines and how they are changing throughout the year, an important consideration for fish behavior.
The YELLOW-highlighted areas in Fig 4 above have proximity to deep water and could be great areas where vegetation could grow really well. Our pro-staffer was able to look at the sonar log for this trip and see fish arcs in the 14- to 20-foot range. By matching up this fish-depth information with the transition zones, he knew exactly where he’d want to spend his time. Also, because this spot is on the north side of the lake, he noted, there’s a better chance for weed growth early in the year, especially in the little bay. With Genesis, all of this can be confirmed.
Focusing on Depth Transitions for Seasonal Fish Behaviors
Another pro-staffer had a different way at looking at the same maps and included his suggestions on the map below:
Great maps can help anglers who understand — or want to better understand — fish behavior and patterns find the spot on the spot. Not only did the next pro-staffer identify areas of bass behavior, he also identified how those behaviors change throughout the year and how he’d factor in seasonal changes to determine the best fish-holding spots. He marked his points of interest on Fig. 6 below. His descriptions of each point of interest follow below the map.
(Numbers in Fig 6 above correspond with the numbers in the text below.)
1. Top Left seems to be a good transition spot for bass moving from shallow to deep, where zones transition quickly. They may gang up here if they were trying to go shallow to spawn and a cold front hit. I’d focus efforts here based on changes in weather patterns and other environmental factors.
2. I would fish these docks, as they seem to be in a little deeper water than the surrounding docks. Especially in the winter and summer. In the spring, I would probably look for the shallower docks.
3. This point points to fish. Plus, there is good varying transition on all sides
4. I would fish these docks, as they look like they would hold some decent fish. This spot could also be a milk-run spot, as I could see fish being replenished from the main creek arm.
It would have been impossible to identify these key spots without extremely accurate maps. If sonar data had been gathered by a boat making up-and-back survey trips 200 feet apart, important structure and transition zones would have been missed. One-foot contours are great, but only if they appear on maps made with good data. By passively recording sonar data (i.e. recording while fishing, not making up-and-back survey trips) with your Lowrance or Simrad sonar unit, you can automatically create the most accurate maps on the planet.
Imaging fishing the bottom just like you’re used to fishing the structures on the surface. With Genesis you don’t need a degree in surveying to create great maps. Automatic processing by powerful servers creates rapid output with no effort.
How would you interpret the contours shown above to target fish behaviors? Share YOUR insight in the comments below, or start a conversation on the Insight Genesis Facebook page.
For more information about Insight Genesis watch the video below and visit the website at https://insightstore.navico.com/insightgenesis