Of all the new rods and reels, tackle and tools, gizmos and gadgets he saw last week at ICAST, the country’s largest sport-fishing convention, bait shop owner Chris Wenzel had only one thing on his mind as he flew home to Wisconsin – catching trophy smallmouth bass with Insight Genesis custom contour maps.
“I’ve been telling everybody about Insight Genesis – I told people at the airport about it on the way home!” says Wenzel, a smallmouth fanatic who has fished in both Bassmaster and FLW tournaments, along with numerous regional derbies. “My girlfriend said ‘Out of everything at ICAST, I can tell that Insight Genesis was the one thing you got really excited about.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s something I’ll actually use!”
He’ll be able to use it on a brand-new Lowrance HDS-7 Gen 2 Touch GPS/sonar unit, which he won after his name was drawn out of a hat from the names of all the fishing-industry insiders that stopped by the Lowrance booth at ICAST and signed up for a free Insight Genesis Premium subscription. Wenzel was announced the winner and contacted by phone on the Monday following ICAST.
“I’ve been telling people that have been coming in the store all about Insight Genesis,” he says. “We’re right on the Wolf River, and there are just no good maps of it. We get a lot of people in from out of town here to fish the white bass run and the walleye run, and they’re all going to benefit from having custom maps with one-foot contours of all the places our fish hide out here.”
Insight Genesis is the innovative, online service that empowers anglers to create custom lake maps from sonar data recorded with the Lowrance, Simrad or B&G sonar unit on their own boats. One-foot contour lines on Insight Genesis maps are much more accurate than the estimated contour lines on many off-the-shelf, digital chip maps that not only miss, but often obscure, fish-holding structure of interest to anglers.
What’s of interest to anglers, is also of interest to Wenzel, who owns and operates Fremont Bait and Tackle, in Fremont, Wisconsin, the unofficial White Bass Capital of the World. His building is located no more than a long cast from the bank of the Wolf River, home to “the world’s largest white bass run and one of the world’s largest walleye run that comes every year,” he says.
Walleyes and white bass – as well as flathead catfish and crappies – often hold or stage in deep holes in the river. But those holes can be hard to find, Wenzel says, because most of them are not shown on any maps.
“The lake-map companies, they will not map rivers, so we pretty much have no maps up here,” he explains. “All we have is some things that were basically hand-drawn. They’re not very good. So, I’ve always had to give guys landmarks to find the good holes.”
Going forward, however, Wenzel’s customers can hit the river with highly detailed custom contour maps made from sonar data that Wenzel recorded with the Lowrance HDS unit on his own boat and contributed to the Insight Genesis Social Map.
“So, for the business, that’s going to be awesome,” he says.
Insight Genesis Social Map is a one-of-a-kind online database of custom contour maps generated and shared by the Lowrance community. It allows anglers to quickly and effortlessly summon detailed contour maps of waters close to home, across the country, and around the globe. Built on a base layer of existing Insight contour charts, Social Map refreshes itself in near real-time with sonar data shared by the Insight Genesis community, revealing new fishing holes for anglers.
Wenzel anticipates “awesome” results from Insight Genesis not just in his fishing business, but in his personal fun fishing as well. A smallmouth bass junkie, Wenzel is looking forward to mapping several trophy smallie lakes in northern Wisconsin. Some of those maps he will contribute to the Insight Genesis Social Map, but he will keep a few of his charts 100 percent private – an option that all Premium Insight Genesis subscribers have.
“I like that I can keep my secret lakes still secret, but still have the option to improve the maps for the bigger lakes that everyone goes to, but we still don’t have great maps for,” he says. “Most everybody fishes them for walleyes and muskies, but I’m going to map them to see if I’m missing some key smallmouth structure.”
Wenzel will also encourage Insight Genesis map usage by the competitors in the First Cast tournament circuit he runs. Anglers in that circuit fish for bass on Wisconsin’s Shawno Lake, Lake Winnebago and Green Lake. A walleye competition will be added next year.
Insight Genesis maps work only on compatible* Lowrance, Simrad and B&G GPS/sonar units. That’s no obstacle for Wenzel – even if he hadn’t have just won a brand-new Lowrance HDS 7 Gen 2 Touch.
“I’ve been a Lowrance guy from Day 1,” he says. “I’ve never owned anything but a Lowrance.”
You can harness the power of Insight Genesis for yourself with a free account or a Premium subscription. With either, you can create, use and save unlimited custom and Social Maps charts online; contribute sonar data; create, edit and store waypoints; manually adjust water-level offsets; and analyze weather trends.
Premium subscribers can load their custom maps and Social Map charts onto their compatible* Lowrance Elite HDI, HDS*, Simrad NS Series or B&G Zeus GPS or chartplotters for use on the water. As a Premium subscriber, you can also create unique bottom-hardness and vegetation-location maps, and can choose to mark your maps as private for personal use only. No matter which option you choose, your trails, waypoints and other personal data are always kept private.
To register for your FREE Insight Genesis account and see Social Map for yourself, visit the website at https://insightstore.navico.com/genesis
All Wenzel had to do to qualify to win a brand-new Lowrance HDS 7 Gen 2 Touch was to stop by the Lowrance booth at ICAST and register for a free Premium Insight Genesis subscription after getting an Insight Genesis presentation similar to this demo that Bassmaster.com featured:
2nd Chance to Win an HDS 7 Gen 2 Touch
Anyone that signed up at ICAST for a free Premium Insight Genesis subscription has a second chance to win a Lowrance HDS 7 Gen 2 Touch or Simrad NSS 7 Evo 2 GPS/sonar unit. To win, record and upload public sonar logs to your Insight Genesis account before Aug. 1. One winner will be selected randomly from all entrants that upload public sonar data. The winner will be announced on Aug. 1.
* To use your custom Insight Genesis maps on the water, you’ll need a Lowrance, Simrad or B&G chartplotter from this list. https://insightstore.navico.com/supported-products