Lewis and Clark have nothing on Paul Stark. Sure, the famous explorers mapped a fair share of South Dakota’s plains back in the day. Mad props to ‘em. But for the last few months, Stark has led a one-man Corps of Discovery to map lakes across The Rushmore State.
And he wants to share his fishing maps with you and all your fishing buddies. And with all their fishing buddies. And with … well, everyone.
“On an online forum I’m on, I ask other forum members what local lakes they would like to see mapped,” Stark explains. “I try to map all those lakes and then tell the forum readers that my maps of those lakes will be available soon on Insight Genesis Social Map. It stirs up some excitement when good maps are finally available for poorly mapped – or un-mapped – lakes in the area.”
It’s just that unselfish community spirit that makes Insight Genesis Social Map possible.
The misconception is that all fishermen lie – that they’ll rarely tell you, honestly, how they caught’ em, and never tell you where they caught ‘em. But if anglers weren’t willing to share information, there wouldn’t be thousands of online forums; there wouldn’t be millions of youtube fishing videos.
And Insight Genesis Social Map wouldn’t be so successful so soon. But it is successful – millions of acres of mapping data have already been uploaded and are accessible for free with an Insight Genesis account. And that’s thanks to community-minded anglers like Paul Stark. In about 180 trips on the water since April, he’s mapped 9,033 acres of lake bottom.
“Those wanting access to data [that] I and others acquired and shared for their Lowrance units will have access to it,” Stark wrote in May on the Dakota Angler forum. “I have N. Island and all of Twin fully mapped. Plus some of Lake Vermillion and Beaver. Plus, I will be recording on Bitter for 4 days this week and have boats recording by Platte for me also. You will be able to get the most up-to-date and accurate mapping available!” (Blog post continues below image)
Insight Genesis is an innovative service that empowers you to make custom contour charts of un-mapped, or poorly mapped, bodies of water, using sonar data recorded with the Lowrance fish-finder already on your boat – you need not buy additional hardware. Your custom Genesis contour maps will be much more detailed and accurate than many of the digital charts that come on off-the-shelf map chips.
Paul Stark records sonar data every time he’s out on the water, “which is 4 to 5 days, easy, a week – some weeks more,” he says. Between one Friday and Monday evening, he slept only about 10 hours. “I was on water the rest of time,” he says.
For the benefit of the community …
Stark’s mapping efforts are creating a buzz in the South Dakota fishing community – as evidenced by the number of replies and private messages Stark receives after he posts updates on forums. “A lot of fishermen around here are excited about Insight Genesis and the new things that Lowrance is doing,” he says.
It’s easy to understand why anglers are so excited about Insight Genesis and Insight Genesis Social Map.
Insight Genesis Social Map is an online database of custom contour maps generated and shared by the Lowrance users – community-minded anglers and boaters like Paul Stark. With Social Map, you can quickly and effortlessly get detailed contour maps of thousands of water bodies, including those close to home, across the country, and around the globe. Built on a base layer of existing contour charts, Social Map refreshes itself in near real-time with current sonar data shared by the Insight Genesis community, revealing new fishing holes for anglers in never-before-seen detail.
“Lakes with unmapped areas will get filled as Genesis users share and download information,” Stark explains. “I see whole lakes and new areas on some bigger lakes added almost daily. Thanks to all those who record and share their information.”
Stark’s community spirit extends beyond mapping lakes for other anglers’ benefit. He also helps organize outreach programs to involve more women and kids in outdoor activities. In July, he volunteered with the Sioux Falls Police Department’s “Casting with COPS” program. On August 16, he will conduct fishing seminars at a NWTF Women in Outdoors event.
‘Unbelievable’ one-foot contour detail
When Stark saw his first custom Insight Genesis map on his Lowrance HDS 7 unit, it was “unbelievable,” he says. “There was more information, by far, than you get on a store-bought chip. “ He especially likes being able to make custom maps that show not just one-foot contours, but also bottom-hardness transition areas – distinguishing between mud, sand, or rock – and the location of submerged vegetation.
In a recent video he posted to youtube, Stark explained how his Insight Genesis map was helping him find and catch keeper walleyes in weed beds in five to seven feet of water.
“I’m able to go through and identify where those are and where the little pockets are for those, so I can just hold on the outside of my track lines and cast over the tops of those weeds with a jig,” he explains in the video. “And I bring those walleyes up out of those weeds that are just under the surface a few feet. It’s working great.”
Insight Genesis is a great tool too for locating previously undiscovered fish-holding bottom structure. “I was surprised to find some humps and holes that I never knew about on lakes that I fish regularly,” Stark says. “I found three stock dams on North Island Lake in 13 to 19 feet of water. I only knew of two, previously.”
Become a mapping pioneer like Paul! Get Insight Genesis for FREE!
To make your own custom contour maps and contribute them to the Social Map community, you don’t have to survey a lake all at once, driving back and forth and never wetting a line. Like Paul Stark does, you can simply record a sonar log every time you go fishing. Over time, your uploads of sonar data collected in multiple fishing trips will come together to form a master map, full of detailed, one-foot contour lines that identify fish-holding structure.
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 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 a FREE Insight Genesis account and see Social Map for yourself, visit the website at https://insightstore.navico.com/genesis
* 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