While the action in this video of a bedding largemouth bass sucking in a drop-shot bait is fascinating, we were excited also to see such great footage of what anglers call a “spot on the spot.” In this case, it’s a transition zone between a hard bottom and soft bottom. (We can extrapolate that a soft bottom exists within the eelgrass, as that species generally takes root in soft sediment.)
We’re not sure how the angler who captured this video footage found this spot, but we’re confident that you can find great spots like this (and catch fish off of them) with one amazingly simple trick – use an Insight Genesis custom contour map in conjunction with your Lowrance StructureScan and 2D sonar.
Fishing success is built on a stool with three essential legs – superior sonar imagery, outstanding StructureScan views, and the most detailed contour maps available. Most anglers already know Lowrance dominates in the first two categories. And word is getting out about Insight Genesis, Lowrance’s superior custom mapping service.
“If you fish a lake that doesn’t have a map, you can use the Lowrance Insight Genesis to build your own map of that lake — which is a pretty cool deal,” says 2014 Bassmaster Angler of the Year Greg Hackney. “Soon, everybody will know that, but now they don’t. So you’ll have the jump on your buddies on your local lake by doing that.”
With an Insight Genesis map of your favorite body of water, not only do you get one-foot contours that clearly show fish-holding bottom structure, you also get bottom-hardness and vegetation map overlays. No other mapping program provides a similar three-layered fish-finding system.
“In the past, it might have taken you 20 years to learn a lake,” Hackney says. With highly detailed charts like Insight Genesis maps, however, you can successfully pattern even an unfamiliar lake in less than a day. “That’s the cool thing about having a good map – you can see the good stuff,” Hackney says.
Cover, structure and transition zones
Gamefish like bass, walleye and pike are most often found in and around cover, structure and bottom-composition transition zones. An area with two of the three is a good place to find fish; an area with all three is a great place to find fish.
Cover is anything fish hide in, behind or under – laydowns, brush piles, thick vegetation, boulders, rockpiles, submerged logs, standing timber and docks. Structure is a bottom feature like a hump, drop-off, point, channel ledge, ridge, flat or submerged road bed – anything fish can position on. A bottom-composition transition zone is an area where a hard bottom gives way to a softer bottom.
Structure often has cover on it. For example, “a point may have a rockpile on the end,” Bassmaster.com explains. “The top of a hump may be covered with weeds; a creek channel may be lined with stumps.” The best portion of cover on or around structure is often referred to by tournament anglers as a “spot on the spot.” And many a tournament is won on a “spot on the spot.”
Insight Genesis gives you another degree of angling precision – finding the “spot on the spot on the spot,” if you will. The third component is bottom-composition transition zones. With both an Insight Genesis map and StructureScan on your Lowrance HDS unit, you’ll be able to find bottom-composition transition zones with cover on or near structure. And that’s where the magic happens.
“A bass loves a hard spot, there’s no doubt about that,” Hackney says, noting how that fact and an Insight Genesis map’s bottom-composition layer can help you pattern bass quickly.
“We used to have to go through trial and error and go fish an area and figure it out,” Hackney explains. “Now we’ll be able to just run the whole lake and be able to see ‘Oh, they’re on this type of hard spot in this type of water.’ I’ll be able to run down the lake and hit every spot like that.”
Finding transition zones with Insight Genesis
Before Insight Genesis, the best way to find hard spots and transition zones between them and softer-bottom areas was to keep an eye on your sonar screen, watching for a thick, yellow band (indicator of a hard bottom) giving way to a thinner yellow band with more red and blue below it (as shown in the image to the right). But that method provides only a snapshot of the transition area directly under and around the boat, but gives few clues to the transition zone’s size or shape.
“Before, I would have to spend hours fishing, dragging a bait around to figure out where those places were,” Hackney says.
An Insight Genesis map, however, provides the angler a bottom-composition map layer onto which you can overlay your one-foot contour lines and waypoints. This makes it much easier to find and catch fish from transition zones, because you can see exactly where those areas are, how big or small they are, and position your boat perfectly to make repeated, pinpoint casts to the strike zone.
This is something fishing pros like Hackney do regularly to win tournaments. You can do the same easily now with Insight Genesis, because it allows you to see your boat’s position on the map in relation to the location of the bottom-hardness transition zones. Those areas are clearly identified by shapes of different colors – dark orange is the hardest bottom; tan is the next hardest bottom; the cream color is a softer bottom; and where there is no colored area and the blue base map shows, those are the softest-bottom areas in the water body.
When you pair Insight Genesis with Lowrance StuctureScan and 2D sonar, there’s no better system for locating and catching fish on and around structure, cover and bottom-composition transition zones.