Would You Fish This Weed Edge on the Ice?

Sometimes knowing where to drill a hole is key.  It’s simple, big fish troll the weed lines under the ice looking for a meal.    Knowing right where the weed edge is located is key.

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Check out this fantastic Downscan image of a weed edge with some potato chip sunfish hanging out.  This was mapped by an Insight Genesis user looking for weed lines in a local lake.  He found it!

A few pan fish hanging out on the weed line.  Looks like a good place for a bigger fish to fill its belly!

A few pan fish hanging out on the weed line. Looks like a good place for a bigger fish to fill its belly!

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Fast-Food McMaps won’t likely satisfy angler hunger for high-quality contour charts

Quick-v-Quality-Burger-CollageThere’s a reason fast food is not made from gourmet ingredients by culinary experts – quality can’t be rushed. It’s likewise for lake maps – you can trade quickness for quality, but the outcome might leave a bad taste in your mouth.

DSC00072Despite quick-draw, drive-through speed, McMaps will not likely satisfy anglers’ hunger for high-quality contour charts. That’s why GoFree’s Insight Genesis custom contour maps prioritize great quality over instant gratification. To that end, GoFree employs a highly trained Quality Control Team to ensure that Insight Genesis custom contour charts are highly accurate.

The truth is that contour charts can only be as good as the data from which they’re drawn – bad data creates bad maps. So quickly drawing contours based on bad data would do little more than create bad maps fast. (Article continues after image below)

BadMount

LOOSE TRANSDUCER: An Insight Genesis Quality Control professional would know by seeing imagery like this in your sonar log that your transducer was loose and wobbly. Thanks to the QC Team, bad data like this is not included in Insight Genesis maps.

 

MisalignedTransducerContour maps are made from sonar signals sent and received by a transducer. Bad sonar signals will create bad maps – or at least bad portions of maps, depending on where and when a sonar signal was compromised. To better understand why, remember that old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” This is as true for quickly drawing contour maps as it is for snapping photographs – if it’s too dark out, if your lens is smudged, or if you’re not in focus, you won’t get a good image. Likewise, if your transducer is mis-aligned (see sonar image at right), covered in weeds, or too close to heavy prop-wash, etc, you can’t draw a good map, quickly or otherwise.

Ever been frustrated on the water when depths displayed on your digital map don’t match actual depths determined by your sonar unit? A transducer anomaly like those mentioned above likely caused your map to be made with inaccurate contours. To prevent bad mapping of this sort, Insight Genesis utilizes a robust sonar-log data set – rather than just raw digital depth – to create a true representation of bottom contours.

DSC00079That’s why GoFree’s highly trained Insight Genesis Quality Control team reviews thousands of sonar logs every week, searching out and removing bad data that results from anomalies on the water. A trained professional on the GoFree QC team compares your custom map’s contour lines against a recording of the sonar signals from which it was made. That recording, called a sonar log, acts as a truth source, in that it shows the QC Team the same display you saw on your sonar screen on your boat while recording your map-making data. Upon seeing a telltale visual indicator of a transducer anomaly causing bad data, a QC Team pro can delete the incorrect portion of the dataset, ensuring that your map will not include incorrect contour lines in the area. While the culling of bad data can leave a small gap in your map, it’s easy to drive back over that spot the next time you’re on the water and fill in the blank. You can then merge the sonar data from your follow-up trip with data from your original trip, resulting in a more complete, more accurate fishing map.

DSC00083Without employing real, live, trained QC professionals to sit in your boat and watch your graph for bad data as you drive, a depth-mapping program can’t deliver quick returns with sacrificing quality. And fast food will never taste as fine as filet mignon.

 

 

 

 

Pro tip: Map all the spots you graph in tournament practice

When you graph potential hot spots in practice for a fishing tournament, you should also map them and waypoint every fish you catch and/or shake-off. Overlaying your waypoints on the Insight Genesis bottom-hardness and vegetation layers will help clue you in on a productive pattern and allow you to run that pattern faster and more precisely.

 

Insight Genesis is GoFree’s innovative software service that anglers use to make custom one-foot contour maps of un-mapped bodies of water, improve contour detail on previously mapped waters, and to find fish-holding bottom structure not charted on off-the shelf maps, including reefs and shoals, sunken islands and holes, humps and hard-bottom areas, drains and ditches. GoFree, Navico’s newest brand, offers digital marine maps, including Insight Genesis, Lake Insight HD, Lake Insight Pro and others. Continue reading

How to see bottom-hardness and vegetation layers at the same time on Insight Genesis maps

shot001What if I told you that you could see one-foot contours, bottom-hardness transition zones and submerged vegetation locations on a map on your Lowrance HDS or Simrad sonar/GPS unit* all at the same time? If you answered “That would be a pretty amazing tool to pattern fish with,” you’d be right. And you’d want to start right away mapping your favorite fishing waters with a Premium Insight Genesis account.

The Insight Genesis bottom-hardness map layer** shows the size and shape of hard-bottom areas like gravel patches, clay slicks and shellbeds, making such areas stick out like “Fish Here!” signs on your map. It overlays onto your contour lines a color-coded representation of the size, shape and location of areas of different bottom hardness: dark orange areas show the hardest bottom; a lighter orange indicates the next-hardest bottom; tan is the next-hardest bottom; and pale yellow shows the softest-bottom areas. Learn more Insight Genesis bottom-hardness map layers HERE.

With a Premium Insight Genesis account, you can also create a custom grass/vegetation map that will overlay on your blue-scaled contour map easy-to-see green patches that show the size and shape of the areas of submerged grass/vegetation you mapped.*** Gamefish ambush baitfish in both submerged vegetation and along deep weed lines, neither of which are visible to the naked eye in most weather and water conditions. The Insight Genesis grass/vegetation layer enables you to easily find and fish both deep weed lines and isolated submerged grass. Learn more Insight Genesis grass/vegetation map layers HERE.

Cross Lake Hard-Bottom Screen ShotWhile some other fishing maps might provide one-foot contours, and at least one other outfit offers some sort of bottom-composition map, no other fishing-finding system offers all the patterning information that Insight Genesis does and enables it to work for you on the water in the same way. By loading both a bottom-hardness map and a grass/vegetation map onto your Lowrance or Simrad unit at the same time, you can fish the bottom as confidently as you do the bank, targeting offshore cover and structure that other anglers miss.

But, of course, to use these game-changing map layers, you must first load them into your Lowrance or Simrad unit. The process to load an SD card with both the bottom-hardness layer AND the submerged-vegetation layers involves a few more steps than the process to load a card with just one or the other enhanced layers. This article will teach you how. Continue reading

How to create and use an Insight Genesis bottom-hardness map layer to catch more and bigger fish

Many fisherman “beat the bank” because they have more confidence targeting visible cover. But the fish in those areas get pounded, making them harder to catch. With an Insight Genesis bottom-hardness map, however, you can fish the bottom as confidently as you do the bank, targeting offshore structure like hard-to-soft-bottom transitions and the fish-holding sweet spots on humps, reefs, and shoals, etc. This article will teach you how.

Although it’s a great fish-finding tool, StructureScan alone can’t really show you the size and shape of hard-bottom areas like gravel patches, clay slicks and shellbeds. But the Insight Genesis bottom-hardness layer can, making such areas stick out like “Fish Here!” signs on your map. It overlays onto your contour lines a color-coded representation* of the size, shape and location of areas of different bottom hardness: dark orange areas show the hardest bottom; a lighter orange indicates the next-hardest bottom; tan is the next-hardest bottom; and pale yellow shows the softest-bottom areas.
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How to create and use an Insight Genesis grass map to catch more and bigger fish

Grass-Vegetation Map LayerGamefish ambush baitfish in both submerged vegetation and along deep weed lines, neither of which are visible to the naked eye in most weather and water conditions. But with a Premium Insight Genesis map, you can easily find and fish both deep weed lines and isolated submerged grass. This article will teach you how.

With a Premium Insight Genesis account, you can create a custom grass map that will overlay on your blue-scaled contour map easy-to-see green patches that show the size and shape of the areas of submerged grass/vegetation you mapped.* Continue reading

How to use multiple Insight Genesis maps on your sonar/GPS unit

2-maps-on-same-unit-2-panel-collageA new GoFree feature allows anglers and boaters to use multiple Insight Genesis maps on the same SD card or mini-SD card. This new functionality is available for charts downloaded for free from Insight Genesis Social Map and for custom maps that users create with sonar recordings made with their own Lowrance depthfinders.

“We want to make Insight Genesis maps as easy to use as possible,” says GoFree Vice President Greg Konig. “We know keeping track of multiple SD cards can be difficult, as they are easily misplaced and lost. This advancement allows anglers, cruisers and sailors to keep their Insight Genesis custom maps conveniently stored on the same card, for easy use on the water.”  

microsd-cardPreviously, only one Insight Genesis map could be saved on an SD card for use on the water. Note, however, that multiple maps won’t all display at the same time on your GPS/sonar unit, but they will be easily accessible via the “Chart Options” window in your sonar units’ Chart page. Also, this is a new feature for HDS Gen2 and Gen3 units only, at this time. Continue reading