How to record Insight Genesis sonar logs with a Lowrance sonar/GPS unit

Record Sonar CollageAfter hearing anglers everywhere — including 2013 Bassmaster Classic Champion Randy Howell — talking about how much easier it is to find and catch fish using Insight Genesis custom contour maps, you’re likely asking yourself “How do I get in on this?”

The first step to creating your own custom Insight Genesis contour maps is to record sonar logs created with the soundings from the transducer on your own boat. This article provides easy-to-follow, step-by-step directions to do that with compatible* Lowrance sonar/GPS units.

Repeat the process detailed below every hour to 90 minutes on the water. Genesis servers can more quickly process 6 one-hour files than one 6-hour file. Continue reading

How to download a FREE Insight Genesis map from the “Promo Uploads” tab

Promo Uploads ImageFrom time to time, GoFree and Lowrance make available for download FREE highly detailed, custom Insight Genesis contour charts. This article will teach you how to download those maps for use on the water in your compatible* Lowrance, Simrad or B&G sonar/GPS device.

Insight Genesis helps anglers find fish fast by offering them free downloads of community-sourced contour charts from Insight Genesis Social Map, enabling them to create their own custom contour maps of un-mapped bodies of water, and helping them discover and dissect potential tournament-winning “sweet spots” that don’t show up on off-the-shelf marine maps. GoFree is the newest brand under the Navico umbrella, joining Lowrance, Simrad and B&G, to which Insight Genesis maps are exclusive.

The game-changing Insight Genesis bottom-hardness layer shows anglers the location, size and shape of fish-holding hard-bottom to soft-bottom transition areas – dark orange areas are the hardest bottom; a lighter orange indicates the next hardest bottom; tan is the next hardest bottom; and pale yellow shows the softest-bottom spots. The vegetation layer maps out exactly where the lake’s submerged vegetation is growing, making it easy to locate deep weedlines and grass on flats and humps.

To learn how to download a FREE Insight Genesis contour chart from the “Promo Uploads” tab on the Insight Genesis dashboard, click “Read More” below.

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Lowrance pros have the Insight Genesis advantage in the Bassmaster Classic

Lowrance Pro Randy Howell studies his Insight Genesis map of Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees while competing in the second day of the 2016 Bassmaster Classic. (Photo courtesy Cara Harriman)


It’s no surprise that 7 of the top 10 anglers contending today to win the Bassmaster Classic on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees’ are Lowrance pros. They’ve all got a competitive advantage – Insight Genesis maps with one-foot contours and a bottom-hardness layer.

“That map is just a big-time, key factor in this Classic,” says 2014 Bassmaster Classic Champion Randy Howell, who launched this morning in eight place. “It’s so impressive. I’ve never had the detail nearly as good as this, with the one-foot contours along with the bottom-hardness layer.”

cropped-cropped-genesis-logo2.pngThe 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 contour map. It overlays on top of your contour lines a color-coded representation of the size, shape and location of areas of different bottom hardness – dark orange shows 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 about Insight Genesis bottom-hardness map layers HERE.

“Once you know what type of bottom you’re looking for, you just eliminate a lot of water,” Howell explains. “That way, you’re a lot more efficient. Before, you’re casting all around and you’re hitting a lot of dead water. And now you can target more directly onto where the fish are – the most efficient zone, the strike zone. When you’ve got an 8-hour day, you’ve got to make as many casts in the right place as possible. And that’s what that map does for you. With the shaded colors for the hard, soft and middle, it’s just perfect for what we’re doing.”

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High School anglers can earn free Lowrance units in new Insight Genesis Varsity Rewards program

Varsity Rewards CollageIn high school? Love to fish? Want to earn a free Lowrance sonar/GPS unit  by going fishing? Register today for the Insight Genesis Varsity Rewards program.

“If you’re a high school angler, I highly suggest that you go to and join,” says Laura Ann Foshee, the first-ever female B.A.S.S. High School All American. “You can win prizes … and you can be the best that you can be with your team and by yourself.”

In the Varsity Rewards program, high school anglers earn points redeemable for Lowrance merchandise – from hoodies to HDS fishfinders – simply by recording sonar data while they are fishing and then uploading the files to Insight Genesis, the innovative custom contour map-making service for Lowrance users. One acre of sonar data is worth one point toward a team’s score.

“You can even win a Lowrance Gen 3,” Foshee says, referencing Lowrance’s top-of-the-line chartplotter, a $3,149 value. Continue reading

GoFree Hooked app adds catch-location pins to your lake maps, logs catch data, enables live-leaderboard competitions

App Fish Catch Layer-COLLAGE

Download the FREE app for iPhone HERE.

Download the FREE app for Android phone HERE.

With GoFree Hooked, our new free fishing app, you can use your smart-phone to log fish-catch details and photos, compete in live-leaderboard tournaments, and populate your Insight Genesis maps with pins marking the locations of the fish you catch — whether you hooked ‘em in your boat, a buddy’s boat, or from shore. What’s more, those pins can be exported later for use in a compatible sonar/GPS unit on the water.

GoFree Hooked creates the first of many planned integrations between maps and apps for the Lowrance and Simrad communities. With this app in hand, not only can you compete against your friends and other fishermen in private and public tournaments, you can also improve your future fishing results by logging catch details and learning why you caught fish where you did.

“From the easy to use interface, to the fun competition feature, the GoFree Hooked app gives anglers the ability to challenge their friends or even challenge others around the world,” said Leif Ottosson, CEO, Navico. “You can decide whether to share your success or keep it private. However you use the app, it is a useful tool to help keep a record of your catches and analyze the results to improve your fishing.”

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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.

20160117_171055 ditt


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)


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.