How to Use a Lake Map in Summer for Better Ice Fishing in Winter
Make the most of your time on the ice with these tips for reading a lake map, setting your map orientation, and adding waypoints.
Ice fishing is a great way to enjoy the winter season. To be successful, it's important to know how to read a lake map and identify the best spots for ice fishing. In this post, we'll provide you with tips on how to use a lake map to catch more fish.
To read a lake map, start by examining the contour lines that reveal the underwater terrain.
The distance between the lines is a key indicator of the slope of the lake bed. Closer lines mean a steeper descent into deeper water, while lines with greater separation represent flats with a consistent depth. Modern GPS maps provide high-definition contour details that display depth changes as subtle as one foot. With this information, you can identify the best spots for drilling your ice fishing holes.
Set Your Map Orientation
Setting the orientation of your map is also important for navigating the lake. You can choose between North Up, Head Up (Track Up), and Course Up. North Up sets the map's top to face north, while Head Up uses data from a heading sensor or GPS heading data to align the map. Course Up always displays the direction of navigation at the top of the map. Choose the one that works best for your needs.
North Up - This option sets the top of the map to a north heading.
Head Up (Track Up) - This option sets the top of the map according to the heading data received from a heading sensor, also known as the magnetic heading, or to use GPS heading data. The heading line appears vertically on the screen.
Course Up - This option will set the map so the direction of navigation is always up. If a Go-To or Route To is enabled, the screen will show the direction of travel needed to get to the destination at the top of the screen. If no navigation is enabled, the map will be displayed with the direction the boat is traveling in at the top of the screen.
Set Depth Range Shading
Depth range shading is another feature on many GPS systems that can help you color-code areas on the map (i.e. all areas 12-15 ft will appear Blue) that correspond to water depths to help you find prime target location. You can also monitor how rapidly the bottom depth changes within a specific depth range by setting deeper ranges. Most maps nowadays can accommodate multiple depth ranges, but it's best to use just what you need to avoid clutter.
Add Waypoints To Your Map
Finally, adding waypoints to your map is a great way to mark significant locations or events, such as where you caught a big fish or where you entered the lake. This way, you can return to those spots on future fishing trips.
Get to Scouting Your Spots with a RAZR Ice Auger
Once you've identified some promising spots on your map, it's time to drill some holes and check out the bottom structure in person. This is where a reliable ice auger comes in handy, and RAZR ice augers are some of the best on the market.
When drilling your holes, be sure to space them out appropriately to get a good sense of the bottom terrain. You can use your map to help guide your drilling locations, and add waypoints to your GPS system to mark your most successful spots. With a little bit of scouting and some help from your RAZR ice auger, you'll be well on your way to a successful day on the ice.
By using these tips for reading a lake map, setting your map orientation, and adding waypoints, you'll be able to identify the best spots for ice fishing and catch more fish. Stay safe and have fun out on the ice!