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Your Guide on the Water

By Nick Barr
Northwestern Staff Writer


January 22, 2009

Does any of this sound familiar?

If you've faced any of these situations NAVIONICS Electronic mapping products are for you. Navionics has recently come out with new products to help you become more efficient on the water.

If you find yourself on a new lake with no clue where to start, Navionics 2008 Premium, the top of the line freshwater topographic maps, can help immensely. The Hotmaps include over 460 High Definition Lakes with up to one-foot topographic intervals. In addition, it covers over 12,000 detailed lakes spread across five different sections:

Detailed Information

I find Hotmaps to be especially effective while pre-fishing and exploring new lakes. A must before visiting any new lake is to take a look at a map and mark the places you want to fish, but if you're using a paper map, it can take forever to find the special drop-off at the end of that specific point. With Hotmaps detailed contours, you can pull right up on that drop-off.

In HD lakes, you do not even need to drive over the drop-off to know it’s there. The detailed mapping is so handy on new lakes, even if just for navigation. Navionics Hotmaps show navigational beacons and in some cases the distance at which they can be seen with the naked eye. This is perfect for cruising in not-so-perfect weather conditions, and/or on new bodies of water.

Another Hotmaps feature that is especially helpful on tidal water is the tidal information guide. With the click of a button you can get real-time tidal information for the area - no more looking up tides in a tide book! You receive graphical data and times for the tides for ultimate tidal water success. Whether you are pre-fishing for a tournament or planning a weekend trip the Navionics Hotmaps chip is an essential piece of the puzzle and they’re available in Premium and Platinum versions.

The Nav Planner

One thing that plagues weekend tournament fisherman is the lack of practice time. The NavPlanner from Navionics can help. While nothing is as good as a day on the water, this comes in a close second. The NavPlanner is a computer program - you just plug the Navionics chip into the card reader and actually pre-fish from your computer! You can save time by scouting out a lake before you even step foot in your boat. With the NavPlanner, you can scan the lake, looking for potential areas to pre-fish and even mark GPS waypoints.

You can remind yourself to stop on that deepwater reef you found on the map, and then fish it. You can also pull up previous waypoints, add notes and edit your waypoints. You can even create a route to calculate your gas usage, which is a great tool for the serious tournament angler looking to make a long run. Being able to plan out my pre-fishing and modify my waypoints, notes, etc. has increased my pre-fishing effectiveness and productivity. As my Dad always says, “Plan your work, work your plan”.  This certainly applies to fishing and the NavPlanner can help you execute your game plan.

What About Non-Boaters?

Navionics even has something for non-boaters, a newly released Hotmaps Explorer, a computer program in which you can pull up an atlas of over 12,000 different lakes across the US and Southern Canada, with intercoastal and saltwater waterways. As a co-angler you can print out high quality topographical maps and take them to the tournament. No more trying in vain to find a lake map once you arrive at the tournament.

If you don’t have a computer, Navionics offers two options:

I have been talking a lot about High Definition, and for good reasons. Check out these features:

I think you can tell I'm a believer - to improve your efficiency, safety and productivity give Navionics a look: www.Navionics.com and www.NickBarrFishing.com