This time of year I spend a lot of time fishing reefs, often the shallower the better. Rock piles offer the kind of cover that is a great place for both baitfish and walleyes to hide, but they’re also a great place to hang up a bunch of tackle.
Knowing exactly how a reef lays out can keep you from losing a lot of gear or wrecking a lower unit—not to mention knowing intimately every angle of that small sweet spot. In the early day’s anglers relied on milk jugs and lining up trees, fortunately technology has helped us get way beyond that.
For a fairly young guy I’m kind of old school, heck I used a flasher as backup till just a few years ago. But not using current technology—especially on the waters I fish—can be a serious mistake. Side imaging technology that was only available to government agencies for search and rescue is now available over the counter in a much smaller package and even smaller price tag.
Humminbird offers a very accurate GPS, which is essential for keeping me right on the spot, and equally important, being able to return to it later.
Lakemaster cartography chips are truly a game changer. The mapping and contour detail that is available allows me to adjust my trolling or drifting pattern before I even get to where I need to go. The days of inadvertently ending up in two feet of water or sliding off into thirty feet of water accidently are over.
Another feature that Humminbird offers when used in conjunction with the a Lakemaster program is depth highlight. I use the shallow water highlight to select water less than five feet. This will do wonders when buzzing across the lake and not completely paying attention or when on new waters. You also can select a depth range and highlight that depth range all over the lake. This makes it much easier to fish when you pattern exactly how deep the fish are, or maybe just trying to stay out of the skinny water.
If you really want to get fancy you can even network a Minn-Kota Terrova bowmount trolling motor in with the Humminbird units for use as a true autopilot and plot your course right from your GPS screen.
Technology isn’t going away, the anglers that embrace it are the ones that will more consistently produce.
Capt. Ross Robertson