Both handheld GPS devices and GPS systems in general have changed how fishermen approach their work or hobby. Most major GPS services are compatible with the big name mapping companies. This is great news for anglers who use different types of boats or who just prefer to drop a line from shore. Below, we will look at how you can use this technology to make your next big catch.
Load the Necessary Maps and Connect to Your Computer
First, you will need to check the map provider of your GPS receiver then load the maps you need into the device’s memory. You can often get the nautical charts in your unit’s mapping providers. Connecting to your computer is important for saving your data and picking up fishing location tips. Most varieties of GPS devices connect via the USB port. Check your receiver’s manual to understand the process for your specific GPS model.
Hitting the Water
You must make sure that your GPS receiver is getting a strong signal and providing an accurate location. You may need to wait a while for your device to acquire a satellite connection if the signals are weak. Once you have an accurate location, mark your starting point. The unit will store this info as a sign to help you return to shore after you are done.
Most GPS units have a feature called “breadcrumbs.” This allows you to record your every movement on your trip, which will make it easier to return to hot fishing spots in the future. You will also want to mark waypoints. Many GPS receivers allow you to mark appropriate fishing spots using bookmarks, favorites, or more. Plus, you can usually include other information about the waypoint, including the date, time, location name, and coordinates.
Keep Track of Important Info
You should be systematic in how you record information from your fishing trip. For instance, you may want to include the following pieces of info for your fishing spots:
- Water depth
- Underwater features
- Water temperature
- Overall conditions
- Overall results
All of this can help you track the best spots for fishing.
Using a GPS device to guide you in your fishing endeavors can be a lot of fun, but there are a few precautions you should take. Make sure your unit is fully charged and that you have backup batteries, and if your receiver is not waterproof, keep it wrapped in a plastic bag. You do not want to end up stranded!
- Written By Sally Perkins.