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Big Bay with 15 yr old electronics?


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The summer bite and many other times of the year seems to be best in areas of Big Bay. Other than going to spots you've learned from other means (guides, traditional spots , 15 boats on a spot ,map study, etc) what are you chances of catching walleye in Big Bay without state of the art electronic technology?

Are you at a 30% handicap?

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A paper lake map and a depth finder are all you really need to find the most obvious structure that'll hold fish. You can usually find any sizable structures without a GPS but you will spend more time weaving back and forth to pinpoint it, and some smaller rock piles and such may take 10s of minutes or more to pinpoint just going by shoreline features and the depth finder -- if you find them at all.

Nothing beats a GPS with a built in lake map, but ANY gps at all is better than nothing -- because the paper maps usually have coordinates on them. You can almost definitely find any mapped structures with or without the map built into the GPS if you have a quality paper map that has the GPS coordinates on it -- perhaps from navionics or something similar.

If you happen to have a smart phone (android or iphone), for 12 bucks or so you can download the navionics app for it, and it will use the GPS in the phone. It'll be the best 12 bucks you've ever spent (seen paper lake maps of a single lake selling for way more than that for a couple decades now).

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MB,

As long as you can get good depth readings and see the most obvious fish on spots you should be able to do fine.

Apparently you have done fine with that unit until now or you would have replaced it! grin

Cliff

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I catch walleyes on shoreline breaks throwing hardware in the summer, especially early in the morning (like, say 5:15am smile ) . And trolling the shorelines as well. Don't need electronics for that, just study the map and follow the wind.

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I have a 4 year old cheapy Lowrance that is only good for depth and temperature. It wouldn't bounce back an underwater tank if I passed over the top. My personal take is that people rely way too much on technology to catch fish. When you stop to think about it, doesn't it seem a little strange for us to think that your chances are reduced by not having a $500-$2000 piece of sonar? There are entirely too many fishing shows and magazines brainwashing us to think so

...sez the man calling himself SkunkedAgain

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When you stop to think about it, doesn't it seem a little strange for us to think that your chances are reduced by not having a $500-$2000 piece of sonar? There are entirely too many fishing shows and magazines brainwashing us to think so

First off, are you trying to say that your chances are NOT improved by having reasonably capable sonar and/or GPS on board? I'm sort of lost here, but you seem to be indicating that it's "strange" to think that chances would be reduced by having lesser equipment. Of course standard laws of diminishing returns apply (as with anything), but generally I'm going to say that it's strange to think that your chances would NOT go up if you are using more advanced technologies (which likely cost more). Whether you catch them is always another topic.

Second, when I said a GPS is good to have, I meant ANY gps -- I mean the cheapest one you can find is better than none. It doesn't have to be a $500 to $2000 unit -- it could easily be a used $25 used garmin nuvi CAR GPS, it really doesn't have to be expensive. As long as it will give you lat and long, you'll be able to put yourself on any structure that you can find on a reasonably labelled paper map. If the GPS happens to be a more expensive one, perhaps even with mapping built in, then all the better -- but it's not necessary.

And finally, if you have a 4 year old lowrance that won't show you fish, there is something set up wrong with it -- probably related to how the transducer is mounted or the sensitivity is set incorrectly or something. I don't think they put out a unit in the last decade that won't show fish that you're drifting or trolling over. I have a $130 unit on both of my boats and fish are easily identifiable. On pool 2 the other day I noticed that I wasn't seeing them and when I checked the back of the boat, the transducer had tipped up slightly -- turned it back to level and we were marking fish left and right again.

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Yep, we do catch fish. Mainly, based on depth and historical knowledge. Only occasionally, do I catch fish I see on the screen. I do know I'm handicapped by lack of technology and THAT'S OK.

Only during a tough bite or a few sessions of no fish do you wonder if I need to step up.

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Honestly, if you're looking to upgrade, you can do it incrementally. My first GPS had no mapping capability whatsoever. It showed me latitude and longitude. I had to match that up with what I saw on the map. But it was leaps and bounds above not having one at all. You too can jump on the GPS bandwagon for about 35 bucks.

a) get a map that has GPS coordinates and hot spots on it. They sell them for about 11 bucks. They have GPS coordinates of all the major structures. And the ones that don't have coordinates listed can be ascertained reasonably well by just looking at the map and interpolating the latitude and longitude. Look up "lake vermilion fishing hot spots map" and you'll find an $11 map.

B) get a cheap GPS. search on either the list of craig or the bay for "gps" and find the cheapest GPS you can find that has a 12 volt plug-in with it. They almost all will display latitude and longitude, and you don't have to do much more than that. (do a search online for the model you're looking at to make sure, if you're buying something like a nuvi or tomtom or something that's primarily intended for in-car navigation -- but most of these have a screen or view that will show lat/long). I have seem them as low as $25.

There, you're 36 bucks invested, which I consider almost free. Talk the GPS person down to 15 or 20 and you're even less invested. If you like it -- great. If not, sell the GPS the same way you bought it, and you have only bought a lakemap at this point. If you buy one of those Nuvi gps-es or something similar, you can always use it in the car if nothing else. Again, I've seen these things as low as 25 bucks, functional, with 12 volt power adapter, on the list. Pretty cheap experiment.

If the fish aren't biting, it's nice to have that map and the ability to put yourself on another piece of structure in minutes. I say try it out, got nothing to lose really.

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Lakemaps sells a very nice paper map for 19.95, available at a number of locations around the west end, and I presume the east end as well. It has excellent lat and long information. And excellent detail

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I agree, they make quality maps. You definitely want to get SOME kind of map. The only reason I'm pushing getting a map is that there are probably spots you've never tried and/or where you've rarely seen people fishing that could be holding fish, and if you have the map you can identify these in no time.

I know catfish aren't the same as walleyes, but I will relay a story as to how valuable these maps can be. Last Saturday we were on pool 2, and we were a bit frustrated with the bite as of late. Went downstream from the launch and checked out a few spots that we've known to hold fish in the past, but the low flow was just not looking good. We ended up about 5 miles downstream and hadn't dropped an anchor yet. We said "ok we're this far, let's just go all out and try something new, far far away". We cracked out the map and found 2 spots that looked good that we hadn't ever hit before, 5 miles further downstream. We drove over one of them, said 'It could work', then made our way to the second one. Saw a TON of fish on the sonar at the second location (of course the sonar doesn't know what kind of fish, but we don't really care, figuring if there's any fish, there's likely to be catfish nearby). We threw out an anchor and proceeded to catch a dozen cats over the next 5 hours.

This was 10 miles from the landing in a spot that I've never seen anyone fishing. There's NO way I would have been down that far without having a promising looking location to fish, which is where the map came in handy. Even without a GPS you can find the spots if you just use the shoreline features to approximate your location and the depth finder to pinpoint where you are. But as I said, if you can buy a GPS for 25 bucks or so, you might as well try it out.

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Look at garage sales. I sold a magellan gps12 a few years ago for like 10 bucks.

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First off, are you trying to say that your chances are NOT improved by having reasonably capable sonar and/or GPS on board?
Nope, had nothing to do with your response.
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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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