The world of electronic navigation has had a profound effect on all those who tap it’s potential. In the boating world, accurate and up to date charts and navigation features make fishing and cruising safer, simpler and will absolutely help you catch more fish no matter which level you are starting from in fishing. Navionics has played a major role in the evolution of modern electronics; in fact they started it.
Scroll back to 1984, when Navionic’s two founding fathers, Giuseppe Carnevali and Fosco Bianchetti, introduced the Geonav, a navigational unit brought to market was the first of its kind. Navionics took the lead in the marine cartography field with a series of technological innovations and they continue to lead the fast-paced charge in the evolution of marine navigation aids and charts.
Navionic’s constant focus on quality and great customer service is another reason users continue to use Navionics products when they set up their marine electronics. Though the company has grown from two to over 500, the focus on these two guiding principles remains the same.
Navionics says it best, “what makes the difference is the fact that we all are avid boaters, skiers and outdoors people, we all are our own customers, we all use and test our products for our own hobbies, which means the difference between products designed by engineers for the use by engineers, and products made by users for the benefit of everyday people.”
Navionics and BD have teamed up offering a series of “Fishing Spots” charts that merge the first hand fishing knowledge of BD’s team and pro’s with the technologically advanced charts of Navionics. You can check them out HERE for free. We have put together three of our member’s most popular geographic areas and these waypoints can put you on the spot and also serve as a base from which anglers can build their own book of spots.
Erik Landesfeind, saltwater bass pro and all-around great fisherman explains how he uses Navionics to his advantage, no matter what kind of fishing he is doing. “Over the years there have been three technological advancements that have completely changed the way I fished. The first of those was the introduction of GPS charts, which allowed me to accurately plot fishing spots so that I could return to them again. Next came side-vision fish finders, these units allowed me to get a better understanding of the layout and composition of structure in the areas I fished. Finally, the introduction of Navionics Sonar Charts allowed me to see a clear picture of areas I’d never fished and improve upon that picture along the way.
The photo above shows the type of chart we’ve been looking at since chart plotters became available for private boats. While it shows some basic detail of the bottom contour if you were heading to the area for the first time you’d basically be going in blind when it comes to looking for fish holding structure. Then once you’d found that structure you’d have to rely on your memory and whatever waypoints you’d created to fish there in the future.
This is a photo of the same zone with Navionics Sonar Charts. As you can see, the contour lines draw a fairly clear picture of the underwater topography. With this much detail available, finding likely areas to fish is almost a no-brainer, as the pinnacles and reefs are very clear. And once you’ve found some fish, you can reference the orientation of your waypoint to the structure and make educated guesses as to other areas that might also be holding fish. The coolest part is that Navionics will record your fish finder logs and once uploaded, will use them to add further detail to your map. So the more you fish an area, the better the details available in your chart. This technology is so good that it’s almost like cheating.
Tommy Donlin is another expert fisherman who runs trips in the Pacific Northwest. He shares his view on the benefits of Navionic’s technology. “Navionics chips have become an integral part of life and it’s hard to remember what life was like before this technological advance. There were features in the topography of the ocean floor that we never knew existed until the highly defined bathymetric data from Navionics exposed it. The coveted chips have vastly improved our bottom fishing game in the Pacific Northwest and have gained us unprecedented advantages over the monsters that lurk in the deep. Preseason scouting for new halibut and lingcod spots can now happen from the comfort of your own home. I scour the charts, looking at current flow with respect to the valleys, peaks, and ledges of the bottom while taking into account bottom composition. Larger halibut will lay in a gravel or sandy bottom, and then venture into areas with rockier structure to feed, eating everything from rockfish to octopus. They don’t like to work for their food so you have to use the Navionics charts to figure out where the current and structure will allow you to present the perfect bait for their consumption. Like I tell my tournament crew, “SLOW IS PRO!” and the same applies to fishing for big “BUTS”.
Today’s electronic packages, like my Raymarine ES128 chartplotter, allow me to visualize the bottom in 3D while exaggerating the aspect ratio, thus making the drop-offs and peaks more pronounced. Combining this picture with the flow of the current will reveal areas that you will probably kick yourself for not fishing earlier in your life! Your Navionics package should always be paired with a high-end sounder module and transducer to confirm that someone is home on the reef.
In Cornivorous, my 29’ Defiance Guadalupe, I am running the Raymarine CP470 chirp module paired with a wide beam thru-hull, fairing block transducer and an additional CP100 skimmer transducer that produces a 60-degree slice through the water. The advances in today’s bottom mapping and sounding technology almost make it unfair to the fish, but I’m willing to overlook that!
So don’t you want an “unfair advantage” over the fish you chase?
You owe it to yourself and your fishing buddies to take advantage of Navionics advances in chart technology and make the most of your time on the water.
If you already have Navionics in an older unit, they offer update-packages so you can be current at a very affordable price.
See the Fishing Charts here from BD and Navionics