Great Tips On Using Your Chart Plotter to Fish
Raritan Engineering your electric toilets suppliers would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding catching fish with the aid of chart plotters.
Your electric toilets manufacturers discuss how the aptly named fish finder ranks at the top of every angler’s list of necessary electronics. But where does the chart plotter fit in that high-tech hierarchy?
In the past, plotters helped anglers efficiently find the fishing grounds, and little else. But these days, using tracks, routes, waypoints, overlays, trolling-motor connectivity and sonar-logging features, plotter charts become more like treasure maps, leading anglers to optimal fish and bait concentrations.
Pro fishermen and charter captains liken plotters to computers. Here’s how five of them use their units to find and catch more fish.
Plotter and Trolling Motor Connection
“I think of my boat as my office and my plotter as my office computer, and everything I need is on there,” says Capt. Phillip Wilds, who runs Anchored Charters Guide Service out of Panama City, Florida.
When fishing offshore, Wilds uses tracks and the Minn Kota’s SpotLock to see the boat’s relationship to the structure he’s fishing and to stay on that structure.
Use Tracks to Pattern Fish
Nugent targets stripers, chasing them under the birds in run-and-gun fashion. “Tracks allow me to see the direction the fish are trending at any time. Whenever we find bait or a bunch of birds on the water, or if we’re trolling and get a knockdown, I drop a waypoint.”
Because he targets migrating fish, he does a master reset on his Raymarines at the end of each fishing year. Other captains, particularly those who tournament-fish or bottomfish for species such as snapper and grouper, religiously catalog their points and tracks on SD cards by region.
Keep and Catalog Plotter Tracks for Future Use
Maus uses tracks to troll for a variety of species and to help him navigate back to unfamiliar locations. He also employs Simrad’s TrackBack feature on his sonar to enter waypoints when he sees something new.
We Continue Talking About This Great Way to Go Fishing
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If he’s pre-fishing an area for sails, he might mark 20 or 30 waypoints where he found bait. The next day, though the bait will have moved, Maus says he’ll run-and-gun the points because “something will have held bait in those locations.”
Changing Track Colors Based on Temperature
Capt. Greg Shute fishes much of the Chesapeake Bay out of his 27-foot Judge. He uses his Furuno TZtouch2 and 1870 units when he’s drift-fishing for stripers. “Usually, I’ll have a point or something I’m trying to drift over,” he says.
“I can zigzag over areas while looking for fish and note where the bottom composition changes,” he says. “I will then use where I see the color changes in conjunction with marks I had on the fish finder.”
Shute also changes the actual color of a given day’s track so that he can tell the different trips he has made. By looking at the tracks and waypoints he has used, he can tell where he has fished and where he has caught fish.
Hunt and Scout with Waypoints
Tournament captain Bill Platt keeps his data on SD cards based on region. “I can see where I catch fish year after year. The plotter is a computer now, not just a navigation chart.”
He uses his Helm Master’s Set Point function to stay on the fish and keep the stern to the current. If the fish move, he drifts again and watches his track.
“I find so much stuff looking around my different waypoints,” he adds. “If I run a charter, I go to a spot and I look all around. It’s like finding treasure.”
So don’t forget these great ways to use chart plotters to be a great compliment to your fishing arsenal. 1) Use tracks to pattern fish; 2) changing track colors based on temperature; and 3) keep and catalog plotters tracks for future use.
Sailing Generates Pleasure and the Feeling of Self-Reliance
I have ataxic cerebral palsy, a condition that I have had since birth, which affects my fine and gross motor skills. I am unable to walk and have to use a wheelchair to get about.
In 2009, I was keen to find a sporting activity in which I could take part. I was certainly interested in giving it a go, so they asked what opportunities were available and I was invited down to check it out.
At the time Wealden Sailability, founded by Brian Stanley, was based at Bough Beech Reservoir near Edenbridge. The first day I spent there was thoroughly enjoyable. I was taken out on the water by one of their volunteer instructors in a Hansa 303, a boat which is specifically designed to be sailed by a disabled sailor.
They have 80-90 volunteers, hundreds of clients and cater for 35 visitors per session and take them out twice a week. I race in one of the two Paralympic class 2.4 dinghies, which are part of a fleet they use for weekly racing events.
There are few sports where disabled people can compete with non-disabled people on the same terms, but on the water everyone is equal.
The charity’s trustees and volunteers put in a lot of hard work and give up a great deal of their time from April to October each year. To give disabled people such as myself the opportunity and sheer exhilaration to get on the water.
So it was no surprise to me that in 2015 Wealden Sailability received the Queen’s award, the highest recognition of volunteering in the UK.
My advice to others would be to encourage anyone who has a disability, whatever it is, to get in touch with Wealden Sailability and give it a go.
After all, I have been sailing with them for eight years and I can’t swim. So there is no excuse – and I promise you’ll thoroughly enjoy it!
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