Fishing new fishing spots is the key to any anglers overall success. While time on the water is one way to find them, another is studying a good set of maps prior to a trip. What I generally do is the night before a trip sit down with a chart and plot out a general overview of what my strategy is going to be. I am not only looking to chart my overall course, but also taking the time to look at the map for ledges, humps, points and other structure that looks like it would hold fish. Of course weather, a call from a fishing buddy that the bite is on somewhere or just finding some fish out of luck may alter “the plan” once I am on the water, but I find having a plan helps the trip go better no matter what. I also like to add a few new places to check out each trip regardless of how the plan goes to add to my fishing repertoire and this is where a really good set of maps with bottom contours and other details comes into play. Generally, the maps that we are all accustomed to are your traditional NOAA bottom contour maps that show depths and bottom features in two-dimensional form. The same is true for what is displayed on our chart plotters on our boats. However, commercial fishermen have long known that being able to see maps in a 3D visual display enhances the ability to see the bottom in a way which many times leads to seeing drops, dips, ledges, humps and/or points that are hard to see on two-dimensional maps.
One option to being able to get a 3D view of the bottom is to buy the 3D chart plotters; don’t worry that will only set you back about $20,000 for a decent one. If you are like me, a serious angler who wants to get all the information he/she can and wants the best maps, but does not have an extra $20,000 sitting around then you will want to check out a new laminated series of 3D Chesapeake Fishing Maps that are just hitting the market.
I had the opportunity to get a preview of them a few months ago as they were being developed. I was greatly impressed how they brought the bottom to life. The 3D view gives a whole new take on the bottom and brings it to life right in front of your eyes. You can find these maps at the Chesapeake Fishing Maps website . The company is based on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and though their site offers a variety of different 3D map areas and types of maps.
Upper Bay Turkey Point to Worton Point
Upper Bay Love Point to North Point
Lower Choptank RiverThey have maps of Virginia coming out soon.
They also offer two versions of maps. The first option is 3D Fishing Maps which are 3D bathymetric images combined with information from traditional NOAA charts such as bottom contour lines with depth information as well as navigation aids. The second options of maps are 3D / Bathymetric images which are developed using NOAA depth information, but do not have the actual depth contour lines which give you a different perspective.
One other thing worth mentioning for you to check out is their Oyster Bar map book that lists all of the oyster bars in the Chesapeake. Find the oyster bars and you’ll find fish!
Name of the Company: Chesapeake Fishing Maps