We all are using mapping technology for finding and marking our fishing locations on the open water. But how many are using that same technology when the water turns hard and we are trying to find specific locations for our winter fishing?
Paper maps don’t seem to be the norm anymore with all the GPS units and smartphone applications that are available. If you don’t use your GPS in the winter from your boat, those mapping applications on your smart device will come in very handy.
But to keep your fishing trips on the ice productive, open water work will have to be done, so that information will be accurate and ready, once we set foot onto the ice. Keeping your smartphone application on and handy while fall fishing, you can set those isolated fish catching locations quickly and have them readily available come winter fishing.
Another invaluable option that should be exercised as well is keeping up to date fishing journals, so that you can look back at a certain time of the season and refresh your memory as to what the fish were doing and where they were at.
These journals can be as simple or complex as you want to make them, it comes down to what information is valuable to you for the future. Time of day, weather, baits, locations and anything else that helps you to piece your fishing trip together for being productive. The key is to write these up as soon as you are done fishing, so that pertinent information doesn’t get lost.
Now we will move back to the smartphone mapping applications that was talked about earlier.
Many of these applications allow you to set waypoints on them for future use, just like you do on your boat’s GPS system. So, while you are fishing this fall on the open water, as you place a waypoint on the boat GPS, do the same thing on your smart device’s application.
More times than not, where we find the fish we catch in the later fall time frame, these fish will still be relating to these same areas as the water turns hard. Having these locations marked on your device’s application, which is in your pocket, will save you from having to drill numerous holes trying to find these fishable areas.
Key locations that fall fish use, always depend on the species as well. Crappies will congregate in the basins in the fall, and they will still be using these locations come the ice season. If you have these waypoints marked on your device, within a few holes drilled, you should be into catching them quickly.
There are many locations that will be marked as you are fishing and catching. Some of these typically are contour inside turns, deep water humps, irregular weedlines, isolated rock piles and any other structure items that should be pinpointed on the open water for quick finding on the hard water.
As you mark your locations, you can make a note to each point as to the fish that are there or anything that will remind you why that point was marked. By keeping your information up to date, you will have confidence when you hit the first ice, as to where the fish are and then it only comes down to you for catching them.