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Ol'MarbleEyes

Which GPS??

8 posts in this topic

I've been asked by my aunt to find out which GPS unit would be best for my uncle...there are a few main features he wants. 1. It will be a marine unit (as it will be used 95% for fishing 2. The main feature I think he's looking for is for it to be used with maps of lakes, downloading existing coordinates from a lake map on the computer and then load them to the GPS unit and vice versa. Are there any lake map programs out there that have coordinates for smaller Minnesota lakes yet?? I've seen Lakemaster software but it's for most of the more popular lakes!! Back to the GPS...it also should be waterproof and even possibly float!! Any thought on this would be appreciated!! I have an etrex and for what I use it for it works great...so I don't have much experience with using the computer and GPS together!!

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I currently use a garmin 76 map and like it very much it meets all the criteria you stated but I also believe that one of the Magellan's also floats

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They sell floating cases for the hand held GPS, at least some brands. I have a floating case for my garmin.

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Hey Ol'Marble Eyes,

Been a long time. Are you planning on making a trip to URL for big crappies this year? Been a long time since we visited the other place. Z

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Hey Ol' Marble Eyes,

Check this out:

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/gps-calibrate-lakemaps.html

The guy who does this work is a buddy of mine and he does good work. You'll be really happy with the product he provides for you if you decide to go with it. I use his maps all the time and they are pretty darn good. It's not only a good option for smaller lakes, it's the only option.
Scoot

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I will second the vote for the Garmin Map 76 or the new Map 76S. The will give you everything you need. I would recommend upgrading the basemap though. Most handhelds come with a pretty poor basemap. He WILL NOT be dissapointed with the Map 76. Scott Steil

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Thanks for the response guys...another question I have then is what are the benefits of having a mapping gps if you can order lake maps with gps coordinates and then download them to your gps from your computer with just any gps unit that has the pc capabilities??? Also, how much does the DGPS help?? Anyone use this?? They say by using DGPS you can be alot more accurate with your spots?? How would the Lowrance I-Finder work with the needed features I gave above?? Fourplay...I should have known it was you with a handle like that!! Thanks for the input guys...keep it coming...I'm learning more and more!!

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Ol'MarbleEyes,

I was looking for a GPS recently and decided on the Garmin Legend. The Legend has mapping capability. The benefit of this is that you can download maps directly into the Legend along with any pre-determined waypoints from the map. The downside is you can only download maps sold by Garmin. The Legend comes with a basemap of North America but it isn't very detailed. You can buy US Topo maps from Garmin as well as Fishin Hotspots. I have never used these products as I live in Manitoba, Canada and they don't benefit me. Garmin is working on Canada Topo maps and hopefully they will be available soon. Maybe they will update Fishin Hotspots for lakes in Manitoba as well.

I found a lot of good info at a HSOforum called: "Joe Mehaffey and Jack Yeazel's GPS Information HSOforum"

Hope this helps.

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  • Posts

    • I have fished for trout in my home waters for fifty-five years. The places I call home are the waters of the Wisconsin driftless area. Trout are my favorite species to chase. The trout of my waters have fluctuated over my more than a half century of fishing. Trout are instinctual creatures.  The big wily brown trout are my quarry.  They are portrayed as superior entities when in fact they have a brain the size of a pea. Do you want the keys to the castle?   I have seen many trends and fads come and go in the trout world.  This fancy rod and that special fly have cycled through a dozen times in my lifetime. Anglers come and go and so do the latest new fangled trends.  The constants in the trout world are the seasons and good old Mother Nature.  If you want a real leg up on those trout you should pay attention to the seasons and the changes they cause in the trout’s environment.     The weather in Wisconsin can be a harsh mistress.  The extremes are the norm here.  We could have twenty inches of snow on the ground and below zero temperatures and what seems like a blink of the eye in Wisconsin it changes.  The snow could melt and the next time you go fishing it could be radically different.  You need to roll with the seasonal changes and modify the way you fish and where you fish.

        This frigid morning in January was shaping up to be a “skunk” outing.  My friend was cold and told me he had enough and wanted to head back to the vehicle.  I talked him out of heading back.  We had taken the stream temperatures earlier and we hadn’t found a one reading over thirty-six degrees.

      The outdoor temperature was twenty-six degrees and not looking like it was going to warm up.  I had scouted this area prior and our fishing was going to get better I told him.
        Do you see the log laying on the right side of the stream?  Just on the other side of the log is a tiny trickle feeding in.  This trickle is a tiny spring.  Springs run year round here at about forty-two degrees constant.  Where that spring fed in caused a six degree temperature swing just downstream.  That little trickle made the stream bearable for the trout.    I have found many trickles during the early season when the grass is down that I cannot see even a month later due to weed growth.  It was like the Bahamas in that halo of the spring.  We caught seven trout in that tiny spot. Many feeders are not easily found during the summer.  They are covered up by weeds.  You can only discover them when the weeds are down in winter or early spring. I emphasize the word trickle here because they may be tiny and you will miss them if you are not looking for them.   My friend Andy and I fished this exact hole in September.  We both caught four trout each in this bend in September.  We couldn’t buy a bite in March.  What was different now?  First off the water temperatures were in the sixties in September and in the middle thirties in March. Trout lay in different areas during cold and warm conditions.     In Wisconsin winters the trout are in survival mode.  They need to find good lays where they don’t have to expend too much energy to hold in place and wait for food. The calories required to hold in place in this cold fast water is a negative formula for calories gained. This shallow fast current hole is great when the water temperatures are in the sixties and the trout can hide in the broken fast water.  In thirty degree water this holding place has no one home.  I would look for the deepest water either direction for two hundred yards.  This is where the trout would winter.
      One picture says a thousand words.  It was twenty degrees below out this day. The water temperature at this spring head tells the tale. It measured at forty degrees.  I like to call these Bahamas causing the water temperatures to fluctuate. A thermometer is a must to get a leg up on these instinctual creatures. This spring is a glaring thermal. 

       Many anglers discount some thermals because they are not so obvious.  A swamp is nothing more than a spring spreading out and they have the same properties as a small stream emptying into a larger waterway.  There does not need to be an obvious entry point to these swamps causing thermals.  They can leech through the surrounding banks and make their way into your stream.
        I am going to stay on thermals but switch seasons.  The temperature fluctuations you found to indicate where to find the wily trout in winter holds true in the dog days of summer.  I went with a Natural Resources crew to do a shocking.     The stretch we were to shock was a non-designated area way below typical trout water.  Even on a typical summer’s day in Wisconsin this waterway was almost too warm to fish in it.  Many anglers considered this “frog water” and dismissed it.  What a giant mistake they were making. 

       When water temperatures are near seventy degrees, it is recommended not to fish for trout.  It plain and simply puts too much stress on the fish and raises the mortality rates to an unacceptable risk for the trout.  Streams that are warmer have less dissolved oxygen in them.  Trout caught in water near seventy degrees have a hard time recovering from a battle due to the lack of oxygen.     I was in charge of the thermometer and Garmin on this trek into frog water with the fisheries folks.  Every thirty yards I was asked to take the temperature and write it down with the GPS coordinates. I was asked to submerge the thermometer at least halfway to the bottom to take the readings. I needed to hold the thermometer in place for ten seconds. I also was advised to make sure there was no secondary warming from my hands holding it.  The lead worker said the trout actually live in the lower half of water columns. The water temperatures hovered around seventy degrees at first.  We did not shock up trout in these areas.   We started to shock up some trout.  They were smaller fish.  I took the temperature and there was a slight change.  I looked around for a spring or a feeder creek.  There were none to be found. The fisheries staff told me to take more frequent measurements and log them. They were trying to prove a theory they had. I measured every ten yards on this stretch.  The temperatures continued to go down. The water temperatures were in the low sixties now and we were shocking numerous trout to the surface.  It was quite amazing how the numbers and sizes of the trout increased as the water got colder on this stretch.   We shocked up some true monsters from this waterway and then they just vanished.  The alpha or large predator trout had the lays in the coolest hides.  I could not see anything feeding in.  It was a true mystery to me.  There was a swamp about thirty yards from the stream.  It had no obvious entry points.  I followed my thermometer to its access point.  The swamp leeched into the stream and the only tell tale evidence was found with my thermometer.  

       The only visual evidence was softer banks that extended a couple of feet toward the swamps near the coldest points and these were my thermals.  I would not have discovered them without my thermometer. You can guess where the biggest brown were shock up correct?  Their noses were stuck right in the area where the trickles fed in.   I fish with many folks and they must grow weary of waiting for me to quit messing with my thermometer. Some stretches I fish regularly I leave my thermometer in my vest because of my historical data. My friend Dan Braun and I took a break during the midday of fishing due to water temperatures being too high and dangerous for the trout.  The outside temperature this day was eighty-eight degrees.  Dan took a temperature check at this spring head and it measured forty degrees. It is amazing to see a light bulb go on when another angler finally figures out why I am fiddling with my thermometer.
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       I have been drawn to marginal frog water for over half a century now in Wisconsin’s driftless area.  My photos of big browns don’t lie.


       
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