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fishing addict

GPS units with mapping?

8 posts in this topic

FishNchester

what model etrex do you have . the ones i looked at have either 1, 8, or 24megabites memory. How much do you need for the Lakemasters or Fishing Hotspots programs?

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I just have the 1mb one. You don't actualy load the Lakemaster software onto it. In fact, Lakemaster has it's own "Real-Time" tracking built in... but it's not the best. You'd need to carry a laptop around to see where you're at!!!!!
Like I said, I just sit down at my home computer and map a lake out, adding waypoints on it as I see fit. Once I'm all done marking those spots, I just transfer the waypoints to the GPS... I don't transfer the actual map. Then just print out as many maps of the lake/area as you want from the computer for reference.

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Not too change you mind or anything, but I have the Magellan Sportak and I think it is more accurate then the Garmin model.

It is waterproof, it floats,the functions are easy to use and more importantly it is more accurate becuase it uses WASS technology. WASS takes into account elevation data so instead of triangulating your position from 3 satellites you a fourth.
Which results in a more accurate position.

However all models Garmin or Magellan are only as accurate as the military will let you be. They control all gps accuracy so your handheld is not as accurate as there bombs wink.gif

Some food for thought...

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I've owned Garmin, Magellan, and Lowrance- all make good products. If I were you I'd lean toward the map76 or the Sportrack- again, both good products. I've never used the Hot Spots maps, but I hear good things about them too (LakeMaster's good).
One big knock is that both only offer info. for large lakes. One way to get around this problem is to go to the link below:

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

A buddy of mine makes these maps for any lake in the state (virtually). They're quite good.

As far as Swill's comments regarding the military keeping you from being very accurate, the means by which they scrambled the gps signals has been non-functional for about 3 years. Selective availability was a scramble that made gps signals "fuzzy" so they couldn't be too accurate, but the gov. dropped that a while ago. Now, it's basically your hardware that keeps you from getting to within inches of your desired spot.
As far as accuracy between different units (Garmin vs. Magellan vs. Lowrance vs. whatever) they are all basically the same. Despite the fact that they all use different formulas to calculate accuracy and therefore report different accuracies, they are all the same in the accuracy of the units (when you're comparing apples to apples- for example you have to compare a WAAS capable unit to a WAAS capable unit). They folks who spent their $$$ on Unit X will justify the spending by saying it's more accurate, but it's not. I wish the most recent one I dumped my cash on was more accurate then the rest, but it's not.
For the money, I'd go with the Sportrack, but you can't hardly go wrong with a WAAS ready unit that has a large screen.
Good luck,
Scoot

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I wanted to make sure everyone reading this thread realizes that the GPS units that have mapping capabilities are only compatible with the maps that come with the unit. For instance if you buy a Magellan, you can purchase the MapSend Streets program. These types of programs don't have fishing information on them. These are special vector maps and are very expensive to create.

The programs Scoot and others have mentioned above such as Lake Master and Custom GPS Maps ( http://fishingminnesota.com/gps-calibrate-lakemaps.html ) don't allow a map to actually be uploaded to your GPS. They allow you to look at a lake on your computer, pick the fishing spots (Waypoints) and then you can upload and download the waypoints to the GPS. I know that the Customer GPS maps also allow you to upload and download your tracks so you can see where you have been fishing/driving on the lake. As mentioned in a previous post, you can also take your laptop and see where you are going on the lakes in real time. However, the lake maps themselves are not that detailed and perfectly accurate that you gain a lot by doing this. Also, water coming over the side of the boat or rough water can cause serious havoc on a laptop.

I would recommend 2 ways to use your GPS and a calibrated fishing map. This is assuming you are using the custom maps listed above. I would assume Lake Master has some of these options also.

1) Mark waypoints before going fishing and print your map out with the waypoints on the map. This will allow you see where you are fishing. Also, mark spots on the lake when you get to a corner, point, etc on the structure or if you start catching fish. Download your waypoints after fishing and rename (edit) them (Don't name them on the GPS it takes too long) and next time you go fishing, upload the latest copy.

2)I would download your tracks (if the lake map software allows). This allow you to save you successful fishing passes so next time you go to the lake you can upload your track and follow the exact same course where you caught fish before. If you really feel that it is important to see a visual of your structure, use the track feature on the mapping program. Draw a track around the structure say at 20 feet and 30 feet and upload those tracks. The track lines will show on the GPS and can represent the visual of the basic structure.

Keep in mind most lake maps are based off the base DNR maps and they are not that accurate. They give you a good idea of where to look and then let your electronics take over after that. Just an FYI

These maps are a great tool to eliminate water and get you on spots and structure quickly.

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Has anyone had experience with the gps units with mapping capabilities. i am looking at the garmin gps76 or the Etrex series. any suggestions on the amount of memory to get if i want to load lake maps onto them. The 2 cd rom products with lake maps I have seen are from Fishing Hot Spots , the other is Lakemaster series. Which is better? Can you choose specific lakes to load up or do you have to load all the lakes on the cd. thanks.

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I have the Lakemaster program, and I love it. I have primarily used it on Otter Tail, and have found it very accurate. There is a good number of lakes that come with the CD, and they are constantaly adding lakes. You can get these lakes from their HSOforum for a fee as they add them.

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I've got an ETrex GPS and the LakeMaster software. I just find the lake I want, then study it and look for spots I want to key on. Add a few waypoints on Lakemaster, transfer to the GPS... and you're good to go. After you transfer, you can print out the area with all the waypoints marked for reference while out on the water. Works great... and depending on your GPS... usually right on the money.

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