How to get the most out of your Lowrance Chart Plotter
2015 May 31
Our fishfinder / GPS combo units have come a long way in the last few years. As consumers we put a lot of pressure on Lowrance to give us what we want, and guess what, they gave it to us. The problem now is, now that we have all these wonderful tools, do we know how to use them, or even realize that we have them?
As South Africans, and so many other countries outside of the US , inland water charts were just totally unheard of. Sure, we had Navionics charts for the saltwater offshore stuff, but inland waters – nothing. I’m not going to go through the whole history of how we got from there to here in just a few years, but I can assure you it is nothing short of amazing.
Let me show you what I mean:-
You power your brand new HDS Gen3 up …
Select Chart, and all looks good from a distance …
Zoom in, and things start to get a little fuzzy …
Zoom in further, and boom, we are back to where we were a few years ago, a white screen with a couple of waypoints (which you just loaded)
You buy the Lowrance SA Inland chart which has about 60 dams on it, 40 of which have contour lines, and insert into the unit. You sigh with relief as you spot this big ‘island’ in the middle of Albert Falls Dam appear. Then a cold wave of fear comes over you as you think – “I wonder how accurate these charts are?”
Our new FishTec Tournament Pack charts however reveal a whole different story, showing channels, humps, ledges, holes etc. With major contour lines of 3ft intervals and minor contours of only 1ft, which are only visible when zoomed in close so as not to clutter the display..
Then let’s look a little closer, the depth data shows a very large peninsula in the north east of the dam labelled as Riverview. The question is “What was really there before?”
Without changing cards, we simply change the viewable categories, and Voila! We now have the old sediment topographic charts. These charts show us there were a lot of buildings (red), some roads and a gum plantation (green). But how much of that is still there today?
By simply zooming in further, the sidescan mosaic kicks in showing that there is in fact quite a bit down there still. If you are like me, I still want more detail, so what do we do?
Just keep zooming in on the object that catches your eye, in this case an old rondavel (waypoint #G36).
For some of these waypoints you can view old photos by simply selecting the matching file …
And press view.
Another feature is to turn on the custom colour ranges you want.
While still having the detailed mosaic where you are actually fishing, when zoomed in further.
You also have the choice to select an exact range to highlight in a colour of your choice, creating a virtual shoreline of sorts.
You can create your own waypoints where you have caught fish.
And customise the data attached to the waypoint.
Even save photos to the SD card.
Did you know this was even possible on your Lowrance HDS?
Give me a call on 0825582719 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.