How Do I Use Google Maps to Locate Good Fishing spots?

RadiusRadius Posts: 61 Deckhand
A captain once told me that before he explores a new area he looks at google maps or bing maps to get a bird's eye view of the lay of the water.
What is he looking for, and how can I use this tool, also?

Replies

  • MoondawgMoondawg Posts: 214 Officer
    Excellent tool:) I tell people the same. Google earth is probably the best tool to 'scower' different areas because it runs faster than bing's bird eye view. Once you find a spot, look at it on Bing to get a better view. You want to look for possible deep holes in the flats or backwater, look for inlets to where you have good flowing water etc.. A spot that I frequent every now and again was found on google earth. I noticed a black spot in a backwater area, turns out it's a hole that's 37' deep (according to fish finder) that holds all kinds of fish, outside of the hole it's about 3' deep at high tide, so you can imagine what it holds. Even seen tarpon in there!!! Good luck..
    Just 'cause the sun don't shine, doesn't mean you can't go fishin'..
    http://www.sixwavelures.com
    100% Handcrafted Wooden Lures & Jig Heads
  • YaksquatchYaksquatch Posts: 499 Officer
    Dang Moondawg, that hole sounds like a great find!!! Radius, pretty much what he said but I'll add that you also want to look for points of land/mangrove/marsh grass that stick out along a straight stretch of shoreline. Down-tide side of points will create an eddy that predators like to sit in and wait till the tide pushes smaller fish, shrimp, and/or crabs across.

    Good luck,
    Alex
  • SizuperSizuper Posts: 287 Deckhand
    It can be a good tool to find very general areas like points, inlets, river/creek mouths, etc. It won't show you underwater structure, depth, salinity, water temperature, tidal flow, etc., however, which is equally and often more important. Sometimes darkness of water color can indicate deep holes or channels, but it's unreliable because of the different inputs that can effect the water color on a satellite photo.

    What I find the best about sat maps is to use Google Earth to mark fishing spots, species caught and notes on method or conditions. You can mark & note your own trips as well as fishing reports from the paper, FS, friends, fishing maps, etc. (although if you can't verify the report, it's only as accurate as its source). After awhile, your home-made maps will start to tell you a story about the fishing patterns in certain areas.
  • MoondawgMoondawg Posts: 214 Officer
    Yaksquatch wrote: »
    Dang Moondawg, that hole sounds like a great find!!! Radius, pretty much what he said but I'll add that you also want to look for points of land/mangrove/marsh grass that stick out along a straight stretch of shoreline. Down-tide side of points will create an eddy that predators like to sit in and wait till the tide pushes smaller fish, shrimp, and/or crabs across.

    Good luck,
    Alex
    I'll tell you where it is:) lol..
    Just 'cause the sun don't shine, doesn't mean you can't go fishin'..
    http://www.sixwavelures.com
    100% Handcrafted Wooden Lures & Jig Heads
  • YaksquatchYaksquatch Posts: 499 Officer
    Moondawg wrote: »
    I'll tell you where it is:) lol..

    Yeah sure: "In the water!" right? I know better than to ask about a spot like that.

    Go jack em up!
    Alex
  • MoondawgMoondawg Posts: 214 Officer
    Here ya go:)HOLE.jpg
    Just 'cause the sun don't shine, doesn't mean you can't go fishin'..
    http://www.sixwavelures.com
    100% Handcrafted Wooden Lures & Jig Heads
  • AndrewSnookerAndrewSnooker Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    Wow that looks pretty cool. I'll have to check out that spot sometime. You just park off the road?
  • YaksquatchYaksquatch Posts: 499 Officer
    Dang dude! Most people would sell their grandma before giving out a spot that gorgeous! Watch out for 'spot-burners' though.

    Thanks and good luck!
    Alex
  • MoondawgMoondawg Posts: 214 Officer
    lol, I know... It's not my favorite spot though and it's not too classified either, I have seen other people out there but still a good spot to fish. My main spot; now that's a secret and I would sell my Grandma before giving that away!! :)
    Just 'cause the sun don't shine, doesn't mean you can't go fishin'..
    http://www.sixwavelures.com
    100% Handcrafted Wooden Lures & Jig Heads
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,282 Officer
    That looks like a fresh water spring, (cenote) and we have hundreds of those in Mexico, and all are loaded with fish. I just got done googling about a dozen such possible areas to check out here where I fish.

    Some observations I have made while using Google Earth for these purposes:

    1...There can be an error in what you mark (Lat/Long) on GE, as opposed to the actual.....and this varies with locale. It comes from the GE people overlaying the lat/long grid over the photographs. The good news is that if you check your GE positions against the actual from your own readings at these same fixed locations on the water and find an error, it will probably be the same for all waypoints. In Veracruz, it is quite substantial.....about 0.3 miles to the SW. (I checked my GE readings on 6-7 fixed markers, and then went out and took actuals from all 6-7 fixed markers.)

    2....It doesn't take much water to completely obscure small submerged structure, like coral heads and small wrecks. I know of a pant-load of heads and wrecks in shallow water in the Keys, and yet none of them can be seen on GE.

    3...Always look down at the lower left part of the GE screen, to see the image date. I think in the US this is not so much of a problem and the photos are fairly recent. But in other parts of the world I have seen image dates from 2001 and one can imagine the changes that can take place in 10 years.

    Otherwise it is a GREAT tool and I can't begin to tell what a help it has been.
    .......Rick
  • YaksquatchYaksquatch Posts: 499 Officer
    Moondawg wrote: »
    lol, I know... It's not my favorite spot though and it's not too classified either, I have seen other people out there but still a good spot to fish. My main spot; now that's a secret and I would sell my Grandma before giving that away!! :)

    Holy Crap! I can't even imagine how much better a spot you've got if this hole ain't it!!!

    I'd love to see some reports from that spot! But with the background photoshoped out of course...

    Alex
  • mtd885mtd885 Posts: 1,159 Officer
    Hola Rico! :)
    Muy interasante! What GPS are you using? I've noticed that my Garmin 498 differs from a friends Humminbird. Who knows which one is right?
  • MoondawgMoondawg Posts: 214 Officer
    Yaksquatch wrote: »
    Holy Crap! I can't even imagine how much better a spot you've got if this hole ain't it!!!

    I'd love to see some reports from that spot! But with the background photoshoped out of course...

    Alex

    Here's a few pictures Alex. The Mullet was just caught on Saturday when a huge school showed up. Tied on a gold spoon hoping there was a few redfish amongst
    them, bang- drag is screaming and after a couple minute fight it was a mullet. It put up a very nice fight and it wasn't foul hooked, it went for the spoon and was caught in the upper lip, couldn't believe it.

    http://s783.photobucket.com/albums/yy120/dunsmoreg/Fishing%20pics/
    Just 'cause the sun don't shine, doesn't mean you can't go fishin'..
    http://www.sixwavelures.com
    100% Handcrafted Wooden Lures & Jig Heads
  • Reel TeaseReel Tease Posts: 609 Officer
    I love to use these maps! Google map is really good and i've located many sunken ships and debri piles holding fish. the only thing is getting the exact coordinates. Google maps gives you a long list of numbers so what i do is i Copy those numbers and then paste them into this Website where it gives you the Coordinates to plug into you GPS.

    That was one of the problems many people faced so here is the site for all to enjoy. :Rockon

    http://netvicious.com/gps/

    -Carlos Junior
  • RadiusRadius Posts: 61 Deckhand
    Thanks everyone!
  • PipefitterPipefitter Posts: 135 Officer
    First, Use it over spots you already know. Then use that for a comparison of what to look for. It's great for finding grassy or even rocky drop offs on the flats. I have not only found holes, cuts and shell bars on the flats, but what amounts to fish highways at the edges. I have a lengthy drift location that matches nearly every wind direction and these areas are where I end up catching my largest trout. Especially handy for those hard to fish breezier days when I don't feel like dealing with the anchor or trolling motor.

    Trout were put in the bay so that no man ever need to be skunked.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • barrynflabarrynfla Posts: 592 Officer
    I use Google Maps a lot. The biggest problem I have is that you don't know at what tide stage the pics were taken. Is there a way to overcome that limitation?
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,282 Officer
    barrynfla wrote: »
    I use Google Maps a lot. The biggest problem I have is that you don't know at what tide stage the pics were taken. Is there a way to overcome that limitation?

    As mentioned earlier, every photo has an image date in the lower left corner. For the US they seem to all be quite recent. Most photos seem to be taken in the late morning. This I get from the shadows of tall buildings in the area. So if you can access some old tide charts and the corrections for the area you want, then that should put you in the ballpark.

    One bummer that I have noticed recently, is that the photos go out of focus at a slightly higher altitude than in previous years. Back then they used that feature to blur out sensitive and secret places, like Area 51, etc. Some areas are blurred out completely. Those cameras have the ability to read the brand of outboard you're running, so in certain situations, this is a real loss for us.
    .......Rick
  • Reel TeaseReel Tease Posts: 609 Officer
    The Eye in the Sky!! ^^^
  • jpmiller1910jpmiller1910 Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    Check out
    http://marine.geogarage.com/routes

    You can create waypoints of various interesting areas and then load those to your boat GPS at least with Humminbird you can.

    Though I am now having issues opening the site. Maybe something temporary.

    I either use the charts overlay, or the google images and mark areas (mainly inshore) where you can see rocks, hole etc through the shallow water.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]"Goes to show you never can tell"

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