Top 5 Tips for mapping with AutoChart Live
With AutoChart Live now available on HELIX 9, 10 and 12 units, in addition to the original ONIX and ION platforms, more anglers than ever before will have the opportunity to create their own custom contour maps, live on-the-water. When you are ready to begin mapping on your next trip, keep these tips in mind for creating the most accurate contour maps possible:
1. Watch your speed.
Over the past two years of using AutoChart Live, I have found a constant, consistent boat speed of 4-6 mph to be best for high precision mapping. This is what I would describe as a high-idle speed. Crack the throttle open, and then give it just a touch more, and start mapping.
2. Avoid "goosing" the throttle.
If you do not smoothly increase the throttle to gain boat speed, but instead open the throttle rapidly, that rapid increase in prop RPMs will rapidly raise the bow and create significant turbulence off the transom. Both of those may significantly decrease your ability to obtain a clean 2D depth measurement, leading to a "black hole" in your AutoChart Live map.
3. Use intersecting, criss-cross tracks, especially over contour-rich areas.
Make sure that you map breaklines with boat tracks parallel to, as well as perpendicular to, sharp depth changes.
4. Focus on "micro-mapping"
. Don't feel compelled to start your mapping efforts by mapping an entire lake. Start by mapping key locations, spending your time to create the most accurate map possible for the areas you actually fish.
5. Map every trip. The best way to build a comprehensive map of a larger area is to devote a little time each trip to mapping. Put the rods away. Grab a sandwich or a cold beverage, and build your map for 30 minutes every day. Over the course of the season, your own custom contour maps will take shape, and you'll be the proud owner AND creator of the best maps available for your prime fishing areas.
Want to learn more about AutoChart Live or see it in action? We cover AutoChart Live for ONIX in Volume 3
of our Technological Angler instructional video series, and we also have key AutoChart Live settings available on our ONIX and HELIX quick reference cards.