Making Your Own Topo Maps

Often, one of the most difficult things to do on a new body of water is to find a decent map.  Good maps are key to narrowing down the areas that you want to hit and maximizing you productivity on the water.  A good topo map is even more important.  Contour lines help identify key structures such as humps, creek channels, drop offs and ledges that are the places that bass will congregate during each of the seasonal patterns.

Fortunately, most of the bigger reservoirs and rivers have pretty good maps available on paper and in either built in mapping or an add-on card for your GPS system.  The drawbacks to these maps is that the information is sometimes out of date or inaccurate due to current or storms.

Thanks to Lowrance’s Insight Genesis program, that’s no longer a problem.  With Insight Genesis, you can record your sonar data from your Lowrance units, upload the data to the Genesis web site and it will create a map for you.  These maps can then, either be viewed online or downloaded to a memory card and used just like any other mapping card in your Lowrance units.

Making your own topo maps is simple with Insight Genesis.

I had my first opportunity to try this out this past weekend on a small private lake and I have to say I’m really impressed with the program.  With a Premium Subscription, you can pick either 1, 3 or 5 foot contour lines, a view that show bottom composition or a view that shows vegetation.  I’ve fished this lake since it was built and I saw a couple of areas that I can’t wait to get back to and fish.

As you can see from this screen shot, I didn’t fish the entire lake so everything is not mapped.   Of course, if you have time, you can motor around and make a grid pattern to insure that you cover the entire lake.  But there is an easier option.   You can merge multiple sonar recordings on the Genesis site (with a standard subscription) and make them into a single map.  That way you can just record every time you are on the water and make a new map when you get home.

You can also show bottom composition (shown here) or vegetation.

On bigger lakes, it’s not necessary to try to get coverage of the entire lake.  With the Lowrance Touch units, you can display multiple map cards on the same screen, so you can make maps of your key areas or structure and display them alongside of the built in Insight mapping.  I’ve started recording the sonar data every time I’m on the water and building maps for each of the lakes that I regularly fish.   I have no doubt that these maps will help me put more fish in the boat.  To visit the Genesis website, go to

Thanks to the sponsors who make this all possible:  Lowrance Electronics, Phoenix Bass Boats, Denali Rods, Bryan’s Marine, BoatUS Angler, Power Pole, Costa del Mar Sunglasses and Mississippi Van Lines.  Without all of you, none of this would be possible.

This entry was posted in Bass, Bass Fishing, Largemouth bass, Lowrance, Lowrance electronics, marine electronics, Phoenix boats. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Making Your Own Topo Maps

  1. Pingback: Insight Genesis Help

  2. Pingback: Making your own lake maps?

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