Looking for new locations to fish at your favorite lake? Are you planning a dream vacation for some prime fishing in another state? No problem! Lake maps can offer a wealth of information to any angler. With a little knowledge of how to interpret them, you’ll be better prepared for any situation.
Lake maps use contour lines to show depth changes. Each line represents a change in depth, usually indicated somewhere on the map. Alot of maps are calibrated to a 3 foot depth change per line. In the following example, the depth gets deeper farther away from shore to a depth of 9 feet.
The distance between each line represents how steep the depth change is. Lines that are close together show a steep drop-off whereas lines that are far apart show a flat. Also note the dark blue line that represents the creek channel.
Lake maps also show how a point lays out beneath the surface of the water. Also note how the map shows irregularities of the point, such as the steep drop-off shown in this example, or where the end of the point meets the channel. These irregularities have potential to hold fish.
To put it all together, maps can point out potential hotspots, as well as show areas of the lake that are less likely to produce. Apply knowledge of what saugeyes do at certain times of the year as well as weather trends to decide what depth and structure to approach. Circle any areas that have potential, and again pay attention to any irregularities. A small steep drop-off among an otherwise gradual slope might be just enough to hold fish. The opposite also should be considered. A deep hole also can have its time to really shine, especially during fall and winter or for a hot daytime bite. For more information on the habits of saugeye, check out the saugeye and walleye category on this page. When utilizing a lake map, these locations can be known to an angler, and potentially increase success.