A recreation map can be an invaluable tool for an angler. It gives him a more detailed understanding of the layout, say, of a woodland lake than can visual reconnaissance alone: the topography of its floor and the location of sunken logs, for example. Even more basically, it sets the lake in a broader geography for trip-planning.
Types and Sources
A number of cartographic and mapping companies like Garmin produce recreation maps specifically designed for fishers, and many fishing guidebooks for specific states or regions include them as well. Modern versions may be digital. Less specialized products like USGS or National Park Service topographic maps or gazeteer/atlases like DeLorme's series could be used by anglers to identify fishing locations and access points.
Recreation maps useful for fishing will typically include such details as contour lines, which depict a lake's depth profile; potential boating hazards; boat ramps and access roads; bottom substrate; and lake inlets and outlets.
An angler can decide where to cast based on the map's contour lines, showing where a lake's deep holes and other productive features lie. A good detailed map might illustrate the location of submerged debris piles, often the haunt of predatory fish.
Article Written By Ethan Schowalter-Hay
Ethan Schowalter-Hay is a writer and naturalist living in Oregon. He has written for the "Observer," the Bureau of Land Management and various online publishers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife ecology and a graduate certificate in geographic information systems from the University of Wisconsin.