Minnesota’s nautical charts will help you catch fish

Minnesota's nautical charts will help you catch fish

Have you ever seen fishing boats in one area but few elsewhere?

There’s a reason for this, and the reason relates to what is invisible to the naked eye: underwater points, ledges, saddles, humps, and holes.

You can also find these sought-after fishing destinations by simply downloading a topographic nautical map from LakeFinder on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ website or using the interactive mapping feature on Mobile LakeFinder.

What is a topographic nautical map?

Basically, it’s a drawing of the bottom of the lake. The map shows gradations of the water depth via squiggly lines that correlate with the contours of the seabed. Topographic maps are especially valuable if you know your location in relation to, for example, a deep hole or weedy hump or shallow plain where schools of minnows are likely to attract feeding fish.

Thanks to Mobile LakeFinder, you can easily see your location on the lake. This is because LakeFinder uses your smartphone or other mobile device to record your location on the lake.

If you’ve never used a nautical topographic map, the following is helpful advice.

  1. Map lines show water depths in steps of five feet or less. Lines that are close together indicate a sharp change in water depth, e.g. B. a garbage or an underwater congestion. Lines that are far apart indicate areas with little change in water depth.
  2. Good fishing spots can vary depending on the time of year, time of day, type, and other factors. However, good fishing areas are usually:
  • Points that deepen as they extend into the lake. These often look like triangles on the map.
  • Humps surrounded by deeper water. These often look like circles or ovals on the map.
  • Holes surrounded by shallow water. These often look like circles or ovals.
  • Apartments and the edges of apartments next to deeper water.
  • Saddles (deeper water with an even depth between two points or bumps).

The nice thing about a topographic map is that you can study it at home. This allows you to identify preferred fishing spots before launching your boat or attracting waders. You can also show a printed card to friends or others whose advice you value. Seasoned anglers will often pull out a pen, circle around where they are likely to fish, and wish you the best, because that’s how they learned.

Use our interactive map to find fishing and boating locations near you. And attract your fish!