I recently bought a Minn Kota Ultrex 112 / 36 volt trolling motor for my boat. Man talk about a game changer in my fishing experiences! Not only does it utilize the “Spot Lock” feature and the “Auto Pilot” feature it has changed the way I now mark and fish my waypoints while on the water.
Since I started doing “Recordings” with my Humminbird SI units several years ago, I now almost only mark structure that I’ve found on the lake bottom. This could be stumps, points, sunken treetops, old sunken boats or anything else I’ve found that could or does hold fish. I fish for both bass and crappie so marking sunken treetops really helps with my crappie fishing.
What I now do it view my recording on my home laptop from my last fishing trip to see if I have found anything that I need to take a better look at or to mark and fish. Take a look at the video below and you’ll see that I’m using the “ReefMaster Sonar Viewer” software that I’ve blogged about several time on this blog site. I do recommend that you spent the $49 dollars on this software and learn to use it. It will make a difference in how you view and use your Side Imaging.
Now that you have watched the video on how I mark my waypoints and my anchor spots here is an image of how I go to my waypoints. As you can see in the image there is a “Green” and a “Purple” heading line on the map screen. The “Green” line is from the internal “Course Up” heading from the Humminbird unit. And the “Purple” heading line is from the Humminbird AS GPS HS GPS Receiver (Precision GPS/WAAS receiver with Heading Sensor provides fast position fixes accurate within 2.5 meters or 8.2 feet. Provides more accurate position fixes than the industry standard GPS.) which is an electronic heading compass. This compass sensor will cost you around $200 but in my opinion it is worth the extra expense.
To go to my waypoint that I want
to fish I just line up the “Purple” line with the “AnchorTop” waypoint and the “TreeTop”
waypoint and when I get to the “AnchorTop” waypoint the treetop is straight in
front of the nose of the boat at either 40 or 50 feet. Hit your “Spot Lock” on
the Ultrex and make you cast to the treetop. I also use the “Casting Rings” on
all my waypoints so that I can make my cast to the waypoint from different
angles is I want to.
As for fishing the waypoints I try to get the best angle on the structure as I can to get the best coverage for my cast. Here is an example of what I mean by this. Let’s look at all four angles in the image. At waypoint number “1” this is the best angle to fish the top as I am making my cast across the top and have a wide target area to cast to. At waypoint number “2” this is also a great angle to fish this top from in the way of coverage and the lest likely as to get hung-up in the top as you are bringing your lure through the top with the limbs. Waypoint number “3” would be the same s waypoint number “1” and the wind would determine if I wanted to fish this one instead of waypoint number “1”. The last one waypoint number “4” would be the worst one to fish as you would be pulling your lures through the limbs and the most likely to snag or hang-up your lures.
I hope you find this blog useful
and the software and this tip will help you become a better fisherman and how
to get the most out of your sonar units to catch fish. After all that is the reason,
we spend the big bucks for these units.
In this video I did from a recent trip to the lake with my Humminbird Onix 10 SI, I was scanning the lake for Eel Grass. I’ll explain to you what Eel Grass looks like and what to look for when scanning the lake bottom for it.
In my last blog I showed you a software program I used on
how I manage my waypoints and allows me to see where they are along with the
contour lines on a lake map. But as you may have noticed the contour lines were
listed in “Meters” instead of feet. But you are able to change it to feet if
you prefer to use them instead. You will need to be a little computer savvy to
make this change but you should be able to do it by following the following
First thing is to make sure the SAS Planet program is
closed. Now you will need to find the “Folder” where you installed the program.
Next, we need to “Open” the folder by double clicking on the folder. After you have the folder open you will now need to open the next folder. This will be labeled as “Maps” double click on this folder.
The next folder we need to open is the”_water”” folder. Move your mouse over the folder and double click to open the folder.
Then next folder that we need tot open is the “SAS.plus.maps” folder. Double click on this folder to open it.
Now we need to open the “navionics.layer.zmp” folder to make the changes required to change the meters to feet settings.
Now inside this folder you will find a file by the name of “GetUrlScript.txt” this is the text file we need to edit to change the program from “Meters” to “Feet”. Double click on the file and it will open in the Windows “Notepad” program.
Look at the line I have high-lighted and you will see a red circle with a number “1” in it. To make the change all we have to do is change the “1” to a “2”.
After you edit the number all we need to do is “Save” the file. DO NOT rename the file or “Save As” or move the file! Just select “Save” and close the “Notepad” program. See photo below.
Now that you have made the change to that file, we need to do the same thing to three more files. Just repeat the same steps in the three following folders.
After you have edited all four files then you can open the
SASPlanet program and you should see the depth contour lines are now in “Feet”
and not “Meters”.
Hope you enjoy the SAS Planet program as I do in managing
all your hundreds or thousands of waypoints.
Do you want to get the most out of your GPS units and
managing all your way points as I do? If you have thousands of way points and
have a hard time keeping them organized then you should take a look at
downloading a software program which is free by the way called “SASPlanet” or type in this link in
your browser where you can download the software. (http://www.sasgis.org/download/)
As of this blog the latest version released is 181221 but
they are continually releasing newer version but this is the one that I
personally use. Notice at the top of the web page that you will need to change
the translation from Russian to English. In the second red oval in the photo is
the link to download the software. By way you do NOT have to provide any
personal information to download the software.
From the download link just download and make sure you know
your download files location which is usually the “Download” folder on your
After you have downloaded the software you will need to
un-compress the file as it is in “.zip” format which should already be on your
computer. If not you should be able to find it on the web with a browser search
Now that you have downloaded and installed the software let
me show you how helpful it will be to you. When you first launch the software
program a screen should pop up similar to this one, if not just move your mouse
around and zoom in or out to your area or lake you fish.
In the photo below I have zoomed in and selected a lake at
random which I’ll use in this blog, at the present time I do not know where or
what lake this is. But as this is only an example you can simply zoom in on
your lake that you fish or want information about. Now we need to make a few
adjustments in the setting of the software.
When you zoom in on the map you should get a view like the
one below. But we need to change it since we want to use it for our GPS way
Now let’s make the necessary adjustments to may the software
do what we want to use it for. How we do this is to make a change in the type
of map we want to use. On the Menu bar you should see the option to change the
map as shown in the photo below. From the drop-down maps options you want to
select “Marine maps”, then select “Navionics Marine Charts” do not select
Now as you can see in the photo below the background as well
as the water has now changed to a map with depth contour lines. NOTE: The
depths are shown as “Meters” and not “Feet” in another blog I’ll show you how
to change the meters to feet settings.
Now if you Zoom in on the map you can see the contour lines
for the lake and areas of the lake you want to explore.
Now let’s play around with the map and create a few way
points by just looking at the map of the lake as we move around it. Okay let’s
say we see a spot we would like to create a way point on, then do the following
as in the photo below.
You can place your mouse cursor over say a point, hump, flat
and anywhere you want a way point. Select “Add Placemark” And once you do the
following menu box will pop up allowing you to make some adjustments to the waypoint
you will create.
Under the “Category” I rename this to the Lake or area of
the lake I want the way points on. Next under “Name” give the waypoint a name
up to eleven letters or numbers. (Any more than eleven you will get an error
message when you try to convert them in Humminbird PC). Under the “Geographic
Coordinates” you can make changes if necessary. In a few paragraph’s I’ll show
you how to change the coordinates types that we normally will use in our units.
Next under the “Descriptions” box you can write notes applying to the waypoints.
On the “Text color” option I select “Red” as it shows up better on the map
background. After you make these changes hit the “OK” button.
After you hit “OK” the next box that will pop up will be the
“Placement Manager” menu. Here you will see the Category and list of waypoints
you created. But you will have the option to Import your current way points or
share them from or with your buddies.
Okay let’s say we have way points that we want to “Edit”
your way points. Select the Way point from the list and we can make those edits,
lake name, way point name, coordinates and notes as we notes above.
Here you see I make the edits I wanted for this waypoint. Note: These are fictious way points as I have never fished Broken Bow and the notes are for example only.
Next I’ll show you how to change the coordinates to the type we normally use. Across the top Menu bar select “Settings” then “Options”.
From the Menu taps select “View” and the select the
drop-down options on the way point coordinates types.
Select the one I have the arrow on or “WS deg.min.” This
option will add an extra number on the last number for example “1234” just
change the “4” to a “0” so it will look like “1230”.
After you have finished editing or creating your waypoints
you now have the option to export them to a “GPX” file which you can convert
them to any “GPS” coordinates you need. You can convert them in Humminbird PC
to work in your Helix, Onyx or Solix units. You can convert them to use in
Lowrance or Garmin units with GPS Babel for example. You export them by selecting the “Category”
name the press your Right Mouse button. The Export Placemarks menu will pop up.
The program will try to save them as a “.kmz” format but you
need to select the drop-down menu and select “.gpx” instead.
Now let me show you how to “Import” your current waypoints you
may already have. If they are on your unit or units you will need to get them
on an SD card and then copy them to your computer. If they are from Helix,
Garmin or Lowrance units you can convert them to “GPX” format with Humminbird
PC. From the “Operations” Menu select “Open” and then you will be prompted for
the waypoint file location which could be the SD card if they are in “GPX”
Select the waypoint file and select “Open” to import them
into the program.
Note if you already have the “Placemark Manager” open you
can “Import” them by selecting the “Import” button at the bottom right on the
When you select the “Open” then the file you will get the following
menu options in the photo below. Here you can rename the waypoint file to
anything you want. For an example let’s say you have two units on your boat and
have waypoints on both of them that are not linked. Save one file as say “Rear
Unit” and the other one as “Bow Unit”. That way you know which waypoints are on
which unit. You can compare the waypoints on both units and add or delete the
ones that are duplicates, bad ones, old ones or anything else you might want to
do with them. One thing I do is change the “Icons” for each file so I know
which file is on which unit. When finished with your “Edits” select “Start” on
After you make your edits and select “Start” the next screen
will look like this now just select “Yes” to import the waypoints.
Now to see the waypoints you imported you must select the “Placemark
Manager”. In the top menu bar select it, the one in the red circle in the photo
Now we can view our waypoints by placing a “Check” mark in
the “Categories” waypoint list.
Now you can see all your waypoints on the map.
Hope you found this helpful and hope this helps you manage
all your waypoints.