TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


Please Visit our Sponsor Hook1 Kayak Fishing Gear
By JohnG
#2296150
I'm rigging my Old Town Top Water with some electronics and found a ton of options on what to buy. I mainly will be fishing salt water back lake marshes, channels and on occasion the jetty's. I'm not new to boating or fishing but new to Kayak fishing so given the application whats needed. I would like maps and trails, not sure if you need side scan.

Need some help.
John
By SWFinatic
#2296152
Welcome to the board John!

I have a Lowrance Hook 2 5. No side scan. It's been a durable unit and gets me by. I also have the Navionics Marine and Lakes card. It has helped me some but most of the stuff on there you can find on Google Earth. I don't use it in the marsh. Only fishing channels. I mainly bought it to use when I'm fishing freshwater lakes. It's not a bad unit. I've heard folks say the Raymarine Dragonfly 5 has an edge in terms of the detail it provides but it doesn't have side scan.

If you're fishing channels and jetties side scan will be helpful. In kayak fishing you pretty much have to pick an area, launch and go fish that area. It's not easy to move to another location so I'd say the more tools you have to help you increase your chances the better. If you get a bigger unit with side scan look at a lithium battery to help reduce the weight.
User avatar
By Neumie
#2296156
I use a handheld GPS when I'm fishing for tow reason's really: 1: I drift fish so I use my tracks to help with resetting up my drifts and 2: To import the tracks after fishing into GE for my fishing journals. I've never felt I needed sonar for fishing the coast. I spend most of my time fishing flats around Corpus/Port A/ Rockport and seldom find myself fishing anything deeper than 6 feet. Since the water is mostly clear where I fish I can visually see channels and deeper waters while on the water and studying Google Earth.

If you're fishing quite a few channels or the jetties frequently I could see spending the money on at least DI unit or splurging for SI.
User avatar
By YakRunabout
#2296198
I have been using a FF with charting since I began kayak fishing a bit over 5 years ago so I am used to all the information. I fish mainly inshore salt. I find that my main use is for water depth. I fish mainly in the Galveston area and so do not have the pleasure of seeing the bottom too often. For more than a year now I have been concentrating more on drop-offs and so looking for that 1' or 2' change in depth. Also, in marsh areas, you can have deep water where there is little or no surface indication, depending on the water flow. I can see those changes. I like to know if I am in 3' or 12' of water.

I have used the mapping as well. A big one is that I can maintain direction in the dark or foggy conditions, or head directly to the launch. I have back-tracked out of a complex marsh. Some recent outings were without a unit with the charting capability - I thought, no problem, I know the area. It was not a problem without, but my mapping unit had some markers to show the drop-off location track in different channel areas, so I did miss not having those to go to directly.
Another aspect this gives is speed - I do like to see how fast I am going for different effort.

I do not use the FF aspect much. My experience is the unit does not 'see' fish until at least 2 1/2' water depth. In deeper water like that I use it as an indication of the presence or absence of fish.
User avatar
By shoffer
#2296200
What YakRunAbout said, but I have also used the GPS function while I on the water to mark little uncharted reefs I have found holding fish.

I also used the GPS function to mark structure using Google Earth and its winter-time photos at Lake Conroe and to mark the outlines of the inshore saltwater reef on the photos, and then transferred those spots to my Lowrance Hook2 unit. That was a good use of an hour during a rainy day, as I could mark dropoffs, structure, reef, deep holes, etc. that appear on Google Earth, convert those to a KMZ file and then transfer them to my Micro-SD card in my Lowrance Unit, and it all shows up on the GPS screen on the water. Here is the Youtube Video that showed me how to do it.


By impulse
#2296209
I saved a bunch of coin and loaded the Navionics app on my backup smartphone. Several options to choose from, and as I recall, less than $20. So far, I've been happy with it, though I have nothing to compare to. And my 'yakking has been limited to Galveston West Bay.

I already had a nice depth sounder with no GPS, so I just needed navigation. I had an extra smartphone I don't worry about dunking, so...

I'm not saying it's for everyone. But it's worth knowing about.
User avatar
By JW FunGuy
#2296236
impulse wrote:I saved a bunch of coin and loaded the Navionics app on my backup smartphone. Several options to choose from, and as I recall, less than $20. So far, I've been happy with it, though I have nothing to compare to. And my 'yakking has been limited to Galveston West Bay.

I already had a nice depth sounder with no GPS, so I just needed navigation. I had an extra smartphone I don't worry about dunking, so...

I'm not saying it's for everyone. But it's worth knowing about.


This got me thinking and looking. I see there are several apps out there for phones and marine navigation like iSail, Navionics etc. with prices all over the place. I was looking to see if most of the charts and maps actually go far enough in shore to cover the marshes I/we fish. My main thing is navigation and getting into and out of a marsh I want to fish. Is anybody else using any of these phone apps and if so how are they?
User avatar
By Neumie
#2296277
JW FunGuy wrote:This got me thinking and looking. I see there are several apps out there for phones and marine navigation like iSail, Navionics etc. with prices all over the place. I was looking to see if most of the charts and maps actually go far enough in shore to cover the marshes I/we fish. My main thing is navigation and getting into and out of a marsh I want to fish. Is anybody else using any of these phone apps and if so how are they?

That's a good question. I think for those of use fishing marshes and back lakes along the coast it would be more beneficial having a quality aerial map over a chart. However, on lakes I think I would prefer the charts offered by Navionics, Garmin, and other apps over an aerial map.
User avatar
By JW FunGuy
#2296278
When I go to a new spot I print off a pic of the area on Google Earth. The problem is that those places never seem to like like the pic. High/lower tides? Maybe I’m not as smart as I look? But it is always kind of hard to pinpoint exactly where I am sometimes. And there have been a few times where after meandering my way through channels and marshes I have scratched my head a few times on the way out as to “left or right?”
I have an old garmin etrex vista handheld gps that garmin in their whimsical ways no longer supports, I have tried using it for tracking etc. but it has pretty much just turned into a, once pretty expensive, paper weight.
I may have to just try playing with some of the free apps and see if they work for what I’m doing.
User avatar
By Neumie
#2296282
JW FunGuy wrote:When I go to a new spot I print off a pic of the area on Google Earth. The problem is that those places never seem to like like the pic. High/lower tides? Maybe I’m not as smart as I look? But it is always kind of hard to pinpoint exactly where I am sometimes. And there have been a few times where after meandering my way through channels and marshes I have scratched my head a few times on the way out as to “left or right?”


I have laminated aerial maps for most of where I fish along the Texas coast and I'll bring them on trips when I remember to or if I'm fishing a new area. An important thing with Google Earth is to use their historical imagery setting. For Corpus/Rockport/Port O'Conner I set the imagery to 1/2017 or 1/2009. January is a low tide month and imagery on those two settings offer crystal clear images of the underwater structure. So play around with historical imagery setting on Google Earth to see which imagery shows you the most detail. Just remember imagery captured in winter and summer months will have lower tides than imagery from spring and fall.
User avatar
By JW FunGuy
#2296287
I’ve seen you mention the historical data before and I can’t seem to find it. I do most of it from my iPad so I wonder if it is something you have to do on a PC with Google Earth Pro or something?
User avatar
By Neumie
#2296289
JW FunGuy wrote:I’ve seen you mention the historical data before and I can’t seem to find it. I do most of it from my iPad so I wonder if it is something you have to do on a PC with Google Earth Pro or something?

The historical imagery seems to only be available when you download the Google Earth software on your computer. My android cell phone & tablet do not offer it within the Google Earth app. It also isn't an option within Google Maps. I highly recommend downloading it on your computer, the historical imagery(among other things) is a great tool.
By impulse
#2296301
Neumie wrote:I have laminated aerial maps for most of where I fish along the Texas coast and I'll bring them on trips when I remember to or if I'm fishing a new area. An important thing with Google Earth is to use their historical imagery setting. For Corpus/Rockport/Port O'Conner I set the imagery to 1/2017 or 1/2009. January is a low tide month and imagery on those two settings offer crystal clear images of the underwater structure. So play around with historical imagery setting on Google Earth to see which imagery shows you the most detail. Just remember imagery captured in winter and summer months will have lower tides than imagery from spring and fall.


Also, remember that Mother Nature has a tendency to play games with us- moving sand around. As I recall from living in Corpus 30+ years ago, we had passes one year where there were no passes before the storms, and were high and dry in other places we used to wade.

Can of ranch style beans, a bag of Fritos and a pl[…]

Jackson kayak, Bonafide, Trailer

Bump Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

Excellent post!

Would you be willing to trade for a firearm? I ha[…]