For a long time prior to the introduction of the Insight Genesis (IG) mapping system I was in search of topographical information for a number of the inland dams that I regularly fished and competed on. Mapping detail for the coastal waterways was readily available via a number of means eg Navionics cards etc however the inland freshwater impoundments of Australia had no detail available at all.

I had tracked down old printed topographical maps for some of these dams however it wasn’t until the introduction of Insight Genesis, and more importantly access to the social maps, that contour details for the inland dams could be accessed and displayed on our electronics. What IG did was open up a whole new range of information and offered plenty of assistance in displaying and interpreting bottom contours and hence offered additional opportunities on the water.

The benefits of Insight Genesis and the social maps are many but I’ve broken it down into the following broad categories;

Researching New Impoundments

I utilise IG extensively when researching new impoundments or looking for areas on dams that I am already familiar with but when seeking out new areas. From the comfort of my own home I can scan the map of a dam and look for the sorts of features that I know will hold fish dependent on the time of year. From the map I am able to create a waypoint which I then transfer to my sounder so it is ready for me to visit when I get on the water.

The most recent tournament I fished at Lake Wivenhoe in Qld I had very limited prior knowledge of the dam. I spent a number of hours scanning the IG map at home before getting on the water and highlighted areas that I wanted to explore. Once at the dam I was able to track straight to these areas already knowing the bottom contours.

Use of the map allowed me to quickly eliminate unproductive areas, which I wouldn’t have normally been able to determine, and those obviously not apparent when simply looking at the surface of the dam.

Point Fishing

At particular times of the year I choose to target Bass on specific points in anything from 15 – 45ft depth. Once I hone in on where the Bass are located I can seek out similar contour details on the IG map and maximise my time in productive areas. Using the contours I can identify steep points from flatter points, determine if fish are holding on one particular side of a point and look for similar features elsewhere. Once I find the optimum depth I’m able to follow this contour on the IG map around the point and keep the boat in the most productive depth.

Edge Fishing

When the temps get a little cooler one of my favoured techniques is lightly weighted plastics to the edges. I often seek out the weedy edges and typically look to sit in 20-25ft and cast up into 5-10ft dependent on the presence of weed. Utilising the contour information on IG I can select banks that are the most suitable depth and grade.

Flats Fishing

At other times of the year I target Bass on flats adjacent to the main river bed and again, the IG map helps to quickly identify these areas. At various times of the year the depth can vary however, once the fish are located, the map can be used to identify similar areas.

Deep Bite

During the summer months in a number of the NSW impoundments, such as Glenbawn, the Bass go deep seeking out cooler water and can often be encountered in anything up to 100ft of water. The favoured technique at this time of year is the vertical “Gulp” presentation and is where the quality of a decent sounder really comes into its own. Utilising the Lowrance HDS12 I’m able to track the progress of my jighead down through the fish and can monitor their reaction to the bait. This is a really visual style of fishing and, while it can sometimes be quite laborious, when the fish can be seen to follow the plastic to the bottom and then follow it up through the water column, and also be seen to take the plastic, it adds a completely different dimension.

Having fished a number of NSW and QLD dams prior to the availability of Insight Genesis, I previously created a significant number of waypoints. Most times I picked up fish I marked a waypoint and ended up with clusters of waypoints in what often appeared to be quite random locations.

One of the more significant things I noticed when I first viewed the IG map, in relation to these clusters of waypoints, is the relevance of the contour details. Quite often the clusters of waypoints where I had caught fish were matched by sunken humps or gullies or some other bottom feature which wouldn’t normally have been apparent without the IG map. Using this sort of information I was then able to identify similar areas where the same bottom features exist and therefore have located a heap of new areas to explore.

The display of the Insight Genesis map on my sounder is now one of the most valuable tools I use and with the coverage of the social maps on the increase it can only get better.