Written by Brian Jensen, Courtesy of Fishing with Maps by Fishing Hot Spots

Fishing maps are critical to helping anglers understand fish behavior. Fish have three basic needs:

  • Habitat (appropriate light, oxygen levels, cover)
  • Food (a steady supply of it)
  • Reproduction (existence)

As an angler comes to understand the habits and behavior of fish, they can more easily locate fish and catch them. Environment and instinct dictate the behavior patterns of fish. The cold-blooded fish seek comfort zones, preferring to locate in a temperature layer that also provides safety. For example, a smallmouth bass blends well with rocks and shelves, providing it with natural camouflage/cover. Rocks are also home to a smallie’s favorite food, crayfish. Not all rocky areas hold smallies, however, a savvy smallmouth angler looks at a fishing map and finds underwater rocks, then fishes those suitable areas.

The contour maps will designate which rock piles will have the ideal water temperature and oxygen levels. Thus, allowing the angler to focus on key spots and eliminate the searching. This is just one example of how understanding fish behaviors in conjunction with a good fishing map will help you eliminate unsuccessful time on the water. Once you’ve located your “hot spots”, mark them on Fishidy.com so you can reference them again and again.