AutoChart Live Mapping- By Darrin Bohonis
Often times when coming across a point of interest or structure on a lake, you’ll see it on your sonar unit and then mark a waypoint. You might drive back over the spot to gain a better perspective on how the area is laid out. You’ll likely make some mental notes and even drop some additional waypoints to mark the top of the structure and perhaps the outer edges.
But do you really know exactly what you are looking at?
NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR THE AVERAGE ANGLER
When Humminbird introduced AutoChart Live to the world back in 2014, it instantaneously brought a whole new dimension to angling. For the first time, you could create a high-definition contour map and watch it appear live on your screen.
No longer would you have to imagine what an area might look like. You could now create it Live, In Real Time, As It Happens.
THE MONEY SPOTS!
One of the first things I noticed when using AutoChart Live for the first time was that key waypoints or “money spots” on structure, would directly coincide with features that were displayed on the map. Be it an inside turn, breakline or a section that stuck out from the main structure.
I soon realized that I didn’t really need waypoints on that spot, since I could see the high percentage areas right before my eyes. This scenario played out time and time again on numerous bodies of water. Even on lakes that already had a good base map available, the ability to fine-tune locations has proven to be invaluable to say the least. But it’s not just about dropping contour lines…
You have complete control on how you want the map to look. This includes features that allow you to adjust the colour palettes, contour interval, depth highlight, shallow highlight and water level offset, to name a few.
MAPPING UNDERWATER VEGETATION!
Humminbird has also since taken the technology leaps ahead by integrating bottom Hardness and Vegetation overlays on select Humminbird models.
Imagine fishing a weedline and only having a waypoint reference to refer to for the general area where the weeds are.
With the AutoChart Live Vegetation overlay, you can see the exact layout of the vegetation in an area, including edges, pockets and inside turns – Even the relative density of the weed growth.
Transitions from hard to soft bottom can also be key to locating fish. Hardness overlay displays changes in bottom hardness while you map.
By selecting which overlay to view, you can choose the best tool for any given situation.
Now it’s one thing to create for yourself the best-detailed maps available, but what if you were catching fish at a certain depth and you wanted to follow along that contour line? Networking your Ethernet compatible Humminbird with Minn Kota’s iPilot Link allows you to do just that.
Simply initiate the Follow-the-Contour feature and your iPilot Link equipped Minn Kota trolling motor will track you exactly where you need to be.
That’s not all! You can use that same function with the Vegetation and Hardness overlays to in effect Follow-the-Vegetation or Follow-the-Hardness.
But what if fish are not relating to the edge, but rather are positioned a distance off a certain depth, weed edge or hardness transition? Simply select the Offset function and offset your position to exactly where you need to be.
With Humminbird’s AutoChart Live, the map is layered over top of whichever base map chart you select – Be it Navionics or Humminbird maps. So you would still see your base map for general navigation, but any AutoChart Live mapping would be layered over the areas you’ve mapped. You can even adjust the transparency as it layers over top of the base map.
STORAGE FOR YOUR MAPPING
Recordings are stored either on the Humminbird unit, which can store up to 8 hours internally or it’s highly recommended that you use a Humminbird AutoChart Zero Lines SD card for expanded storage.
This not only gives you years worth of data stored to the Zero Lines SD card, but you can also copy your map data from the Zero Lines card which is stored in the ACDATA folder and then copy them to your computer for additional backup. You can even share maps with fellow anglers and copy files to additional Zero Lines SD cards.
AutoChart Live is available on a wide offering of Humminbird Sonar/GPS units – starting at the value priced, but feature packed Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2.
Whether you want to map out your favorite fishing spots or tackle an entire lake, Humminbird’s AutoChart Live gives you the ability to create your own high-definition detailed maps on any given body of water. Combine that with an array of industry leading technologies and you’re on your way to take your angling experience to the next level.