Social Media Fishing The National Angler


Contour maps to me were usually found on the most popular and productive fishing lakes in a given area. As a kid growing up I remember finding an Iowa Hotspots fishing book loaded with contour maps of lakes across Iowa. Now, these maps did not have precision contours noted; however, they were a great start to finding structure. I’ve always found myself fishing the smaller bodies of water and even down to local ponds. These are ignored frequently so really understanding the bottom is hard.

Today, you will find more info on lakes and even more contour information than ever before. Now, there is a new tool available for anglers across the world and its the first of its kind, social mapping.

This new tool can be found at and once you create a free account and log in you will have access to thousands of shared topo maps by other users. This site is updated frequently and I have found that most maps are updated with even more accurate bottom contour information.

So how do you use the topo maps found on Insight Genesis, besides the normal use of loading them onto your Lowrance, Simrad, and B&G unit. Boat anglers that don’t have the previously listed marine electronics can print off copies for on the water use. The big one is for shore fisherman, now you can compare the fishing location which you found on either Bing or Google Maps. Now you can see the bottom contours of the shore location and see if they fit the needs of what you are trying to fish. Go create an account and find a new body of water in your area, or structure on your favorite lake that you didn’t know existed.

You will be shocked to see the number of lakes already mapped nearby your location, so go take a look!


If you haven’t already, please check out the other articles related to finding fishing locations through Social Media, and the Internet on the site. Any questions, please ask below!

Semper Fish!

Joe, The National Angler

Social Media Fishing The National Angler


Cover Image Provided by Patuxent Aerial Solutions

All maps embedded are interactive, so please take a look around and see how they can help you! 

Once you have located a potential access to water for the purpose of fishing. Now is the time to toggle the satellite and street views to gather more information on whether the spot looks accessible or not. When viewing in the map mode, you will notice areas that look like small ponds or streams. A little more digging with satellite and street view might prove the areas are not worth any more of your time. For example, finding a small pond on the regular map, then switching to another view to discover it’s actually a run-off pond that might not really ever hold water, except during periods of heavy rain. The opposite may hold true, you could locate what looks like another run-off pond, but a switch to another view reveals a community pond that is worth a visit. Never overlook a potential body of water, as you never know what you will find.

Unfortunalty this ended up being just a run-off pond that was about 2 foot deep. 

The second way I use Google Maps is for recording my fishing locations. I use both my home computer and my smartphone. When using the smartphone functionality of the maps is not a robust. However, you can put a mark on the map and then save it for future reference. I discover most of my potential fishing spots on my phone. If a spot is saved on a smartphone as a star and you are logged into your account. That same star will show up on your computer when logged in.

Once logged into my computer, I review the recently saved location on the map and save them into a file I call FISHING. Once you save the location in your personal file you can select how you want the mark or push pin on your map to look. There are many options and color choices to choose from to organize your building list of fishing spots. Once the spot is saved you can then go in and add any type of description you want. In the beginning, I discussed the Discover Fishing Checklist. This is where you can start to build this information.

The same functionality as Google Maps, Bing brings in the additional feature of Birds Eye. Bing map, satellite, and street view because it comes from different sources and taken at different times could help. Bing’s best feature is the bird’s eye aerial imagery. Panning around a particular area may reveal imagery from different seasons or years. One view may show the water level in a lake that is full.  Panning in either direction will change the view and could then show you a view of the same spot at a different point in time when the water is low and showing the structure of the lake that isn’t normally seen. Bing brings the same types of features when it comes to saving information to a map for future reference. You will ultimately need a Microsoft account, which is also a requirement of Google.

Here is an example of finding structure on a lake via Google Maps satellite view. Below that is Bing Maps in the same location with satellite view. Notice the difference? Plus both shots are taken at different times of the year!

The same location now using the Bird’s Eye feature take a moment to use the arrows on the side of Bing Maps to change the perspective of the area and see how things change. Showing high water and very low water, which reveals so much more structure. Unfortunately, Bing Maps does not allow the Bird’s Eye view to be embedded in this post so you can follow the link below and I promise if you haven’t seen this yet, you will be glad you did.  Google Maps has a 3D view but the difference is the Google 3D view is changing the perspective of the satellite imagery and Bing Maps actually has aerial photography for the Bird’s Eye view. 
Click Here-> Birds Eye Example
The final way to utilize Google Maps and Bing Maps is through their respective street views. Bings Streetview is not as robust as Google Maps so you may not find the best street views of potential fishing locations. 
Potential fishing location below and please the map is interactive, so take a look around!

In conclusion, both Google Maps and Bing Maps bring two positives when trying to find your next fishing location. Both have their own unique satellite imagery from different time periods and perspective. The big difference is Google Maps excels with the Street View and Bing Maps excels with the Bird’s Eye view.

If you have any questions please fee free to ask below or contact me through social media. 

Semper Fish!

Joe, The National Angler

Social Media Fishing The National Angler




The idea of using multiple maps for discovering information, is that all of them will have different views of the same place. Google and Bing both use different sources for the satellite view and Bing adds in aerial photography as well. Each of the views could be taken at different times of the year or could even be years apart. The best way to understand is to pick a particular body of water and look at all the different views and see the vast differences in them. These differences could open your eyes to potential fishing locations in general or identify structure within a particular body of waters. So it pays to use multiple sources to get the best idea of the lay of the land. Below are two links, one to Google Maps and the other to Bing Maps. See if you notice the difference. If you spot it, comment below!

Mapping today is so much better that anything of the past. Initially, you could use paper maps and then my favorite portable GPS. Today, all fisherman have free access to amazing mapping programs online, downloadable or mobile to find new fishing spots. The mapping services that I use the most are Google Maps, Bing Maps. All these mapping services are available online and also available in a mobile app. As discussed earlier, this is how I do initially planning to for a trip or in the off-season.  The ability to toggle street maps, satellite view, and nautical charts will help identify potential fishing locations and save valuable time and gas.

“Local knowledge is KING, and if you don’t have it, this is how you build it.”


                                                                                Joe, The National Angler

The value of these and many other services are tremendous. In this section, we are going over finding locations. Later will be using maps to find structure in a particular body of water. The review of the mapping services will be individual since they are bring something to the table to help discover fishing locations. There is not one service that holds all the info and they must be used is some combination to get the best spot on a map to fish.

GOOGLE & BING MAPS – These are my go-to mapping service for most of my fishing place discovery. It has really replaced my GPS from the car. It is also the location to which I save all my fishing locations in a Maps folder for future use. Three topics to discuss with Google Map; map use to include “map” view and “satellite” view, street view and how to record newly discovered spots and information from the checklist discussed earlier. Google’s satellite view does provide a tilt mode to give you a different look, but it really doesn’t add much to discovering anything.  The first thing that must be done before using a mapping feature is registering for a google account. This will come in handy when saving information about fishing spots.

The first use for mapping services is to simply locate water that is easily and legally accessible. Please note the laws associated with accessing water, DO NOT trespass or break any rules. While in the regular map mode you will notice three distinct colors that will help guide you to potential fishing locations. The First color is what you are looking for and associated on maps as water. Some variation of the color will indicate land and the final color will be examples of roads that will lead you to water access.

Some of the things I look for and first is blue which will be an indicator of water. Next start looking for green with water close by, which will usually be some sort of park with water. Next while search near blue areas, I begin looking for access points like roads that dead end or run parallel to the water.  Below are some examples of what I look for.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to ask below or post it on my Facebook Page @thenationalangler.

Semper Fish!

Joe, The National Angler

 Check back in as I share more on this topic!

Here is an example of a bridge that allows access and a nearby road that provides access to the river. Pay special attention to Brown Bridge Rd and Tucker Lane.