How to Use Maps to Find the Best Fishing Spots


What are your go-to fishing tools to help you find the best spots to spend a day fishing? Fish finders have their place, but not everyone has one or is able to or interested in buying one.

But there’s a simple tool on your phone that could make a big difference in finding the best fishing locations. Have you considered using maps to locate excellent places to cast your line?

It’s something we all have immediately at hand, but none of us ever consider using for our hobby! Here are our tips and tricks on how to use maps to find the best fishing spots.

Finding the Best Fishing Spots

The first step to great fishing is finding an excellent place to hunker down and lure in the fish. You can be using the best tuna fishing reels and equipment trying to catch your dinner, but if you’re fishing in a spot where there are no fish, you won’t have any success!

Choosing Convenient Locations

First and foremost, you need to find a location that you can reach easily. If you’re heading out for a day of fishing, somewhere within an hour or two’s driving distance is ideal. On the other hand, if you’re going on vacation, you have a treasure chest of potential new locations right on your phone to explore.

Maps can give you an overview of nearby locations so you can pick something that suits you depending on the day.

Learn to Read the Water

You need to know what you’re looking for when you study a map. Obviously, one you’ve decided on a location that looks good to you, you’ll need to have a closer look at the water to make sure it’s a good fishing spot. There are handy hydrographic maps available that help you understand water depth.

You won’t be able to see underwater structures like you would with a fish finder, but the surface of the fishing hole can give you some useful insight. The darkness of the water can indicate how deep it is, so particularly dark sections could be deep holes or sections where fish like to congregate.

Other things to look for include inlets where streams flow into other bodies of water, or bits of land that stick out along an otherwise straight stretch of land. The tide creates an eddy on the opposite side of these points, which could yield a few catches.

Understanding where the fish are likely to be in a body of water can help you make better decisions on what gear to use. For example, there’s no point using the best bottom fishing reel if the fish you’re targeting are more likely to be feeding near the top of the surface.


Another way maps can help you is with navigation. This is the most common way of using maps, and it can be beneficial when fishing as well.

Getting to Your Location

Nobody wants to get lost on the way to their location and only fish for half the amount of time they wanted to. Maps are an essential tool if you’re heading to a fishing spot you’ve never visited before.

If you like the spot you’ve fished in and want to come back for more, simply save it for later. You can even track your drive so you know which route is the shortest or easiest to take.

Navigating on the Water

If you’re fishing from a boat, your maps will come in just as handy to navigate away towards those areas of the water you’re targeting. If you spotted a darker area of water that you want to explore, keeping an eye on your maps will help you know when you’re in the right place to cast your line.

Depending on where you are, you can disable your phone’s network connection so you don’t use all your data while out on the water! You should get surprisingly accurate readings via the built-in GPS without needing to be online. This also helps you preserve your battery life for those all-day fishing sessions.

Planning Future Trips

Maps are also an excellent tool for planning future fishing trips. Here’s how you can use them for organizing your upcoming trips.

Make Notes and Save Spots for Later

Make notes or set place markers in certain areas that you wish to revisit. If you’re having an amazing day of fishing, take note of it, write down where the fish were hiding, what lures you had success with, and what the weather conditions were.

The Avenza Maps app allows you to take notes for each placemark. It also allows you to add geo-tagged photos, which allows you to keep track of your catches in certain spots.

Comparing your notes and photos side-by-side will also help you to spot patterns. For example, fishing may be extra good in a particular spot when the weather is overcast, or you may have more success when using a specific reel.

That way, you’re armed with better information to be successful on your next trip out to that particular spot.


Have you tried to use maps to find the best fishing spots? We all have this useful tool right in our pockets at any given time! It’s an excellent way to plot your fishing trip from start to finish and prepare for your next one.

Another huge advantage is the ability to share your location with others, so that in case of an emergency you can be found easily. Safety is just as important as enjoying yourself out on the water!

If you’ve never tried it before, why not start on your next fishing trip? Keep in mind that it may take a few tries before you get the hang of it and it becomes an effortless part of your fishing experience.

But once you start seeing just how using maps can help you find the best fishing spots, you’ll never leave your phone at home again!

Guest post by Kenneth Reaves from the