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fishraptor

Marker Buoys / GPS / Spotlock

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This fishing season has just ended and I am already chomping at the bit for 2019.  I'm fairly new to the game, a few light years of freshwater fishing....so wish to get some help/suggestions from the veteran fisherman. 

 

Anyhow, just replaced my Minkota Fortrex  trolling motor with the new Ultrex that has the spotlock feature. 

 

I do not have any marker buoys and not sure if I even need any since I have GPS and Spotlock. 

 

Would their be any application or reason that I would need to have a marker buoy or two. 

 

 If so, any recomendations on brands or styles ?   or would a homemade one be to any advantage as i have a TON of lead pyramid sinkers, bank and flat sinkers of nice size. 

 

They are cheap enough to buy but if one could make a superior design marker they that would be the way I would go. 

 

I just don't understand how they do not let out line in semi rough water till it reaches the end of the line which by they might

place buoy well off target. 

 

Thanks, 

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13 minutes ago, fishraptor said:

I just don't understand how they do not let out line in semi rough water till it reaches the end of the line which by they might

place buoy well off target. 

You wrap a rubber band around it at the desired depth (a couple of feet over actually).

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Ozark Trail marker buoys on Amazon, set of 2 for $14.

I have a set for 45 years now and still use them on occasion. Your GPS has instant way point markers for lake maps, but not visible without looking at the screen. Physical buoys are easy to keep track of at times, still a good idea to way point the spots to get back to them in the future. 

The H shaped markers come with 50' of cord and a lead weight, just straighten out the weight and toss the marker over where you want it, it plays out the line and stops when the weight hit bottom.

I keep a buoy in a cup holder next to my feet when driving my boat at idling speed when marking a spot and toss it over the back of my stern, driver side, about 20'. Everything on your sonar screen is behind you so the marker lands close and to one side of the target out of the way of your fishing the spot.

Tom

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Marker buoys used to be required equipment for me, obviously before GPS was universal, but I haven't used one in probably 10 years...Although I still have 1 in boat, probably just for nostalgia ;).  

 

I don't have spot lock, but with GPS at bow and console and accurate mapping I just don't need them.  I would say not to bother with them...Instead of learning a defunct methodology, just put that time toward getting familiar with using your trolling motor, GPS, and mapping.  

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I keep 2 in the boat, one on the front deck & one on the console.

 

I don't drop a waypoint on everything I see 😉

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I use spot lock to hold the boat in position and marker buoys to mark the edge of the structure and give me a reference point for where to cast. 

 

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Marker buoys are in no way obsolete as they are instant to deploy, they accurately mark the spot, and are a piece of cake to navigate back to.  You instantly and accurately know exactly how far you are from it, unlike GPS.   I also will place a way point, but use it only for finding the buoy in case I've drifted off it quite a ways (as on Lake St Clair, Sag Bay, other big waters when I am out in the middle of nowhere) or navigating back to it some other time.  Spot lock works very well in holding the boat where you set it.

 

I find the bright orange the easiest to see, all other colors don't work nearly as well.  The H shaped ones, due to their shape, stop playing out line when the sinker hits bottom.  I think the round ones are unbalanced to accomplish the same thing.

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Buoys are essential when fishing grass flat!

 

After I catch one I'll throw a buoy & fish the area 360° in a widening circle. Bass will bunch up on grass flats but the sweet spot might as big as your living room.

 

If I catch 3-4 I might drop a waypoint 😉

 

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25 years ago I might drop a buoy 30 times on a single trip.  I have a couple of buoys in the boat now but I can't remember the last time I used one.  I have an Ultrex with 360 imaging.  Spotlock is one of the most useful features that has come around in years.  I can sit on a spot, jog 5 feet in any direction,  follow a depth contour,  circle a spot, and see what I'm fishing with 360 imaging.  It's so easy now to fish off shore structure that it's taken some of the fun out of it.

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48 minutes ago, Tennessee Boy said:

It's so easy now to fish off shore structure that it's taken some of the fun out of it.

Then, by all means, downgrade your equipment!  Post it in the flea market and I'm sure we can increase your "fun" of fishing offshore structure  BLIND....

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1 hour ago, Tennessee Boy said:

25 years ago I might drop a buoy 30 times on a single trip.  I have a couple of buoys in the boat now but I can't remember the last time I used one.  I have an Ultrex with 360 imaging.  Spotlock is one of the most useful features that has come around in years.  I can sit on a spot, jog 5 feet in any direction,  follow a depth contour,  circle a spot, and see what I'm fishing with 360 imaging.  It's so easy now to fish off shore structure that it's taken some of the fun out of it.

Thanks for the post ......   I have a Helix 10 Mega w/Side imaging. How does the 360 work/compare ?  Are their any advantages to my set up ?

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Sonar is only as good as the person interpreting the return signals.

Tom

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It's so easy we'll all be competing in the Classic next year 😉

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3 minutes ago, Catt said:

It's so easy we'll all be competing in the Classic next year 😉

With nearly everyone leaving B.A.S.S. we just might be able to qualify;)

Tom

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When one has an empty horizon on one side and a shore 5 smiles away on the other, I think anyone will find markers easier to "interpret" than a fish finder screen.  When I'm fishing smaller water I don't use them much.  Agreed, spot lock is wonderful.

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Spotlock would be nice . After retying a lure , getting a backlash out , unhooking a deeply hooked fish ... I  sometimes drift far away from the buoy . 

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i still use the orange marker buoys

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I still use them a lot, but one of my pet pieves is tournament fishermen pre-fishing and dropping them and leaving them all over the lake for hours 

 

That said, I have found structure that I wasn't  aware of......but still!

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I still use The yellow Manns buoys that has a fish shaped weight .

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The marker buoy is my spot lock!

Tom

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13 hours ago, fishraptor said:

Thanks for the post ......   I have a Helix 10 Mega w/Side imaging. How does the 360 work/compare ?  Are their any advantages to my set up ?

Humminbird 360 imaging is like side imaging except the image is generated by a turning transducer instead of the moving boat.  The concept is fantastic.  The actual implementation leaves a lot to be desired.  The quality of the images is MUCH lower than with side imaging.  It also doesn't work very well in water over 20 ft.  I still find it very useful.  It helps me find cover in shallow water that I otherwise would not know was there.  It is very helpful in showing the location of off shore structure in relation to the boat as you are fishing. It also shows you any irregularities in the structure that might not be on the map. 

 

It's always reassuring to know that the ledge you are fishing really is there. 😉

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I love my marker buoys. I don't have spot lock but even the people I know that do still use market buoys. My favorite time to deploy them is with a couple glow sticks taped on over a brush pile at night.

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11 hours ago, Catt said:

It's so easy we'll all be competing in the Classic next year 😉

Easy fishing doesn't always lead to easy catching 😝.

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14 minutes ago, Tennessee Boy said:

Easy fishing doesn't always lead to easy catching 😝.

 

Foundation: a basis upon which something stands or is supported.

 

Basis: the underlying support or foundation for an idea, argument, or process.

 

With today's technology many anglers have no basis to stand on!

 

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The sonar forum on this site has changed a lot since knowledgeable members that kept up with technology have moved on. I haven't kept up with technology, my units are good enough for me. I do fish with a few folks that have state of the art sonar units, we  know the lakes so the need to do a lot of sonar searching isn't necessary.

The ability to determine what your sonar is telling you is far more important then constantly changing sonar units. 

We had scanning sonar back in the 80's on our off shore Marlin/tuna tournament boat. Wonderful aid to locating the depth of bait and fish in the open ocean after locating a area by looking for surface activity, fins, splashes, birds, temperature breaks etc, etc.

Sonar can help save time it locates fish or structure, what type of fish is up to you to determine and catch.

If we're to purchase anything today it would be a TM with Spot Lock, that is a good investment!

Tom

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