Outdoors With Craig Robbins

Imagine fishing a body of water where you possessed the only accurate contour map in existence. How about having the ability to create your own ultra-precise lake map automatically as you fish? What if you could make this map and watch it live right on your screen?

Well, it’s possible.

This past May I was fortunate enough to spend time with some industry leaders from Hummin Bird. I learned the latest news regarding lake maps and electronics. While lake maps aren’t new but Humming Bird’s state of art AutoChart LIVE is.

A few passes with Auto Chart LIVE provided additional detail that existing maps didn’t show all the way to 1-foot increments. The new data can be overlayed from 0-100 percent capacity over the original chart.

Hummingbird has once again gifted anglers with exclusive technology that will have an immediate, dramatic and positive impact on their fishing. AutoChart LIVE is a remarkable DIY mapping program that allows anglers to create their own precision digital contour maps, live and on the fly.

For folks fishing bodies of water that haven’t been accurately surveyed-remote Canadian lakes, uncharted rivers, farm ponds, inshore areas, even offshore features, AutoChart LIVE provides a priceless service. It works on rivers and streams where changing water levels and underwater topography are frequently altered; in estuaries where storms change the landscape and create new channels and structures, AutoChart LIVE gives boaters the ability to navigate safely while also discovering brand new, undiscovered fishing hotspots.

“There’s a lot of water in the world, and not all of it is mapped, or charted accurately,” says Humminbird Brand Manager, Jeff Kolodzinski. “AutoChart LIVE is the only tool that lets you create your own 100-percent accurate digital contour maps. It works instantly, too, so you literally watch the contour lines populate the screen while you fish or drive the boat.”

Kolodzinski adds: “No extra processing of the data on a PC or sending an SD card to a third party is required. So if I’m on vacation in Canada, I can map a remote lake right away and take advantage of my findings. I might be the only angler on earth who has this map and I can choose to keep my data totally private. Or when I return home, I can even share my map with a buddy or trade my lake for his secret lake map. Incredible.”

Offered as a free software upgrade exclusively for users of Humminbird’s powerful ONIX and ION Cross Touch touchscreen units, AutoChart LIVE provides eight full hours of mapping data. After eight hours of data have been compiled, users can either erase the data and commence mapping or purchase a Zero Line Map Card at or around $99.

By choosing Map Options in the main drop down menu, anglers can further customize their map and use LakeMaster’s patented Water Level Offset, Depth Highlight and Shallow Water Highlight features. With AutoChart LIVE, anglers can also follow their new map contours via Minn Kota iPilot Link, an industry first.

Another Humminbird first, the Zero Line Map Card allows for literally decades of around-the-clock mapping. This potent technology also provides mapping boundaries or water body “zero lines” for millions of waters across the globe, which serve as the basis for each custom map creation.

Once produced, AutoChart LIVE maps can interface with Minn Kota iPilot Link systems, taking advantage of such awesome boat-control technologies as Follow the Contour. Moreover, new maps will also work in concert with other patented Humminbird features, such as Water Level Offset, Shallow Water Highlight and Depth Highlight.

“All anglers know that 80-percent of the fish are found in 20-percent of the water,” says Kolodzinski. “The best way to identify that key 20-percent of the lake is to make use of a good chart. And AutoChart LIVE leaves no hotspot uncharted.”