The Iowa DNR continues adding to the GPS information that’s available for the states lakes. Fisheries Research Technician, Lewis Bruce, says they now have information on rock or brush piles and other habitat areas in the lakes that you can access online. “What this file allows you to do is download all the coordinates across the entire state onto hand-held GPS units, fish finders, anything that you can download GPS coordinates into. Once you have those points downloaded, once you go to a lake, those coordinates are going to show up,” Bruce says.
He says it helps anglers zero in on the best spots for their favorite type of fish. “I you’re fishing for say bluegills, it will allow you to find spawning beds. If you’re fishing for walleyes, you’ll be able to look for rock reefs,” Bruce explains. “Basically it’s gonna allow you to hit the water running instead of having to look for all these different sites on the lake.”
So, is modern technology giving away all those deeply held secrets about the best fishing spots gained through years of knowledge. “Oh, I wouldn’t say that. There’s always going to be those piles that are off on an edge or those locations that everybody kind of hones in on on their own after being on the lake for awhile. It’s going to bring out a lot of points and ultimately will probably spread the fishing out more because there are going to be areas that people weren’t aware of originally,” Bruce says.
There’s now a lot of information available to help you find fish, but Bruce says that doesn’t guarantee that you will be successful. “Just because you are sitting over the structure doesn’t mean they are going to bite,” he says. “It seems like it can be more frustrating sometimes when you have all the technology available. You can see the fish there, you can see your lure there and they are just looking at it.”
But Bruce says the information should cut down on the time it takes to get into position to catch fish. “You know, our ultimate goal is to shorten the time between bites and give anglers all the opportunities that they can for catching fish,” Bruce says. “And ultimately we are putting a lot of the angler’s money into fish habitat and they should be the ones to benefit from it.”
To find the habitat coordinates, go to the DNR’s website .