satellite image of a boat ramp

Satellite images are also really helpful when looking for things like boat ramps. If you identify an area of the lake that you want to try, you can scan around pretty quickly using Google Earth or something similar and find a boat ramp. Often times too you’ll also see a small body of water separated from a larger body of water by a causeway. Using traditional topographic paper maps or looking at electronics on your boat even, you won’t necessarily be able to tell how big the opening is that connects the two. With satellite images you can usually tell if there’s an opening big enough to squeeze a boat through, or you may even see a boat back in there on the image and then you’ll know you can get in.

I especially like to use satellite images to research fisheries with no topo lines, whether that’s a particular stretch of a big body of water that simply hasn’t been plotted yet or a small pond or creek I’m thinking about checking out. You can usually tell a lot about how to make your way around or if a small fishery is fishable from the bank simply by looking at it from the vantage point provided by a satellite.

There are loads of advantages to doing a little research of a body of water using satellite images before heading out on the water. Just remember, the images are rarely current. So things like mud-lines, water levels and vegetation may not look exactly the same when you get there. But the advantages greatly outweigh any pitfalls in my opinion and being able to scout before a trip gives you a whole new outlet to scratch that fishing itch in the meantime.