Maps Unique…..Product Review
In the day of the GPS being found in your phone, tablet, car, let alone your boat, fishing charts would seem to be a thing of the past. Today’s marine navigation electronics are hypersensitive and can spot your target in the ocean within a few feet. At the same time, today’s GPS and depth finder can hold countless locations within a chip the size of a postage stamp (another item from the past). However, these wonders of fishing and navigation cannot fill the void of not having an actual chart or map that reveals the ocean’s bottom and its lumps and bumps. Maps Unique has filled that void for a number of years. Over those years, fisherman along the Carolina and Georgia coasts have come to depend on the laminated maps known for their view of the ocean’s bottom.
Maps Unique, Inc. was established in 1988 by Capt. Chip Berry of Garden City Beach, South Carolina. Chip is an avid offshore fisherman and former charter boat skipper where he, along with his father and brothers, began blue water fishing more than thirty years ago. The development of Maps Unique began as a concept in 1988 to assemble information on prime offshore habitats along the Southeastern US. I find it interesting that a majority of fishing guides, charter and commercial fishermen, as well as skilled recreational fisherman have a Maps Unique on board and have had for years.
This loyalty is there for many reasons. Recently, Captain Rod Bierstedt of OnMyWay Charters commented that the Maps Unique product is the best on the market. It comes in a laminated map version that includes a detail “guide” on how to best use it. Taking the time to read the guide prior to attempting to use the map is a must. It’s easy to understand instructions will greatly increase the value of the product. He recommends taking the guide and the map and taking a few hours to familiarize yourself with just how the map works. Captain Bierstedt is a longtime user of the product. He has developed a great concept for tuning your fish finder to work in tandem with the Map Unique maps. Click For Article On Tuning Your Fish Finder.
The Maps Unique product covers all nearshore and offshore areas that reach out as far as the Gulfstream. It provides detailed views of the ledges, reef systems elevation changes, as well as depressions and ridges. It even provides information on artificial reef and wreck sites with a description and coordinates. It includes a detailed GPS navigation grid that is broken down in 5 minute increments that makes working with your GPS easier.
The Maps Unique maps provides a blueprint of the ocean’s bottom that brings texture to the ocean floor and indicates the changes that house bait and their predators. While the maps at times do not pinpoint ledges and underwater structures, it will identify areas that most likely hold the hard bottoms and lumps that make fishing more productive. Many skilled anglers will use the maps to navigate to marked areas and then slowly troll or move around the marked areas to locate additional targets that hold fish. In short it takes you beyond the numbers and coordinates that you may already have by allowing you to view a bigger picture of the bottom.
Overall, I believe this is a “must have” product for every serious angler. It’s easy to use and the laminated version makes it easy to carry on the boat. It also comes in a digital version as well. This is the perfect evolution of the already great product. I believe it will transition well to anglers with it’s easy to use SIM cards that will fit most GPS units. However, I see the standard map staying around for a number of years to come. It’s the fishing tool that most of us on the Carolina coast have come to depend on and it’s still the most preferred map out there.