Mapping software forms a base for Edge files

Dear Capt. Paul:

I just bought a Lowrance HDS 5. What mapping software is the best for our area for typical Southeast Louisiana fishing? From what I understand, with your product I need good mapping software and I add the waypoints from your package?


Capt. Paul’s response:

You are correct with both of your statements.

A supplemental mapping program is needed to supplement the basemap that comes with most GPS units. The basemap is what the name implies, a basic map of the entire area, usually of the entire United States. The base map usually depicts only major mapping features. It usually does show small rivers, creeks, bayous, canals, lakes and lagoons that make up the Louisiana coastal marshes. In addition, it usually only shows major cities and highways.

Lowrance offers a supplemental mapping program that is quite impressive. Their INSIGHT HD can be seen at

It can be used in newer Lowrance HDS series GPS units. Check it out to see if it covers the area in which you will be doing most of your travels.

I suggest that you first consider their Nautic Insight HD East. It covers inshore/offshore from Maine around Florida and the Gulf Coast to all of Texas with fishing hot spots marked and select Bahamas region charting. It even has tides for a variety of coastal locations and numerous other features. It is available from a variety of sources for $299.

The Capt. Paul’s Fishing Edge Files are data files that are downloaded from an email attachment using the Lowrance GPS Data Manager (GDM-6) program that is offered as a free download from their web site at

Their GPS Data Manager V.6 (GDM6) allows you to upload and download GPS data from your unit to your computer. You can easily access and manipulate waypoints, routes, trails and icons. A great tool for planning a route, the GPS Data Manager V.6 allows you to build a collection of route information that you can download to your unit.

This data transfer is the basis of the EDGE features, but the EDGE program also comes with a general map of the area showing where the EDGE waypoints are located as well as a description of each of the waypoints showing the latitude/longitude, a description of the location and in some cases how to fish the location. The EDGE files also include a spreadsheet of the data for those who wish to carry a backup aboard their boat when in the area.

The downloaded EDGE data is integrated into the internal waypoint memory of the GPS unit. They appear on the screen of the GPS units as a layer overlay.

Although the HDS-5 unit can accommodate up to 5,000 waypoints, I recommend that you limit the waypoints for any one area to about 500 waypoints. Why have to scroll through 5,000 waypoints, many of which will not be in the actual area where you are presently fishing to find a hotspot that you want? That is why I have broken down the EDGE files for more than 20 different areas. With the GDM program, you can save existing waypoints and download only those for areas you will be using for the pending trip.

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About Captain Paul Titus 192 Articles
Capt. Paul Titus has been responding to G.P.S questions on since 2000. He has been fishing and hunting in Louisiana since 1957. Titus holds a USCG license and conducts instruction courses in the use of GPS for private individuals and government agencies.

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