Jim Noah   

For more than ten years now I’ve been using Garmin GPS Units.  Sure, I have four Units and they always have a new one I would love to have.  I’ve been using waypoints and internal maps including the Hot Spot Maps with great success and fun!  I used Tracks I created and saved to run rivers and to secret humps.  I really only used the Tracks to get to places again – usually in a hurry. 

Then I met Jack Baker of Great Plains Mapping.  Jack lives for Tracks!  After a few hours with Jack and his mapping software you really learn the value of tracks stored in your GPS unit.  You also learn the exact number of tracks your unit will hold.  Down loading and uploading between your PC and GPS unit become a way of life.  I now wish my Garmin units would hold more tracks, many more tracks, but such is life.

Jack is one of the few that has maps for most of the Kansas Lakes available for use on you computer or GPS Unit.  Jack also has Missouri maps and is adding other states as quickly as he can.  Jack’s maps are special!  He is a one-man show right now and he takes his work very serious.  So serious he takes his boat, locators and GPS Units (yes I said units) to each lake and with the help of existing paper maps he re-maps the lake.  He contacts the local Conservation Department Lake expert and picks their brains.  Jack then marks everything he finds so you can find it too.  He checks and re-checks his work.  He may spend more than a week working on a lake without wetting a line.  He also can catch one heck of a lot of fish with the information he has recorded.  So can you.  His is a work of passion and love.  It quickly shows when you talk with him.  Jack is one of a kind, using technology to create works of art, so we can catch fish!

I met Jack after seeing he was supporting a crappie trail with his mapping software.  I contacted him via email and later drove out to his home way past Bonner Springs KS.  We spent the afternoon together and I came away with a different attitude for tracks.  I also came away with Jack’s maps for Kansas and Missouri along with the Fugawi software it takes to utilize the maps.  Jack even loaded his map of Coffey County lake in Kansas on my Garmin 176 so I could play with it.  I checked ever spot I had in my memory bank and he was right – to right for comfort.  I took the Garmin 176 to Coffey County the next week to double check his map and it was correct in every detail.  I don’t know of any map available for Coffey County Lake and Jack had to create it from topo maps available before the lake was built.  We rode around in the freezing weather and roads and bridges were right where he said they were.  Ponds were right where he said they were.  Guides won’t have an upper hand on me now on Coffey County Lake!

Great Plains Mapping is available on the web at including partial demos of some lake maps.  Spend some time on the site and email Jack you questions.  His maps are great and can add a lot to your existing GPS Units.

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