google earth


Google Earth has been a revolution for anglers. Long gone are the days of cumbersome street directories and topographic maps that were essential for locating potential fishing spots. Previously anglers were at the mercy of low resolution and restricted accuracy that could deliver false leads to inaccessible or unsuitable locations.

The release of Google Earth in 2001 forever changed the fishing world. Anglers had been handed a tool to solve all of their geographical information and mapping needs.

Here are a few tips on how to use Google Earth to improve your fishing expeditions.


Google Earth is hands-down the best way to explore old and new waterways. It will help you understand and interpret the sand bars, channels, obstacles, and physical features of any system. It may even reveal hidden secrets at your regular fishing haunts that you never knew existed.

When you’re on the search for new fishing habitat or are planning a fishing trip to an unexplored destination, Google Earth provides a massive head start towards understanding the features and extent of the fishing terrain. It’s the number one planning tool for any fishing adventure.


One of the trickiest aspects of fishing new waterways is finding suitable access, especially if you’re off the beaten track. Physical exploration through bushland, properties and roads can be an extremely time-consuming and frustrating exercise. There will be many dead ends.

Google Earth negates much of this heartache by allowing you to pinpoint potential entry and exit points to a system with much greater certainty. You can identify clearings in the bush, fire trails, bridge crossings, boat ramps, access channels and harbours all from the comfort of your own home. This efficiency dramatically reduces the amount of time wasted and fast tracks you to the fish.


The distance tool in Google Earth is a very nifty feature for estimating distances to fishing habitats. The scale can be altered to suit the requirement and it can be used to gauge the length of an access point to the water or the distance from a boat ramp to an ideal fishing site.

The distance tool is a fantastic exploratory and planning tool to help you make critical boating and trekking decisions.


The other brilliant tools embedded within Google Earth are the ability to pin placemarks, paths or polygons to the maps in order to identify and mark out fishing locations. You can designate potential fishing habitat or clearly identify spots that have produced fish in the past.

These tools can also be a handy for clearly marking out access channels or paths and they’ll help keep you on track when you’re on the ground exploring. Another handy feature is the ability to export marks as KML files to and from GPS units and the ability to share information with your mates.


Once you’ve identified potential fishing spots, access paths, or important features, it’s a good idea to print the maps at various scales so that you have a quick reference when you’re on the water. Keep any printed maps in a waterproof zip-lock plastic bag. Another alternative is to take screenshots of the maps and store them in an album your mobile phone.

In areas with mobile phone and data reception, the obvious choice would be to simply install and access Google Earth on your phone.

It’s hard to imagine fishing exploration in today’s world without Google Earth. Most seasoned anglers would be lost without the benefits that this phenomenal satellite and mapping tool provides.

If you’re new to Google Earth, do yourself a favour and download it today. It will change the way you approach fishing and arm you with a powerful weapon to improve your fishing efficiency and catch.


Is there anything you can add to this article? Let us know in the comments section below.

Peter Hollingsworth

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.