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#12469591 - 10/17/17 10:00 PM Review of Donald Harper's mapping service
BigHead248 Online   content

Registered: 08/15/16
Posts: 277
Loc: Waxahachie, TX
I recently received my first mapping service from Donald Harper and wanted to share my experiences so far and also how I plan to put it all into action.

After deciding what lake and the time of year I wanted the mapping services for, Mr. Harper was very quick to get the information to me.

The information came via e-mail, was able to be saved and printed, and was very easy to read and understand. There was no need for a follow up e-mail or phone call asking to explain something. It started with an EXTREMELY detailed write-up on what to look for, what to try, and what to consider. For me and how I approach new lakes, the write-up alone is going to drastically help with shortening the learning curve.

Anybody with a basic knowledge of Navionics or Lakemaster will not have a problem. The mapping Mr. Harper provides uses Navionics and at first I was a little concerned because I use Lakemaster maps. However, after sitting down in front of my graph I found it very easy to transfer the information over from Navionics onto my Lakemaster map.

There’s a “key” map that’s an overall view of the lake and has each “spot” labeled with its respective number (there’s 20 spots). Next there’s a detailed map that’s zoomed in over each individual spot. The key is useful because without it, unless you’re a land navigation expert, it would be difficult to figure out where each spot was.

In addition to the write-up for the lake there’s a very detailed breakdown for each spot. It goes as far as talking about boat positioning, considerations for the boater, considerations for the co-angler, and even where to cast.

After reading the write-up, going through the breakdown of each spot, and studying the maps that were provided, I prepared to enter all the information into my graph. The information is entered manually, so yes it did take some time. For me however I prefer the “manual” do it yourself aspect because usually when I’m able to just plug something in I miss the subtle details. Because I had to manually find the spot, match the contour lines, press the mark button, select the icon, and save each spot, I feel I’ve got a much more in depth knowledge of the spot and what’s there.

One thing I learned really quick was I had to be creative with my icons. The map on the top is what Mr. Harper provided and the one on the bottom is after I entered the information onto my graph (the yellow arrows were added after to illustrate the boat path and casting targets). The solid red line on Mr. Harper’s map is optimal boat bath, circles around an “x” are casting points, and circled objects are high percentage areas / objects. It doesn’t show what each icon is on my map because zooming far enough to make them appear cut out the rest of the fishing spot and I only wanted to use one pic for this. The waypoints that mark a particular object such as a rock pile have a rock pile, if it’s a waypoint that indicates a spot to cast at I used a target, for spots that aren’t so obvious for boat control I used a “car” icon to indicate where to drive the boat. Once I drive the spot for the firsf time, I’ll save my track and will delete the car icons.

I plan to put the information to work in the near future and will do a write-up documenting my experience. I’ll also be doing a video in the very near future on how I entered the information on my graph.

Thanks and tight lines.

#12469607 - 10/17/17 10:16 PM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
LearnedHat Offline

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 447
Is there a website?

#12469612 - 10/17/17 10:25 PM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: LearnedHat]
BigHead248 Online   content

Registered: 08/15/16
Posts: 277
Loc: Waxahachie, TX
Originally Posted By: LearnedHat
Is there a website?

No he does all his business here on the TFF. His profile name is "Donald Harper".

#12470309 - 10/18/17 02:22 PM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
Mike Keenan Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 10/31/04
Posts: 10245
Loc: San Diego, Ca/ Sanger, Tx
Donald is great people, even makes some great baits as well
R.I.P. Mike "pappy" "broken rod" Green born 07-16-62 on to better fishing 06-10-08.


#12470444 - 10/18/17 04:50 PM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
Donald Harper Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 13969
Loc: Justin, TX.
Thanks BigHead248 for posting the write-up. I wish I had thought of that. I have been telling most of the guys to take the mapping out to the boat and get the spots all marked and symbols dropped in place on each spot. This puts you in the zone when you pull up on a spot. You just have to pick symbols that mean stuff to you like your "Car" symbol. You need them for all kinds of things like: Hardwood, ditches, roadbed junctions, rocks, gouges, funnel points, grass, ledges, steep drops, deep timber, creek channel banks/swings, culverts, underwater bridges, house foundations and etc..

Thanks for sharing your skills and we will look forward to the video which will be a great tool for anyone marking spots on their depth finder before hitting the water.
Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success. - Staying Hydrated - Booking Mexico Trips
Shallow Water Mapping - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic

#12470450 - 10/18/17 05:07 PM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
James Biggs Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 2825
Loc: DFW area
I really like his pure extracts.

#12470717 - 10/18/17 08:54 PM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
FlaNative Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 641
Loc: Between Azle & Lake Worth
Don mapped out a local lake for me as well. The service he provides is well worth the monetary investment. The larger investment is your time as you search out the lengthy list of waypoints, learn his approach for yourself, and find the 3 best spots on the lake. Of course that part of your investment is also just plain fun!

If you want to shorten your learning curve on a new lake, and have a blast trying spots you might not find in a couple years of looking on your own, I highly recommend Don's service. Once I had Don's maps I set up an instructional trip on the same lake with James Biggs. Highly recommended combination!
Steve Raulerson
Ranger RT188
Manta Ray 14
Florida Native by Birth, Texan by Choice

#12470947 - 10/19/17 06:39 AM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
JJHunts Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 503
Donald does a great job. He did a lake for me last year that I had not spent much time on since the late 90's. I discussed with him that I had two derbies there, one in the early Pre-spawn and the other spawn to post spawn. I cashed two great check and a big-bass. Paid for his service 4 fold. I then learned the travel areas and fished a tourney same lake in the summer and finished 2nd. If someone is on the fence you should do it.

#12472459 - 10/20/17 09:13 AM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
Dabaker421 Online   content

Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 178
Loc: West of FTW
This doesn't surprise me at all. Donald has great products and service. He really helps a lot of people on here!
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13

#12472499 - 10/20/17 09:41 AM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
thedrfish Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 5
I want to learn more about the maps... Where do I go?

#12472515 - 10/20/17 09:49 AM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
6BOOMER Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 823
Loc: Del Rio, Tx

#12472646 - 10/20/17 11:15 AM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
"TexasFight" Offline

Registered: 10/18/15
Posts: 28
Thanks for the info BigHead. After receiving my first mapping service on one of my favorite lakes, I was blown away at the amount of information Donald provides. Totally re-shaped my thought process on fishing spots. The mapping flat out works! Stick to Donald's instructions on how to fish each spot and put the time in to find those 3 best spots and you won't be disappointed. I'll definitely be having Donald do mapping for me again! Looking forward to seeing those videos BigHead!

#12472659 - 10/20/17 11:23 AM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
texasbassdude Offline

Registered: 05/31/08
Posts: 157
Loc: San Antonio, TX
BigHead248, I hope it works out for you.

A few years ago, Donald sent me some info on Amistad that didn't work out, but in the interest of full disclosure, it was free, so one could say that I got what I paid for.

As they say, the proof will be in the pudding. I'm not opposed to entertaining the thought of paying for his services at some point in the future.

#12472728 - 10/20/17 12:09 PM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: thedrfish]
BigHead248 Online   content

Registered: 08/15/16
Posts: 277
Loc: Waxahachie, TX
Originally Posted By: thedrfish
I want to learn more about the maps... Where do I go?

If you PM him on here he's very fast to respond. His profile name is "Donald Harper". He's always very helpful and willing to answer questions.

#12472750 - 10/20/17 12:31 PM Re: Review of Donald Harper's mapping service [Re: BigHead248]
Big Kahuna Fishing Online   content

Registered: 05/21/17
Posts: 294
Loc: Mcgregor, Texas
Really super write up Bighead. Donald has provided so much info on this site, wether it's mapping or crawfish. Really outstanding to have him part of our fishing community.
I have been in contact with Donald about mapping, he was very generous with his time, I sent him an area of Lake Waco and how I intended to fish, he was really good about critiquing my plan, and showing me a better way to attack the area, and why.
Kinda like a preview of his program.
Can't wait till spring to try the full blown version.
For those of you that are tired and frustrated with being skunked, y'all ought to look into Dons program.
I am not going to say it's guaranteed to put fish in the boat, that's where you come in, but I will say it's a great tool to put you in the right areas to catch them.
Living the American Dream in central Texas !

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