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Lake Navigation

Navigating Lake Fork can be a little initimidating for the first-timer. A few tools and a little knowledge can help alleviate those concerns. Boat lanes are marked throughout the lake, electronic maps are available and when in doubt, trim up your motor and go slow!

Boat lanes

Boat lanes are marked in major branches of the lake by buoys. These provide an indication where, in this lake full of submerged trees, there is a path free of them. You can safely drive on-plane in the boat lanes. However, these lanes are not highways; they don’t grant anyone the right to drive full-throttle without regard to other boats. Instead, they simply indicate an area of the lake that is clear of underwater obstructions. Drive them with caution and alway grant the same right-of-way you would normally give if you weren’t in a boat lane.

Electronic Maps

Most of the electronic fishfinders available today include GPS capabilities. This feature is worth it’s weight in gold if you have a good electronic map on your fishfinder. The maps can give you a pretty good sense of where you are in relation to the boat lanes. Leaving trails turned on lets you see where you have safely traveled before. There are additional electronic maps available (BoatLanes, for example) that provide data trails for many of the lesser known safe routes (guide lanes). Above all, don’t put all of your trust in GPS navigation. The accuracy is not perfect and there can be a lag in screen updates that makes it dangerous to rely on completely. It’s a tool; use it for what it’s worth.

When in Doubt

If you are not in a boat lane and are unfamiliar with the area, it’s not the end of the world. Just proceed with caution. Simply trim your motor up and idle slowly through the area. You may will probably bump a tree. Happens all the time. Again, not the end of the world. Just part of the experience of fishing Lake Fork!

Bridge ID Signs

Many of the bridges across the lake are identified by a sign on the side of the bridge indication what bridge it is. These signs are there to assist in navigation and to allow rapid determination of location in case of an emergency.
EMAIL: info@oakridgemarina.com