Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click here and select your region to view the charts within that region. Each product page lists major locations covered by the chart.

Charts FAQ:

General:

Normally more accurate than your GPS. Any error should be less than a couple feet.

We always use the highest resolution data available and, because we’re actually a sonar company, we can pull from tens and tens of different public, private, academic, international, and other data sources, including what we generate with our boats and our sonars! In some areas data will be .25m or .5m, meaning one pixel will represent a quarter or half meter of data. In other areas the highest resolution data available may be lower. In many deep areas (canyons for example) the highest resolution data available will be 8m (one pixel represents 8 meters).

Note that file size limitation for mobile devices sometimes force us to down-sample .25m and .5m data to 1m. If you want the absolute highest resolution data possible, use the Raymarine, Lowrance, Simrad, or B&G versions.

These colors are just to provide ease of use when visualizing the seafloor and do not relate to a specific depth range. Charts begin in the red for the shallowest areas and move through yellow, green, blues, and into the deep blues or purples for the deepest areas.

(NOTE: We carry a 3D Shelf Edge Synthetic chart that has different coloring. Please see that product page for more information.)

Currently, updates for mobile devices and computers are free. Just login to your Strikelines account and redownload the charts to get the updated version. (Please note: You’ll have to delete the old chart files first!)

For Simrad/Lowrance and Raymarine charts, you will ship the card back to StrikeLines, we will update the chart for a small fee, and will ship the card back to you. We charge a small update fee to cover our time and shipping of updating each card. Check out the Chart Update page for more information.

No, doing so is a violation of the license agreement that you agree to upon purchase.

If it is a 3D chart, a waypoints chart for Simrad or Raymarine, or a 4K chart, yes. These charts are locked to the SD card and do not download to your machine.

If it’s a NOAA wrecks chart, or if it’s a chart for a Garmin, you will be able to import the waypoints to your machine and can remove the card afterwards.

Yes. You can use our charts in any other compatible chartplotter, but the chart cannot be copied off the card.

3D Charts:

These colors are just to provide ease of use when visualizing the seafloor and do not relate to a specific depth range. Charts begin in the red for the shallowest areas and move through yellow, green, blues, and into the deep blues or purples for the deepest areas.

(NOTE: We carry a 3D Shelf Edge Synthetic chart that has different coloring. Please see that product page for more information.)

You can create a waypoint at the spot you’re interested in. Then, simply disable our chart with a click, check the depth on your navigation chart, and enable our chart again with another click.

You can also download free NOAA charts and load them into Google Earth to find depths.

What you’re seeing is the lack of high resolution sonar data for those areas. We always use the best available data and we pull from tens and tens of sources. We are a sonar company which means we can process raw sonar data and we have access to more data sources than other 3D chart makers, so you shouldn’t find better resolution anywhere else. Some areas, like shipping channels or commercially important areas, get more high resolution scanning than other, predominantly recreational, areas.

We are often faced with this dilemma: do we include the lower resolution data in charts to provide customers with as much useful information as possible, or do we exclude it because lower resolution data will result in customer service inquiries. Often, we feel that the lower resolution data is still valuable and is better than no data.

The lines you’re seeing are high resolution passes overlaid on top of a lower resolution base. In other words, each one of those lines is where the boat went while recording sonar. The boat passes need to be super tight in order to scan for complete coverage, but this is not always possible. Instead, what we’re left with is a series of high resolution passes that are spread out.

As far as we can tell, other companies take publicly available pre-processed data, almost exclusively from NOAA, and convert it into a format that will run on your chartplotter. You can download the same data they use. We’re not aware of any other company that uses commercial sonar, has done any of their own scanning, or even processes raw sonar data.

Last year with our boats and our sonar tow-fishes we scanned about 4,000 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico alone. We’ve been scanning and processing raw sonar data for years. Because we can process raw sonar data in house, we can use the same data as other companies but pull more out of it. Additionally, we have access to many other data sources because we can process raw data. We should have higher resolution, more detail, and better coverage than anyone else out there. If we don’t, let us know, because there’s no reason we can’t meet or beat theirs!

4K Aerial Imagery:

4K charts are made from ultra-HD aerial imagery that reveals what’s beneath the surface in inshore areas. With a 4K chart you can see prop scars in the seagrass where scallops love to hang out, find deep spots in creeks for Redfish, navigate shallow cuts through sawgrass in the marsh, avoid rocks and sandbars, fish longer by escaping the flats when the tide is falling, and more!

No, the 4K chart files are too large for mobile devices. Currently the 4K charts are only available for Lowrance/Simrad and Raymarine units.

All of our 4K imagery was taken within the past three years. We update our charts as new imagery becomes available so chart imagery should never be older than three years.

Waypoint Charts:

No, unless there is operator error. However, it is always a good idea to backup all of your data on an extra SD card and then update your unit before loading any chart or waypoints.

Compatibility FAQ:

Compatible units include:

Simrad

Waypoint Charts: StrikeLines waypoint charts are compatible with Simrad.

3D Charts:

  • All NSS units
  • NSE
  • All NSO units
  • GO XSE units
  • GO XSR units
  • Note that 3D charts are not compatible with the Cruise series

Lowrance

Waypoint Charts: StrikeLines waypoint charts are compatible with Lowrance.

3D Charts:

  • All HDS units
  • Elite HDI, Chirp, and Ti models
    • Only our waypoints charts are compatible with the Hook series; 3D charts are not compatible with Hook units.

Mercury VesselView

Waypoint Charts: StrikeLines waypoint charts are compatible with Mercury VesselView.

3D Charts:

  • All vessel view units except the 403

B&G

Waypoint Charts: StrikeLines waypoint charts are compatible with B&G.

3D Charts:

  • All Zeus units
  • All Vulcan units

Raymarine

Waypoint Charts: StrikeLines waypoint charts are compatible with Raymarine. Please update your software before loading our waypoint chart.

3D Charts: In order to support StrikeLines 3D charts, units must run Lighthouse II or Lighthouse III and have at least v17 software installed. We strongly recommend updating your Raymarine to the latest software before loading our chart. Let us know if you don’t see a Raymarine option for the chart you are interested in. Compatible units include:

  • Axiom Series
  • Axiom Pro
  • Hybrid Touch
  • aSeries
  • cSeries
    • It will not work on the C120 Unit
  • eSeries
  • eS Series
  • gS Series
  • Dragonfly Series – note that we do not recommend running a 3D chart on a Dragonfly due to limited processing power.

Please make sure your Raymarine Unit has a microSD or SD card reader.

Waypoint Charts: Yes, our waypoint charts will run just fine on your Garmin. All the waypoints will load and function just like your other waypoints. The only thing that won’t load are the lines we use to trace out ledges and circle hard bottom areas. We can add the Google Earth version to your account if you want to view those lines on your phone, tablet or computer, but most of our Garmin customers find they don’t want or need them.

Keep in mind, we don’t support Active Captain because, per their licensing agreement, Garmin can access all your data (including ours). 

3D Charts: Through an update in 2018, Garmin removed the functionality to run third party 3D charts on your chartplotter.

Got a Garmin but interested in a 3D chart? Here are some options:

  • If you’re looking to upgrade from Garmin, we recommend our Lowrance Elite-7 Ti2 units. These are fast, portable, and can run all of our charts with ease. 
  • We also offer Simrad Go Series units if you’re looking for a more robust unit.
  • Additionally, some of our 3D charts are available for download to mobile devices.

Waypoint Charts: Yes, all the waypoint charts are compatible.

3D Charts: Humminbird does not have the capabilities yet for our 3D charts. If you’re looking to upgrade from Humminbird, we recommend our Lowrance Elite-7 Ti2 units. These are fast, portable, and can run all of our charts with ease.

Waypoint Charts: The Simrad/Lowrance versions of our waypoint charts will work on Furuno, but be cautious. Before import you MUST backup all your data and you MUST update to the latest software. Some Furuno machines behave unpredictably during import.
At checkout, select the Raymarine microSD card option.

3D Charts: We spent several months talking with Furuno about getting our 3D charts on their hardware. Furuno eventually reached the conclusion that it would be a year or so before they could run our 3D charts. Please email the following contact to let them know you’d like to run StrikeLines’ charts on your Furuno:Info@mytimezero.com

If your plotter isn’t compatible with StrikeLines charts, we recommend our Lowrance Elite-7 Ti2 or Simrad Go Series units. These are fast, portable, and can run all of our charts with ease.

Additionally, if you have a phone or tablet with GPS capabilities, we offer downloadable versions of some of our charts.

Any Android or iOS device with a built-in GPS and enough free space can run our charts, even offshore without cell reception, and will overlay your position in real-time via the free app OsmAnd.

It depends on the chart. We recommend having around 5GB of free space available for most 3D charts. Please note that some charts will be larger and will require more than 5GB.

The free open source app we recommend (OsmAnd), and provide detailed instructions for, will overlay your position on our chart in real time. You don’t need Wi-Fi or a cell connection. As long as the tablet has a built-in GPS, you can use the chart offshore. We can’t tell a difference in accuracy between the GPS in a phone or tablet and any of our in-house chartplotters. You can also create waypoints, track the boat, pull coordinates, and more within the app.

If the iPhone and iPad share the same cloud account, you should be able to share the files between them with no issues.

Ordering FAQ:

If you ordered a downloadable product you will receive a download link on the checkout confirmation page. If you ordered a chart on a chip and placed your order before noon central time, your order will go out the same day. We ship USPS Priority Mail and orders usually arrive in 1-4 business days.

You also have the option of upgrading your shipping to USPS Priority Express Mail at checkout. Priority Express Mail orders should arrive in 1-2 business days.

Charts for mobile devices and PC/Google Earth are provided as a digital download. You will be provided a link to download the chart files after checkout and in your order confirmation email (check your spam folder). Download the file, double click it, and read the instructions inside. NOTE: Make sure to create an account at checkout so you can log back in and access your StrikeLines files at any time.

Any chart ordered for a Simrad, Lowrance, Raymarine, B&G, VesselView, Garmin, or Humminbird are mailed to you on a SD/MicroSD card due to our license agreements with Navico and Raymarine. Please enter a USPS approved shipping address at checkout.

How To/Troubleshooting FAQ:

Check that the Chart Source is set to Insight. On a Simrad you can do this by clicking on the Menu button in the top right, clicking on Chart Source, and selecting Insight. Shaded Relief must also be enabled. You can enable Shaded Relief by clicking on the menu button in the top right, selecting Chart Options, and scrolling down to the Shaded Relief check box. Zoom in a little on an area covered by the chart.

Still won’t load? Some recent software versions have been buggy.
Try the following:

  • Restart the unit
  • Try a different card slot
  • Insert the card after the unit has booted
  • Insert the card before you turn on the unit

Think of the chart as a huge grid of tiled images. When a tile isn’t completely filled by an image you get the black boxes. Unfortunately, there is not a good way around this with Simrad or Lowrance chartplotters. Raymarine plotters operate differently and do not have this problem.

Enable Shaded Relief by selecting the Menu button, Chart Options, and checking the Shaded Relief box. Once you’ve done this you should be able to see the background chart we provided.

If your machine takes larger SD cards, then you will need to put the microSD card into the adapter provided before you put it into your machine.

Carefully follow the instructions included with the chart. The instructions will tell you to download the free, open-source app we recommend (OsmAnd). Take a look at the following videos for more instructions on how to download. 

Video Instructions for 3D Charts Installation – iOS Devices 

Video Instructions for Waypoints Charts Installation – iOS Devices

Video Instructions for 3D Charts Installation – Android Devices

Video Instructions for Waypoints Charts Installation – Android Devices

This is because we split 3D charts for mobile devices into multiple files. We do this for two reasons. The first reason is file size. File size will increase exponentially with chart coverage. Mobile devices and OsmAnd don’t appreciate humongous files. The second reason is export time. If we don’t split certain 3D charts, when we create the file for mobile it can take two weeks or more even using our multi-processor servers.

You’ll only be able to view one chart section at a time. Each chart section is its own file; they’re usually numbered so you can see the difference. To view each different chart section you’ll need to enable each file as an overlay in OsmAnd. You can swap between chart sections by choosing a different file for the overlay. The overlay option can be found by clicking the globe icon in the top left of the OSMand app.

Most phones/tablets have a built in GPS and some iPads do as well. If it’s capable of cell service, it typically has GPS capabilities.
Here’s how to test if it does or not: Download and install Google Maps if you haven’t already. Turn off Wi-Fi and disable cell service, take the tablet outside a few blocks away. Open Google Maps and click the bulls-eye like icon to update your position. Give it a minute or two. If Google Maps pinpoints your correct location, your device almost certainly has a built-in GPS and you can use it with our charts.

What size memory card are you using? It MUST be 32gb or less.
Did you unzip the file before copying it over to the SD card? Find the file you downloaded, right click, extract all. Go to the extracted location and copy the file(s) inside over to a memory card.

Private Spots FAQ:

Yes, if you buy six we’ll give you a seventh of your choice free! Buy the six and then email us (info@strikelines.com) which spot you’d like as your free seventh spot.

We don’t fish the spots ourselves and it’s tough to tell how a spot will perform from long range side scan sonar. We recommend buying several spots so if one doesn’t pan out, you have a couple to fall back on until you get back to shore. Then we can replace the one that didn’t work for you. Keep in mind that we guarantee our spots so if you can’t find it or get skunked on it, we’ll replace it.

For a spot we dove or sent the drone down on and can guarantee holds good fish, call us. These spots normally start at $600.

Whichever ones you want that fit your fishing area! Material and size of the spot have very little to do with the quality of fish it is holding. Instead, factors such as depth, distance from the pass, if the spot has been found before, if the spot is over-fished, the number of lionfish holding on the spot, and other factors have far more influence on the quality of fish found.

The small reef spots are roughly the size of a dog house, the medium spots are about the size of a dumpster, and the large spots are about the size of a shipwreck. Keep in mind these are estimates.

Spots get picked over quickly! What we’ve got is on the website. We don’t keep any in reserve.

On the
private reefs page, there is a measuring tool in the upper right corner. Also, if you zoom all the way in on the beach and then pan south the first grey line you see that follows the contours of the shore is 3 nautical miles (1 nautical mile = 1.15 miles) offshore. The second grey line you see as you pan south is marked Natural Resources Boundary and that is the state/federal line at 9nm. Panning further south, the third grey line is at 12nm.

Yes. If you can’t find the spot or get skunked on it we will replace it. We only want happy customers and we stand by our products.

If you bought a spot it is yours. We never sell that spot again.

Long, long hours towing a side-scan sonar fish across the Gulf in a grid pattern for days on end! We have several different sonar systems; the one we use to find artificials in the Gulf of Mexico has a range of about 500m to either side of the boat. Our captain and mate oversee the boat and sonar as the autopilot drives a grid pattern, much like mowing the lawn, until the weather deteriorates, or the boat is forced in for fuel. A normal scan might be three to five days offshore.

When the boat returns, we offload the hundreds of gigabytes of raw data and process it in-house. After processing we review every bit of the data by hand and mark up the spots we would want to fish. The spots are then uploaded to our website. After a customer buys a spot it is automatically removed.

Custom Scans FAQ:

StrikeLines will use a commercial side-scan sonar towfish to scan a defined area of a body of water for you. This can be the Gulf of Mexico, a bay, a lake, or just about anything else.

No. We regard that as a conflict and ask the potential customer to choose a different area.

Yes, you will get all the spots. No, we will not sell them to anyone else.

Hire us for a custom sonar survey in the area you fish. The cost is normally significantly lower per spot found than that of buying spots individually. Team up with some buddies and chip in. We have a 25 square mile minimum. Prices start at $200 a square mile for low resolution long range scans for artificials. Prices go up from there depending on how far offshore and what you’re looking for. A 25 square mile scan will cost a minimum $5000 we’d expect to find approximately 30 artificial reefs in an area that size.