LakeMaster vs C-MAP: Popular Mapping Cards Reviewed

Lakemaster and C-MAP are popular fish finder mapping cards. Find out how they compare and which sonar units they are compatible with

Both LakeMaster and C-MAP are two extremely popular mapping cards available, offering detailed maps of lakes and rivers, as well as a number of other features such as aerial and satellite images, depth contours, and structure imaging.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the two options and compare their mapping cards in terms of features, costs, which mapping chip you’re going to use, and overall usability.

Both LakeMaster and C-MAP offer a wide range of mapping cards to suit a variety of needs, and being able to understand the differences between them can help you determine which one is best for you.

LakeMaster vs C-MAP: Comparison

The table below can help you get a better idea of what both Lakemaster and C-MAP can offer at a glance. It covers everything from compatible fish finder models to features such as color options and satellite imagery. 

LakeMaster
C-MAP
Product
Compatible with?
Compatible with?
Humminbird
Lowrance, Simrad, Garmin, and more
Highlight depth range
Highlight depth range
Up to 35 feet
Up to 100 feet
Shallow water highlight
Shallow water highlight
Up to 15 feet
Up to 20 feet
Water level adjust
Water level adjust
Linear adjustment system
Algorithm-based system
Satellite Overlay
Satellite Overlay
Yes
Yes
Number of waterways
Number of waterways
16,000+
6,900+
Number of depth ranges
Number of depth ranges
9
10
Color options
Color options
8 preset
6 preset
Chart presets
Chart presets
Highly detailed
Less detailed
Satellite imagery
Satellite imagery
More detailed
More comprehensive
2D shaded relief
2D shaded relief
More detailed and precise
More of a general overview
Regions covered
Regions covered
Great Lakes, Dakotas + Nebraska, Great Plains, Midsouth States, Minnesota, Northeast, Southeast States, Western States, Mid Atlantic States, Wisconsin, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec
Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, New England, West Coast, Gulf Coast, Great Plains, Intermountain, Northwest, Alaska, Canada, Hawaii
Premium Options?
Premium Options?
Yes
Yes
Price
Price
$99.99 basic, $299 premium
$99.99 basic, $169 premium

Compatibility

When it comes to compatibility, C-MAP and Lakemaster both work with a variety of devices, including chartplotters, depth finders, and other marine electronics, but the brands and models they can link with may be somewhat limited.

C-MAP is compatible with Humminbird, Garmin, Lowrance, Raymarine, and Simrad devices, while Lakemaster is compatible only with Humminbird.

However, both options offer detailed mapping data for over 18,000 lakes in the United States and Canada, making it easy to find the lakes you need. Additionally, you can log your sonar data and download it to make updates to your own maps.  

C-MAP vs LakeMaster: Quality of Mapping Detail

Lakemaster Premium charting
Lakemaster provides hydrographic maps and HD satellite imagery primarily for inland waters.

When it comes to mapping detail, C-MAP offers a variety of highly detailed maps for both inland lakes and coastal waters. The charts provide around 1-foot contours that allow for more precise navigation, in addition to offering HD satellite imagery (lower in SD maps)  for getting a great overhead view of the water body.

Lakemaster offers a variety of detailed and high-quality hydrographic maps as well but with a focus on inland waters and not so much on coastal areas. The contour charts provide the same 1-foot contours that allow for more precise navigation, while the HD satellite imagery provides a very detailed aerial view of the lake for better navigation.

C-MAP vs LakeMaster Maps: Coverage

C-MAP has a number of HD maps available in a variety of formats that cover many different regions, including coastal areas, inland lakes, and the Great Lakes. You’ll find a wide range of detailed vector charts with contour lines, certain depth ranges, and spot soundings to give you clear navigation information. In addition, they offer a range of satellite imagery, 3D bathymetric data, and aerial imagery, along with a subscription service that includes access to a library of additional chart images.

Lakemaster offers coverage for many different regions but is primarily focused on providing coverage for inland lakes and the Great Lakes, with limited coverage for coastal areas. You’ll find detailed vectors with contour lines, depth and spot soundings, satellite imagery, 3D bathymetric data, and aerial imagery, in addition to a premium subscription service for additional charts.

Highlight Depth Range

C-MAP offers an impressive highlight depth range of up to 2,000 feet, allowing you to easily spot fish and structures in the deep, making it great for ocean fishing and coastal areas.

Lakemaster offers a highlight depth range of up to 300 feet, which is ideal for fishing in shallow waters, mountain reservoirs, and most landlocked lakes around the country.

Shallow Water Highlight

C-MAP uses a 16-color system to indicate shallow water as low as 3 feet, with various shades of yellow, orange, and red indicating increasingly shallow water.

Lakemaster has more detailed depth indications, with different colors representing different depths starting at 4 feet and ranging up to 10 feet, with reds and yellows being the most prominent colors.

Water Level Adjust

C-MAP’s water level adjustment tool is great for accounting for tide changes depending on the time of day or season. You can use the water level adjustment tool to create custom water level profiles at any point on your preferred chart.

Lakemaster’s water level adjustment feature is slightly different. Instead of creating custom profiles, Lakemaster uses a standard water level range that you will set in advance, and all depth readings below the set range are displayed as being at the set water level.

C-MAP vs LakeMaster: Satellite Maps Overlay

CMAP genesis charting
C-MAP’s satellite maps overlay uses high-resolution aerial imagery to show bottom and shoreline structures.

C-MAP’s satellite maps overlay feature uses high-resolution aerial imagery to provide a detailed look at the bottom and shoreline structures, allowing you to quickly identify submerged structures, weed beds, and other features that are important for successful fishing and safe navigation.

Lakemaster’s satellite maps overlay feature also uses high-resolution aerial imagery but focuses on displaying contour lines and depth information. It is highly useful for anglers who are looking for specific depths and bottom structures where fish may be hiding, allowing you to quickly locate areas of interest.

Access to Maps Updates

C-MAP offers a range of map updates for its customers, with a variety of options to choose from, including 4D MAX+, 4D MAX, 4D, MAX-N, or Genesis. The specific lake maps available to you will vary depending on the type of chart you have and the region you selected. C-MAP also offers a premium subscription service that allows you to receive updates to charts on a regular basis.

Lakemaster offers two options, including MEGA and Pro. These two maps can be updated as frequently as needed, depending on your unique needs. Like C-MAP, Lakemaster also has a premium subscription program that gives you access to regular map updates for a one-time fee.

Pricing: Basic Version and Advanced Versions

C-MAP offers a basic version that includes detailed maps and navigation features for a one-time fee of $99.99. For a more advanced version, the MAX N and 4D line of charts will start at around $169.99.

Lakemaster also has a basic version that includes detailed maps and navigation capabilities, along with 3D views, for a one-time fee of $99.99. For a more advanced version, the MEGA and Pro packages provide an expanded library of maps and other features, along with advanced tools such as aerial photography integration and boat positioning, for a one-time fee of $299.99.

LakeMaster Lake Chart Packages 

C-MAP Lake Chart Packages

Will C-MAP Work on Humminbird Devices?

Since C-MAP is a charting and mapping system developed by Jeppesen Marine, and Humminbird uses its own proprietary charting and mapping system called Navionics, C-MAP is not compatible with Humminbird devices. It is designed to be used on chartplotters Lowrance, Garmin, Simrad, and some others. Many anglers may use both Navionics and LakeMaster to provide advanced mapping options. Additionally, Navionics charts may also provide a bit more detail for those who are passionate about angling in the Great Lakes area.

Does LakeMaster Work With Lowrance Devices?

Lakemaster charts are not compatible with Lowrance devices and are instead specifically designed to work with Humminbird devices only. If you are looking for a chart that will work with your Lowrance device, C-MAP could be a good option to consider; otherwise, you will need to find a charting option that is compatible with your device specifically.

Sources:

https://www.bbcboards.net/showthread.php?t=1126663

https://www.bbcboards.net/showthread.php?t=1196716

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y0bmKojWM4

https://www.genesismaps.com/Features/Shading

https://www.walleyecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=686250

https://www.c-map.com/home/

https://fishingminnesota.com/forums/topic/215436-navionics-or-c-maps-chip/https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/227206-lakemaster-and-navionics-in-mn/

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Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village. Jeff is based in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the waterways of that state in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth, panfish and trout.
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