Navionics vs Lakemaster: Which One is Better?

Navionics vs Lakemaster

Today, fishing is more than just sitting on a boat and observing the water.

Technology is used everywhere, and anglers like to use it as their advantage.

In addition to your fish finder, you can have high quality hydrographic maps, and the two most popular ones are Navionisc and Lakemaster.

Both of these have their own advantages and disadvantages, and depending on your specific needs, you may find one of these better.

Here I am going to make a basic comparison of Navionics vs Lakemaster, what to consider when choosing, and answer some common questions, in the following chapters:

AND at the and, you can also check our comparison Navionics vs CMap. So, let's get in ...



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What Should I Look When Buying Maps, Charts for Fishing?

No matter which brand you decide to choose, there are certain features you should consider. Not all charts are the same and to get the best product, you should be properly informed.

Device compatibility

Before you buy one of these charts, make sure that they are going to work on your device. Not every device is compatible with every chart, and that can be a problem if you already bought a fish finder.

Those who do not yet have a fish finder can choose in accordance with the map compatibility. In this case, Lakemaster works only on Humminbird, while Navionics works on the majority of popular fish finder brands, such as Raymarine, Lowrance, Simmrad and Humminbird too.

So basically, those who want to use Lakemaster need to have a Hummingbird device.

Geographical area

By geographical area, I mean coverage.

These two brands have certain differences. Navionics offers worldwide coverage, and this is great for people who like to travel and get the maps of those locations.

Lakemaster, on the other hand, offers great maps, but limited to North Amerca (Canada and the US), with just a few locations outside of this region, so those living or fishing in other continents could face a problem.

Specific location map

Both of these are very accurate and precise, however, depending on a specific location map, one can be better than the other. Before you decide to buy one, check the maps for the area you are interested in.

Navionics gives you the opportunity to see the maps on their official website.

Lakmaster also gives this opportunity, but it is more like a preview option, because you can’t really see the detailed map.


Of course, nobody expects to get a lifetime of free updates, but there is a difference between this two. Navionics provides updates in the first year, while Lakemaster does not offer this option.

Depth range

Both Navionics and Lakemaster enable you to highlight all the areas within a certain depth range. By doing so, you will see all the spots on a lake with that depth and be able to present your bait in those.

Both of these also allow users to highlight the shallow areas, that should be avoided with a boat.

Water level

Water levels change through out the year. This is not something that could be used in Navionics vs Lakemaster comparison because both give you an option to adjust this setting.

Satellite view

Satelite view is a good feature to have, in addition to standard topographical map. Both Lakemaster and Navionics have this option, but in more advanced versions.

Plotting your charts

Anglers like to have the options to plot a chart of some areas that are not covered with existing maps. Both Navionics and Lakemaster have this option, however, Lakemaster offers it just in an upgraded chart version, which is more expensive.

Navionics vs Lakemaster: Which One is Better?

Before I go into a few more specific details, here is a quick overview of both, so you can compare them side by side.

Lakemaster is known for great HD maps, which are a bit better than the Navionics in the basic version, but these are not available for every location. Some locations are covered with SD maps only. If that is the case, you may find Navionics to be a better option.

Saltwater anglers should go for Navionics, because it offers much better maps for this use.

Those who are passionate about angling somewhere in the Great Lakes area may find that Navionics charts, at least the advanced version, have a bit more details than the Lakemaster. In addition, Navionics advanced versions offer more features than Lakemaster advanced versions.

In my opinion, Lakemaster PLUS is not worth the extra price, and the basic version is absolutely great. So, if you compare advanced versions, Navionics is better. I will mention the differences in the following chapter.

Navionics also has one cool feature, and that is community edits, especially if you are fishing on a vacation, or in unfamiliar area. This option enables users to share info about temporary changes like seasonal buoys, or a new boat ramp. You can also explore the points of interest that include shops and restaurants.

Yes, you can find all this information online, but it is nice to have everything in one place, and you will see what the fellow anglers uploaded, not just regular tourists.

If you ask anglers which they prefer, or read the online reviews, you will see that half of them prefers one, while the other half prefers another.

Some anglers even use both, because each one has some advantages when it comes to features mentioned in the previous chapter. It is impossible to say that one is better than the other in all aspects, because both are excellent. You should decide which one is better for you, depending on all factors that affect your fishing situation.

Navionics vs Lakemaster: Which One is Better?

FAQs About Navionics and Lakemaster:

Here I will answer a few more questions, to help you decide to choose a proper product.

Some of the answers were briefly mentioned before.

LakeMaster vs LakeMaster PLUS: What is the Difference?

Lakemaster and Lakemaster PLUS have a lot of similarities, but some differences too.

Lakemaster is a basic option, and although it has excellent maps, it does not provide such detailed shoreline views.

Lakemaster Plus offers areal shoreline views. Although both have the same quality maps, with a PLUS version, anglers can see detailed view of the shore. This enables you to easily locate creeks that enter the main body of water, rock piles, and similar features along the shoreline. All of these details could help you locate the best fishing spot.

Navionics vs Navionics Platinum: What is the Difference?

Same as Lakemaster, Navionics also has an advanced version. Basic version, Navionics+, has basic lake and marine charts across the world.

Platinum+ version offers satellite coverage, including 3D view and panoramic images.

In addition to that, there is Hotmaps Platinum version, that offers satellite overview with Sonar Chart, and panoramic images. This option covers more than 23000 lakes in the US and Canada. Hotmaps Platinum is basically a North American Platinum+ version.

Does Navionics Work on Humminbird Devices?

YES, it does. Navionics works on most of the popular devices. However, Navionics Platinum, which is top of the line map quality, does not work with every model of every brand. It usually does not work on some older models, and you should check the compatibility before purchase.

Does LakeMaster Work on Lowrance Devices?

Unfortunately, NO. Lakemaster works only on Humminbird, due to the fact that it is owned by the same company. Many anglers are not happy about this, and hopefully something will change in the future.

When it comes to Lakemaster and Humminbird devices compatibility, you can check on their official website.

Does Navionics or Lakemaster Work on Mobile Devices?

If you are still thinking about Navionics vs Lakemaster and which one to choose, the answer to this question will not help you decide, because ...

Yes, both of these can work on mobile devices. You can download them on both Androind and iOS.

When it comes to Lakemaster, you can download the free app in which you can purchase, download and observe maps. By using GPS, you can mark routes and waypoints.

Navionics offers an app subscription that enables users to download charts, and keep them even if the subscription expires, but only the basic versions. To use advanced features, you must be actively subscribed.

You can also use it on multiple devices.

Navionics vs Lakemaster: What About Updates?

As I already mentioned, updates are a factor to consider when making a purchase, but in my opinion, this shouldn’t be the limiting factor in choosing a product.

However, Navionics offers 1-year updates, which is a useful benefit.

Both Navionics and Lakemaster are updating their maps constantly, so if your desired area is not mapped yet, there is a high chance that it is going to be very soon.


Navionics vs Lakemaster is a frequent dilemma among anglers, and it can be hard to decide which one to use.

Both have some excellent features, but due to compatibility, coverage, and area map availability, you should choose the one that suits your needs.

If you already have a fish finder, your choice may be obvious, if you do not plan to invest in a new one. The same goes for saltwater anglers.

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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