What Each Color Means On Nautical Charts (Don’t Run AGROUND!!)


Do you know what blue, green, and white colors mean on nautical charts?

If you don’t, you could risk running aground or missing out on finding good fishing spots.

So in this video, I’ll show you what each of these colors means, plus how knowing them can help you catch fish.

Let’s dive in!

What Each Color Means On Nautical Charts [VIDEO]

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Here’s what each color means on nautical charts:


White means that the area is deeper water that you can typically navigate your boat through on normal tide levels.


Areas in blue mean that on a normal low tide, there will probably be water in the area, but it’ll most likely be less than a foot.

These are typically flats that you can find fish on during high tide, and fish near the edges during low tide.


Areas in green have water covering them at high tide, but will be exposed during low tide.

Obviously, you’ll want to be very careful around these areas when driving your boat nearby.

These are typically sandbars, shallow islands, or even oyster bars.


how to measure fish

Knowing how nautical charts are color-coded can help you avoid running aground and find good fishing spots.

White signifies deeper water, blue signifies shallower water, and green shows areas that are sometimes exposed on low tide.

Have any questions about reading nautical charts?

Let me know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who needs to learn what these colors mean, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Jonathan Fortune
1 year ago


Buddy Harrison
2 years ago

Great info Tony and very helpful ! No matter how many times we look at charts, we can use a little coaching. Thanks.

Richard Hallum
2 years ago

You spoke of the white, blue and green areas. But what are the black areas? Not the black lines, but black areas?

Bill DeWeese
2 years ago

Great info Tony. One thing, for those using that Navionics cartography on a sounder, such as my Lowrance, you can add Depth Shading via the menu to the Navionics Plus base map.

For example, if you know, based on water temp, prior fishing or Intel from a fellow fishermen that fish like trout are holding in water at depths of 4-6′, then you can set the min/max depth to those levels and it will paint any area with that range a specific color. So if you need a Trout for a slam or the dinner table for example and you know they are holding in deeper pockets due to cooler or warmer water temps, you can light up the plotter with regions that are within that range.

For the Nature Coast in summer you tend to want a specific depth and healthy green grass and this helps narrow the myriad locations down.

Last edited 2 years ago by Bill DeWeese
Joseph Saunders
2 years ago

Would you be willing to check out the Stump Pass area and tell me what would be good spots? I’m on a boat. Thanks. You’re info is great.

JOhn Ruberto
2 years ago

Thanks. I was wondering about the little pink icons that are all over the chart as well. They look like little chickens to me. What do those icons signify?

JOhn Ruberto
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo



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