The "Lost" Map of Professor Higbee

I was paging through my local newspaper on Saturday, and I saw about a quarter page ad for Professor Higbee's Stream & Lake Map of Pennsylvania.  Now, I had heard of this map before, probably visited the website a few times over the course of the past season or two "Googling" random things about fishing, but what struck me about the print ad was the marketing around this map.

First, it was billed as the "Lost" Professor Higbee map.  They play this thing up as if it is some rare, ancient artifact, you know, the kind of map the cast of The Goonies would need an amulet from a shipwreck or something to decipher.  (Check out One Eyed Willie's suggestions on secret limestone streams)

Turns out it's origins date way back to 1965, which I guess was a different time.  I'm  not sure Al Gore had even invented the internet way back then.

Second, the promotional ploy totally reeked of infomercial.  Not only did you get the 3x5 foot stream map, but if you acted today, you also got 3 additional bonus gifts, including such notable works as "Finding Secret Fishing Spots" and "How Anglers Stalk & Catch Record Fish."  I was kinda hoping they'd "double my order" or include a Slap Chop at no extra charge.

So, I'm not sure where this ramble is going.  This very well might be the cat's meow when it comes to stream maps in PA.  For $20, it certainly wouldn't break the bank.  I guess my question is if something like this is still relevant in today's time of easily accessible internet stream reports and Google Earth/Maps?


  1. Sometimes you wonder if we are watching too much TV. When you see something like this and immediately know it's going to be $19.95 and if you act now, we'll add this or that and, Wow, we'll double your order for the same low price of $19.95 plus S&H. Man, I've GOT to stop watching the boob-tube.


  2. Throw in a George Foreman Grill or some Ginsu knives and I'm in!

    I enjoy maps like this one, but isn't half the fun in actually finding spots on your own?

  3. I did some reading about this map a few years ago and it seems to be legit. They have a very similar ad in a local paper every week for the same map but I haven't taken the plunge yet.

    I guess it would be a cool item to have but the internet sort of makes it obsolete.

  4. The map is a real piece of work.

    The effort alone to attempt the task is making me want to fish all the streams on it.

  5. That might be a cool map to hang on the wall. If it's 3x5 then it would be twice as big as a Sham-Wow.

  6. Great post and I’m still chuckling over this one. The Goonies map photo and the “Shamwow” reference was perfect.

    I pour over maps and internet data nuggets like a prospector looking for raw ore. Often I fall prey to promotional stunts just like this one.

    (sigh) and I try so hard to avoid the “but wait there’s more” advertising barrage.

  7. Wow, this post got more comments than I thought.

    @ Shoreman - You and me both. I still want one of those GT Express countertop grills. I mean any device you can make perfect omelets and bake brownies in can't be that bad.

    @ Leigh - Finding spots is pretty fun & rewarding. That said, I don't think I've ever found a totally "secret" spot to date.

    @ Bill - I don't doubt the map for an instant, looks legit to me. Probably would look good on my wall.

    @ Brk Trt - It would be a daunting task to not only assemble but actually fish even 20% of the waters covered.

    @ Bill Bush - ...but much less absorbent!

    @CCasters - Glad you enjoyed my attempt at humor. When in doubt, '80s pop culture references always win. I think the map is probably legit, but the infomercial tactics to sell it are humorous to say the least.

    Who am I kidding...I'm probably going to buy one.

  8. I actually have one of these. It is mounted in a frame with a glass overage. Hanging on my wall It really looks nice and is a great conversation piece. Funny thing I went to the PA outdoor show yesterday and the Game commission told me they would like to have it. I just din't know the history or age behind it until now. It is beautiful and informative.

    1. Cool, I'd like to get one. Never did take that plunge.

  9. I have the map for North Carolina where I live. It's just unbelievably detailed. Even though the Pennsylvania map dates back to 1965, how many streams have changed since then, I mean really changed? Probably not many. For $20 bucks for the paper edition it is a great conversation piece and it's fun to pour over all of the streams near where I fish often. This is the kind of map that you could mark up and pass on to your kids or old fishing buddies.

    1. I'll need to do some research and see if there's one for North Georgia.

  10. Nobody who actually owns and uses one of these maps has a critical or negative or sarcastic word to say about it. I've used Higbee's Pennsylvania Stream Map for 30 years and I have seen used copies sell for $70. If you know how to use a map, it is easily worth the selling price.

    1. Thanks for finding this post, hadn't looked at it in quite some time.

      Not knocking the map at all, just the marketing tactics. This post is almost 8 years old, perhaps they've changed since then.


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