Fishing tip of the week

Keys for Searching an Unfamiliar Lake
Mike Gerry

It’s always hard to head to a new lake and start from scratch finding fish. You have to really be someone who has patience and persistence to be successful. The key is developing a pattern so you can attack the lake with some consistent processes in mind that you can repeat over and over. Getting to that ability quickly is the point of this article.
There are a few things that help you develop a pattern quickly one is structure; another is depth and lastly are baits that will trigger a bite. There are certainly more, but these three for me have been my triggers to success on new and unfamiliar lakes.
Structure to me is the easiest of the keys, but it’s also where patience comes in. All it requires is detailing some hard copy maps and then covering the water with your electronics searching for the structure by scanning the bottom in the areas you have chosen through detailing maps.

Next is finding the fish around the structure you have located, this involves many thoughts starting with traditional seasonal patterns. What are the fish supposed to be doing this time of year? This is the question I start with as traditional seasonal pattern to give you the sense of depth you should be looking at. Points along with the structure you have found, and contour changes create the areas for the bass to ambush and feed during any seasonal pattern. Depth starts with what depth is the bait focused on, what ability the bass has to hide yet ambush the food source and how the structure has them positioned so you can find them repeatedly on this pattern the next time you move your boat.

A key point here is boat position can mean all the difference in finding fish so work boat position around the structure to examine all angles.
Lastly are baits, I start with searching baits, to find active fish, but many times a slower presentation is required to get the bigger fish to bite. Be aggressive with your baits, change baits enough to make sure you’re getting a good feel for what they want. Use color as a trigger and you will find the fish.
Captain Mike

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