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Kenny
06-11-2014, 01:15 PM
If you are on a lake for the very first time and know nothing about the lake and there is no one around to ask for guidance, what are the steps you take or the things you do to try to figure the lake out?

skiptomylu
06-11-2014, 01:24 PM
Get a map if possible and look for places before I go.

CrappiePappy
06-11-2014, 01:29 PM
If I had a similar lake that I was familiar with ... I'd likely fish the new lake much the same as I would the similar/familiar lake, given similar conditions.

If there was no lake I was familiar with, that was similar to the new lake ... I'd get a map and look for the same depths/structure/cover that I would fish on a lake I was more familiar with. I'd section off small areas of interest and concentrate on those, rather than trying to fish the whole lake or fish blindly.

Visible cover ... like standing trees, blowdowns, docks, bridge pillars, creek mouths/points, etc. would/could be a starting point, in the event no map was available.

... cp :kewl

RCC
06-11-2014, 01:30 PM
Launch boat. Set console SI to record. Drop trolling motor and go fishing. Come day 2, you'll know where they're at. You'd be surprised how many fish people drive over on the way from the landing to the other side of the lake.

brushnjigs
06-11-2014, 01:36 PM
First spend some time on the computer finding eveyting that I can of the lake and average size of the fish. Also view satalite shots of the lake, many lakes are at low pool. Then its with map study with creek channels,river swings, points,drops,ledges. First day on the water there is not a lot of fishing involved, its electronics to eliminate water.
Second day is for fishing and eliminate more water.. The third day you should be on good fish for the rest of the week.
I have always done this for classics all over the country and always placed in the top 10, but seldom for some reason put the time and work into local tourney waters. No wonder I suck at local events.

Locator79
06-11-2014, 01:53 PM
Find wood or weeds.....

NIMROD
06-11-2014, 03:03 PM
Lots of good pointers.

slabbacks
06-11-2014, 03:59 PM
I agree nimrod, they hit the main points pretty good. MAP and research on the net. By the time you get to the ramp you already know the layout and have picked areas out you want to try. And like RCC stated...reviewing recordings is great for multiple day trips.

chaunc
06-11-2014, 04:41 PM
First thing i need to know is what part of the country being fished. Second, what time of year. From there i can determine where the crappies are located. Are they in pre, spawn, or post. I've read numerous books on knowing where to look at what time of year. Knowing how the spawn happens from south to north will make finding them , more easy. South will be more over open water and as you travel north, you'll find them closer to the banks. Depending on how far north you are and what time of year it is, they may be anywhere from 15 to a foot deep. Know the basics and fish accordingly. If you're fishing your area, Ill., i'd check the 15ft area and in closer. Look for brushpiles in 5 to 15ft as i do on my home lake in PA. You dont need SI to find them. Try to stay in that depth as you travel the shoreline. If you're in a good area, someone will have brush sank. Find it and fish it.

shipahoy41
06-11-2014, 04:47 PM
I try to get a map or check the local bait shop to talk with other fishermen. I look for coves with woody structure or weeds on a point. I carry binoculars on the boat so i can see where others are and i take notes.

Rdrunner
06-11-2014, 05:28 PM
One thing I do this time of year is to pay close attention to shad being pushed up to the surface and if it continues in the same place more than likely there will be a brush pile or some type of structure there.Iv'e found a lot of good spots doing this.Not much more to add chaunc is dead on with his reply.

Badgerloader
06-11-2014, 05:31 PM
First, get a map and mark likely spots. Next, launch my boat and go fishing.

Badgerloader
06-11-2014, 05:33 PM
First, get a map and mark likely spots. Next, launch my boat and go fishing.

BuckeyeKdog
06-11-2014, 06:40 PM
Find Structure. Depth changes, rocks, trees, clam/oyster beds, weed beds, visible timber is good. A few days ago a buddy and I were fishing a lake that neither of us had fished in 20 + years and we took off at idle and watched the depth finder. Low and behold in the middle of the lake there is a spot 12-15 feet wide 150 yards long where water drops to 28' from 5-6 feet on both sides and yes it was fully of cooperative fishes. We did a lot of C&R bass, crappie, saugeye, white bass, catfish and a carp. The fish were suspended at 18 - 20 Feet. We found something that we had never heard of and had never seen anyone fishing there. An oddball feature in an otherwise 6' deep 100 acre flat.

Tracker123
06-11-2014, 06:41 PM
The first thing I would do is check with the folks here in this forum, especially the state forums. In the past couple of years I have made a few out of state trips to unknown lakes in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, etc. just because. These folks here are excellent. Other than that, the advice stated are good tips.

lshields
06-11-2014, 09:54 PM
One thing I do this time of year is to pay close attention to shad being pushed up to the surface and if it continues in the same place more than likely there will be a brush pile or some type of structure there.Iv'e found a lot of good spots doing this.Not much more to add chaunc is dead on with his reply.

Does this happen throughout the day or more towards dusk? I've been reading where the zooplankton (and therefore minnows and crappie) will move towards the surface as the sun is going down. Would seeing this at dusk be a good sign of where they've been suspending earlier in the day?

kickingback
06-11-2014, 10:02 PM
I look it up on this forum and other websites. Then I scan a few areas first thing. Then I fish!!

tcounty
06-11-2014, 10:19 PM
Wait for a local to put in, then follow the around all day lol

ezfishn
06-11-2014, 10:20 PM
Go where the most boats are...LOL

Rdrunner
06-12-2014, 05:31 AM
Does this happen throughout the day or more towards dusk? I've been reading where the zooplankton (and therefore minnows and crappie) will move towards the surface as the sun is going down. Would seeing this at dusk be a good sign of where they've been suspending earlier in the day?

You could find them anytime of day. Even more likely after the sun has come up and they are looking for cover they move to brush piles more. As stated by others you have to keep in mind that you get situations in some states that would be completely different in others. I personally like the main forum because of the vast knowledge available and you can learn something everyday that can help you put fish in the boat.

dkb23
06-12-2014, 11:54 AM
Sidescan. Enough said.

BoarBuster
06-12-2014, 11:52 PM
I like a map and to ask people that are leaving with fish what area they caught them in not exact spots just the general area.

cpd21
06-20-2014, 11:28 PM
The first thing I would do is check with the folks here in this forum, especially the state forums. In the past couple of years I have made a few out of state trips to unknown lakes in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, etc. just because. These folks here are excellent. Other than that, the advice stated are good tips.

I would also look at old posts from this time last year and compare notes with what they were doing then on that lake...and compare water temps to that time

Luvfatslabs
06-21-2014, 12:17 AM
I pray first

rednecksims
06-21-2014, 06:36 AM
Google Earth is your best friend. I do what research I can and then run to the promising looking places.

DrNip
06-21-2014, 06:51 AM
Let Google Earth be your friend. There is a really neat tool that lets you look at historical imagery. You can roll back time. Helps me out because in years past we had drought like conditions here and many of the lakes were down 6-12' and I can see standing timber and what not that isn't visible today with the lakes at normal level. See pic.

166150

Gomer Snerd
06-21-2014, 09:49 AM
Good binoculars. Also if you see anyone catch one troll behind him. If he catches a few more start the big motor and get ahead of him. If he complains just say "I've been catching them here all week."

stormcloud
06-21-2014, 10:40 AM
Good binoculars. Also if you see anyone catch one troll behind him. If he catches a few more start the big motor and get ahead of him. If he complains just say "I've been catching them here all week."
And when slingshot bearing balls start bouncing off your boat, move at least 60 yards farther ahead.