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Hey ya'll! I was just wondering how I could find fish when I'm fishing from my boy, or more or less where I should be fishing. I have a small job boat and can't really troll so I was wondering what spots I should look for to stop and how long I should spend at a spot. The lakes I fish have cover hanging in the water everywhere and it's not resonance to fish them all on a small trolling motor and stopping all the time and dropping anchor.  So what should I look for? Also I know it doesn't apply as much this time of year but does anyone have tips on fishing deep without a depth finder? Thanks in advance!

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look to structure shallow in stained waters

shallow structure like wood and rock, points and humps in clear water

'

try to cover water fast then slow down

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You know, KFA, your question is the one we all want to answer. And it is easier said than done.

Unlike hunting for deer, turkey, ducks, geese or squirrel, us bass fisherman have to hunt in a totally foreign environment for a critter that can outsmart us at the drop of a hat. We have to move from place to place; be able to read water clarity; know the seasons and how the bass react to water temperature changes; watch the weather; and worry about falling out of a boat.

All of the above is foreign to mankind but away we go in search of our prey.

There is no complete answer to your query. I would love to tell you where to go; what to look for; what baits and techniques to use; where the big ones are holding; water depths; water clarity around the bend; time of day; full moon; rain; wind; and on and on. But no one can tell you these things. That is why time on the water is so critical to your success in addition to reading about your foe and learning all you can.

So what CrustyMono penned is totally correct. It will give you some guidance. And so will the other posts that follow. But not the secret place or honey hole on the lake. You will have to find those places on your own.

Now, how to make your life easier? Start a log of every day you hit the water. Pen every fish your catch, where, under what conditions, time of day, baits used, line test, type of line, spinning rig or baitcaster, and do the same for all the ones you miss. There is a log sheet under "Tools" at the top of this page. Make some copies and put them in a three-ring binder and study and review them all the time.

What makes this sport so challenging is that those little green monsters can make us very humble people. The more you know the better your results. So read, read and read. Watch the Forum videos. Subscribe to the Forum on Facebook. And when you read about a specific bait, technique, etc. go to YouTube and look it up.

Good luck and keep us posted on your successes and failures.

P.S.  Please add your location to your avatar as it is critical for us to know where you are so we can give you better input. There are vast differences in fishing in Florida vs. Ohio.

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A good way to start is to slowly move along a good looking shoreline and toss a spinnerbait or squarebill "seaching" for a hit. when you've found a area that produced some hits,.. or even follows.  start all over again in that same area,.. but, fish it even slower with a jig and craw, or a worm, fishing it more thoroughly this time.

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Look for areas with plenty of baitfish. Bass will always be close to their prey.

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3 hours ago, "hamma" said:

A good way to start is to slowly move along a good looking shoreline and toss a spinnerbait or squarebill "seaching" for a hit. when you've found a area that produced some hits,.. or even follows.  start all over again in that same area,.. but, fish it even slower with a jig and craw, or a worm, fishing it more thoroughly this time.

This is the shortest point I've seen from you! Lol 

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I agree with all the previous posts but want to add this : fish the different.  if it's a tree line full of submerged timber there may be bass in there but if there is a larger tree or a big lonely boulder I'd fish it first.  they may be holed up in or on that unique structure.  

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5 hours ago, Yeajray231 said:

This is the shortest point I've seen from you! Lol 

LOL, sorry that i'm mostly long winded in my posts, I try to get my point across efficiently. And I have all day to do so. This sport has so much to offer, and the variables are endless within just about any aspect of it that it kinda forces one to fully explain the why's, where's and how's.

 I just hope that my long winded "rants" ,..at the least, helps someone catch bigger, better, or even any bass. As,... when I was starting out bass fishing? I only had field and stream, bassmasters, sports afield and fishing facts to read, and neither really refferenced freshwater "bass" fishing here in New England. (95% was trout specific) So, I know how it feels to "try" the techniques offered, only to either fail,(and loose a bankroll of lures,..LOL) or figure out how to customize tips to this region. Adding in there that?,... when you've been "angling" for as long as I have? and been forced to struggle at it? You kinda feel oblidged to help others out that are struggling or starting out as well. For trial and error is a rough, and tough road in this sport.

 I feel as if this very site is a godsend to anglers like myself, and for those seeking the knowledge anglers like me have obtained, and are willing to offer it.

 Thank you Glenn, and the mods, for all your efforts

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When asked where to find bass, my grandfather would always say "in the water." That's a good place to start if you ask me.

Find the bait, find the fish. this can be a little difficult without a fish finder, but it is possible, and when I'm fishing somewhere I never have before this is the first thing I would do. A bass is always just waiting for the dinner bell to ring, and when it does they won't want to be far away. 

After finding the bait, it's a good idea to know what that bait is. this is going to help you pick colors for searching. I have a few lakes and rivers near me that are Blue Herring waters, so I know that the primary food source is likely herring; I then fish with baits similar to a blue herring pattern. on lakes that have gizzard shad, or other types of shad I would use those colors. And then obviously if there are no shad in a lake/river/pond I know that I should be using bluegill, crappie, or shiner colors. this will give you a good basis for color starting out, and then once you find them you can go to more flashy colors, or a different bait fish color, that might produce better. 

Next up is quite a bit of searching. some people don't buy in to the whole search bait thing, but it works, and works well. you want to cover as much water as possible to start, and then once you get a bite, switch up and pick that area apart with other baits/techniques. Once you feel you have either caught everything there, or that there isn't much else, move to the next spot. Some good search baits are bladed swim jigs, lipless cranks, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, swim baits, and basically anything that gives you fast water coverage while also triggering reaction strikes. while searching you are looking more for hits to say fish are there, not specifically that what you are throwing is what they want to eat.

And then fishing cover. fish things that aren't the same. If you come down a bank and it's covered in lily pads or grass mats, look for holes and breaks in the edge. if you're fishing grass, try to find drop offs, or the grasses edge; when fishing trees, look for holes between them, or maybe one that comes out further than all the others. these all make great ambush spots and will keep the bass there. 

Another interesting tip that I was told a while back, is if it's really tough, use smaller bait. I always thought it was counter productive, but since bass are opportunistic feeders, throwing something small and slow could be a good way to turn on a school, or just make that one big one decide it's worth the effort even though they aren't ready to feed. 

 

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