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Do you scout your fishing spots?

 

Lets say I can fish on Monday. During the week when I'm on my way to work or out and about with the family I will scout out some of the lakes and rivers in my area. Checking water level, whether dams are open, how much vegetation has grown and looking for new access points. Obviously weather is a huge player and for that I watch the news for wind and temperature variations. I never want to be caught off guard.

 

Anyone else physically scout locations in advance? (Not specifically for tournaments)

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I scout by using Google earth and iboating app.  I Don't think I've ever put 'boots on ground' without bringing at least one fishing rod.

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13 minutes ago, LionHeart said:

I scout by using Google earth and iboating app.  I Don't think I've ever put 'boots on ground' without bringing at least one fishing rod.

This^^^

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i do this in the winter and early spring i will drive around on a weekend checking out spots it gets me out of the house, i try and find the access 

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Most of my scouting comes from a printed out fishing map that is provided by the ODNR on its website.  Really just looking for the topography of the lake.  Very quickly you can determine which coves should be more productive due to access of deep water, which fingers or points have similar qualities, bluff wall locations, etc.  From there I head out on the water and have a list of several spots I feel will be better than others, and try to eastablish a pattern from that.

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2 hours ago, LionHeart said:

 I Don't think I've ever put 'boots on ground' without bringing at least one fishing rod.

 

Normally either would I. But sometimes I just have an extra 10 minutes to drive to the lake and see what the weed growth loos like or if people have started to put their docks back in.

 

1 hour ago, Mr. Aquarium said:

i do this in the winter and early spring i will drive around on a weekend checking out spots it gets me out of the house, i try and find the access 

Definitely. It's a great way to get my infant daughter to take a nap as well. She sleeps, I find new spots and we are out of the house when it's -5 degrees.

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Whenever  I drive past any water I'm checking it out . 

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Sometimes.

 

My favorite pond is an hour away so I just go there and have some fun. 

 

But I do take a look at the river when I cross it and other bodies of water as I pass them in my car.

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I scout with rod in hand. 😉

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I use Google Maps to see where any water may be near me and honestly there's not much within walking distance that's not private property. Once I find a spot I wanna go check out I never leave without 2 rods and my tackle bag that way I can try it out too. Anytime I'm riding around town and we pass by some water I'm checking it out for possible future fishing trips.

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Absolutely. Even on a fishing day I often do some scouting before I wet a line. It's similar to doing a sonar run, but visual. It actually saves me time.

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I did this a lot when I lived in Florida,. I think the best way to scout an area is to use both in person visits and web tools like Google Earth and Navionics web app, to name a couple. Now that I’m in Kentucky, I don’t scout places in person. It’s too much of a bother driving 30 mins. or longer just to get to water. So, I now depend on web tools and a book of lake maps. I do miss those scouting trips.

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Since day one, lol. I thought I was the only one nerdy enough to do that. I’ve done the googling thing too. 

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When I find a lake on Google Maps I search for it on the internet just to see if anyone else has fished it and what their experience was like. 

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1 hour ago, Bankbeater said:

When I find a lake on Google Maps I search for it on the internet just to see if anyone else has fished it and what their experience was like. 

This^^

 

I actually get slightly stressed over all the ponds I see on a daily basis , driving around working , trying to decide which ones I will try someday.

I am commission only, so I'm never really " on the clock ". So I will occasionally try a pond or two between stops.But I'm still careful about fishing in high visibility areas due to the company name on the work truck !!

I don't scout physically very much because most of the places I fish I often pass by while working.

I check the weather a lot.

If I'm going somewhere kind of far away that I haven't been to lately , I check every source I can find in advance about it.

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I absolutely scout fishing spots. In my case, a "spot" is usually a small individual body of water -- a natural lake, a small impoundment, a manmade pit, a river bayou, or a short segment of a river or stream. If it's not a spontaneous stopover, I'll grab a rod and plan to fish from shore a bit. I mainly want to know things that will help me make decisions about what to bring, where to go, and when, if I make an extended trip. I want to know the following:

1) What are the access possibilities? places to launch a kayak? Where would be the best spot(s) to launch, walk the bank, or wade?

2) How popular is it? Crowds on small waters = not cool.

3) What is the shoreline like? What kinds of shoreline cover am I looking at? Docks? walls? vegetation? trees/wood? 

4) What general "colors" do I see in and around the water, shore, cover? Water stain? Baitfish, crayfish, and other forage tend to take on the tones and hues of their surroundings, and knowing this can help me decide what lure colors to bring.

5) Forage -- what do I see swimming around in the shallows? What are the Bass likely eating?

6) Bottom substrate -- sand? rock? clay? muck? A big help when deciding what kind of bottom contact presentations I'm going to want to bring along next time.

7) Wildlife -- I'll keep an eye out for Herons, Cranes, Loons, Ospreys, Eagles, Otters -- Nature's own expert fishermen are some of the best guides available.

 

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Living near lakes that have winter drawdowns of up to 40 feet, I always check online to see where the water levels are at.

 

I also use the TVA site to see how much water they are pulling as that makes a difference as to how the fish set up.

 

One of the sites I use is lakelevels.info, I like that they show the water levels for the past 2 years in a graph.

They also show how much of a change there has been since yesterday.

 

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I use river gauges on the internet to "scout" my local river.  The river level will tell me if I can safely wade or if I will need to bank fish.  If wading, the temp tells me if I will wear shorts, or waders, or waders with warm layers underneath.  The river level forecast tells me if the river level is steady or going up or going down and from that I can judge (from past experience) how clear or muddy the water will be.

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I always go fish the tourney location the day before. I usually like to find spots on Google Maps as well.

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I scout with google earth and the Navionics web app.  

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The biggest improvement for me is the hummingbird portable fish finder the pod you cast out. I use it to learn the bottom structure. Once I learn the depths, the flats, the drop offs, the holes I then know how to fish it.

i see fish on the screen but pay no attention to them.

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On 1/10/2018 at 1:47 PM, Mr. Aquarium said:

i do this in the winter and early spring i will drive around on a weekend checking out spots it gets me out of the house, i try and find the access 

Same, I mostly look for lesser known accesses (not a paved boat ramp) at places I haven't tried yet. If the lake is being drawn down for winter that is one time I will try and scout out lakes I fish a lot. 

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Yes I do lots of research when it comes to fishing locations and it has helped me find many locations loaded with big bass that I catch.

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