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jimmieO

Scouting Lakes

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Now is a good time to do it. At least it is for us in the Southeast. Our local lake is about 5-6 feet below full pool right now, due to drought. A lot of lakes around the country are being drawn down for winter pool right now, so its a good time to take some time to do some scouting.  We found several brushpiles and laydowns that can usually only be found with electronics. Most were just barely sticking out of the water, in anywhere from 3-7 feet deep, so when the water comes back up, we expect these to be some awesome hot spots about 6-12 feet deep...at least we hope. Also, we were able to get a better idea of the bottom contour of some of the future spawning areas nearby. For those of us that don't have super electronics, or if you're just new to an area, or if you are a more visual learner, now is an awesome time to find some of that stuff and get a better understanding of the bass' habitat.

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Happened around here in 07. One lake we fish a lot was 6-7 feet low. Went out and took a lot of pics. Also used a handheld gps for the stuff that was high and dry. Amazing what you didn't even know was there. Didn't have a tourny there this year, but 09 we do.

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Something else I use for scounting lakes that works quite well is the new Naviontics Hotmaps DVD.  You get updates for new lakes all the time and it has a feature where you can use Google Earth right along with the Hotmaps.  With this feature you can see from a satilite view what is actually there and make and save waypoints you can add to your Lowrance.  I have used it for a year now and find it works great.

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I did this last year when our lakes were only 70 feet down thinking that I could get some really good deep structure located and even shallow and mid stuff so when our lakes filled up this year, I could knock them dead..... i'm still waiting for the lakes to fill.  They are currently down over 100 feet this year.   All of our big lakes are less than 50% of capacity. >:( It really sucks, but scouting the lake I found some pretty cool stuff.  Like cars, boats, bridges, areas that become 15 foot isolated ponds when the water drops.  It's definately a plus to walk the shorline with a GPS, you get a totally different look at your lake.  I always found myself saying, WOW.... a can totally see a DD sitting there.  

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It's truly amazing what you can learn simply by using satellite imagery.  I use both Google Earth and Microsoft's Virtual Earth.  Between the two of them, I have learned an amazing amount about my favorite lake.  The Virtual Earth images were taken when the lake was at one of its lowest points in history.  I could not believe the structure it revealed!

Regardless of my great good fortune on this particular lake, either program has to capacity to indicate submerged structure on many many lakes.

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I use Virtual Earth, Google Earth, the HotMaps DVD, and any documents I can locate online that show a reservoir/lake before it was cleared/flooded. If you search enough, you can find all kinds of information, pictures, maps, etc.

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