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mackkie

When fishing a new lake

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I always use a lure and technique that I can cover water with quickly and effectively.  

Such as:

Crankbaits

Burn a spinnerbait

Jerkbaits

Topwaters

And even flipping and pitching if the situation is ideal (right weather and cover)

I normally target shorline cover (brush,logs,rocks) and weeds first.  I like weeds to be my first starting point.  Finding the fish is always the toughest so once you do find them you can slow down and fish with soft plastics or a jig or your favorite technique.

The key to establishing a pattern is to eliminate unproductive water and duplicate productive water.

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I normally first try to find anything similar to my home lake/river that I am comfortable fishing and try what normally works for me in that situation. Then I expand from there. The key is to be comfortable and have confidence in what your doing/throwing.  If that's not working, take a look around and check out what the locals and other boats are doing.  Are they fishing shallow or deep? Slow or fast? You should be able to get a clue from them if what your doing isn't working.

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I normally first try to find anything similar to my home lake/river that I am comfortable fishing and try what normally works for me in that situation.

X2

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I normally first try to find anything similar to my home lake/river that I am comfortable fishing and try what normally works for me in that situation.

X2

Fish to your strengths   ;)

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I always use a lure and technique that I can cover water with quickly and effectively.

Such as:

Crankbaits

Burn a spinnerbait

Jerkbaits

Topwaters

And even flipping and pitching if the situation is ideal (right weather and cover)

I normally target shorline cover (brush,logs,rocks) and weeds first. I like weeds to be my first starting point. Finding the fish is always the toughest so once you do find them you can slow down and fish with soft plastics or a jig or your favorite technique.

The key to establishing a pattern is to eliminate unproductive water and duplicate productive water.

x2

                                                             Ian

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I've been doing alot of this lately and I agree with the guys on this. I will try to duplicate a pattern that works in my section of the woods. Because I'm normally fishing a collegiate tournament the next day I fish much faster than I normally would in order to see more of the lake and see if there are any aggressive fish in an area. Before I see the lake I try to have studied up on it with a topo map and google earth. Awesome software when its up to date!! and I also try to have 3 general patterns to try to run before I hit the water. I think it makes me more focused but thats just a thing for me. When I run out of ideas I normally pick an area that looks nice and run it with a jig and spinnerbait.

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I almost always start with a Fluke.  I have tons of confidence in it and I can work it somewhat fast or very slow.  If not the fluke I throw a crankbait.

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The fist thing I look at is water color/clearity to determine how far the fish can see. Then I adjust my lures accordingly and fish to my strengths.

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I like to look at google earth or a map before I even hit the water. I like to try to find the spots that I want to fish according to the conditions. When on the water I try to find the water column the fish are in and then refine it from there.

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The fist thing I look at is water color/clearity to determine how far the fish can see. Then I adjust my lures accordingly and fish to my strengths.

X2

Also take into consideration water temp and time of year.

It is always easier to start shallow and move deeper. You can cover more water quicker by starting shallow. The deeper water takes a little longer to pattern than the shallow stuff.

It has been mentioned before, fish your strengths.

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The first thing I do is look at a map and try to find an area of the lake that has a lot of options (deep, shallow, rocks, weeds, etc) and I call this my "test" area.  This allows me to try different approaches within a small area to determine what the fish are doing (based on time of year and all the other usual variables).  Once I find success I then expand and find these same areas in other parts of the lake.

This helps me out because I can try different things without trying to fish the whole lake in a day.  I can just go to the areas that are similar to the ones I caught fish on in my "test" area.

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This are some good points. To sort of hitchhike on this new lake notion.

This past year I started hitting Lake Wylie in NC/SC border. While i have been used to hitting large farm ponds with a lot of vegetation, lake Wylie has little to none to offer. It has a TON of docks, inderwater structure, points, coves, etc. So I was forced to adjust and lean heavily on the guys on this board.

So maybe a good way to look at it is Lake type. In Wylie I found Winter, Spring and Fall, coves were the winners. 7-11 ft of water seemed to be the sweet spot where I was going. I mainly used plastic worms. I suck as crankbaits and Top water was doing nothing for me.

In Summer, they were all DEEP. Mainly off of points. I had to use the topo map I had but found it was not altogether accurate in depth once I got some electronics on my boat.

Anyone may have some suggestions on this lake type, or other lake types that could offer some generic type answers to maybe guide folks in different lakes.

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    Get a copy of Navionics HotMaps Explorer for your PC. It sells for around $20...maybe cheaper on ebay. I purchased this a few months back and don't regret it for a second. You can for the most part pick out spots you'll want to try even before getting to the lake.

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Are those Navionics maps recent? The ones they sell for Wylie (in the stores around here), I found out werebased on a 40+ yr old survey. There has been so much runoff from the construction around here that they are not really relevant anymore. Some of the holes on the map are off by +20 fit on depth.

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I am pretty new to the whole thing, but where I fish in SE Pennsylvania most of the lakes don't have any reliable topo maps that I have been able to find. So I am spending as much time on the water as I can with a park map in hand and my nose to the depthfinder, marking the areas where I find the best bottom irregularities and points. In essense I am making my own topo map. In the end it probably won't be super accurate, but for my purposes it will be even better than a commercial one (for me) because I have the map view etched in my mind with the on the water view from the same point and time. I will be able to associate what I see on the map with my on the water experiences. This is something I would reccomend if this new lake is somewhere you plan on spending alot of time in the future. The lake I am doing this on now I would consider my "home lake".

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Easy,  throw a senko in water and catch fish   :P    :D

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These are all good starting points, but the "best" is to go to a fishing site (like this one), find out if anyone is fishing the body of water you want to try, and ask the right questions and you will get the right answers. This will save you HOURS of searching around. Of course, this only works if they want to give you the "right" info... ;) But HEY, us bass fishermen NEVER lie to each other, right..... ;D

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You guys recommending Navionics mapping are putting too much emphasis in technology, maps are cool and a great help .......if you can find the map of your lake  ::), me living in a 3 rd world country there 's no point in having a map cuz there 's no map for the lakes I fish, I gotta go with what I know and what I see in order to find the fish.

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Well after reading everyone elses post mine might not help but a 1/2 oz spinnerbait finds fish for me on wiley

Larger works better in my situation - for loacating.

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I always start with weeds and rocks and brush

then I move deeper if necessary

weeds are my strengh and they never let me down

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