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Bass_Akwards

Fishing from a boat vs Shore

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I just got a new pontoon boat.  No motor, no glitter, just oars. But it's a boat and it get me off the shore.

I also just bought a fish and depth finder for the first time.

My first question is, how should I fish from the boat? The shore leave little options, but a boat opens things up immensly.

For example, What should my first few days be like on the boat in terms of finding good spots to fish?

I fish a 50 acre gravel pit.  There's absolutely no cover whatsoever.  Should I take a couple hours and not even fish the first time out?  Should I just take the electronics I got and cruise around the lake looking for structure that bass might relate to before even fishing the pit?

Help a shore fisherman with some tips for fishing from a boat.  Should I be spanking the bank even at high noon on a blue bird sky day?  Or should I head for deeper water in the middle of the lake at that time?  

Since I'll be fishing structure, what types of structure should I be looking for the most, and how do I identify it?

What baits do you guys like to throw at the different structures?  Do you use the same baits on a 22 foot ledge, as you would fishing a different type structure?

Thanks!

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The questions you have asked aren't really black and white and can't really be answered with simple, token responses. My best advice would be to buy some fishing books and read as much as you can. In Fishermen's Largemouth Bass: A Handbook of Strategies is an excellent choice. As for going out the first time on the boat, my advice would be to cover as much water as possible and try to get a feel for the parts of the lake you haven't seen before.

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I would head out with the new electronic and check out new water.  I banked fish for a long time before I got my boat and when I didI went looking for new fishing holes.  Look for visible and underwater structures.  Familiar yourself with the body of water you're fishing.  Once you found new spotsyou're fishing arsenal and approach will broaden significantly.  Go out and enjoy the new scenery.  

There are so many factors that will play into the way you will approach a situation.  Seasonal patterns, weather condition, boating pressure, and etc.

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go looking for structure and stuff with your electronics but take a rod with you so if you do find something try and get a fish off of it.. thats what i do when i look for brushpiles with my boat.

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While there may be no apparent cover, unless the lake is perfectly round, smooth and bowl shaped, there will be structure in which the fish relate.  Even without clear structure, they will favor certain depths at certain times of the day, year, water temperature, etc.  I'd recommend you spend the first day or two just cruising around, observing things, and studying the electronics.  Then make notes about what you see.

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it basically just comes down to whatever you want to do, sure you can go play with the electronics all day, but you wont catch anything if you aint fishing. If it were me id just go fishing after you find some fish then look to see where your at on the depthfinder, or vice versa but just go out and let er rip, grab a rod and go fish

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First things first use your depth finder to get an average depth then find the drop offs or any humps or ledges.Throw a carolina rig like its going out of style.A depth finder and a c-rig are like having a second set of eyes,you can learn a lot about whats down there and your options of lure choices will broaden from there.Lures such as cranks,spinnerbaits,texas rig,jigs,dropshot,all good on structure.

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congrats on your new boat and its great vs shore

because now you cant say if my rod could reach just a little futher...lol

but im new to boating too and what has help me alot is asking question

to the locals fishing the lakes...i catch people coming in at the ramps ,

at tackle shops ,  all the time and i ask them questions...what lure, what depth, etc...and i always tell them thanks for the info and that im new to fishing and i really apprieciate the info ...

i havnt ran across any1 rude or mean they all seem happy that some1 is asking them for advice.... 8-) 8-)

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This is how I started fishing when I was a little kid.

First time out I would fish just off the drop off rowing around the pit using live nightcrawlers on a crawler harness.  If there are fish you won't have to find them, they will find you.

Once I have ascertained that the fishing is worthwhile I would then start tossing lures.

Good exercise too.

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Rather than focusing on a string of keepers your first day, I suggest getting a feel for your new pontoon boat without a rod. It's a little weird sitting on the water like that. It shouldn't take you long to trust your boat, but it might take a few outings. I say go out and see what it's like to row and stop and to use your depth finder from your seat. Consider flippers too.  Take a rod out next time. It's a little more difficult learning to cast and steer your pontoon at the same time, so don't expect to be landing a boatload of bass that time either. You need to keep yourself safe though. For me, it only took a few trips to get comfortable and be able to coordinate everything. Pontoons are sweet; I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself! And don't freak out too much when you do hook up with a big one and she actually pulls you along for a while.

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Thanks guys, good advice as usual.  

Will be interested to see if there's even any ledges or dropoffs in an old gravel pit.  I've pulled some 6+ pounders out of there, and saw an 8# caught and released in this pit.  In a place where the state record is 11.6, that maks this pit one hell of a fishery.

Now I just have to figure out how to fish it, especially during the day.

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I own a small bass boat and a fishcat pontoon I still love my toon!  Buy flippers! With very very little effort you will be moving across and around the water leaving your hands free for fishing!  Best 30 dollors too spend for toon fishing.  I'm still trying too learn a fishfinder after 3 years good luck and tight lines.

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Well Bass - Im in the Same boat as you (No punn Intended) I just recently bought a 20 HP 14ft bass boat and i was CLUELESS once i got to the water.

Id recomend spending your first full day on the water figuring things out. In my case that was how the ignition / speeds worked, How to unload the thing, how to attach trolling motor and batterys, checking for leaks, fixing lighting issues etc. After i was confidant enough i left the boat ramp and just circled as much of the lake as posible getting a feel for the boat. My poles were on bord but I didnt touch them until my return to the boat ramp.

I spent the first 4 hours or so looking for places to fish and when i found them id mark them on a GPS, Then go look for a few more. The next day I fished. No catches but fished (Took me a while to get used to the Trollin motor)

Lern your boat the best you can before fishin Is what i was told when i asked a similar question.

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Well now that i have a boat, questions about the "middle of the pond" come into play.  I never had to worry about water more than about 50 yards in front of me fishing the bank.

Now that I have a boat, fishing a 50 acre pond, becomes much more complicated.  For example, if I go out on a bluebird sky day, should I be spanking the banks still?  Should I head to the middle of the lake where the water is deeper, and fish there?  

Since there's really no visible cover (vegetation, brush piles, shade)

I figured the bass would be relating to deeper structure like Humps, dropoffs, or even large boulders during this time. Is this true?

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Yes and No.... I know thats not the answer your looking for but it depends on the temp .. water temp and more - Do you have a Fish finder? if anything id sugest getting the Hummingbird 190 i think is $80 bucks at BPS. This might help you find structure ... id start there.

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Bass_Akwards stated:

Well now that i have a boat, questions about the "middle of the pond" come into play. I never had to worry about water more than about 50 yards in front of me fishing the bank. Now that I have a boat, fishing a 50 acre pond, becomes much more complicated.

Therein lies the conundrum. Some fishermen who have only fished from the bank believe that if they can just acquire a boat they will diminish the days when the bite is tough. Unfortunately, once you have a boat, not only is other productive water accessible to you, but more unproductive water becomes accessible as well. And the majority of the water is unproductive so you must read your electronics well and know what structure/cover/forage combinations to look for, based on the bass season and weather conditions, to increase your productive fishing time. (The larger the lake the more this comes into play.) It generally doesn't come to you overnight even with reading and advice. Time on the water applying the information is imperative. Learning to read your electronics is invaluable. You have to know what you are seeing on your two dimensional screen and interpret it in a three-dimensional manner to know what it is showing you beneath the water.

(My experience:  I fished small lakes as a kid in a boat.  I thought I had arrived.  When I bought my own boat and decided to fish very large lakes I received a rude awakening the first few times I went out.  You have to learn to fish where the fish are.)

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Now that I have a boat, fishing a 50 acre pond, becomes much more complicated.  

Not really, esp at only 50 acres.

For example, if I go out on a bluebird sky day, should I be spanking the banks still?  

A bluebird day is tough all over the pond. None of our ponds offer "deep" water, that can shield the effects of such a day. I believe I know the specific pond you are talking about, neighbor. If it is the same water, it's ~13 feet at the very deepest and 10feet or less over much of the rest.

What a "boat" offers is access to more areas to fish. Shoreline areas are certainly a good part of this -you now have access to the entire shoreline (although there are advantages to the shorebound approach in many areas, and you can pull out anytime you feel the need). Boats also offer different approaches and angles on areas that you can't achieve when shorebound. And a boat offers access to offshore areas, some visible, some not -found by observation, C-rig, and electronics.

Have fun. Explore some, fish some.

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