Nothing beats the thrill and excitement of going to a new lodge to fish a new lake. The anticipation of catching that fish of your dreams, or, a mixture of lots of action with a trophy fish or two is almost unbearable.. Everything looks so good as you start up the outboard, but where in the world should you start fishing?
No matter what species of fish you are after, by being prepared and following some rules, you can find fish fast and easily. And that’s about as fun as anything when it comes to fishing!
Before You Go
Once you have decided on a lake/lodge you would like to fish, the first step is to see whether they have a good-quality topographical map. What a map of this type shows is the depth throughout the body of water and the structure the lake contains. By pinpointing sudden depth changes or islands and points, you will be well on your way to finding fish.
Take a waterproof pen and circle any areas of the map that have a good possibility of holding fish. These can be things such as underwater humps, weedy back bays or islands. This map will become your eyes while out on your new body of water, and will ultimately lead you to success.
Another tactic employed is researching any information on the lake. This can be in the form of speaking to references, ask the lodge hosts, or simply studying the map provided on our website. There is a ton of first-rate information out there, and it can all increase your odds greatly.
On The Water
Once you have finished your homework, it is time to apply it to the real thing. One technique when starting out from the dock is to run a graph while traveling up and down the lake. This will help locate weedlines and bottom structure, and will be used in conjunction with your map. Run the boat for an hour or two while investigating the lake before even throwing a cast. Once it is time to make that first cast, be sure that it will be in a productive spot. Watching your depth finder as you motor around the new lake can help you find structure more likely to hold fish.
Marker buoys are a favorite trick when it comes to “virgin” lakes as they can help you pinpoint and stay on productive structure. Although they will not necessarily mark the fish, they will enable you to stay on cover or structure that will be holding the fish. Take one-half-dozen of these markers while hitting the lake, and toss one over the side when you come across a productive hump or point. A great use for these buoys is to mark a long weedline so that you can troll its edge with accuracy or keep your casts in the strike zone longer. This trick has salvaged some days for many anglers when facing new water.
What To Throw?
When fishing a new body of water your main goal is to find fish fast. One of the main ingredients of this credo is to cover water quickly and efficiently. By incorporating a “fast-moving” lure, you can be assured that fishless area can be quickly abandoned, while also hooking the most aggressive fish you come across. For walleye, a good choice of bait is a spinnerbait or buzzbait, while for pike it’s a bucktail or spinnerbait. By keying-in on the productive water you already have found, coupled with this high-percentage technique, you will find yourself in the midst of accommodating fish.
Regardless of the species of fish you target, throwing a fast and efficient bait will increase your odds for success. Once you have caught a number of fish with this rapid-fire technique, it is then time to slow things down and carefully go over the area with a slower-moving presentation. This also is a great time to toss a marker buoy so you can stay directly on this productive spot you have unearthed. If the fishing starts to slow or the conditions begin to change, simply move to another productive area you had found earlier in the day.
When To Go?
In order to increase your odds on your trip to a new lake, you should watch the weather forecast for the days of your trip to the lake/lodge. Several days of calm, stable weather is a good sign that the fish will be cooperative. It also may be better to fish earlier in the day or towards the evening if the conditions have been unusually hot.
Fishing a new lake can be a fun and rewarding experience for an angler and with the aid of the lodge hosts you will be on your way to having a great experience with many lasting memories. Try these tips and tactics when you try your luck at a different spot, and reap the rewards that your new found lake may hold.
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