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Fishing a New Lake Anywhere
By Sam Anderson
Have you ever planned on fishing on a new body of water and wonder where
you might start and where you might go? I can always remember growing
up in a fishing family and on vacation we always tried a new lake.
My dad, Dave Anderson taught me these tips and every time I go to a new
lake I can hear him say these things to me. My dad would get the
family together long before our vacation started and we would start to
plan. So now is the time to start planning on hitting a new lake
this fall or even next summer. When going to a new body of water
you may want to find out as much about the lake, river or reservoir before
you actually get there. Start planning now for that trip you will
be taking this summer or fall. One source of information that I like is Fishing
Hot Spots Maps They have a variety of maps that contain all kinds
of information about the particular body of water that you are planning
on fishing. Other valuable sources of information are contained in the
pages of In-Fisherman
magazine and the Walleye Insider. Being an avid walleye angler I
have kept the magazines to use as a reference source on bodies of water
that I plan on fishing. Research various TV shows and new videos that teach
new innovative techniques that might come in handy when fishing a new lake.
Some techniques are improvements on old ideas and some are an introduction
to new presentations. The most important
part of finding walleyes is to remain flexible. Don’t just go
to a spot because that is the place where you caught them before.
Fish have a tendency to move and as an experienced walleye fisherman you
have to move with the fish. For example, try new techniques to help you
improve your catch like this one. You should start with your level wind
reel, like a
Iron reel spooled with 500 feet of 8 pound test
XT, tie in a segment of one, two or three colors of 18 pound leadcore,
and finish with
another 50 feet of
8 pound XT, as a leader to the bait. The length of the leadcore segment
varies by the type of crankbait you'll be using and the depth you need
to achieve. For example, in the late fall's chilly water, we've found
walleyes to prefer subtle action lures like a # 7 or # 5
Shad Rap. To get this shallow-diving bait down 30 to 40 feet you
need three segments of leadcore. If you're using a deeper diver like
Shad Rap you can achieve the same depths with just two segments of leadcore.
The general rule is high action crankbaits for warm water, subtle action
for cool water. But remember, with a general rule there is always
an exception. At time, I’ve had to reverse this thought process and
speed up in cool water. Sometimes as fast as 3 or 4 mph! Contact
Game and Fish agencies and the Army Corps of Engineers for up-to-date information
on water temps and seasonal patterns. Once I’ve gathered all the information
I can from the above sources it is time to visit the various tackle and
bait shops around the area that I am going to fish. They want you
to experience success and buy tackle
so they will be honest with you about the types of lures and presentations
that you should use. I also visit the boat landings, resorts, and
campgrounds, you will be pleasantly surprised at the
information you learn at these areas. When fishing on your chosen body
of water use search techniques like a bottom bouncer and spinner to cover
a lot of water. This presentation
will allow you to contact active fish by covering more water. How important
is a specific pattern to the Lake that you are about to fish on?
Well believe it or not it is the most important factor when fishing for
walleyes. Pattern fishing is nothing new; anglers have been doing
it for years. Establishing a pattern is simply described as finding
where the most walleyes are most susceptible to bait. After you have
experienced success in one location refer to your map and try and find
similar locations that have all the elements. Use the same presentation
and you will probably find another very active area. By the end of the
day you will have four or five areas that become your favorite. When
you find a concentration of fish in over 40 feet of water and they are
suspended at 30 feet, start from the bottom and work your bait up to the
strike zone. Most anglers would try to determine how much line to
let out until they were in 30 feet of water. The easiest method is
to let out line until you are on bottom and then turn the crank a couple
of turns and hang on till you have a strike. One last tip when fishing
a new lake is to make sure that you always put some of your fish back.
Selective harvest is great to get a good fish dinner now and then.
Release the big ones and keep some of the smaller
ones for supper. Catch and release is an important concept to all of
us. Especially for those youngsters who will someday be in charge
of managing our resources. Put em back, let em go, and let em grow!
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