Lake Fishing- Where To Start.
So you want to go out to a new lake to try some fishing. Lake fishing is a very broad topic so I want to give you just a few tips to get started. Maybe you have never fished, or maybe you have fished a lot, it can always be intimidating going to a new lake to fish. You may know that there are plenty of fish in the water, but may not know where to start. Also you have to think about how you will be fishing the lake. Will you be in a boat, or fishing from the shore?
Let's take a look at some tips to get the most from a new lake:
First off, try to do a little research about the lake you will be going to. Who is responsible for managing the lake? It could be a city, state, state park, national park or many others. If it is a larger lake it might have a website dedicated to it from the managing agency. If there is a website it should give you an idea of what fish are in the lake and any regulations you need to know before you go out. Make sure you know the local and state regulations, nothing will ruin an outing faster than a negative contact with a local wildlife officer.
While you are researching the lake look for any other websites that might have information about it. You might find forums or other websites that talk about great ways to fish certain water. In Colorado I found a forum dedicated to fishing that has info on most lakes and has plenty of members that can give you advice from their personal experience.
The next step is to try and find out more about the topography of the lake. Many fish like to be near structure to give them protection. You can check with your local sporting good stores, or those near the lake you will be fishing at to see if they have maps of the topography of the lake. This will show you depths, weed beds, ridges, old roads and bridges and other items depending on the map. This will give you an idea where there is structure close enough to shore for you to reach. Also if you will be on a boat this is important to help you decide to fish and to help you to be aware of possible hazards such as shallow rocks.
Right before you head out to a lake look to see if there are any bait or tackle shops nearby. Often if a shop is near a particular body of water the employees will have experience fishing there and will hear plenty of stories from their customers that have been in recently. I know sometimes I am reluctant to buy something at a small shore by the lake because the prices might not be as good, but if you can pick out a couple lures or find a way to spend at least a little, they are often happy to talk to you. The last time I fished Elevenmile Reservoir I stopped by the marina to buy a map. As the man was ringing up the map I mentioned that I had not been at that reservoir since I was a small boy and wasn't too sure where to start. He opened up the map that I had just purchased and pointed out several locations that had been productive recently. The best part is he was right, we caught fish right where he said we would.
These ideas for "prefishing," should give you a pretty good idea on how to approaching fishing a new lake. Don't forget to take your kids fishing with you and check out my hub on Trolling with Lead Core if you have a boat.
How do you decide where to fish in a new lake? Let me know in the comment section below: