Locating Fish Tips
- The reason why beginners have such trouble finding fish is that they only occupy a small portion of the waterway. The best locations offer a depth and temperature gradients, have rock piles or submerged cliffs, weeds and submerged logs.
- When fishing a new location, talk to locals, get a map and learn the habitats that support the bass, trout or salmon that you want to fish. In remote northern lakes, a guide offers great value especially from well-established lodges.
- Fish follow repetitive habits, prefer cover and most prefer a temperature range between 58 and 66 degrees. In most locations this temperature range varies from season to season and from day to night. A fish finder is a useful device.
- While many fish spend time at the surface, understanding bottom structures that bass, salmon or trout prefer and how to read and fish a structure, will lead to greater success. It’s all about where fish prefer to live and spend their time.
- Understand water attributes. Understand how fish are affected by various seasons, the depth of water and how temperature isotherms effect fish. Know how fish react to the time of day and the clarity of water.
- Water temperature has a large impact on daily fish life. Temperature effects feeding habits, types of food and the location. If the water gets too warm, they head to cooler and deeper waters. When things cool off, they return to the shallows.
- Check out state, provincial and federal parks as they often contain lakes and streams that are stocked with various fish species. Check government web sites and information kiosks for more details.
- The larger the lake and greater its variety of depth and structures it offers, the greater the fish diversity. Large lakes offer several varieties of bass, trout, salmon, pike and even sturgeon. However, there is a lot of ground to cover.
- Watch bird movements. Sitting black birds indicate a coming storm while birds circling or diving into water indicate a significant presence of bait fish. And where there are bait fish, there are game fish such as bass, trout and other game fish.
- Fish are constantly mobile. A good fishing spot for one day may work the next or even a week from now. However, when the baitfish are no longer present, the game fish will move on. Move around seeking the same underwater structures.
- Filling a mess bag with cut or minced bait and placing it in the water is referred to as chumming. By doing this repeatedly in one spot with the right chum, the appropriate game fish will be attracted. You may have to repeat several times.
- Scents are sold for many reasons. Most of those reasons are without merit. Scents attract fish as much as weather forecasters forecast the weather. More correctly, use scents to cover up your own scent or the scent of fuel from a gas station.
- When looking for deep water, locate points as they are indications of deep water. Cliffs also are signs of deep water. Both attributes are common fish habitats. However a good fish finder or contour map is more effective.
- Weed cover is a primary habitat for many game fish like bass. Weed beds offer a source of food and while they may seek cover there, it is only when the water is cold.
- In summer months, most game fish head to cooler waters when not hunting.
- Overhanging trees offer a great place to find game fish. They provide shade and food from the insects that inhabit the trees. During rain storms or steady rain, bugs often fall into the water attracting bass and other game fish.
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