WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A LAKE BEFORE YOU GET
Why Fish A New Lake?
NOTE: According to Rick Clunn of Missouri, four-time
Bassmasters Classic winner and the newly-named best
bass fisherman of all time by bass fishing fans across
the world, "How to fish a new lake is one of the
most-common questions asked by anglers.” “I
particularly hear this question when I'm giving seminars.
I never remember having a seminar where someone didn't
ask me how to fish a new lake," Ken Cook of Meers,
Oklahoma, former fisheries biologist, Megabucks tournament
winner and Bassmasters Classic Champion in 1991, told
me. "If I had to pick one question I can bet on
being asked at any seminar I go to, it is about how
to fish a new lake," Larry Nixon of Bee Branch,
Arkansas, former winner of the Bassmasters Classic,
told me. Apparently everyone is seeking the answer
to the same question. But one question that always should
precede how to fish a new lake is, "What information
should I have about a lake before I go to fish it?"
If you have the proper knowledge about a lake before
you arrive at a lake, then your chances of successfully
catching bass will be far greater.
Most anglers agree that to consistently catch more
bass you need to learn how to catch bass on one lake
during all types of weather and water conditions and
at all times of the year. Therefore, if taking bass
is the purpose of your fishing trip, why attempt to
fish a new lake? "To be a good bass fisherman and
a well-rounded bass angler, I believe an angler has
to learn how to fish various types of water under many
different fishing conditions," Gary
Klein of Weatherford, Texas, top tournament angler,
says. "Bass fishing is very much like golf. If
the golfer just plays on his home course all the time,
he never finds out just how good a golfer he is. Then
when he tests himself on other courses in other parts
of the country, he begins to master his skills under
different conditions. The same is true of bass fishing."
If you're angling a new lake strictly for adventure
and using the look-see method, you may or may not catch
bass. I define the look-see method as showing up at
the lake, looking at all the available structure and
seeing if you can catch bass on it. This tactic is usually
the one most anglers utilize when they fish a new lake.
But generally -- unless you get real lucky - this technique
rarely pays off. The other approach requires a sportsman
all the information he can about a lake before he visits
the lake. Then when he actually arrives at the lake,
he knows exactly where he will fish, what baits he will
use and the patterns he will be fishing during the entire
day to try and locate bass. This angler is much like
a surgeon who gains all the information he can about
the patient and the operation before he ever walks into
the operating room and puts the knife to the skin.
TOMORROW: LEARNING SEASONAL
MIGRATION PATTERNS AND NARROWING THE LAKE