John's Journal...


Why Fish A New Lake?

Click to enlargeEDITOR'S 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 Click to enlargeanswer 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," Click to enlargeGary 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 to Click to enlargegain 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.


Check back each day this week for more about WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A LAKE BEFORE YOU GET THERE

Day 1: Why Fish A New Lake?
Day 2: Learning Seasonal Migration Patterns and Narrowing the Lake
Day 3: Rising or Falling? The Lake's Water Situation
Day 4: Knowing How Deep The Bass Go And Where They Don't Go
Day 5: Using Aerial Reconnaissance



Entry 313, Day 1