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Finding Fish on New Waters

3 August 2016

A friend just stopped by my office with a map of a lake he is going to fish this summer. Like many great Quebec fisheries, this one is a fly-in-only outpost, so he and his family are on their own when it comes to catching fish…and that’s exactly the way they like it!

Finding fish on new waters is one of my favorite things to do and over the years I have worked hard to develop the skill.

Here are five ways to get on fish fast in new waters:

  1. Narrow your search —- look first at areas like waterfalls, creek mouths, neck-down areas and others that concentrate fish.
  2. Offer a variety of presentations until the fish tell you what they want. If you plan to jig for walleye with three others in the boat, use different jig sizes, colors and jig strokes until the fish provide feedback on which combination they like best that day. By using multiple options, you narrow that information down much faster.
  3. Think seasonally. You can catch lake trout in shallower waters during the spring and fall months, but during the warmer summer months they will be found in deeper holes.
  4. Spread out—if your fishing party is made up of two or more teams in different boats, set out to different areas of the lake to see if one area is producing better than others. Meeting at a pre-arranged location for shore lunch allows you to compare notes and tweak your afternoon plans.
  5. Ask your outfitter, camp manager or other anglers to help provide tips on depth, baits, etc. The key is not to ask for specific spots, but for generalized information that will allow you to narrow your search.

Good luck on the water!

By Steve Pennaz.

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