The Minnow Bucket
All good anglers need to have a variety of locations to fish because hot spots may not really be that hot on any given day. Spots get hot and cold depending on changes in the fish’s environment. You should have 10 or more hot spots to fish in the hope that one of them will be hot on the day that you are fishing. So how do we find hot spots?
The most fun way for me is to just go fishing and find out for myself where the fish are biting. You can just go down the shoreline fishing and searching the weedy areas (cover), drop offs, and points (structures) while enjoying the day of fishing. Then just remember what worked for you that day under those conditions and repeat what you learned the next time you face the same conditions. For the most part this is exactly what I did when I taped many of my shows on those small lakes that I fish in the Twin Cities area. Those lakes are small enough to be able to do that in just one day. On larger lakes I can just choose a small section of the lake to concentrate on for the day.
Another good way to find hot spots is to just drive around the lake and see what kind of spots other anglers are fishing. If most of them are fishing points, that’s an indication that you should try some points, the same is true if they are fishing shallow weedy areas and so on. You can also notice exactly which spots people are fishing and try those spots some other time when those anglers aren’t there. Some anglers get a little upset if you idle up to their spot so that you can mark it on your GPS. Anglers like to pretend that they are invisible and that nobody can see them or the spot that they are fishing, but we can see them, and their secret spots can be easily found on any good lake map. Since their spots can be found on any good lake map just move on and let them continue to think that they’re invisible. The downside of this copycat method of spot finding is that you may never know if those anglers are having any success on those spots or if those anglers know any more about what they are doing than you do.
Hey, did I say maps? Yes I did. Maps are an excellent way to find fishing hot spots because all of the fishing hot spots are on the map. Duh right? Well of course they are! There may not be an (X) marking the spots but almost all of the information that you need to find the hot spots is right there on a good topographic lake map. I learned how to read topographic maps in school but you can learn how to read them by searching the web for “how to read topographic lake maps”. (http://www.compassdude.com/topographic-maps.shtml) looked like a pretty informative site.
Oops, I just told you how I prepare for tournament fishing. I guess my secret is out.