Time and time again, I have watched fishermen approach the bank moving from one piece of cover to the next. They rarely attempt a cast into the middle or even approach a prime piece of cover, perhaps making a few casts around the outside edge, and occasionally take a fish. They never even make one cast into the very back of the cover. Why…? “For fear they will lose a lure, or worse, lose a big fish.” Stop for a second and read that sentence again… I would bet my favorite flippin’ stick that you’ve heard people say that before. Heck, I’d bet that you may have even said it yourself.
Exploring a new body of water and figuring out what the bass are keying in on forces you to become a more versatile angler. We all have our favorite fishing holes, but it’s important to challenge yourself and step out of our comfort zone by getting out on unfamiliar waters.
Here’s three tips on approaching new water:
1) Do a little research and try to find out the conditions leading up to your arrival. Air temps, wind speed and directions, water temps, best tactics, etc. Having some local info before you head out is extremely useful.
2) Pay attention to subtle details and changes in the weather and conditions. This will help you adapt when things change. Use the local info you gathered only as a starting point to work from.
3) Fish your strengths first. If you can catch bass doing something you have confidence in, you’ll enjoy the day much more. Save the new techniques for trial on waters that you already know well.
October thru March in the upper Midwest usually means that bass season is pretty much over, most folks take their bass boats in for their end of the season maintenance and winterization and start focusing on deer and waterfowl season. Hey what do you expect it’s the North Country; the first major snow storm comes in and you’re stuck at home watching fishing shows and going in & out of Bass Pro Shops or your favorite tackle store just to keep that desire for April spring fishing on your mind.