Develop an Area – It’s a Process

Fully understanding a body of water can take years so I find it helpful to break the acreage down to something more manageable. Few of us have unlimited time to investigate even a small piece of water and conditions don’t always permit us to go back to the same water each trip. Keep a log of your trips, where you went and where you caught fish. For documenting active spots it doesn’t matter whether you got there four times this year or one time each year for four years. You know the spots will hold fish at some point in the season so heading out to check a proven spot will never be a waste of time.

In the following diagram you will see routes for four fictitious trips and an X for each spot where active fish were found. If you follow by color you can see how the water that was covered started close to shore then the range expanded with every trip.
(This map and spots indicated do not represent research data and are intended for instructional purposes only. Not for navigation)

YELLOW – Working the shoreline to the south of the launch and back. Two active spots were found.
BLUE – Working the shoreline and further out into the lake west of the launch. Revisited one active spot close to the launch and found three more.
GREEN – Ran out into the lake first and revisited the one active spot for a third time, hit the other three active spots from the blue trip then headed closer to shore and found two more.
RED – Hit nearly all the active spots from the blue and green trip then found three more on the other side of the bay.

Each trip we found new spots and also checked on spots that had worked before to learn more about them and to see if they still held fish. The end result can be a marked fishing map with the spots you have confidence in that might look like this (a planned route is included with the spot references):

With so much water and so little time one of the key things this does for you is to eliminate dead water. This technique works great on the “big water” but can also work just as well on smaller inland waters where you may be fishing multiple lakes and aren’t on any one lake all of the time.

(c) Wayne Carpenter

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