It's time to do your home work

When you first visit a (new to you) body of water to fish there are various tools that allow us to become more productive fishermen while on the water. One constant factor that limits a kayak Angler is the limit of range one can travel in their kayak. A Kayak Angler does not have the luxury of being able to cover great distances like a powered craft searching for fish. Therefore it is very important that the decisions that are made about where to put in, where to fish and how to fish are made before we get to the water; these decisions could exponentially increase or decrease our chances of success.  

 We use depth or fish finders/GPS to give us information on the depth, structure, fish, forage, location and water temp while on the water. We also use our accumulative knowledge to put us on fish in a new fishery.  However there are some very productive means of doing your homework at your computer prior to leaving home that will increase your chances of success greatly.

 The First tool I will discuss is Google earth; this will give us a satellite view of the fishery we are planning to fish. You can zoom in and in most cases (depending on water depth and clarity) see the bottom features or shallow areas.  Used in conjunction with a topographical map that shows the contour lines below the water surface and depth one would be able to identify and plot the coordinates for a likely area to fish. Google earth also helps us to identify areas along the banks that have features that also might hold fish. There is also a method of saving the coordinates and converting them to a format that you can load into a Lowrance depth finder/GPS unit and navigate to the exact location.

 The second tool at your disposal is Knowledge of what ever species of game fish you intend to catch. This one is perhaps the most important. You must do your home work in order to understand what type of areas you need look for fish. Being familiar with the seasonal patterns, diet, available forage and habits of any given fish will help you to make informed decisions about where to fish. Keep in mind also that the habits of a single species of fish may vary from one fishery to another. Do not take a short cut here as not being familiar with these things will cause you to make bad decisions about where to fish, when to fish, what bait or lures to use and what techniques to use.

 Of course one cannot discount local knowledge; there is a wealth of information out there possessed by the people who fish any given fishery regularly. This one is a little tougher simply because allot of people think if they tell you where to fish you will take their secret spot and will tell you nothing or give you misinformation. The best source of this info is on the forums. You can read the fishing reports and if they give general locations in their post you can look at the date and make mental notes about that location. You can also ask questions about a particular fishery, there will always be someone that will be glad to share information with you. On the Kayak Fishing Forums that I regularly read there is always someone that will be glad to go out with you and help you get on fish.

 These techniques for gathering information are in no certain order, are general in nature and designed to give you an idea of the effectiveness of doing your homework before fishing. The main point I am trying to get across is before going out blindly and fishing in all the wrong spots with all the wrong techniques and all the wrong lures or baits; do your research and gather as much information as possible connect all the dots to the giant puzzle and catch fish.

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