Catching fish is entirely dependent on whether or not you’re fishing where the fish are. While this sounds very obvious and redundant, it’s also quickly forgotten when you’re in a hurry. If you want to make sure your time on the water is spent fishing spots that give you the best chance of success, you’ll have to do some scouting. Here are the best ways to locate promising fishing spots in your area.
Maps are one of the best ways to find promising fishing spots in your area by looking for identifiable terrain that might hold fish. Lake maps or river maps are the old standard way of getting the lay of the land and they still hold valuable information, but with google maps and other apps that offer satellite views, figuring out the exact spot you want to fish is easier than ever.
Using the maps on your phone, you can scan the banks or shoreline for creeks, fallen timber, brush piles, grass flats, and any other ideal habitat you’re looking to target. These maps give you the ability to look at a body of water like never before and make getting there even easier.
Honey holes and secret spots are real and anglers can be very protective of their most productive spots, but most of the time they’re happy to help. Make conversation with other anglers at the docks and ask if they have any recommendations for catching your target species.
The fishing community is warm and welcoming to newcomers, but that doesn’t mean they will tell you about their best spot. More than likely, these anglers will tell you about some of the more well-known spots in the area but that is better than guessing.
One of the best places to go in search of fishing wisdom is the local tackle shops. You can call but going in person and chatting with the people in the store will be your best bet. The people working at the store have heard everything about fishing in the area for the last several years and will be a wealth of knowledge for someone trying to learn the area.
If hanging out near the boat ramp, docks, or tackle shop doesn’t produce information about a solid fishing spot then you can always just eavesdrop. On larger bodies of water like the ocean and lakes, turn on a marine radio and set it to scan the channels, and eventually, you will hear anglers talking about catching fish.
A quick word of warning, while there is nothing wrong with listening to communication on public frequencies, eavesdropping is generally not appreciated. Also be careful not to use radios for communication unless you’re competent on the rules and regulations.
One of the best ways to learn how to fish in a new area or catch a different species is to book a trip. Paying a guide to take you out on the water will teach you everything you need to know about the right tackle, habitat, techniques, and so much more.
When you book a trip you aren’t just paying for a day on the water you’re paying a guide for their experience that they are usually happy to share. If you want to start learning how to fish your area, check out our selection of guided trips here.