In the beginning, anglers just starting out will spend a lot of time researching gear and tactics, but ironically, the most important part of fishing gets overlooked. The most important rule to remember when starting out is to fish where there are fish. This may seem obvious, but anglers spend a lot of time casting to vacant habitat wondering why the fish aren’t biting. Here are the best ways to find fishing spots that actually hold fish.
Technology has graced the fishing community with apps like Fishbrain, which provide crowdsourced fishing information that’s incredibly useful when scouting an area for the first or hundredth time. Fishbrain has map tools that show previous catches and predicts what the bite will be like right now. Other features provide information about water access, regulations, and local tackle shops. These maps and features can be one of the most valuable scouting resources if it’s used proactively.
Maps are one of the best ways to find promising fishing spots in your area by looking for identifiable terrain that holds fish. Lake maps or river maps are the old standard way of getting the lay of the land, but google maps and other digital maps have started to take over. Paper maps come with a key full of points of interest, water depth, and vegetation around the lake that may not be available on digital maps.
Using digital maps makes it easy to scan the body of water from a bird's eye view looking for fallen timber, brush piles, grass flats, and other structures that hold fish. 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 tend to be very protective of them, but many times they’re still happy to help. Make conversation with other anglers at the docks or local tackle shops and they will likely tell you spots and techniques for catching your target species. The fishing community is warm and welcoming to newcomers, but this doesn’t mean you get to know their best spots. These anglers will tell you about some of the more well-known spots in the area that frequently produce.
One of the best places to go in search of fishing wisdom is the local tackle shops. The tackle shop employees are another amazing resource for knowledge because they have heard everything about the fishing in the area for the last several years.
One of the best ways to learn how to fish in an area or just catch fish in general is to book a guided 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’re paying for a day on the water with a guide that has experience and knowledge of fishing that body of water. Guides will happily share what they know to help anglers get started in the sport. If you want to learn how to find fishing spots while catching fish, check out our selection of guided trips