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First Day On A Lake
By Chad  Brauer

Fishing on a strange body of water can be intimidating for many people. Where should I start? What should I throw? There are hundreds of questions that can run through your mind when faced with this situation. Do not let these things overwhelms you. Take a basic approach to the situation and these days can be your most rewarding days on the water.

Preparation is the biggest key to overcoming the first day anxiety. Get a good topographic map and spend some time studying it. I will often spend 20 hours looking at a map before I go to a tournament, even on lakes that I have been to before. This serves two functions. One is to learn your way around so you do not get lost, the other is to identify areas that are important for the time of the year you will be fishing. If you are there during the spring, find spawning areas, or if you are there in the summer, find channel drop-offs or humps. Have an idea of what the bass will be doing before you make the trip, this is mainly based on the time of the year you are going.

I often will choose one part of the lake to concentrate my efforts for the first day. Running all over the lake can waste a lot of time. You can judge at the end of the day whether you need to move to another part of the lake or just expand upon what you have found.

Pay attention to the weather around that lake for a couple of weeks before you go. This can be a great indicator of what the water clarity will be, as well as what the water temperature is doing. These play a big part in my initial lure selections. Do I prepare for dirty or clear water, aggressive or lethargic bass. The internet is a great place to gather this information, as well as lake levels.

Do a little background check of the lake. The internet is also good for this. Check fishing reports, tournament results, tides, etc. These give you more ideas of thing to start with and maybe areas of the lake to concentrate.
Making that first day on a new lake a good one is not as tough as most people think it is. Bass behave in the same ways pretty much wherever you go. Do a little homework, and these trips will not be as intimidating as they were before.

Do not discount the importance that line plays in the presentation of your bait. Line is not just a connection between you and your lure. I always give this great consideration when I spool up.







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