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northernsportman

How do you use a lake map to locate fish?

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Breaking down a lake on the kitchen table is an effective way to help eliminate water but there is no replacement for being there. However, some things to look for on a map are tight countour lines (i.e. steep break lines or drop-offs) near main lake points or long stretches of shoreline, any "neck down" or funnel areas, creek, stream or river inlets/outlets, mid-lake structure adjacent to deep water and emergent or submergent vegetation.

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Look for flats out along points, which usually hold fish. As well as the drop offs following that. Steep drop offs, trees, rock piles, different bottom contuer all come into play.

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I do the same thing every year. I get out my Hot Spots map on the kitchen table with my Sharpie and plan out dozens of great spots I want to try on Cass Lake which is where we have been going for 20+ years. Then when I get up there I find myself going to the same 3 or 4 spots that I have been going to for my entire life. Not sure if you can teach an old dog new tricks!!!

Windy

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Now that the water is warming up fish will be moving deeper and I like to look for " butterflys" they are pronounced areas where two peices of structure come together and between them is a saddle. If you look at the contour lines this will appear as an "X" or a butterfly. Check em out you might be suprised. There are lots of them on the big water. good luck.

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Got a follow-up for this question. How often do you buy new maps? Structure changes often, especially in heavily traveled lakes.

I used a map from about 10 years ago, trying multiple spots on it, hoping to find some accuracy, and only landed a few small bass in various places (Not necessarily looking for bass).

I picked up a map at Dick's for a quick browse and chose two spots that looked good about two weeks ago. Went back to the lake, tried both spots, and both of them produced fish. All fish they produced were what the map said they should be, as well.

So I'm not saying that the spots already listed on the maps are more accurate, but I feel the maps in general are probably a lot better. Bringing back to the original question - about how often do you replace them?

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I'm not sure I follow you on structure changing on heavily traveled lakes? The only waterways that typically change are rivers due to the current/volume of water flowing.

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I'm not sure I follow you on structure changing on heavily traveled lakes? The only waterways that typically change are rivers due to the current/volume of water flowing.

I was unaware of this apparently. Well, I know it changes in rivers, but I figure there would be some variation over a course of say, ten years, especially in a shallower bay or lake.

Specifically, I know of a few deep (15-20') holes on Tonka that have seemed to be filled in (Now 5-10') over the years.

Is there no reason to update maps?

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