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New lake, same angling approach for early summer largemouth bass

Posted on June 22, 2013

Terry TumaDuring seminars, I often hear questions about locating bass on a new lake. Whenever targeting bass on new water, the key is understanding basics like water temperature, clarity, and the types of cover, natural and manmade (like docks). Think about seasonal fish movement, then determine and target specific locations.

Ask yourself, “What are the fish doing right now?” Are they spawn or  post spawn? It varies on different types of water because of different clarity and depth, both of which affect temperature.

In most north country lakes right now, fish should be post-spawn and moving to and from the first breakline. Once I figures out where to start fishing, I employ search lures. Early in the season that means lipless crankbaits and spinnerbaits. After a strike or two, I consider fish officially located, then switch to my old reliable bass tactic: plastics.

Trying to pattern fish means thinking about their movement and likely haunts.

Too often we think of a pattern as the type of bait or lure. It’s a live bait rig for walleyes or Texas rig for bass. But before we think of that, understand why fish are in a specific area, then apply the appropriate lure.

After fine-tuning with a lure or matching a presentation, finesse even more via color, size, shape and speed. And don’t invest too much time. Too often, we think it takes hours to make a pattern. Not true! It shouldn’t take long.

And be ready for a lure to produce for an hour or two, then stop. That’s why it’s a good idea to try multiple lures with your fishing partner. Two people have  better shot at establishing a pattern than one.

Also, remember that bass behavior will vary between different bodies of water. Habitat and food sources influence that behavior.