Find a good fishing hole

Edited by Rich, Lynn, Maria, Alma

No fisherman wants to give up the location of their favorite spot. However, with research and an understanding of fish and their habitats you can find great fishing holes.



  1. 1
    Two free applications are available and both are powerful and important tools to help find new fishing places: Google Maps and Google Earth.
    1. Google Maps. These web maps show more than just traffic patterns. The maps include rivers and streams and you can zoom in closer for looks at local areas. Google Maps is great for finding hidden ponds and for planning a trip.
    2. Google Earth. This application shares features with Google Maps, but it also has many more useful tools. The maps can be filtered to highlight only bodies of water. Topographical maps are available from the United States Geological Survey to use with Google Earth. These maps can be loaded and saved into the program. Topographical maps are useful for finding depressions where fish gather and assessing habitats. Google Earth is a stand alone application and must be installed. Google Earth is fairly easy to navigate once you get the hang of it.  
      1. Visit the Google Earth website and download the latest version.
      2. Navigate to the download folder and install the application.
      3. Set location. Input the address or coordinates of the location you wish to view at the top of the left panel in the search field.
      4. Filters. Filters can be applied by selecting or deselecting the options in the bottom of the left pane.
      5. Install the USGS maps. Visit the arcGIS web site to find 2D topographical maps.
      6. Download the map of your choice.
      7. Open the file and Google Earth will automatically load the map.
    3. What to do after you have a topographical map.  
      1. Find a river you wish to fish. Search by name, zip code, nearest town names, or any landmark names to find the waterway.
      2. Follow the river with the map. The map will show all the curves, depressions, elevations, and changes in elevation for the entire area. This data can be used to find areas that fish like to hang out in. These maps also show data for underwater locations. Follow the floor of large lakes to learn where the deepest and shallowest areas are.
    4. Plan your trip. When you have collected enough information about the water, use the maps to plan your points of ingress and egress. Both applications can calculate travel time and provide directions.
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  2. 2
    Assess the body of water.
    1. Check the potential for life. It is possible that small ponds and some passages of creeks may not support fish life. Dirty, stagnant water is a sign that fish do not live in the pond. If the water moves too fast in an area of a creek then fish may not feed in that spot.  
      1. How to recognize healthy water. A healthy fish habitat requires a variety of plant and insect life. Too much of one plant, algae for example, could mean that no large fish live in the lake. Only small bait fish and bluegills may live in the pond.
    2. Look for typical fish hiding places. Many fish like to hide near underwater obstructions, such as fallen trees, and in calm recesses. Take a walk around the lake, or a boat, and look for overhanging brush, fallen trees, calm pools, and stands of lily pads.
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  3. 3
    Understand the prey.
    Complimenting research with understanding of fish habits is important. If you're fishing for large mouth bass, you don't use bottom trawling lures designed for catfish.  
    1. Pick a fish. Decide what type of fish you are trying to catch before loading up for a day of fishing.
    2. Know that fish. Check fish research to understand the feeding and resting habits of each fish. Habitat is equally important. Knowing the type of water a fish prefers, the current speed, and the depth gives you another tip in the winning direction.
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Tips Tricks and Warnings

  • Use the Google Earth plug-in. A plug-in has been made by Google which allows web browsers to use the Google Earth application. The features are similar.
  • Always dress appropriately. Mosquitoes and ticks are often a problem, so wear something that will help protect you from bugs. Try to wear the best clothing for the area and season.
  • Take out more than you bring in. Help the environment and bring out any trash you find, including your own.
  • Cheat a bit. You can always take some fish food or bread and sprinkle it on the surface to see who shows up to eat.
  • Follow the birds! A large population of fish-eating birds means that a body of water has a good population of bait fish. Any body of water with lots of little fish has to have some big predator fish as well.

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Categories : Sports

Recent edits by: Maria, Lynn, Rich

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