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New to the site and reading back through the South Carolina posts, I have a question that I haven't seen but apologize if this has been covered before.
How do you go about attacking a new lake? What is your process for a starting point? How do you eliminate areas where you don't want to waste time? Any thoughts on your way of going about taking on new water.Thanks in advance.
 

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Gene, welcome to the BOC. James said it right. Bait. Bait. Bait. Find the bait and you'll find the fish. Get you a map of the lake if you don't have one. That will help the most. Good luck and welcome to the BOC.
 

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Find the river and drift both sides of it going down and coming up. I have more luck on the sides rather than in it. I fished Marion Thursday and had 3 on at the same time coming up the side of the channel. If you are drifting, sooner or later you will run into fish. I agree 100% you have to find the baitfish and then you will find fish. I keep a record of everytime I fish to help in the years to come.
 

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A good lake map for me eliminates alot of places before I even get on the water, really study the maps, that way its easier to pin point the main channel, creek runs, humps, ect. Before I go I look to find places that really look like they would be fishy. At least you have a game plan before you go.....and sometimes it all comes together.
 

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Bait is a good answer, but how do you know where to start to find the bait? Do you just burn up a tank of gas looking?

Well, in todays world the internet is a GREAT source of info. Most forms of fishing have some sort of forum, i.e. catfish, striper, crappie, etc. All of these groups are generally fishing where the bait is. If you can find the crappie and striper, or the fishermen, you will generally be close to the cats.

The spawn is one variable that can affect where the fish are, but most of the basics of spawn fishing don't differ too much from lake to lake.
 
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