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Attached is have a pic of a lake that has a very nice channel catfish population. If you didn't know anything more about the lake, where would you start fishing & what techniques would you use?

In case the numbers are hard to read, the lake is 35 feet deep and the contours are 5-ft intervals.
 

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I would fish the deeper areas during the day, the shallows at night and I would try and find any feeder creeks. Also structure like rock piles or logs would be good areas.
 

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i would fish the shallow edge of the deep hole going into that flat right at dusk. they will probably be moving from deeper water to the shallows to feed when it starts getting dark. i would also look for cover (rocks, trees, brush) and fish those areas.
 

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I'd start out fishing the wind-blown side of the lake. If there is a south wind blowing, fish the north side of the lake etc. Fish up against any grass, brush, lay-downs, rocks, or any other cover/structure you can find. Use a good punch bait, dip bait or cut bait of the predominant forage fish from that particular lake should do the trick.
 

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Get out the ol' crank telephone, and wind 'er up. Wherever the most fish pop up to the surface, that's where I would avoid till another day, until new fish move into the spot.

Of course, dynamite also works well. But it's over-rated.
 

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Honestly, though, i would recommend avoiding the shallow area, and fishing around the south end of the lake (using the top of the picture as the arbitrary north). It goes from really deep to really shallow pretty quick, and big channels will like that. I wouldn't fish too shallow, otherwise you'll get alot of the little ones. The bigger channels I'd would say would probably be about 10' deep, cruisin the ledge dropoff. Of course, again, this is night fishing, which is when I do most of my fishing, because the cats are most active then. But during the day, do the same thing. Don't be afraid to fish deep water, but if you're targeting channels, don't go much deeper than 15 feet. Maybe even cap it at 10', especially if it's a smaller lake.

And for targeting large channels, DON"T use stinkbait. You'll get alot more of the smaller ones that way. Use live 2" perch or blugill, or fresh cutbait. The older a fish gets, the more fish is in it's diet. And research shows, that the more fish is in a fish's diet, the bigger the fish gets. So older, bigger channels generally eat alot more fish than other foods.

Hope this helps.
 

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I would drift this lake. Pick a day with a light breeze, something that will push you about .5mph. Start on the upwind side in 2or 3 feet of water and drift across the lake to the other shore. Set up so you do at least 2 drifts through the slow depth changes and through the steep ones. Drag one bait about 1 foot off bottom and one about as deep as the light can go. Use fresh cut bait or raw shrimp. This will give you a good idea of where the size fish you like hang out, although the exact spots will often change, sometimes from hour to hour. A couple other things to consider. Are the cats feeding on schools of free ranging fish such as shad? if so, look for these schools, you'll find cats. Distinct changes in bottom composition will also tend to hold fish, as will defined weed beds. Do you have submerged timber? another good spot. Good luck.
 

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fish it the way you would at any other lake that you fish on.do whatever works for you,dont change your style of fishing just because its a new body of water.you will be surprised how lakes are similar on where they hold fish.
 
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