Fishing unfamiliar water

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Pontoon, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. Pontoon

    Pontoon New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    California
    I just thought I would throw this one out to some of the more experienced cat fishing experts. I have been fishing a new lake here in So. Calif. and it is a very large body of water that was stocked with Blues and Channels when the lake was being filled. These fish have now become established and are doing quite well. I've been able to get fish up to ten pounds and the new lake record was just set at thirty eight pounds. (channel cat)
    My question is what are some of the things that you look for or do when fishing a new lake or body of water?
     
  2. jlcclh

    jlcclh New Member

    Messages:
    84
    State:
    Virginia
    Well, im certainly no expert but, I look for: humps, drop-offs, points, structure, and shallower flatts with deeper water nearby. Hope this helps a little.:smile2:
     

  3. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY

    BINGO! Apply the same techniques ya would use on your own home field. May take a bit to learn the body of water as well as ya want but it will come with effort. Good luck to ya.
     
  4. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I agree with Big George, just use the same techniques that u use in ur home waters.
     
  5. Pontoon

    Pontoon New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    California
    Thanks for the responses. I plan to look for the same structure that we have in our local lake but this one seems to present a few different scenarios. This lake (Diamond Valley Lake) is quite rocky and I'm thinking that I need to look into ways to keep the bait a little ways off the bottom. I've seen where sometimes floats are used for this purpose so that will be one experiment I'll be trying.
    The next thing that I have noticed while trolling for trout is that a lot of times the trout will be in the shad balls going to town on the shad but just below the shad balls there are a lot of times some pretty large marks that show up on the finder. I'm thinkin that jus maybe these marks I see below the shad could be what I'm looking for. Next time I see a situation like this I'm going to try drifting bait just below the shad.
    Once again, thanks for the suggestions.
     
  6. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Messages:
    782
    State:
    Gore, Okla
    First thing I look for at a new body of water is... a MAP. A topo if available, but a map is invaluable to help locate the type of water that I like to fish.

    Personally, I look for shallow water (1 to 3 feet) in stumps or with other structure with a creek channel nearby that provides an escape route to deeper water. The season also dictates the structure searched for.

    Spring... waters from 2 feet and shallower in the headwaters of creeks as far up as the boat will go.

    Summer... same as spring with the addition of waters as deep as 5 feet.

    Fall... waters from 15 feet to 2 feet in standing timber or stumps

    Winter... deepest holes in the lake during the day, 5-25 feet in the night.

    Experience with your technique dictates where you are comfortable.
     
  7. sw2324

    sw2324 New Member

    Messages:
    64
    State:
    Texas
    Did you say 38lb channel cat???????

    Wow check the record books because that is a giant for a channel.........
     
  8. EricM

    EricM Active Member

    Messages:
    362
    State:
    Harrison TN
    Name:
    Eric Maurer
    It is a giant for a channel, but the current record is 45-0 and a 44-0 from California holds one of the line class records. There are several over 40 listed! I wouldn't have thought!!!
     
  9. Pontoon

    Pontoon New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    California
    I'm sorry guys I checked and it was only 32.8 pounds. The report I got from the marina stated it was a channel cat. I'll have to check a little more into that. I was told by the lake staff that several large catfish were transplanted from another local lake.
     
  10. Pontoon

    Pontoon New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    California
    Just a little information on the 44lb channel caught in Calif. the fish was listed in the 2002 World Record Game Fishes magazine in the 16lb line class caught Oct. 12, 1995 at Irvine lake. Even better it was caught by B.O.C. Member Muskyman.
     
  11. CATFISHPAT

    CATFISHPAT New Member

    Messages:
    421
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Hey Bro Id be looking for some structure that is close to some deep water or sharp drop off's,Dimond Valley is Next to Hemet I lived there for 10yrs and it get's way over 100 in the summer so structure will be the key in this lake..
     
  12. special liberty

    special liberty New Member

    Messages:
    295
    State:
    Maryland
    A trip with a "good" guide can cut A LOT of time off a learning curve. Have him show you around, explain the "how comes" and "what for's". Closely observe his rigging and how he sets up on the water. A good guide will teach ya, unfortunately there are some not so good guides out there.
     
  13. bhunt

    bhunt New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    *Required*
    If it is a large lake take a small area and learn it real good. Dont try and learn a big lake all at once because you will spend more time running around to the differant places in stead of having your lines in the water. Once you start catching fish in one area than go learn a new small area and soon you will have several good areas. Im no pro but that is what works for me. Good luck.
     
  14. jerseycat9

    jerseycat9 New Member

    Messages:
    2,544
    State:
    Oakwood Georgia
    Yeah I have been having trouble locating the fish in the lake by me but I moved from Jersey to Georgia and the lakes and rivers here are totally different than back home mostly rock and mud little vegitation if any in these lakes. I had bought a topo map yesterday and there are some interseting things on this lake that Im gonna fish. The info that you guys posted is good info and plan on using it
     
  15. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Terry I have little doubt that the big arcs uner those shad balls are blues probablly mixed with stripers. Suspend some cut shad down to that depth and drift through. Another good source of info can be found at the dock and the bait shop. Around here if you strike up a conversation with a catfisherman you usually can gain a little info on how and where and what.
     
  16. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    The first thing I do when heading to new water is find a map. Sometimes you can buy one, but often Google Earth is the best alternative.

    Next I look for points. Those are some of the first places I like to target. Points offer great fishing spots in various conditions and times of the year.

    Creeks would be my next choice, and probably more important during certain times of the year. Shallow flats in the back and the creek channels offer opportunities during different times of the year.

    From there you can broaden each of these areas into underwater structure like humps and channel ledges.

    The bottom line is that new water takes time to learn.
     
  17. Pontoon

    Pontoon New Member

    Messages:
    180
    State:
    California
    Thanks for the responses and suggestions. I'm hoping to get out to the lake this weekend to try some new territory and try some different techniques for the catfish in this lake. I'm definitely going to look for the shad schools and drift through them.
    It's pretty hard to get any information at the docks or the local tackle shops because as of yet there aren't many people targeting the cats.