Winner Mike Miller asked…When attempting to locate the “right” fish on any given body of water, is it more about having key “spots” or is it more about knowing the seasonal patterns for the time of year and then fishing areas which offer up those patterns accordingly to locate those “right” fish? In short, what is the key to picking large bodies of water apart?

Scott Pellegrin answered…Good question Mike Miller! I will have to say the answer is both. Seasonal patterns will guide you to finding the key spots. As the season progresses the fish move and set up on different key spots. No spot is the day after day month after month spot.
As for finding the right fish the same thing applies. The seasonal pattern and “map study” will get you close, then electronics, your mind and “fishing” will dial you in a bit more. With some luck you’ll finally land on a key spot or area. Not all spots are one rock or one sunken tree. It may be a long weed edge or scattered coontail clumps or…the list goes on. It all varies on time of year, water temp and so on. If you ever do land on a key spot the game changes a bit as you should be able to run around the body of water and keep finding exactly what it is the fish are on. Then finding those “right fish” is just a matter of time. Its a cool thing when this happens because its as if you can do no wrong.

Brandon Palaniuk answered…Mike, great question. You are always best to have a good understanding of the seasonal movements and patterns of bass to help locate fish. This will also give you a good starting point of where you should concentrate your efforts. I generally like to fish patterns because they are easier to adapt to changing conditions, but summertime can be an exception when the fish are off shore. Generally when this happens I will try to build a pattern of what they are holding on and look for more of that, but I will end up fish specific spots come tournament time off shore because that is where the schools of fish are located. Hope this helps.
Brandon P

Pat Schlapper answered…Pretty good question Mike. There are multiple parts to the answer of this question. First of all, I think it is important to try and identify what the “right” fish are on the body of water you are fishing. I like to search tournament results just to get an idea what type of weight it generally takes to do well. Next, it is always important to follow seasonal movements of the fish. Like Scott said, map study will get you close to the areas that will most likely hold fish depending on what time of year you are fishing. Once you get a good idea of where to start looking its a matter of using your electronics and all the other tools at your disposal to put together the best pattern you can. When you start to figure out a pattern it’s important to try to really dial in and find the “spot on the spot.” The more time you spend dialing in your pattern and spots the more efficient you will be on tournament day.

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