Every single fisher out there has probably Googled “where to fish near me” to try to find some new local fishing spots. I do it all the time but there’s actually a simple way to find them and in this post, I’m going to be showing you how to find good fishing spots near you.
It’s not always easy finding good fishing spots but it’s definitely worth spending the time because fishing is so much more fun when you’re catching stuff. That’s why I always spend an hour or two on the computer looking for potential spots before I go out. When I get out there I want to spend my time fishing and less time scouting and you should do the same.
There are a few things you’ll need to factor in when you’re looking for a spot. You need to understand the season and what the fish are actually doing, you need to make sure you can actually fish there, you need to find good above water locations, and you need to find good underwater spots. Let’s jump into the process.
Understand The Seasons
The first thing you need to be aware of is what season you’re in. Fish act differently throughout the year and will be in different parts of the water. They’ll do one thing in the spring but the opposite in the winter.
As a general rule, fish will be shallower in the springtime as the water warms up. When things get really hot or cold then they’ll move deeper. It’s not that way 100% of the time but it’s a pretty good rule to follow.
In the springtime, you’ll have fish moving shallow and they’ll become more aggressive (you can use faster lures/baits). If you get a good amount of rain they’ll look for somewhere to hide. It could be under a pile of bushes, near a fallen down tree, under docks, or wherever else. Just by knowing this you can focus your efforts and hopefully catch more fish.
In the summer and winter months, the fish will be much deeper. They go deep in the summertime because the water isn’t so hot. They go deep in the wintertime because the water is warmer down there. They don’t generally move too much in these months so you’ll need to slow down your lure/bait because they don’t really want to chase things.
The next thing you want to make sure is that you’re allowed to fish that area. I’ve looked up a new fishing spot a few times and went there only to find it was private or there weren’t any access points. Don’t be like me and make that mistake. I’ll show you how to quickly check this in the next section.
The first thing you want to make sure is that you’re allowed to fish there. If a body of water is surrounded by houses, it could be private land and you might want to avoid it. If there’s a parking lot or public road alongside it you’re probably good.
The next thing you want to be sure of is that you can actually get to the spot. Some spots don’t have a road or trail access nearby and some spots have way too much bush to trek through. It sounds simple enough but it’ll make you feel pretty dumb if it happens.
The easiest way to find new fishing spots and tell if it’s a spot you can get to and fish is by using Google Maps or Google Earth. I always do this before I go out to find 3-5 potential spots. It’ll save me a bunch of time and I’ll have much better odds of actually catching something.
These tools are going to show you an overhead view of the area so you can look for bodies of water that show potential. You can also see trails, docks, boat launches, parking lots, and even structures in the water. You’ll just quickly be able to see what’s going on in that particular lake, river, or ocean. Here’s a video showing you how to find fishing spots using it.
The most important thing to look for is an area with a lot of cover on it. This could be lily pads, weeds, rocks, fallen trees, brush piles, docks, bridges, funnels/pinch points. Anywhere fish might be hiding under is where you want to be. You can also look for creeks and streams that are funneling into that body of water.
Here’s a beach fishing spot I was able to find that ended up working pretty well. You can see two sandbars and a deeper pocket using Google Maps. It would be really tough for me to see this if I was just walking along and it would cost me a bunch of time.
Here’s another spot I found on Maps that showed me a spot that had pretty deep water, vegetation, and two sunken trees. This was a great spot for fish to hang out in because there’s a lot of cover. It turned out to be really good as well.
This is a spot in the river where the fish were being pinched off. They’d swim up to this point and there wasn’t anywhere for them to go. They were being piled up there and that made things pretty easy.
The final picture I’ll show is another place I found using Maps. It showed me there was a parking lot across the street and there were a number of sandbars in the river where a bunch of fish was sitting. All of these were found doing a bit of research beforehand and it paid off.
The last thing you can do is use a tool called Navionics to see what’s going on under the water. This is incredibly useful because there’s no other way you’d be able to tell. This is going to show you the exact spot where fish are most likely to be.
When you use this you’ll be able to find deep pockets, lumps in the water, steep drop-offs, and a number of other things. These are all spots fish like to hang out. Using this with the other steps is a surefire way to find a goldmine. Here’s a video that shows you how to use it.
The first thing you can look for is where the lines get really close (below). This is going to tell you where the drop off points is. Baitfish like to sit along the ledge while gamefish will be a bit lower (waiting for something to come by). Fishing along a ledge is one of the best ways to catch fish, in my experience.
You can also use it to find deep pockets in the water (below). The circle (where the arrow is) is a perfect example. The number on the circle says 328 and everything around it are in the 200’s. This would be a great place to toss a jig or something like it to catch something good. If the number was in the 100’s instead, it would tell you that’s a lump in the water and that’s another awesome spot to toss your line.
There you have it. If you use those steps you’ll never run out of new fishing spots to try. You don’t have to use all of them but the more spots you can narrow down, the more time you can spend fishing and the better your chances will be. I always like to spend an hour or two researching 3-5 potential spots I want to try the next day and things always seem to go smoother.
Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.
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