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Smitty Fisher by Kurt Smits - 1M ago

When looking for good places to fish what’s your first step?

Always starting my searching for quality water with access points on Google Maps or Google Earth is really helpful especially when looking at a certain region or area you can quickly find more water than you know what to do with. Your time spent can reveal some hidden gems that may be out of the way or overlooked by a lot of anglers. When trying to see if the parking is any good using the Google Street view is extremely helpful. Be careful this can quickly become a huge time sink if I am looking for new water or over a bigger region I also use google but for searches.

Using Google for searches can be very helpful especially if your looking over a really big area, generic searches will bring generic results “best fishing in Ohio” (I will be using Ohio as an example) will bring up a bunch of generic info diggin deeper by refining your search, be more specific in your search, reading fishing reports even old ones can be key to finding some overlooked water or each state has tons of great info that is available to anyone that our tax dollars pays for so use it. Searching for “fish Survey Ohio” leads you to the Ohio ODNR website http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov which is full of killer info, spend some time looking at this website this is really a powerful tool. My favorites is the “fishing forecast and reports” and “Fish Ohio recognition program” you can find plenty of quality spots to fish between the two and every state has something similar.

Spend time looking at these and cross referencing what ODNR websites with Google Earth you can drop pins on Google maps for boat ramps or interesting areas so you can easily find them later or when searching for the parking. While your at it and are sitting at the computer researching fishing you might as well look at your potential lake or river on Navionics https://webapp.navionics.com you can break the lake down to more and more detail.

There’s one thing that trumps all the keyboard work you can do and that is time spent on the water use these tools that every state has to find your own honey hole and enjoy your time on the water.

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Smitty Fisher by Kurt Smits - 10M ago

With the changing of the leaves brings on big fall swings in the height of the Ohio river, 20 ft swings are not out of the norm. Fall can be my most productive time to fish the Ohio River and its tributaries, some people avoid the falling River who doesn’t like fishing a river on the rise but their are a lot opportunities on falling water.

Do you avoid fishing falling water especially when it’s dropping a 10 ft in a day? I did for years, I had to force myself to fish on falling water filled with debris. With the short days the fish know winter is coming and are focused on feeding, it’s all about the bait fish. Those creek mouths and main river points that were so productive just a few days before on the rise have become a no man’s land, the fish are just not where they used to be.

With falling water points and flats start having more and more current, conditions changing so fast that baitfish have a hard time dealing with all those changing conditions. Its fall time and almost everything in the river is putting the feed bags on now, find the bait and you find the predators. Look for places that offer the baitfish protection from predators.

Look for deep cuts or smaller feeder creeks just inside the mouth of a tributary that are protected from the falling waters current. With a deep pool or back eddy water that has structure around it, a example would be a small run off up in a tributary that has eroded a small protected area that is forming a back eady that is deep, throw in some down trees or giant root balls and you have a perfect example. When you find the right set of conditions the bait fish will be held in tight balls or in the root balls even if you don’t see any other game fish on your fishfinder hang out where the bait is they will come back.

Sometimes when you can fish it’s not the most ideal conditions and falling water is one of them finding the bait can lead to some high number days with mixed bags of spots, smallies, white bass, hybrids and some nearby saugs. We can not control what mother nature does but if we follow her patterns long enough we can see how to use all the different weather patterns to help find fish. Happy fall fishing.

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