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Identification on the Water
Posted by mmagnone, 1/2/2017 04:12:19 PM
 There's a lot to be said about time on the water but more to be said about the time "off the water". A lot of guys come into the shop with the same question regarding Diamond Valley and my personal pursuit of giant bass. What I'm about to show and tell you, many will throw their hands up in disbelief why I'm showing you all my methods but it's just that. My methods. I aim to grow the sport so I'm going to elevate the bar. Some may currently use this method while others may not.

I get this a lot:

"I always see your pictures on the internet. Where are you fishing and what are you using?"

A loaded question indeed but there's more to it than the right bait or the right "1" spot. In fact to baffle the majority, the right spot is the spot where all the right variables come into play on that individual day, at that individual time, with that individual bait. Every bait in the arsenal is a tool and in your toolbox you need to have an open mind through changing conditions. Capitalizing on opportunity is the key to catching larger fish and more of them on average. It all starts with me sitting at my computer. Contrary to what many people chalk up to as me being on the water all the time, I spend countless hours mapping out location based upon current water level and time of year. Rather than party with friends or have a social life like others, I'm more of a hermit. Sounds pretty lame I know, but bass fishing means everything to me and I put forth an immense amount of hard work to excel and maximize my time on the water. Like many of you folks, Google Earth, has been a key part of my strategy in finding high percentage areas. With the "Historical Imagery" I'm able to look at water level in years past to give me clues to where my high percentage options are.

Having this option at my disposal is key in locating potential fish holding areas. The footwork is just as important as the fishing. With this knowledge I'm able to decipher location based upon seasonal migration routes whether it be fish following forage or just fish migrating from area to area. I follow the hard learned lessons about fish positioning and use them to my advantage on each individual area. This is something every angler will have to earn for themselves so I'm not going into detail. Trust me I wouldnt be doing anybody any favors my telling you how to set up. It's a self taught lesson every angler will have to learn for themselves.

Once I have the structure identified (bottom of the lake) I'll watch my weather patterns and use my knowledge of past circumstance to identify areas that boost a potential spot. Wind, sun angle and wind chop are just a few variables I look at when deciphering a spot. I look for irregularities. With the Sun agle time lapse feature I'm able to set myself up on a general "milk run" around the lake based on sun angle, wind direction and wind chop. When I find interception points on a specific piece of cover on a specific piece of structure I've found an area that has potential. Keep in mind just because it looks right and sets up right doesn't mean that it is right. It should just be considered a high percentage location. You as anglers will have to make your rotation through it all times of the day and several days a week if not months to find the correct time stamp. By time stamp I'm referring to the individual time per given day to hit that spot under the most optimal conditions for that spot.

Now comes the hard work. I've mapped the lake out taking Photoshop along with satellite imagery to create a high detailed visual topographic map showing me cover and structure as they intercept with a give contour line. This took me quite a while to figure out and make but the information obtained is extremely valuable. Again, If you want to excel and boost your game, you as anglers will have to go the extra mile and educate yourselves. I promise you once you do, you'll reap the rewards. Knowledge is power!

Once I'm mapped out and know what I have to work with I'll begin the long journey of fishin the hundreds of avenues around the lake learning my angles, my time limits, and ways of approach. It all matters. Some of the most prime location straight down to the textbook could be right but for some unearthly reason; they're not. You'll be beating your head for months on end before you realize that 20 yards down the bank, while hidden on Google Earth, actually has a better set up than the most obvious. Once you have a basic understanding of your areas and begin to map the highest percentage areas and have gone through the footwork of your variable options I use the thumbnail option to set up "push pins" where I've caught fish over 10#'s.

So in conclusion, I may be that guy in the tin boat brushing his teeth in the line, monster cans overflowing from the bed of my truck and seemingly unorganized in my pursuit on the water, but I've spent countless time, energy and money on the journey for these large fish. If catching above average size fish is what you're after, putting the work in right now for years to come will un-undoubtedly be in your benefit. Above all, don't be afraid to share information. I can guarantee you with 100% certainty that it will not affect your bite unless your bite is everyone elses bite . If any of you would like tips how to get yourself organized cruise into Last Chance Bait and Tackle and I can spend a couple minutes with you discussing how to set all this up. I'd love to help others get on some of these fish. If we're busy at the time we can arrange a time to talk.
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