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Do you fish ONE lake... or many lakes?


Slyster

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I wonder- do most of you "serious" anglers pick ONE lake and learn it well.. or skip around to all the local lakes?

My own situation: I live on the east side very close to WBL... and I like to fish on White Bear Lake.. but I also fish Bald Eagle, Phalen, Gervais chain, Turtle, Owasso, Demontreville, Olson, Jane, Silver Lake, etc...

What do you do?

1- Stick to ONE lake and learn it well?

2- Fish many lakes without learning them as well?

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Fish many lakes and learn them all well. It takes a few years, but you should be able to learn quite a few area lakes if you put in enough time.

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More often than not I trudge blindly out onto a lake that some one has said "Hey they are really biting on such and such lake." Summer fishing I would be like a jack of all trades master of none, but on the ice I have better luck. The ice part was a result of plunging blindly at one point and then learning more about it after I got there. My summer fishing does not put much food on the table but we have a good time out in the boat. It's more about spending quality time with the Lil Mrs than fishing. Ice fishing I am out there by myself because the wife is alergic to the cold. Really, she is physically alergic to cold. Take care and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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Fish many different lakes,but when I want or need some fish then I have my go to lake,which always works out for the fish im looking for.Always need to fish new lakes for the challange and someday my go to lake might dry up.

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I fish several lakes and try to learn them as well as I can. The reason I do this is so that if the mayfly hatch or turnover or other events are happening in one lake, I'll spend time on a different lake.

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If I'm catchig fish, I'll keep fishing that lake. If it stops producing, I'll fish a different lake. I probably hit 5-10 different lakes a yr.

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Interesting question.

In my much younger years, my dad & I fished 1 lake unless the crappies were biting in the spring and then we fished 2. Thats the way I was brought up. The distance to lakes and our economic situation sort of dictated this.

This 1 lake we fished had no structure other than points and weedlines. It was a series of interconnected basins. The bass were small, the crappies were MIA, the walleyes were few & far between, but the bluegills were plentiful, big, and hungry.

Now that I'm older and living in a different part of the state, I'm learning a lot more about different lakes. The big reason is the number of lakes available to fish. When I was little, I was limited to 2 lakes but that is not the case anymore.

Lots of these new lakes have humps, islands, bars, channels, flats, etc. Not to mention sand, mud, gravel, rocks, weeds, milfoil, etc. Oh yeah, a bigger variety of fish species also.

I spend alot of time trying new lakes for no other reason than to learn something. I've also been concentrating on new & different species of fish lately. Once again, a new species of fish is a challenge and an opportunity to learn something.

As weird as it sounds, I'd rather go try a new lake and NOT catch anything or try a different species and NOT catch anything than to go to old faithful and hammer the bluegills. My personality requires that I challenge myself every once in awhile and this is one way I do it.

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Well stated Chris! I fish one lake religiously along with a couple of sandpits and the Mississippi River backwaters. Here in the SE part of the state we are water poor. Given the chance I will travel a ways to fish simply because I enjoy the change of pace.

Getting on a new water poses a challenge for me. One of the things I look for is to see just how universal some of the methods and baits actually are and to see the way color becomes a tool towards success. I love a plastic with a purplish body and chartreuse tail portions, regardless of the plastic's shape or profile. What I have found by doing new water is that this color combination has been good in all but a handful of very clear-water lakes.

Chris's mention of being challenged is the epitome of fishing in my mind. Catching the fish is only a bonus.

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I started trying to fish a lot of new lakes this past hard water season. Its fun trying to find new honey holes though it can take work. I usually go on strings where I'll fish a particular lake for a week and then switch. Thats going to have to change a bit now that I'm heading back to work, but it'll be fun to fish lakes that I've only thus far fished on the hard water. We'll see what happens!

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I fish one lake most of the time (WBL) and hit a few others here and there just for a change.

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I fish several lakes regularly, and also I have a couple *home stretch's of a couple different rivers.

It took many years to learn several lakes well.. yes, anyone can have a good day of fishing, but it takes some on the water research to target particular species in different lakes in different seasons.. just because you can catch a few walleyes on Lake Calhoun in May, doesnt mean your going to find them in June-August using the same tecniques in the same areas.. its a game of cat and mouse.

I started fishing a few different lakes, but a whole new world turned when I got a boat. My success ratio went up when I fished one lake primarily and learned about seasonal patterns of different species of fish. Eventually I started experimenting with different lakes using what I learned at the origional location to help shorten my search for my target species... In the end, I learned that some lakes are similar, but most are an entire world apart. Fish will adapt to their surroundings and what is available to them.

I personaly advise people to learn their local lake, or their preferred place to fish. Pay attention to what the fish are doing when, and why. Use the knowledge you have taken to apply to other lakes of similar type, and adjust your presentation from there.

Its impossible to try to learn 50 lakes at a time, but if you use aquired knowledge towards new lakes, you have already gained an advantage on locating the fish on any lake... and if something isnt working, change up presentations and locations until something does. The worst thing you can do is get hung up on a particular location that you were previously successful and refuse to move.

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I like a few lakes well. It is always fun to try a new lake though, that way I find other 'favorite lakes ' to learn.

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Fish many lakes. It does very little good to be come expert at one lake(especially a small one), because then you are are much less prepared when time comes to fish another water. PLus, not any one lake can be an amazing fishery for all species. You've got to move to get variety of species, circumstances, etc.

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In the Metro, I fish multiple lakes, and try to give some new ones a shot every year, both during open water and ice fishing. Learning a new lake can be tough at times, but it makes you a better fisherman. grin.gif

outside the Metro, I tend to stick to one lake where my family has owned a cabin since the late '40's. I know the lake pretty well, and just don't always have time to go to some of the other lakes in that area, but there are a few that I've wanted to get on in years past. cool.gif

I think that if you limit yourself to one lake only, you may become a good fisherman on that lake, but other lakes will remain a mystery, and what works one place, may not work on another.

It's got to be beneficial to fish as many different lakes as you can. laugh.gif

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I like to fish multiple lakes because some are better for different species. Some lakes are good bass lakes, good panfish lakes or good walleye lakes. We also have a variety of lake types in the northeast metro. They differ in size, structure, water clarity and weed types. They all also have different peak times for each species due to the lake variety. If I lived closer to Minnetonka I'd probably spend a lot of time there, and if the st croix didn't have pleasure boats I'd fish there more exclusively too. I also just like a change of scenery sometimes. Once you figure out a good pattern on a lake its kind of like a notch in your belt so you can move on to the next one.

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I live close to bald eagle lake so in the summer usually after work i head out there and catch a few walleyes every night so bald eagle is the main lake i fish. However, on weekends i often take trips up north to various lakes.

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Fished 35 bodies of water last year. Caught 21 different species of fish. A couple of lakes I hit over a dozen times for each, one is the cabin lake and the other is a lake that I hit after work that has produced some quality fish. The rest of the lakes, streams and rivers are probably only hit one to three times a year.

Yes, the lakes you spend the most time at will probably produce more fish 'cause of familiarity. But I also think you gain valuable experience by being forced to try different techniques for different species on unfamiliar waters. You can only learn so much from magazines and forums such as these, the best way to learn is on-water experience. Then take all you've learned from fishing unfamiliar waters back to your old fishing grounds, you just might find that something new out fishes your old stand-by lures and techniques on your home waters.

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I thought I re[lied to this post before, but I must not have entered it?

I have several "Go To" lakes that I fish when I just want to fish. Old standbyes that have produced year after year, lakes where you have a chance to catch a biggun and regularly catch pretty nice fish.

But I would say that most of the lakes I fish are fairly unfamiliar waters. We go all over the place and rely on maps, word of mouth, possibilities, heresay, lies, whatever turns the crank!

It's fun to hunt and be successfull, gives you confidence in your ability.....on the other hand, you can get stymied on new lakes and it makes you wonder?

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I agree with most everyone. I like to have a couple of go to lakes where you feel pretty confident on the structure you're fishing and how to fish it. I know a couple of lakes fiarly good translates well when you try new lakes by comparing similar structures, patterns, etc.

This web site is also excellent in pointing you in the right direction on a new lake (or the lake in your backyard).

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Quote:

As weird as it sounds, I'd rather go try a new lake and NOT catch anything or try a different species and NOT catch anything than to go to old faithful and hammer the bluegills. My personality requires that I challenge myself every once in awhile and this is one way I do it.


It doesnt sound weird to me, thats how I am.

I like a variety of lakes, but since my dad has the boat and he likes to fish just a couple different lakes thats usually what I end up doing. It takes some time to convince him to go somewhere else. This year Ive got a truck and my Dad is letting me take the boat out so Ill be fishing lots of new water.

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Good question, its kinda like bowhunting. If you wnt to get the most out of a piece of land you will learn that one piece of land very very well instead of spreading you self too thin across several pieces of land. If the lakes you fish are 1000 acres or less then jump around alittle becuse you'll find most of these little lakes cycle alot and you'll find there is only maybe 5 or 6 spots on that little lake that are prime structure. If youre trying to learn a huge lake 8000 acres or more for example I personaly would fish that one lake alot and learn it well cause it will take you a lifetime to master a lake like that not 2 or 3 years like these little lakes. Treat a big lake like its several little lake and you'll spend more time fishing instead of a whole day driving from one lake to another just my own opinion, I wish I could bring myself back to jumping around like I used to, but my lake is 8000 acres and I have had a boat for 10 years now and I have 214 favorite spots on that lake so far, and it will be another 10 years before I claim to even having come anywhere close to mastering it, if you wait to hear where there biting its generally too late if you put all your time into your favorite lake you'll know when they're biting before the rest here and you won't hear you should have been here yesterday. It will be you saying that to someone else either way its frustrating just my 2 cents.

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I live right across the street from a pretty good fishing lake and yes I do fish that lake a lot but its usually due to a time issue. When I get the kitchen pass to go fishing for more than 3 hours I usually trailer the boat to a different lake. People always ask me why don't you buy a place on the lake. One of the reasons I don't is because then my boat would sit in a lift and I would end up only fishing that lake.

I too like the challenge of learning a different lake. Like they say "don't put all of your eggs in one basket".

Nels

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I honestly believe if the lake is big you will have consistent success all season if you have the time to learn it well, I all ready have learned at least 50 other smaller lakes really well and really have accepted the challenge of learning a big one well. I fish waska alot, I honestly am starting to get a little bored with it so my next one is Ottertail. I like to knock one lake off at a time, and spend a whole season learning it, of course I fish a few others at times and learn a few new ones but my bowhunting has really gave me some valuable lessons that I have carried it over into my fishing, and the patience to catch the fish right through a mayfly hatch or a turnover. It can be done once you get to know a big lake intamatly you'll be suprised at how consistent you'll catch whatever species your targeting. Just dont try putting all your eggs into a basket that too small. Once you learn how to fish structure properly, and good boat control you'll find that most lakes the species you're after will have simular habits and be on simular structures. Inside corners, points, holes, springs, rockpiles, bars whatever it may be the trick is to spend enough time on one lake to find these sweet spots. If I spend all my time jumping around all I might find is the community fishing holes, and that would really not be much fun. Alot of people have said to me the fishing isn't what it used to be, and alot of lakes are raped to the point its not worth fishing. Its just not so the fishing is better than ever to the people that find there own spots and avoid the crowds, and community fishing holes.

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I fish 5-10 lakes consistently but will try others if given the chance. I have found trying new water can be very fun because when you find fish it is very cool. I do have stand by spots and lakes that I fish just for fun and 1 for trophy hunting! but new water is fun too.

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Years ago I would fish lakes from Park Rapids to the Iron Range and from Bigfalls down to the metro area. The last 10 years I have spent most of my time fishing Mille Lacs, Leech, Cut Foot/Winni, Swan Lake near Pengilly, Kabetogama and a couple of metro lakes. I have to admit, I miss the variety, but I definetely enjoy fishing on the lakes listed above.

Ole

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I tend to concentrate on one lake that I know well, that way I have a good feeling as to where the fish are and can experiment/hone my presentation skills so that I can catch more on other lakes. As for other lakes I usually fish 5-7 others as my "tier two" lakes, but love the handful of times each year that I can fish spankin new water.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • CigarGuy
      Nice job Bob! Fishing off the neighbors dock sucked for us. My gang is coming up Thursday night till Monday, this will be our opener, we'll hit it hard. It's a bummer my dock is mostly under water and the lift isn't in. Thanks to the neighbor around the corner for letting us park on shore at there place next weekend.
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