How to Locate Trout in a Lake

To increase your fishing success it is important to know how and where trout will be. Finding productive water will hold the trout we are after. I troll to find the fish and once hooking up, I will cast around the area to find more.

Trout need several things to survive. Among the most important is security. Fish will be more comfortable and therefore active in water that has a chop on it rather than calm. The same is true for shade and overcast days. Birds and people can easily see them when conditions are right and they will shy away from them.

If there are no signs of feeding fish I start trolling in water adjacent to the bank where I can see the bottom on one side and not on the other. This is the prime zone for feeding trout. Use your surface presentation on the shallow side.

Weed beds, downed trees and rock piles are trout attractors. They will find food and security in these areas. Even in shallow water a weed bed will give them the illusion of protection. In a reservoir the bottom can be extrapolated by extending the shoreline contours into the water. Look for areas that form points and other features.

In warmer water or when fish are not found on the surface a depth finder can be a big help in locating fish. Increasing the sensitivity to maximum on the unit will allow you to see the difference in the bottom and distinguish between rock and gravel, which will hold fish, and sand which won’t.

Fish can be located by the ripples or bulges they make when feeding on or near the surface. Trolling will also show you where the fish are when you hook up. Once the fish are found it is time to break out the casting or fly rod and methodically probe the area.

If there is no surface activity use finding the right depth to fine tune your presentation.

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