Fishing Bay de Noc Michigan
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"Exploring New Waters"
by Captain Darrell Mittlesteadt

Where do you start? The first step is deciding what type of fish you are fishing for. For instance, if it is walleyes, I start by compiling a list of possible walleye lakes in that are close enough for me to get to and spend time on. After compiling the original list, the next step is to compile any information I can on each lake, including and most importantly lake maps. Find out as much as possible about the lake structure, water clarity, depths and size. I also want to find out any fish population information, which includes kinds and numbers of fish found in these waters, creel surveys, shocking and netting surveys, plus stocking information.

Fishing Bay de Noc

After studying all the information you have gathered, the next step is to hook up the boat and get on the water. The first trip or two on any lake is not a fishing trip, it is more an exploration expedition. I donít even take my fishing equipment. I start armed with my maps and notes taken from studying all of the information I was able to find. I work my way around the shoreline, watching maps, depth finder, and any structure I can see. I am looking for any drop off, sudden or subtle, weeds wood or other things that may hold fish. I am studying the bottom looking for sand, mud, gravel or rocks. I make notes and mark the map as I go. After covering the shoreline several times, making sure I havenít missed anything, itís time to move on.

The next step is to start on the main lake basin working it with the same slow deliberate pace, looking for humps, bars, inside and outside turns, drop offs, as well as what the bottom is made of. I am always marking the map and making notes as I go. Save and study all of the information you have gathered. Itís time to grab your map, rod, bait and GO FISHING !!!

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