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Everyone,
Thought I'd share some tips and suggestions for those of you planning trips to a new lake for the first time, or those of you wanting to try fishing for a new species.

Since everyone on here is using the internet, this is your best tool for finding information. 

For example: I just replied back to "Toolkid" regarding his trip to Kentucky Lake. I gave him a website link (http://www.captainkirksguideservice.com) to look at for helping him prepare.

I ran across this site when doing a Google search on Kentucky lakes fishing several years ago. Just like Kirk, a lot of guides post pictures of their clients catches. Some are better at keeping these updated than others, so you have to check back regularly, to stay current with what's going on.

Thankfully Capt. Kirk has folders for all his pics separated by each month of the year, and the actual day is stamped on each pic.

I don't know about you guys, but I live in "The Show Me State" and I hear all kinds of talk and read reports all the time, but nothing speaks louder to me than a picture of a fish, with the day it was caught on it!

I can look at the pictures from last year and tell you exactly when is the best time to target the type of fish I'm wanting to catch.

That's one of the better examples, but there are lots of guide listings and reports, for nearly every large body of water in the country. I suggest you spend some time looking for information on the body of water you want to fish.

There are also blogs and forums out there with great information. Another example for those of you wanting to try saltwater fishing down  in the Panhandle of Florida: http://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/fishingforum/Default.aspx

Several years ago I was planning a trip to Destin Florida, and wanted to do some saltwater fishing. I found this site and it contained a lot of useful information.

I now make annual trips to Gulf Shores Alabama every year. First time I went there, I set the goal of trying to catch a Pompano and a Flounder. 

I had no idea where to fish or more importantly, what to use? The forum listed above, has a Q&A section regarding how to catch fish from the beach, offshore, etc. This information helped me greatly. I actually tried some of the techniques and accomplished my goal, and did it without needing a guide.

Part of the fun is also experimenting and trying to discover things on your own too. Often I will get up early and walk to the beach, while everyone else is sleeping. I'd have the whole beach to myself, and many times you'd see schools of baitfish getting attacked by larger fish. Caught tons of Ladyfish, which they call "Poor Mans Tarpon," because they are smaller, but jump out of the water and put up a good fight. Often schools of Bluefish will be mixed in as well. Not good to eat, but a fun fight anyway.

And every year the conditions are different and different types of fish are present to be caught. One year I discovered a pattern for catching Flounder right off the beach. In the mornings I found places on the beach that had bluff like edges where the sand met the waters edge. There were large holes in front of these areas that had washed out. I used a 3/8 oz. jig and a Bass Assassin plastic bait, and there were schools of Flounder laying on the bottom of these holes waiting to ambush minnows that swam by. I got quite a few hook-ups on my Lure. I was like a kid in a candy store, catching these awesome looking fish, and they make excellent table fare! After I told the kids the fishing report, they wanted in on the action. So I took them the next morning!

Sorry for rambling on....but be sure and look around for sources of GOOD information regarding your next trip. It could mean the difference between a "Good time" and a "Great time"!

Hope you found something useful here. Also hope you're able to get out and experience something different this year.

Best of luck to all & tight lines.
Greg

ps. A few pics from these trips, that you would not be seeing if I hadn't done my homework!


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