Ever wonder how certain people just know all the secret fishing spots? There is no greater pleasure than doing your research and finding that very special spot that you can call your own which constantly produces fish. These special spots or “gems” don’t typically fall into the lap of any angler.. And when these ”gems” are found, they are typically kept close to heart.

An important factor in successful fishing is location hunting. Many anglers don’t understand the importance of this, location hunting plays a very important key role in the aspect of fishing. One of the most important factors that many seem to dismiss is to research and explore the areas in which you plan to fish, it is the difference in terms of getting skunked or catching fish.

Using apps such as google maps, will provide you with a great birds eye view of the location you plan to fish. The satellite view on google maps can provide you not only with hidden trails and paths, but also the best fishing spots. Most of the time, you are able to even see the depths and drops off’s of a lake or river. It will give you a much better idea of the geographical layout of the waterways, it will also save you lots of time (time that can be better spent fishing!)


If RIVER FISHING, focus your search on areas where creeks or streams merge with the river. Look for wide bends, deep pockets and pools as well as rocky juts and shallow tail outs. It allows you to determine where the mouth of the river begins and what terrains the river runs through. This knowledge in turn allows you to pick your proper gear or tackle, required to fish specific areas as efficiently as possible.


If LAKE FISHING, focus on areas that have the most drastic shallow to deep drop offs, fish typically hold in the deeper sections of the drop offs, coming into the shallows to ambush or feed then returning back into the depths. Certain fish such as Bass, sunfish etc, prefer the shallower waters, while certain species such as lake trout prefer deeper waters. However do keep in mind that different seasons will play a factor in where fish will hold. By researching a lake prior to fishing it, will allow you to be more confident. You can select specific tackle required to fish different depths and conditions.


Another very important factor is to thoroughly research the fish species that reside in the body of water you will be targeting. Remember that certain species of fish are seasonal so make sure you know what time of year affects where and when you fish (ie. Adronomous steel head trout, salmon, etc) .Depending on the species you are targeting, every species of fish typically require a different method of fishing, knowing these things will help your chance of successfully targeting the species you are after, these consists of:


  • Figuring out what the fish are feeding on (bring tackle that represents the prey such as minnows, shrimp, flies, crayfish, frogs etc)
  • Certain species of fish also bite due to their territorial habits. Keep this in mind as not all fish bite in order to feed, but some also bite out of aggression.


  • Some species are bottom feeders, some are mid water while some are top water feeders. Determine which species you are targeting and prep your gear towards the characteristics of your target species. ( ie. catfish are bottom feeders, while Kokanee are mid water feeders etc)


  • This is a very important aspect, to know the typical size of the fish you will be targeting as your tackle should be geared towards the size of the fish.
  • Your line should match the weight of the fish (Otherwise you will lose fish and tackle)
  • Hooks should match the mouth size of your fish (Otherwise fish will spit the hook if too small, or would not be able to bite the bait if your hook is too large)
  • Your rod should also match the species you are targeting, as certain fish require sensitive rods to feel the bites. A stiffer stronger rod to fight larger fish.

Different seasons that affect the fish feeding habits.

  • After knowing what species reside in the water you will be fishing, the next most important factor is knowing if your target species will be there during the time of year you are targeting them. Species like salmon, only return to their native rivers during the fall. So targeting them during any other time of the year would be a waste of time.
  • Fish also feed differently throughout the year, knowing what they are feeding on is key
  • Research the natural insects that appear and use the same or similar bait (ie. Trout will feed on larvae and scuds during the spring and will begin feeding on flies in the summer as the emerge)

Here is a link to the different species of fish, and their habitats and characteristics.


There are other useful apps such as Navionics which also allow you to track the exact depth of any piece of water you plan to fish. This app is great as it uses GPS coordination, so that you can track the depth as you fish.


Anytime I travel to new locations and plan to fish, I properly map out and “star” all the locations on google maps deemed “fishy”. This has saved me tremendous amounts of time. Combo that with some research on threads or forums of others who have fished that waterway, will typically yield you tons of knowledge of do’s and don’ts, what to use and what not to. During my first trip Hawaii, I was so excited to fish the shores that I dedicated a full day researching the landscape, species and how to target them. In the end I ended up out-fishing all the locals. The  power of research can dramatically change the outcome of your fishing adventure.The internet is packed with knowledge worth itself in gold, or in this case, fish!