Fish Location

Being in the right spot is the single most important factor involved in fishing! Approximately 90% of lakes, rivers & reservoirs do not hold fish. The 10% that do however . . . have something called "structure!"

By definition, structure is any identifiable object, break, or change in under water terrain that holds and attracts fish. Areas that have structure are . . . points, drop-offs, rock piles, sunken islands, gravel bars, weed beds, submerged timber, stumps, logs & numerous other spots which involve a change in depth or bottom content!

Fish are predominately bottom relating creatures that use structure, because this is where the baitfish live. They use edges and contours of structure to travel, hunt, hide and ambush their prey! The majority of fish spend their non-feeding time suspended in deep water adjacent to these feeding grounds. However, structure areas hold the majority of the active catchable fish!

Once you locate a piece of structure that is holding fish, it's time to get more specific and find the "contact spot", or the exact pin-point location where the school is holding!

Some of the most productive "contact spots" for fishing are rock poles, gravel humps, weed pockets, brush piles, clam beds, dips or rises on flats, inside & outside corners of an off-shore bar, a little jog along a straight drop-off, or a shallow finger surrounded by deep water. In rivers, look for eddies where fish are free from current, pools behind wing dams, deep holes & submerged trees & stumps for the best fishing opportunities.

Fish Location
Fish Location

Fishing Tips

  • Always start out in shallow water and work progressively deeper contours to find fish. Pay close attention to the change in depth, bottom content & bottom structure!
  • Fish slightly shallower in stained colored water, during the low light periods of dawn, dusk or after dark, when the weather is cloudy and overcast, and when the wind blows to break the water surface!
  • Fish love transition areas where soft bottom changes to gravel, or gravel changes to rock. Small rock and gravel humps surrounded by mud or silt . . . are fish magnets!
  • Diving and circling seagulls, loons and terns will often reveal the location of suspended baitfish schools. Wherever there are baitfish . . . there are gamefish close by!


On clear water lakes, fish deeper water and concentrate on the low light periods of dawn, dusk, after dark, when the weather is cloudy and overcast, or when the wind blows to break the water surface! In dark stained or muddy water, fish will often be in shallow water and bite best during midday and during periods of sunshine! Night fishing is often slow!


Wind plays a very important part in fishing location. Wind works to rile and break the water surface, scattering light rays and cutting down light penetration . . . bringing fish into shallower water where they are much easier to catch It creates and supplies oxygen to the water, & blows feed up on the shallow water food shelf of bars, reefs, weedlines & shorelines. Wind also serves to help us control & quietly drift our boats over productive fishing water. Northland Fishermen Hover-the- Hot-Spots!


Weedbeds are a very important part of life for many gamefish. They provide cover, shade, concealment & abundant oxygen content. Some of the most common weed types include cabbage, coontail, cattails, bulrushes, milfoil, sandgrass, lilly pads & wild rice. Weedbeds are most productive during spring, summer & early fall!