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When you start fishing in the morning or evening, do you have to have marked fish on the graph before you start setting rods, or are you driving out to a chosen depth and setting down? If so, are you going to continue searching for the fish until you mark something and then set up?

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Great question! I look forward to the responses you will receive. I ususually go to a favorite depth for the time of year, put the rods out and look for the fish.

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I usually try to read some reports the day before since I don't live that close to the lake and can't get there every day. Then I run out to within about 20 feet of my target depth then start to set up. By the time I am set up I should be close to my target depth. Always looking for fish on the graph but you don't have to have fish on the graph to catch fish. If I have been fishing an area for the weekend then I can rely on some waypoints from previous days to get started. Hope this helps.

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for me, i usually have a chosen location before i leave the dock and most likely a back up. my location to start fishing is usually chosen for many reasons, mainly networking and fishing days prior. Like stated, marking fish on the graph does not always correspond to catching fish, and vise verse.

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for me, i usually have a chosen location before i leave the dock and most likely a back up. my location to start fishing is usually chosen for many reasons, mainly networking and fishing days prior. Like stated, marking fish on the graph does not always correspond to catching fish, and vise verse.

:thumb: I catch some of the fish i mark, but the majority that I catch are ones that I never marked.

There's also something to be said about trusting your gut. When I went out memorial day evening, I set up in 100 FOW (I'd been catching them in 120 FOW in the morning). When I was talking on the radio, other boats were telling me I should be deeper. Well, I picked up 3 in the first 30 minutes of fishing, so I was pretty happy where I was :)

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A little bit of reports, a little bit of past knowlage, and and a little bit of luck..

Examples:

Mornings

I set up farther inside then I normally would right now because the bait is close to the piers and the steel are starting to come in. I know the fish are around 80 FOW I will set in 50- 60 and troll with the waves until I get lines set.

I will run into the waves just so I can set with the waves and get back to my spot.

At night I do the opposite, If the fish has been in 80 I run out to 100 to 120 and troll with the waves twards shore untill everything gets set.

As for the spot I want to be, If I fished the night before, I mark waypoints. If I have not fishe din a while networking all the way.

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My Graph is more for depth of water than fish I mark U gotta remember you are only marking directly under your boat. There may be fish 50 to 100 ' out fm your boat u never see. In the days of paper graphs I have see fish come up to hit a bait but the water was not as clear as it is today and we used short leads 20' or less on the riggers and never thought of using long lines like lead and copper. Fishing was a lot more fun when u didnt have to reel in 300' of heavy line that wore out the fisherman befor the fish. I have guys that hand off fish on copper and leadcore because they dont want to work that hard for no fight fish. In the spring and fall u can fish riggers and dipseys and not have to work so hard. But I usually know where I am going to start and I like to start my day in the river plume and work out fm there we usually get a king or 2 even in the summer in there feeding. Usually off the riggers or short dipsey.

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Depending on what i have heard, we talk to alot of people that are on the lake everyday. If we havent heard anything good then we will watch for fish, or bait balls. If i know there are fish there then i will go right to if not then i will watch as we go out.

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I depend a lot on my gut and reports but I also use the tools I have. You can't catch what isn't there. Use the information you can glean from reports and your past experiences. Use the sonar to verify the information. When I started fishing electronics on a boat was only a dream. Learning to fish without all the toys is an advantage. Using past experience and the advantages of sonar GPS Chart plotters etc etc can and will put more fish in the box.:)

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If it is nice ,I will run zig zags and find some fish before I start.If it is lumpy I run a long search pass to find them. You can waste a ton of time trolling to find them.

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It's always nice to see fish on the sonar, but it's not that big of a deal. Temp breaks, current breaks, and talking to other guys on the water is what I'm looking for. If you noticed at daybreak and sunset the sonar gets full of fish. The fish are always there just inactive sitting on the bottom. The trick is to wake them up and get them to bite. Thats where the fun in fishing comes in.

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i start out by asking at some of the local bait shops and ask at the marina if there is one. then i go by my past trips that time of year. if i,ve been told there getting them in 72 to 74 fow then i,ll start setting up in 70 fow and troll in the direction of the markers on my gps where i caught fish in that depth last time i fished that depth. i,ll also ask on the radio, you cant get alot of info there but sometimes you get enough to get you started. i remember one trip they had been catching fish in 65 fow. so thats where i started, wasnt getting anything even tho i was marking fish. i asked for help on the radio. somebody came back with 65 fow right on the bottom. so i put everything right on the bottom. it saved my day, we only ended up with 15 fish but all of them was 25 to 29 inches. and we didnt have anything untill we moved our baits. there was 5 of us so we got 3 each. to me thats still a pretty good day on the water. much better than that ol skunk.LOL.

sherman

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All ideas given are ok, I also like the assistance of the Michigan Sea Grant Coast Watch satellite report. It gives you the surface temps. of the entire portion of the great lake you are going to fish at. Seeing extreme temp. breaks of 10-15 degrees is not uncommon. If it's within a reasonable range from port, I try to go somewhere near as I watch the thermotroll on the way out. Marking bait fish and big boomerangs on the graph also get my attention to slow and set up. When fishing my port, check out one of the captains reports at fish-ludington.com for some hints and tricks we use daily.

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