Courtesy of Bassmaster

I'm fortunate to have some of the best fans in the fishing industry and I'm always interested in knowing what they'd like to learn about the sport. I recently conducted a Facebook poll and from all the many great questions I received, the one that I want to address first is this: How do you break down a new body of water?

As an Elite Series angler, probably the biggest challenge I face is finding where to start when I compete on a new lake or river. I'll be honest, this can be overwhelming if you try to do too much too soon. That's why I've established a straightforward plan for approaching those waters where I don't have any experience.

First off, I'm not a map guy. It's not that I don't value this type of research – I know many good fishermen find it very helpful, but this just doesn't fit my style of learning. I like the digital approach, specifically Google Earth. Looking at these satellite views enables me to locate the key features like docks and vegetation, while also gaining a clear understanding of the layout. I want to know where the major creeks are, where the spawning bays are positioned, where the long points stick out, etc.

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