I have never owned or used any fish finding technology. So I had to learn how to use my eyes and ears to locate the fish. These 5 tips will help you locate fish without the use of an electronic fish finder.
1) Ask Around! When you see some fishermen coming in from the lake or river with their limits, strike up a friendly conversation. Ask them where they caught the fish and what they were using. Most fishermen would be happy to share some information with you. You can also go to the local tackle shop(s) and talk to the employees. They hear many fishing stories and can suggest some good spots to find fish.
2) Look for the fish. Keep your eyes and ears open and be observant. Sometimes fish come to the surface of the water to feed. Watch for fish jumping and listen for splashes. If there is one fish, there is usually more. Polarized sunglasses will help you see through the reflection/glare and into the water.
3) Locate any kind of structure. This includes submerged trees or brush, docks, boulders, vegetation (like lily pads and grass), and drop offs. Structure provides food and shelter for bait fish and insects. The bait fish and insects attract the larger game fish.
4) Look for heavy insect hatches and schools of bait fish. Since these are natural food sources they will attract hungry fish.
5) Fish more often. The more you fish a certain lake or river the more you get to know it. After a while you will be able to find the fish with little difficulty.
These tips will work with most game fish species including: trout, char, grayling, bass, pike, musky, walleye, and panfish. If you have any other tips on locating fish without a fish finder, please post them in the comments section.
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