Living up in Northeastern Ontario has it’s positives and negatives when it comes to fishing. One of negatives would be that there is no contour lake chips for our water ways, leaving an angler at the mercy of rock or sand points, shoals and shallow depth changes from deeper water.
This pass weekend I was fishing in the First Annual Walleye Tournament that was held in Gogama Ontario. Gogama is a small town that is about two hours north of Sudbury on highway 101.
Since my partner Andy Yu, owner of Wannabe Fisherman and I had never been on this body of water before or had an opportunity to pre fish it due to other commitments, I went up on the Wednesday to pre fish.
When I arrived at were I was staying, owner Jim Loisselle of J&L Lakeveiw Retreat (http://www.jandllakeviewretreat.com/) welcomed me to Gogama. After a conversion about the reservoir, I leaned that it was shallow with some areas I should be cautions around due to rock shoals and shallow water areas with rocks.
After launching, I decided that the best and safest way for me to learn this system would be by trolling crank baits using my Humminbird 997c SI Combo in the side and down scan mode and my bow mount Humminbird 957c in both regular and zoom mode.
By trolling Cranks I could cover more water faster and safer while marking spots with the GPS. Later I could check my trail to learn the bottom depth contour of an area that I saved way points on.
Once I arrived at a section of the reservoir Jim told me that held good fish I pull out my line counter and trolling rod. I decided to pull a No. 6 Salmo Hornet in 12 feet of water for Wednesday. Along the way if my side scan showed humps, under water logs, weeds or points I turned and went over or next to them marking them with a way point. Thursday I repeated this process in 18 feet and Friday in 24 feet.
By doing this I learned bottom contours, cups, humps, transition areas and schools of fish faster and safer. This allowed me to eliminate water and concentrate on sections that had showed to be best potential fish hold areas.
When Andy arrived Friday evening he asked me how I did pre fishing. I told him that I didn’t fish an area at all and all I had was way points for us to fish. I don’t think he was to sure about our chances since I didn’t catch any decent fish while trolling cranks. I told him that the areas we would be fishing held fish and I marked some good arches on them, the only thing was for us to put a pattern together for Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday morning seen us working certain areas which allowed me to now work the areas in a grid pattern so I could learn them better. With an hour left before weigh in a down pour hit. We managed to up grade one more fish before weigh in. After everyone was weighed in and the weights totaled, we seen we were sitting in tenth overall.
That night seen heavy rain and a cold front moved in. When we woke Sunday we seen where the rain washed out some places in a gravel road way and the cold front had settled in. Since we worked some of the areas on Saturday in a grid pattern I told Andy we would check three of the areas we fished Saturday.
After Sunday weigh in we seen a change in the top ten leader board and we improved our position on the leader board to finish 5th over all. Well waiting on the awards we had a chance to talk with some of the local and tournament anglers. Some asked what the key for us was on this system which I replied, the use of my electronics since neither Andy or I had been on this system before.
The next time you’re out on a new water body that doesn’t have a contour mapping chip for it, I hope you remember this article and take some time to use your electronics to learn the new body of water you’re fishing faster.Print This Post