Fishing new lakes can be a challenge for even the most seasoned ﬁsherman whom call their boat an “ofﬁce”. I am sure even they ask themselves the same question of where do I start? Eliminating water before even hooking up to the boat has proven to be one of the quickest way to ﬁnd productive areas. Most of us have all the tools and ability to use them such as a computer, smartphone, and a decent chart plotting ﬁsh-ﬁnder. These are a few steps I have found helpful.
First, I start with a known local pattern based on the time of the year such as summer crappie on submerged standing timber suspended in 22-26 FOW at 10-15’ deep, this was good 2 weeks ago on Skiatook so I would assume it the same on Ft. Gibson today. Second, utilize google earths free download to view satellite photos and navigate to standing timber, transition areas, or bends in the river system where debris would collect such as in a mouth of a creek, google earth lets you go back in time exposing the past droughts when areas with structure, or submerged timber are visible on the map. If so, use the pin tool to drop a waypoint on these interesting areas and mark them with names and levels of importance. Export these waypoints as a .kmz ﬁle. Next step is to convert these .kmz ﬁles into .gpx ﬁles so most chart plotters can read them using another free tool called GPS visualizer, simply add these ﬁles into https://www.gpsvisualizer.com/convert_input and export to a desktop ﬁle. Now drop this new .gpx ﬁle onto you micro SD card to import into you chart-plotter.
Finally, the magical step puts it all together using Navionics depth shading on your Hummingbird or Lowrance ﬁsh ﬁnder, simply set the desired ﬁshing depth range to a minimum depth of let’s say 12 ft, and max to 30. Now looking at your maps you have fresh waypoints in the correct depth of water on identified structure to check for active ﬁsh.