How to Fish a New Lake for Bass

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Fishing a new lake is exciting, however, if you have not done it before, you would want to know how to fish a new lake for bass. Catching this fish species is challenging and fun, and when it combines with the challenges of finding fish in a new lake, your trip will be adventurous.

How to Fish a New Lake for Bass

A new lake is unknown to anglers because they do not know where the vegetation covers are, or where the water is deeper. Moreover, the spots where bass spawn and like to hide when catching prey are also unknown.

Two men hold black fishing rods while seated on a brown rock in the lake

New lakes call for some change in tackle and techniques. Anglers who are accustomed to their usual destinations might not understand the initial steps of preparation and then finding bass spots in the new lake. A few tips and tricks can help you find big bass waiting to bite some bait fish.

As soon as you get to the lake, look around and look for the following things

  • Vegetation and wood covers
  • Shallow spots
  • Rocky ridges
  • Docks and isolated areas
  • Clean water patches

Tips to Fish for Bass In New Waters

You might be wondering how hard it could be to find bass in a new water body. However, as exciting as the whole new phase is, it can also be frustrating if you do not know the landscape of the lake. Is the center of the lake covered with grassy spots? Is the water deep? Are there any rocks? And more importantly, is bass going to be near shallow spots or in the deeper primary spots?

Select Rig to Cover Bigger Area

When preparing for a fishing trip, you have to pack the tackle and rig that is most suitable according to the fish, the season, and even the depth of water. A new lake requires you to first get to know the place so you will need a spinning rod that can help you cover large areas.

An effective topwater lure, or swimbaits and jig heads can be presented in a way that a large area is covered and you get to screen whether there are bass in that spot or not. After trying out spinning, anglers can also bait cast a lure with weight so that it can reach lower in the water.

If you plan this trip in summer or winter, a bait casting rod with sinkers and a jig head or plastic worm would work if there are bass swimming deeper in the lake. The rig depends on the season, however, when fishing in a new water body, it would be a good idea to carry various kinds of rods and lures to find fish.

A freshly caught fish was found in clear water on the lake

Observe Water Temperatures

Bass are found in waters where the temperature is between 65⁰ Fahrenheit and 85⁰ Fahrenheit. When you go out to a new lake, look for spots where water temperature is moderate for bass. On sunny days, shallow areas warm up quickly, whereas, on cold days, the shallow spots are colder than other areas in the water.

Use of Technology

You might wonder why I didn’t discuss this earlier, however, it reduces the adventure of exploring a new water body. Fish finders help anglers calculate the depth, and know where there is vegetation, wood, and even rocks that shelter bass during the summer months.

Moreover, you can use various apps that can help you find the perfect spot. The Google Earth app and some angling resource websites might have information on a particular lake that you are visiting for the first time.

Reaching out to anglers and people who visit the particular lake often can be helpful because you can get tips on how to find the right spots, the most suitable tackle, and even if there are any factors to avoid. Public forums such as Reddit, NC Angler, and local forums according to your area are also helpful.

Watch Out for the Weather

Weather is a good way to understand where you will find bass. The weather on the day of your fishing trip, and even a few days before the trip will impact the bass spots in the lake. Cloudy days are easier for fishing for bass than most anglers think. Clouds will get bass out of the plantation cover and crankbaits and spinnerbaits are a good way to catch them.

Similarly, on sunny days covers are the right target areas. You will have to tap into the areas where this fish species is hiding to ambush prey. You can use Texas Rig with worms, or shad to reach the deeper places where bass will be looking for food.

Windy days stimulate bass and they go wild swimming from here to there! If you plan to go fishing on a windy day, remember to use lures that have rattles, and imitate real fish. The wind makes the water muddy so you can select dark and bright-colored artificial baits.

Understand the Structure of the Lake

When you consult technology to find bass, you would also get to see where there are boulders, ridges, deep water spots, and even wood and plantations under the surface. Vegetation covers will be a starting point for anglers.

The ditches and ledges are also good targets for warm days. Channel bends and shallower spots in the lake are the typical hiding spots for this fish species. Anglers can play smart and target these areas for a quicker catch.

Novice anglers ask about shortcuts in spotting the right spots for bass in the lake. While this fish will come rushing in for enticing plastic bait, there are spots where the bite will come in a shorter period. If you know the favorite spots for bass in any lake, you are already a step closer to getting many catches.

A man in a black and red checkered long-sleeve shirt and blue denim pants fishing using a black rod in a lake

Secondary Points

Secondary points are the spots away from the channel that opens up from a tributary. Due to the deposition of sediments, these spots are shallower and bass like to hide in these places to feed on the bait fish that are coming in with the water.

Under the Docks

Docks are a reliable place to fish because bass swim in the shaded region of the lake which gives them a chance to be less conspicuous when they are looking for bait. When you visit a new lake for fishing, start with places where bass are usually found.

Isolated Weed and Grass Covers

Bass are aggressive predators and target fish from hidden spots in the tall grass and dense weed covers. If anglers spot these isolated covers, they will get some big bass within a short time because a small bait will be enticing for these creatures.

Fish these areas tightly and you will feel a bite within minutes. Anglers should try out spinning first if they search for bass in spring, summer or fall. For the winter season, a bait casting rod and plastic worms or small fish-shaped lures will work well.

Clean Water Areas

Bass like clean water and will swim around places where there is no sand and the sunlight can reach the bottom of the water. Even if the water is unclear, and is clean, you will find bass swimming at a depth so casting bait in these places is surely going to bring luck!


Bass anglers are always looking for new places to fish in more challenging places. If you are looking for tips on how to fish for a new lake for bass, make sure to know where to start and how to narrow down the right places.