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Breaking down an unfamiliar body of water to catch more fish

In this episode of Northland Outdoors, host Chad Koel heads out to a body of water he hasn’t fished before. By using visual cues, such as points, bulrush, islands and rocks, he narrows down likely locations of where fish are likely congregating.

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Northland Outdoors host Chad Koel describes what to look for on an unfamiliar body of water to begin your fishing day.
Contributed / Chad Koel
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Anglers don’t need fancy equipment to begin navigating a new body of water to fish in. The process can easily begin with your own eyes.

In this episode of Northland Outdoors, host Chad Koel heads out to a body of water he hasn’t fished before. By using visual cues, such as points, bulrush, islands and rocks, he narrows down likely locations of where fish are likely congregating.

“Fish will be around food. It boils down to that,” Koel says. “If you can find the food. You're gonna find the fish.”

Koel starts out with swimbait, then spinnerbait to help cover a lot of ground.

Upon that first good catch, stop, Koel says. Take note of the conditions, depth and location.

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MORE FISHING COVERAGE IN NORTHLAND OUTDOORS:
Law enforcement and natural resources agencies such as the DNR all have issued numerous news releases urging people to put safety first on the ice. Unfortunately, you can't legislate common sense.
The ‘Keep It Clean’ campaign started at Lake of the Woods. More recently, Upper and Lower Red Lake, Mille Lacs Lake, Lake Vermilion and the Fairmont Chain of Lakes came on board.
Lessons abound after 200 Red Lake anglers were stranded on ice they thought was safe.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report for the week of Nov. 28.
All anglers have been safely evacuated from Upper Red Lake according to a 3:20 p.m. update from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office.
For many who fish through holes in the ice, there’s an anticipation for that first ice fishing excursion that surpasses – dare I say – the attraction of getting in a boat for the first time after a long winter.
The annual event at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center is the unofficial kickoff to ice fishing season.
The DNR conducts the fall population survey over 17 days, beginning the Tuesday after Labor Day, setting 64 nets at sites across the Minnesota side of the lake from the south shore to the Northwest Angle.
Organizing gear, refilling tackle boxes, attending ice fishing shows are good ways to bide time.
Minnesota DNR finds nearly three times more little "herring" than any recent year.

“Now we start thinking about those things hitting similar areas and see if we can get similar results,” he says.

“Breaking down new water is what fishing is all about, people. Using your eyes, using your tools like your electronics, your sonar, understanding that fish are predators. So find their prey, find the bait and you’ll find the fish.”

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Chad Koel reels in a largemouth bass, which verified his premise he's in a good fishing location.
Contributed / Chad Koel

Related Topics: NORTHLAND OUTDOORSFISHING
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Retired teacher Larry Weber, a Barnum resident, is the author of several books, including “Butterflies of the North Woods,” “Spiders of the North Woods,” “Webwood” and “In a Patch of Goldenrods.” Contact him via Katie Rohman at krohman@duluthnews.com.
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