Welcome to Apex Fishing Tips, this section of our website is about lake fishing and how to catch fish in a lake. You can find lakes throughout North America and they're an excellent place to catch fish of all different sizes and species. On this web page we're going to teach you how to bigger fish, more often in a lake.
Below you'll find 8 lake fishing tips that will improve your chances of catching fish in a lake. Lakes come in a vide variety of sizes, some can be as small as an a few acres or cover hundreds of square miles like the Great Lakes in North America. Lakes are home to a wide variety of fish species. Continue down below to learn how to catch fish in a lake.
Along with 8 lake fishing tips we give you a detailed checklist of all the fishing tackle you'll need when you go lake fishing. We've also provided you with some amazing pictures of anglers fishing in lakes around the world. If you need more information on lake fishing, you can use the additional resources we've provided at the bottom of this page.
8 Lake Fishing Tips
Search online for a topographical map of the lake you're going to fish in. Most lake topographical maps will have depth ranges, locations of fish cribs and/or fish feeders. We recommend printing out the map and taking it with you. Keep it dry by putting it in a 2 gallon zip lock bag. You may want to bring a pen so you can mark locations with structure, cover and caught fish.
Use Google Maps to get review the shoreline of the lake. This is a great way to figure out places where you can access the water to fish. You'll also be able to find certain locations around the lake that have structures or cover favorable to fish. Make sure to check the date of the map, older map versions of a lake may be missing new additions.
Knowing the water temperature can make or break your lake fishing trip. During the cooler months the water temperature will still be low enough to keep fish deep. This is where a topographical map of the lake with depths is critical. You'll be able to target the deep areas of the lake where fish are located. Depending on the size of a lake, this could be difficult from the shoreline or a dock.
Learn what species are native and stocked in the lake. This will make it easier for you to catch fish because you know what's in the lake and can use popular methods to catch them. Native fish act differently then stocked fish, especially when it comes to trout. Stocked trout can easily be caught with power bait, while native trout will never touch it.
Don't confuse a natural lake with a man-made lake. A natural lake was created by natural occurrences, like glacier melts or being feed from a river or stream. Man-made lakes are usually the result of dams to create water reservoirs or old mining pits. From the surface they look the same, but how you fish them is quite different. In man-made lakes you'll want to target ledges and drop-offs. In natural lakes you'll want to target structures, cover and vegetation.
Every lake has different fishing regulations that you need to follow. Virtually every lake will require that you have a fishing license, unless it's private. There will also be size limits for different species of fish, meaning a specific species of fish needs to be a minimum length to keep it. Along with size limits are creel limits, which is the total amount of specific species of fish you're allowed to keep in a day. Some lakes are catch and release only or don't allow any type of live bait.
Lakes are an important asset in recreational fishing. Following a few simple rules ensure the lake stays healthy and productive for years to come. First, don't leave your garbage, take it with you when you're done fishing. Don't throw stray fishing gear (line, hooks, etc.) into the water, again take it with you. Avoid destroying shoreline and shallow vegetation to get to a good spot. That vegetation is used for fish to spawn and helps provide cover for different fish species.
If you're going to fish from a boat on a lake, you'll need to know the rules of that lake. Some lakes don't allow any gas powered motors or even trolling motors. There may also be designated boating areas and travel lanes you need to follow. Failure to following boating rules on a lake can result in heavy fines and impounded of your boat.
About Lake Fishing
A lake is a large area that is consistently filled with water and is surrounded by land. There is no official distinction between a lake and a pond. Some scientists say the different between a lake and a pond is light penetration, temperature and wave generation. A lake is deep enough that light cannot reach the bottom, has enough surface area so winds can generate minor waves, and have different temperatures at different depths.
Lakes are a great place to catch fish. A large lake can host a large variety of fish species that can grow quite large is there is abundant food. Lakes are home to some of the most popular game fish, including largemouth bass, bluegills, crappie, muskie, northern pike and walleye. The large size of a lake sometimes makes it difficult to locate fish from the shore, that's way a lot of anglers will use a kayak or boat when fishing at a lake.
Lake Fishing Checklist
The below lake fishing checklist has the fishing gear and tackle you might need when fishing in a lake.
Valid Fishing License
Fishing Rod Holder
Map of the Lake (Topographic with Depths)
Hooks (various sizes)
Weights (various sizes)
Lures, Jigs, Power Bait and/or Spoons
Live Bait (worms, minnows, etc.)
Fishing Stringer (unless you catch and release)
Measuring Tape (to measure your fish)
Fish Scale (to weigh your fish)
Needle Nose Pliers
Portable GPS Device (navigation and marking locations)
A Clean Towel
Insect Repellent (Scentless)
First Aid Kit
Lake Fishing Pictures
A picture of a family lake fishing in Santa Rosa, CA. (Credit: Andrew Hidas / Flickr)
A picture of someone lake fishing in Fir Lake, British Columbia. (Credit: cb in bc / Flickr)
A picture of someone lake fishing in lake Ashi in Japan. (Credit: je_suis_un_chat / Flickr)