Best Gear For Fishing A New Lake

How Do you pack for a lake you've never been to? What gear are you going to need? How much tackle should you carry? How much is too much? Do you need anything special? Today Tim answers all these questions by taking you along for a tour of the gear he packed for his trip to Michigan.

Preparing for "anything" that a new lake can throw your way is very challenging. If you specifically select baits that have multiple uses it is much easier to be prepared for varying conditions. From clean water to murky, from a topwater bite to ledge fishing, you can get away with less tackle than you might expect.

Below is a break down of all the gear Tim took to Michigan to chase Smallmouth on lakes he'd never seen before. They're broken into Finesse/Spinning Gear and Reaction/Casting Gear.


Dropshot #1- Strike King Half Shell:

Dropshot #2- Strike King Dream Shot:

Dropshot #3- Roboworm 6" Worm:

Ned Rig- Z Man TRD:

Ned Rig Head- Z Man LockZ HD:

Neko Rig- Kut Tail Worm:

Neko Rig- Tungsten Nail Weight:

Finesse Tube: Dry Creek 3.5" Tube:

Swimbait- Keitech 2.8":

Swimbait- 1/8 oz Guppy Head:

Spy Bait - Duo Realis Spinbait 80:

Hair Jig- Feider Fly:

Yamamoto 5" Senko:


Megabass Deep Six:

Lucky Craft LV-500 Lipless:

Jackall TN-70 Lipless:

Damiki Vault Blade:

River2Sea Biggie Squarebill:

Norman Deep Little N:

Blade Runner 1 3/4 oz Spoon:


Swimbait- Keitech 4.3 Fat:

Swimbait- 6" Trash Fish:

Swimbait- S Waver 168:


Bubble Popper:

Rio Rico:

Reaction Innovations Vixen:

River2Sea Rover:

River2Sea Bubble Walker:

Whopper Plopper:

Evergreen Shower Blows:

Rod/Reel Combos...

Drop Shot - NRX 822 DSR -

Hair Jig / Spybait - Daiwa Tatula Elite AGS Spin Rod 7'6" ML -

All purpose spinning - NRX 852S JWR -

Deep Crank Setup

IMX Pro Crank Rod 7'6" Med Hvy 906 CBR -

Shimano Chronarch 150 MGL -

15lb Seaguar AbrazX Fluorocarbon Line -

Swimbait Setup

G. Loomis GLX Casting Rod 7'5" Heavy 894C JWR -

Shimano Metanium -

Glide Bait Setup

G. Loomis GLX Casting Rod 7'5" Heavy 894C JWR -

Shimano Curado 200K -


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Finding Fish In A New Lake (Without Electronics)

No electronics, no outside help, just two guys with swimbaits and a lake full of quality bass.  Tim and Matt hit a new lake in search of smallmouth bass. Watch the thought process develop as they find and catch fish. 

The guys only had one shot at this lake so they started and finished with swimbaits. While they didn't catch any giant bass they were able to quickly raise fish, get bites, and put fish in the boat. These techniques will work on any lake to quickly cover water and identify productive areas. 

The baits...
Keitech 4.3 Fat Swimbait (Chartreuse/Blue & Electric Shad):
Matt Allen Swimbait Head:

S-Waver 168 (Rainbow Trout):
Owner ST-56 Treble Size 2:
Owner Hyperwire Split Ring Size 4:

Tim's Combo...
Rod- G Loomis GLX 853C (7'1" Medium Heavy):
Reel- Chronarch MGL 7:1 Ratio:
Line- 50 lb Maxcuatro Braid:
Leader- 12 lb Maxima Ultragreen:

Matt's Keitech Combo...
Rod- G Loomis GLX 842C (7' Medium):
Reel- Aldebaran 50 7:1 Ratio:
Line- 30 lb MaxCuattro Braid:
Leader- 12 lb Maxima Ultragreen:

Matt kept the rod but changed reels for the S-Waver. His reel and line switched to the following...
Reel- Metanium MGL 7:1 Ratio:
Line- Power Pro MaxCuatro 65 lb:
Leader- 15 lb Maxima Ultragreen:

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Breaking Down A New Lake In The Rain

Come along with Tim as he locates fish and tries to develop a pattern on a fishery he knows little about! He explains his bait selection and thought process along the way so you can replicate the mindset on your own fishery. 

Tim breaks down the lake despite difficult windy and rainy conditions. He discovers the fish are schooling in the cleanest water on the lake and is surprised to find a steep drop in water temperature in the clear water. To his amazement the cold water didn't seem to matter as the fish clung to that clearer water. 

Gear Used In The Video...

Z man/Evergreen JackHammer Bladed Jig:
Keitech Fat 3.8 Trailer:

6" senko (Green Pumpkin/Black Flake):
4/0 EWG Superline Hook:

River2Sea Biggie Poppa Squarebill:

3/4 oz Pitchin' Jig in Black/Blue:
Beaver Jig Trailer:

Chatterbait Setup...
Rod- 7'6" Zodias Glass:
Reel- Curado 70:
Line: 15 lb Sunline Fluoro:

How To Pick The Best Spots To Catch Bass

Today Tim is hitting the water for a quick session and is taking us along for the ride. He's on a new lake where he has little experience and his first priority is to locate fish. He works quickly to find active fish and continues to break down the bite from there. 

Many anglers struggle to break water down quickly. Tim brought an arsenal of baits along for the day that helped speed up the process. He was prepared to cover the water column quickly and effectively while exploring likely structures and features. 

Here are the baits and the gear Tim was using for the day:

-Lucky Craft RTO 1.5 Squarebill (Pearl Threadfin)

-S-Waver 168 Swimbait in "Party Crasher"

-Whopper Plopper 130 in "Munky Butt"

-Salter Brecknell Scale

Camera Used: GoPro Hero 4

Matt's Favorite Squarebill Rod (845)
Tim's Favorite Squarebill Rod (704)