Deep Structure Fishing Tips with John Murray
Garmin pro John Murray has been a full-time pro angler since 1985 and has fished both the Bassmaster Elite and FLW circuits. He is widely recognized as a deep structure specialist. We asked him a few questions on that topic, with hopes that it will help you find and catch those deep fish.
Garmin: How do you use your Garmin electronics to find fish-holding structure offshore?
John Murray: The number one key to finding fish deep is using your electronics. When I started fishing, basically all we had was a flasher and there was a lot of guesswork involved. Now, we have the tools right on our dash and we can pretty much find anything out there. Just as if you look across the lake and you see a big tree in the water with your eyes, you now have the same capability now with the LakeVü HD Ultra mapping, SideVü and DownVü. In addition, Garmin has amazing CHIRP Sonar, which gives you unprecedented detail on your electronics. To me, the key to structure fishing is making sure you understand the tools that are available to you. Just get out there, try it, learn it and look at stuff. I like to go to a familiar lake where maybe I know where there is an old underwater pond dam, or something else I may know is there, then see what it looks like underwater on my Garmin electronics, and on my mapping, so now I have a visual of what it actually looks like. The electronics are the key now, and the majority of the technology out there, we didn’t even have 10 years ago.
Garmin: When you’re doing your homework on a new lake, do you get on your electronics at home and study the mapping, or do you just drive around when you get to the new body of water.
John: I spend quite a few hours at home in my boat going over the mapping and how the lake lays out. When you go to a new lake, you really don’t know how the depth changes look. Some lakes are steep, and you have to be prepared for those steep contour changes, and other lakes are just flat. You just have to have a different mindset about drop-offs and depths. I spend a lot of time on my units to just prepare for what I’m going to be looking at.
Garmin: Are there any other tips you have to share on fishing deep structure?
John: If I had one piece of advice, it would be that there’s really no such thing as too deep. I’ve won tournaments in 125’ of water. Sometimes people put a limit on how deep the fish are, but really, the fish are however deep their food source is. When you’re out there fishing deep structure, look at what they’re eating, whether it’s crappie, trout, or shad, and don’t be afraid to fish those depths, because those fish will be wherever that food is.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, John! Good luck on the rest of your season!
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