The Southeast is covered with Appalachian Mountains and foothill reservoirs. What might be suggested to aide a fisherman to know of, understand, and apply the seasonal techniques to make those fishing trips more successful and at the most reasonable price over time applied to this vast array of lakes?  Tough question, huh? Before I get to my recommendations, set aside the value of the trip itself, your experience with friends, family members, youngsters, etc.

This discussion is purely about efficient productive results and the lowest cost to round up all those techniques. Realizing that this is not why you fish these targets, it’s still worthwhile to apply the lesson periodically or as needed before a tournament or special trip you want to catch a full live well of gamefish.

Wow, that was exhaustive.  What to do? Hire a guide and spend a day or maybe two getting him to instruct you as to what baits and techniques to use, when to use them according to the season, and how to make each visit productive.  If you pick 10 targeted lakes to expand your horizon, take exhaustive notes and photos and pay for a guide for a day, that’s 10 days at an average of $400 per day. $4,000?

Wow, but look at what you’ve learned from him over that day.  Before reaching a final conclusion and comparing another way to get that done for yourself, be advised that each time you hire such a guide, tell him what you want to accomplish, of your intent and get him to agree ahead of time. OK, got it?

Now, figure out how many times you would have to visit those 10 lakes over the course of a year or more during the four seasons for you to acquire such vast knowledge. You would likely make a trip to each lake (just to keep the numbers even) at least twice per season. So, multiply that out. Ten lakes times eight times, two per season, and figure you’ll spend at least $300 per trip with gas, food, tackle, licenses, etc. That’s 80 trips at $300 each resulting in $24,000 and much of your time will be spent fishing where your catch might be minimal. Why such a difference? The guide you hired has likely spent several years and maybe thousands of days on the water building up knowledge and will be showing what he has experienced to you. Has this been a waste of time? Maybe.

The thought here can be the number of lakes, be it one or 10, the purpose suggested here is if you want to know a lake year-round the fastest way possible, hire an experienced guide.