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Michael - All of the posts above have some great information and should help put you on bigger fish. Usually, any body of water you are fishing will hold trophy class fish, besides some rivers that are just too small and shallow to hold large fish. A lot of catching big fish has to do with knowing the body of water you are on and knowing prime locations on that body of water, which can take years to figure out.

One thing I wanted to add, and in my opinion is very important when targeting big fish, is time of year. A big fish can be caught at any time of year, but to improve your odds you have to fish those prime times of year when big fish are more frequent or more accessible. In spring, right at ice off, is generally a great time of year to target big trout, walleye, pike. I'm sure other species as well, but I'm not familiar with the habbits of some other species. Those fish will come shallow to spawn and feed after a long winter and generally will seek warmer water (shallow water that time of year). Fall is another peak time for similar reasons as the spring. As water temps cool in the fall, fish will come from the deeps where their optimum water temp has been for months, and move into shallow water again to feed or spawn. But again these conditions tend to congregate most fish in shallower water, and more accessible to anglers.

I always look forward to Ice Off on our reservoirs because I know it is a great opportunity for big fish. Same thing in the fall, you just have to keep an eye on water temps and how the fish are reacting. In the fall most reservoirs will go through a turnover stage where the different water temps are mixing and this generally throws off the fish for a while, but wait for the turnover stage to become more stable (water temps will stabalize and water clarity will improve).

Try to hit your favorite bodies of water at these times and I think you will find yourself getting into some bigger fish. Good Luck!
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