The one question I get asked more than any is this, "how do you know where to find so many big fish?". That's a pretty loaded question if we're being honest. Everything from tackle selection, to knowing when to fish where on what days, to decades of trial and error...it all plays a part. There is one tool that not enough fisherman use though, and that's is Google Earth (or other similar software/programs). Now, you obviously can't see individual fish on satellite maps of your local waters, but what you can see is where they live. If you look at sections of lakes or rivers long enough on Google Earth you'll start to be able to piece together two things...holding holes and feeding areas.
For lakes, you might notice a sharp point/drop off adjacent to a mud flat. On a river, you might see a subsurface ledge or drop off that hadn't seen before. There have been several instances where I have fished holes, thought I was floating over and fishing the best side when after looking at Google Earth, I had actually neglected the better side. Maybe on the water it didn't look as deep as the side I was on, or the light refraction of the water caused it to look more shallow than what it was. Regardless, that has happened more than a few times. For lakes, it's as good a tool as any lure in your box. Even a local lake you've fished you're whole life, look on the map and see what areas you've been successful in. Odds are, there are more areas in the lake with the same general layout and odds are, those are going to be successful for you too. I can't count the times that I've fished a lake for a weekend, had success in a particular kind of area, go look at Google Earth upon returning home, find several more areas I hadn't fished that look similar, go back to those areas later and flat out dominate without even having ever fished them.
It it takes some time to get good at it. Studying maps, learning new lays of the land, identifying structure, locating holding/feeding/staging areas, as well as places to avoid even. If you put the time in and compare on the water experiences up to what the maps show, I swear to you that after some time it will all click and it will be a tool you can't live without. The past few years, before I ever even open a box, or check lines on spools, or do basically anything prior to a day of fishing, the first thing I do is check Google Earth. Even if I've fished there a hundred times, just a fresh look sometimes will provide a glance at something you maybe never noticed before. Google Earth has made me a 10x fold better angler, and it will you too if you learn it and let it. Now go out there and study up!
WV Born and Raised
Multi-Species Fishin' Addict
Appalachian Range Outdoors
Vibe Kayaks Pro Fishing Team