When you are going to be fishing an area you've never been, what do you guys do to prepare? I travel a lot and usually end up some place I've never fished. But I'd like to think I could at least have an idea before I got there.
Another chance for me to champion my favorite common combo - lead head and grub. I start with a red head and white twisty tail and size it depending on what I am after. Swim it, bounce it, jig it, etc. No big deal if you lose a couple. Swap a new body on same head and change colors in seconds. If you are never hanging up, then you might try your cranks or traps or whatever. Much of the time I stay with the grub; they catch pretty much everything.
I look at Google Maps and see if there are lakes around and then start google searching to see if there is access and what kind. Then poke around for tips on forums. Then I look at the lake itself and start thinking about points and channel edges, however I can find them.
Excellent suggestions. Thank you all. I gave to admit, my go-to lure for anywhere is Texas rigged grape worm, small bullet weight up front. I looked at Google maps and some other places to learn topography. Just started using the webapp on navionics.com as well. let's me zero in on an area and then see contours.
Also if you download Google Earth, there is an option to view historical imagery under the "view" pulldown. Some of the old photos of certain lakes will reveal some topography if they happened to catch photos when a given lake was down.