Sooner or later every fisherman, professionals and weekenders alike, faces a situation that turns his favorite hotspots to ice, or puts them entirely off limits. Most of the time the cause is weather related, but other factors such as intense fishing pressure or rising or falling water levels can do the same thing.

The confidence and ability to quickly switch gears when it happens is what separates skilled anglers from the rest, and allows them to pull a great fishing day from the jaws of disaster.

YUM brand ambassador Josh Jetter of Garland, Tex., won a recent one-day tournament on Cedar Creek Reservoir by pointing his bow toward a section of the lake he’d never fished before.

“The water had come up 3 feet and the wind was blowing 30 mph and all of my favorite spots were unfishable," Jetter said. "On top of that, there had been a 200-boat tournament on the lake the day before, and my areas had been pretty well worked over.”

Jetter knew that post-spawn bass were migrating out of the creek arms and toward the main lake, so he studied his map and chose a spot that offered structure and cover similar to that in his go-to areas — and dropped the throttle.

“It was farther up the lake than I thought anyone else would be willing to run,” he said. “So far, that I’d never even seen this particular creek arm before. But it looked like what I was used to, so I started fishing isolated grass and weed clumps in 5 to 6 feet of water that was so muddy it looked like chocolate milk.”

The murky conditions meant that fishing had to be close-quarters.

“A 4½-inch watermelon/red flake YUM Wooly Hawgtail on a 5/0 hook and weighted with a 1/8-ounce tungsten slip sinker turned out to be the key combination. I dipped the creature’s tails in JJ’s Magic chartreuse dye to make it even easier to see, but you still had to drop the bait right on the fish’s nose. We smacked ‘em all day long.”

Jetter’s ability to make a big move earned him a 15-pound total weight and a first-place trophy. So, his advice is: “The next time you get blown out, or crowded out, of your hotspot, take what you know about the season, the fish, the structure and the depth, to a similar spot in the lake.”

You might just find a brand-new honey hole.