We look for the spots were fresh water is coming into the lake. I like the back of coves were the creeks or drainage water enter. These areas will usually flood into the fresh vegetation. This will bring in the shad, crawdads and other bait fish. We use a good punch bait. The cats seem to be feeding even more on scent. If you use small shad for bait, like hook the whole shad to our hook, tear the shad just a little to let the scent drift. Bigger shad we cut. The head and the gut area is the best to use.
On the lake where I fish, we have one cove that has a very shallow entry side (makes a point). We will tie up to the trees and cast on the mud flat. This spot will usually be in 1' to 4' of water. We use punch bait and shad there. The cats will be feeding on the mussels that group up on this point.
If were looking for big cats, we head to the main river or creek that makes up the lake. We look for areas were the water is making eddies or just dead water off the main flow. Usually around a curve or high bank. This spot is a good place for a big cat to set and wait for the bait to drift to them. If it has structure in it, the better. We use perch in these spots. Good luck.