Large Mouth Bass

Fishing Thermoclines

by Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters (c) 2001

Many anglers will advise beginners to look for structure when seeking fish. This good advice but it should be followed with the word “however.”

As well as orienting to underwater structure where food and shelter can be found, fish also have temperature comfort zones. Some fish prefer colder temperature and low light conditions while others prefer the warmth of the sun.

In deeper lakes, water temperature can stratify. In other words, there can be layers of water called thermoclines that can differ in temperature. Currents, shaded spots, wind and other factors can affect thermoclines on a daily or even hourly basis.

Anglers may use fish finders or, more correctly, structure finders to find these thermoclines. Water has differing density depending on temperature, and most good quality “fish finders” can read these differences when set on an ultra sensitive setting.

By fishing the different thermoclines it’s possible to locate the fish suspended in their comfort zones.

However, “fish finders” are not absolutely necessary. With some patience, anglers can find these fish by working their lures at various depths. Generally, anglers should put a spoon or weighted jig at the bottom and “jig” up and down about four to six feet. If this fails to generate a strike, reel up a few feet and repeat the process.

Finding that comfort zone may just find the fish too.



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