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Where are the fish? vanish in thin air(water)


can it be luck?

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I have a question which I posted in a diffrent forum, and now here. I'm not sure if there is an answer but would like to hear some ideas. My questions: Fish can sometimes seem to disappear. Trolling large areas with different depths and features, I mark 0-few fish when fish are not in the feeding mood. I have high resolution electronics and keep 1/2 of my locator set to a x4 zoom thinking the fish(all) are laying on the bottom appearing to be invisible to electronics. My electronics can pick up a jig in deep water so I have 100% confidence in it's abilities. Whether I'm on the Great Lakes or inland waters I put on some miles and see few fish. Then out of nowhere there are fish everywhere! All the same waters I pounded all day and anywhere else for that matter. Evenings and mornings are usually good examples. Fish on the locator and poles too. No matter what, fish should show on the electronics, hungry or not. Whether they bite is a different story. Can and do fish lay that tight to bottom to seem to disappear? Then in a snap of the fingers they all become active everywhere? I could never figure this out. can it be luck?

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Maybe they are all in your freezer?

Sorry couldn't resist!!!!! grin.gif

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Giant, I leave the door wide open and that's all you came up with? smile.gif You made me laugh, so I thank you for that at least. No Ideas?......And thanks for reminding me to call my taxidermist, my freezer has a 31" and 30" walleye along with a drake woody. All will be placed on what I refer to as, my "wall-A-walleye". wink.gif

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Heck, it's a Friday and I have exhausted all my wit for the week. Try me again some other time.

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Actually I have wondered the same thing in the past. biglakeba$$ has some good connections at the MNDNR, maybe he can get some info.............

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depends on the lake, most likely they are in the weeds. they get shade, shelter and abundant forage. next time you cannot find any fish on your locator, try pitching jigs to the outside weedline of your favorite lake.
this time of year a thermocline sets in on many lakes here, so fish will be no deeper.
set your sonar on manual, and you will be able to find the thermocline on the lake your fishing.
it also has to do with the forage in your lake. the crawdads are begining to emerge, and this will move the fish into there haunts for a good meal.

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My fault, I wasn't clearer. I should have said large lakes without a lot of vegetation or rocks to hide in such as the great lakes or even early in the year when lakes are void of cover. If there's vegetation I assume the fish would relate to it. Example: Yesterday I fished Lake Michigan. I was only out for a few hours. I motored out to 100 FOW and set lines. The first 45 min I seen a few fish down in the bottom 25 FOW. Then the prime evening bite starts and my locator lights up like a Christmas tree and we put 6 fish in the boat and a lot of misses. Lake Erie is the same also with it's Zebra mussell bottom, there's no where to hide. And there the fish are never in say 15 FOW or less. Usually 25-45 FOW.I guess I mean deeper structure free water. Thanks, can it be luck? Sorry Dave, We must have been posting at the same time.

[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 07-25-2003).]

[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 07-25-2003).]

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I can relate to your problem .. see it quite often. I have found various reasons for the absense of fish on the locater. I dont think anyone can give a wrong answer, or a right answer to cover all situations.

One of the most common is the fish are near the surface and will move from the path of your boat, or the cone from your ducer is so small a few feet below your boat its unlikely to pick anything up. I have run into this trout and walleye fishing both... learned they were there by long line trolling, planer boards, and shallow running lures... even at noon on 90 degree days, sometimes deep, sometimes shallow.

The 2nd most common solution to the problem is the fish are very shallow, regardless of time of day, or night. As of recent we have been hitting some walleyes on the inside edge of the weeds, and on sandy beach's in the middle of the day. (5' of water and less). This is not where they belong in Late July .. There are no way to graph these fish without spooking them, and unless your very lucky in clear water .. your never going to see them without a *Tuna Tower* on your boat with someone on a constant lookout.

Last but not least .. the weeds. There are always fish in the weeds and at the egde of the weeds. Unless a fish is suspended above weed stubble on the outside edge of the weeds.. your graph is not going to show you any obvious marking for fish.

I have been focusing primarily on weedlines for years for walleyes, and several other species of fish and have done quite well. In the dog-days of summer my catch rate is often better than most others, and more often than not, I'm the only one that has fish in the livewell at the end of an outing.

These are a few answers to your question I know to be accurate .. I would like to know where the rest of the fish dissapear to also... even the deepest water often shows nothing when they vanish.

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I have fished Erie quite a bit .. I havent done much on Michigan. Erie during the summer months I use to focus on the zebra mussel(sp?) beds when the fishing got tough.. It almost created a *rock to sand* transition and seemed to hold the fish the same. If i got too far from the edge of the beds I wouldnt get squat .. but that was perch and walleye fishing mainly... I wish I could help more but I cant.. get an underwater camera .. might be worth its weight in gold.

Only downfall to the zebra beds .. eats up line and tackle fast.

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Dave, I do own a Aqua-View. I bought one for $500 when they first came out....I should've waited till they got the bugs worked out. I should check into the new ones, I'm sure they've come a long way. I dont know if there's an answer, other than scuba diveing. That might be fun! Yea, I sure love Erie. I fish around Marblehead,Catawba,and Kelly's Island, tough to beat! I also have a lake that heats up in July and Aug. The fish are in a very shallow sandy bottom area. The lake experiences a thick bloom which I think cuts light penetration. I wade to get out of the heat, and have had them bumping my legs! shocked.gif Weird feeling. plain jig head and a piece of crawler dragging the sand bottom. Not your typical walleye pattern. Thanks for the info. can it be luck?

[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 07-26-2003).]

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What kind of fish are you after? How big is the water? If you are trolling, stop and think about this...you are only going so fast. The fish can cover more ground than you can with just a wiggle. Electronics are nice, but fish will tend to move away from boat noise well before you get to where they just were.The electronics will cover only so much bottom, even in deep water, and the fish have probably simply moved out of area of coverage. If you are splitting your screen, the power goes into the magnified side and you can lose lots of peripheral sensitivity on the normal screen...they may be there but the sensitivity so so weak that the singal does not translate well. Later in the day...or early on as you stated, the fish are far less likely to be agitated by boat noise due to the lower light levels. With the sun light at a lower angle to the water,they do not seem to notice the presence of the boat. It may be too that during the lowlight periods the fish find security in numbers and wehen things get brighter they scatter and go do thier own thing until the lights begin to dim again. There are many theories on this subject and since we cannot think like fish, we have to draw our own conclusions.But quite literally, when you are on the water at trolling speed and using the electrnics to search out fish, you are only looking at a "drop of water" at a time in relation to what you are sitting on. Some species of fish are taken with wanderlust and others are real tight homebodies. If the waters you are fishing have only bootm make-up and depth deviate as structure, I think the fish are simply moving and are not where you are, they are reacting to boat noise,or are so scattered that finding a random fish is difficult nutil the light levels dictate a massing.

------------------
Sure life happens- why wait....The Crapster....good fishing guys!
[email protected]

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Good points Tom, At times I run without lines at higher speeds looking for the "fleeing" fish. Salmonoids and walleye are the main quarry. Deep meaning 30-500 FOW. Split screen at last resort otherwise at a normal screen or 1/2 split. Low light was an example, and I do mean lots of miles covered, so I feel as though I looked everywhere. When the fish decide to bite regardless of time of day all the water that marked 0 fish are now loaded with them, as well as all the boat reports on the radio as well. Sometimes haveing to turn my sensitivity down to a minus setting due to the increase of fish. I think they must lay on the bottom or something? If they dont bite that's one thing, but to be invisible? It's like I said they vanish. Thanks can it be luck?

[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 07-26-2003).]

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