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how to find thermoclines


Creek Kid

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I'm quite a novice at using fishfinders. Spending the majority of time on the river I only use the finder for depth. I've got an older Eagle that seems to be quite accurate. Can someone give me some pointers what to change and watch for on the display to see thermoclines? Or do they only come into play in the summer months when the temperatures heat up? I'd really like to know more about what to look for when I am able to fish deep water lakes. Watching the reports lately it seems that fish in general are starting to move a little shallower. Is that a sign that the water is starting to cool off?

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Thermoclines are no longer in play once a a lake turns over.

Generally to find a thermocline, you turn the gain up on your depth finder until you see a line or small band in the water column where your depthfinder goes from one shade to another. That line is the thermocline.

Depth finders read differences in density. The colder water below the thermocline is more dense then the layer above the thermocline.

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You mentioned the reports of shallower fish. In many bodies of water, particularly stained,shallow waters, this thermocline activity goes clear to the bottom. The water below the thermocline, regardless of where it is located in the water column, has less dissolved oxygen in it and will not support fishlife other than some rough fish species. The temperature may not be what certain game fish prefer, but without adequate oxygen, they have little choice but to endure the heat. This thermocline will also have a bearing on where preferred food can be found. Many areas are seeing fish shallower than the usual depth for this time of year due to the lack of rain, the intense heat, and super warm evenings. The summer has been far from normal and we are seeing fish do strange things...we have been catching sunfish in three to five feet of water- water normally used just prior to ice-up- while fishing 18" deep! Finding and fishing a thermocline is very productive in a usual summer. This year all the rules have been broken it seems.

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Sure life happens- why wait....The Crapster....good fishing guys!
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