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Reading Thermoclines & Fishing Them

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  • Reading Thermoclines & Fishing Them

    Locating feeding fish is one of the most important skills a fisherman can develop. You can mark fish on your fish finder and not entice them to strike your lure if they are not in their "feeding zone"!

    Most species of fish have a preffered temperature of water that they will actively feed in. Find this area of temperture with fish present and you will greatly increase your chances of catching fish. Remember, fish are cold blooded. In water too cold, fish will be dormant, sluggish and will not feed. In water too warm, they will be seeking a more comfortable environment. So, an understanding of how different temperatures of water break up will help.

    Here are two main ways temperatures of water will break up:

    On inland lakes, water temperatures tend to settle into horizonal layers of warm water and cold water that are seperated by a moderating layer known as the "thermocline". The thermocline will be the most active "feeding zone".

    On larger bodies of water like the oceans and Great Lakes, masses of water temperature are much larger and in a constant state of change. The location of these large masses of temperature are highly affected by the changes in weather conditions. These large masses of warm and cold water also have a moderating layer that is known as a "temperature break". Because of the constant shifting of the warm and cold masses temperature breaks often appear as a vertical layer. The area of, and immediately around, the temperature break is the most active "feeding zone".

    Brought to you by Michigan Interactive -