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papajoe222

What Does The Water Column Mean To You?

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I believe it was Buck Perry that one said: "The fish are either shallow or deep, or somewhere inbetween." Maybe it was Yogi Berra.  Reguardless of who is credited with this piece of wisdom, I believe that searching the entire water column for active, or concentrations of fish is the basis for establishing a pattern. I also believe that, similar to the confusion of structure/cover, the term water column is not understood by many, even experienced anglers. 

I look at the water column in relation to the entire body of water (pond or natural lake), or the major portion of it (creek arm, etc.) that I plan to target.  If the deepest water is, say, 30ft. I break it down into thirds. Shallow=surface to 10ft. Deep=20-30ft and mid-depth the area inbetween.

Reguardless of the depth of water I'm in, this is 'my' water column.  So if I'm catching fish at 12ft. that becomes my target depth whether I'm targeting structure or cover in 30ft. of water or 10ft. of water. :Idea3:  I've eliminated water shallower than that depth and I'm concentrating on presentations that will cover that target depth the best. I'm not saying there aren't catchable fish on the flats in 8ft. or on a ledge in25ft. of water, there may be. What I'm saying is that until the fish tell me otherwise, I'll try to ignore those other parts of the water column.

There's an old crappie fishing trick that I've used for years if I'm unsure where to start my search.  It involved tying a string to a white coffee mug and lowering it over the side of the boat until it dissapeared from sight. That was the depth of light penetration and a great starting point.

Today I use a white spinnerbait.

Does anyone interperate the term 'water column' differently?  If so, how do you use  your understanding of the water column?

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The water column is from surface to bottom, regardless of where I am.  Target depths are just that; based on my knowledge and ability to use maps and my GPS/sonar.  Using any method for determining water clarity is somewhat unimportant.  Fish can be shallower or deeper than what that reading might actually say.  It could also be a very localized occurrence.  I use water temperature, sonar, weed growth, structure, and light more than just water clarity.

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water column to me means the vertical column of water that spans from the surface to lake bottom located in any one spot. Where the fish are located in it will depend on many factors. Other than that, it's nothing more than a term to me.

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Water between the surface and bottom.

Tom

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Water between the surface and bottom.

Tom

 

X2. Some guys can make a project out of taking a tick...

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The only time I use the term "water column" is when using relaterve terms, like top of the water column, bottom of the water column. etc.  I'm not sure I understand what your referring to here - sounds like a mix of something you came up to describe your fishing and some spoonplugger terms.  Maybe if you can boil it down to a sentrence or two, summarizing the theory, maybe more can relate to what your saying.

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Water between the surface and bottom.

Tom

 

Concise and precise, very neat ! :respect-059:

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The water column is top to bottom, but the most important feature is the thermocline. The Thermocline is the spot in the water column with a significant fluctuation in temperature change. Many fish will hang at this level and therefore you can use the proper lure to work that level. With suspending fish I will work plastics with no weight so they fall slower through the water column and give the suspending fish a chance to see them and react. With some electronics you can pinpoint the Thermocline if the unit is adjusted properly. Sometimes you will see fish all suspended at the same level, you can bet that is close to the Thermocline.

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Pretty sure Bill Siementel wrote a book that touches hard on this topic.

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I think of the term water column in much the same way the OP described it, I have not found that I am focusing on this term as much in bass fishing, but in open water trolling for walleyes with planer boards/spinners or crankbaits, it is very important to have you lures cover the entire water column untill you find the active fish then adjust accordingly. I really don't think about it too much in bass fishing though...

 

Mitch

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In a nutshell, I'm asking what you refer to as the water column.  From most of the answers I see,it's top to bottom wherever you happen to be.  The reason I started the thread is because I've refered to fishing a section of the water column in a post or two believing other anglers' understanding of it was the same as mine.  Now I know different and won't make that mistake again.

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I think I get what your saying. It's not really a mistake, just different terms. I think if you look through most writings, the terms "target depth" or "zone" might apply.

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The water column is top to bottom, but the most important feature is the thermocline. The Thermocline is the spot in the water column with a significant fluctuation in temperature change. Many fish will hang at this level and therefore you can use the proper lure to work that level. With suspending fish I will work plastics with no weight so they fall slower through the water column and give the suspending fish a chance to see them and react. With some electronics you can pinpoint the Thermocline if the unit is adjusted properly. Sometimes you will see fish all suspended at the same level, you can bet that is close to the Thermocline.

Meh...  The thing is, not all lakes stratify.  Secondly, it isn't about temperature change.  That's the reason that the lake stratifies, but the reason the thermocline is important is because of oxygen densities, as well as phosphorous and nitrogen levels, along with CO2 density.

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