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Hello all! I have been bass fishing for a couple years now and I know water temperature is vital to finding bass. So I just want to know, when people are talking about water temps are the referring to the surface temp?

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Yes, however surface water temps don't tell the water temperature at the depth the bass are in.

Tom

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@Tom Right, which I was confused, so based on the surface temp you can guess what the bass are doing, sound right. I have just been really struggling catching fish.

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Yes. Most anglers only measure surface temp. and although that can be misleading (the warmest water will be at the surface), it can also be very useful.  You can use the readings over a few days to determine if the water temp. is rising, or falling, if one area of the lake is a few degrees warmer than others, etc.

I am fortunate to have two depth finders with temperature read outs on my boat. One transducer is mounted on the transom and gives me the surface temp. and the other is mounted on the bottom of my trolling motor and gives me the temp. about 2ft. below the surface.

This time of year, rising temps. will get the fish moving and that translates into increased activity. The flip side is that a short cold spell, or even a cold night will drop the temp. That is one reason why early spring fishing is so unpredictable.  It's also the reason many anglers wait until the sun has had a chance to warm up the surface before heading out.

BTW, Welcome to the forums.

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Best water temp advice:

 

Stable water temps are good

Raising water temps are best

Dropping water temps are worst

 

The mindbender:

Cold temps are relative so you can benefit from raising temps even in winter.  Going from 38 to 39 to 40 is a huge warming trend which activates the whole lake so get out there and power fish.

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A bass's metabolism is finely tuned to its circulatory system's temperature which is the same as the surrounding water temperature. In warmer water bass digest their food fast requiring them to eat more often, in colder water bass digest their food slower requiring them feed less often.

 

Bass are predators, they feed when the opportunity arises regardless of water temperatures.

 

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I use to have a temp/light   probe on 50 foot of cable . It gave an instantaneous read out . What was interesting was in the summer,   temp. and light would gradually get colder and dimmer until it reached the thermocline   , then there would be a rapid decline .

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All you need to know about bass behavior relating to water temps; net search "Cosmic Clock and Bass Calendar".

Tom

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Also, remember that shallow water areas are going to hold heat better. Those spawning bays that bass move into this time of year will be a few degrees warmer typically and you'll see bass hanging out in those areas even if the rest of the lake is a few degrees colder. It also tends to stay more stable in those shallow spawning areas, so the bass in those spots don't shut off as quickly if there is a quick cold front. 

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Actually the deeper water stays more temperature stable do to it's mass, warms slower and cools slower, and bass acclimated to deep water are affected less by cold fronts/pressure changes.

Just thought I would add that.

Agree shallow water wind protected areas warm faster.

Tom 

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All you need to know about bass behavior relating to water temps; Google how to get to the lake!

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On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 5:13 PM, WRB said:

Actually the deeper water stays more temperature stable do to it's mass, warms slower and cools slower, and bass acclimated to deep water are affected less by cold fronts/pressure changes.

Just thought I would add that.

Agree shallow water wind protected areas warm faster.

Tom 

That's a good point... your most consistent temps will be deeper. I shouldn't have said "more stable." Point was, the shallow, protected areas are going to have the warmer water temps and most of the time won't fluctuate as much if they are out of the wind, etc.. 

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