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Guest the_muddy_man

Questions about Thermocline and crankbaitin

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Guest the_muddy_man

Hey fellas back from 3 days of moving Id rather go to the dentist ???

Anyway a couple of questions When your working a dropoff or a point and want to drag a crankbait up either one of these how deep do you start ? How can you tell the thermocline using your depth finder some guy on the lake was trying to show me on his depth finder but either Im more thick headed than I knew or he wasnt knowledeable and wasnt makin sense Probablly a bit of both goin on here.

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you can fish it two ways. position your boat in shallow water  ripping the crankbait up the ledge. position the boat in deep water and run the crankbait down the ledge. as far as the thermocline how deep is the lake you fish. with that information i can better ansewer your question

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Sometimes the thermocline will show up on auto on some lesser priced units as fish, they will be in a single straight line, on manual it may apear to be a narrow band of weeds or trash suspended in the water, and none of these will be touching the bottom.

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From what I have heard, and hope is accurate because the only way I have read it on electronics, is bands of "fish" that look suspended at an exact depth on the sonar.

By the way, more than coincidence, there is a pretty good article in this month's (July/August) Bassmaster Magazine that speaks of the exact subject in which you are writing.  

You get this down, and you are doing some serious fishing.  This takes a lot more than just beating the bank in the heat of summer.

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First of all let me explain what a thermocline is.  A thermocline is a layer of water between the epilimnion (top layer) and the hypolimnion (bottom).  The hypolimnion is relatively cold and is low or void of any oxygen.  The epilimnion is relatively warm and has alot of oxygen.  The thermocline is rich in plankton and other microscopic organisms which attract baitfish which in turn attracts bass.  The Thermocline has an abrupt change in teperature, about 1 degree per foot.  You can see the thermocline on your depth finder by turning the sensitivity high and you can see a dark band around the middle.  That dark band is not always fish, it could just be an abundance of algae or plankton.  The best way to approach a piece of structure like a point is to first find a good looking point.  Then look for the structure on structure like a small finger on a point, but that stucture on stucture must intersect with the thermocline.  Just find the best structure you can that intersects with the thermocline.

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And remember to turn your unit to manual. If it is in the auto mode it doesn't always show the thermocline as well

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Guest the_muddy_man

thanks fellas while we are on the subject of sonar what does it mean when your running on auto or manual and you have the fish ID on and you see a lot of fish you know are not there Is the gain up to high?

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I am assumeing that the fish tracker feature has to be used in an auto setting. In "auto" the unit decicedes what meets the charchteristics of a fish and shows one on the screen. It may be a fish, turtle, tree limb or whatever. In manual the fish will be shown in arches, semi arches (usually the case) or even as lines and dots and is left up to the reader to interpret, although it it is a lot more informative it does take a little more adjusting and use to learn to read it well, but will probably pay off in the long run. Most is just experience of what and how things react on one. Like crappie will stack themselves on top of each other and baitfish look like clouds in the water.

It may be that the settings are to high there may also be other things in the water other than fish that it is picking up on. The thermocline will be constant throughout the lake, it doesn't variy so if you see the imaginary fish readings in shallower water you can eliminate that as a possibility. If you can find a section of water that you are familiar with or can see the bottom that would be a good way to check to see if it is to high and how well it is reading. Other things that can give you a false echo and read as fish, are water disturbance from the motor, plants, and trash. If the screen is releatively clean and the settings are between 50% and 65% and you are showing fish I would guess it would be something like that that it is picking up. And even if they are fish - getting them to bite is often anouther story.

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Hey fellas back from 3 days of moving Id rather go to the dentist

You and me both, muddy ;) ;D.  Glad you survived.

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If you must use a crankbait this time of year then tie it on a carolina rig and fish it  off of those drop-offs and points.I'm sure that the thermocline matters but I have had better luck trying to pinpoint places that will hold fish, thermoclines will cover almost the whole lake, the fish wont.I have no problem seeing thermoclines on my color fish finder but still dont think I catch more fish in that zone.

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