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fishinginiowa

Oxygen and PH levels should be the key to fishing?

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Hello all,

I'm new to the forum, but not to bass fishing and I have fished in many areas of the country, but I'm still a relative novice and learn new things all the time...

I have read so much and talked to so many people, but two factors seem to stick in my mind as the keys to fishing for bass, or any other type of fish...

First is Oxygen and Second is PH... Without oxygen content in the water, fish will die, just as we would die withought oxygen... Fish also need to stay in a certain PH range to survive as well, but PH is a little more flexible than oxygen levels, at least it seems to be... Fish will move to where the oxygen and PH levels best support them... They will move to where they are most comfortable physically, while holding to available cover and food sources... True?

No matter where you plan to fish, if it does not have the proper DO (dissolved oxygen) & PH levels, fish will not be there and fishing time is wasted, so wouldn't it seem logical to take some DO & PH readings in the area you want to fish, to either rule it in or out for holding bass??

I have purchased a PH & DO meter and have found that, so far, it proves out and have been surprised at how the DO & PH levels fluctuate with the weather conditions... I have found that small shallow lakes in the summer, may only offer habitable water from 0 to 5 or 6 feet, which takes out a Lot of fishing time spent in looking for fish in deeper water, and so on and so forth...

How do you all feel about this?

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First of all welcome to the site.

Second of all. SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!  ;)

This is one of the best kept or most over looked secrets in fishing. What meter did you buy?

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Guest ouachitabassangler

DO and pH can be equally important if the pH is out of acceptable range so much no matter how much DO is present, fish can't absorb it efficiently or at all. Of the two I prefer pH data over DO. DO is safely assumed in and especially above a thermocline at least close to the surface where wind current mixes in O2, or above green aquatic plants below, within or above a thermocline, and it's easy to spot baitfish cruising at or above that level. All fish will venture into water with high or low pH but not stay there long if they have alternative places to go. But sometimes a small lake can have the same dangerous pH level everywhere, putting most fish species into a metabolic lockdown so as to conserve what little DO can be absorbed.

In general if you find average pH to be close to neutral you have good fishable water down to the thermocline. I wouldn't take more than 2-3 samples over a lake if the loss of actual fishng time is critical. Some pre-fishing time would be well spent looking over those thngs in an unfamiliar lake once within a week of a tournament. pH and DO doesn't normally change significantly over a period of a week or two. The next major change will be in Fall when plants begin to die off and deteriorate, then during turn-over.

Jim

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Well, for a PH meter, I bought a "new old stock" Lake systems PH meter. It seems to work well... At least it shows changes in the PH levels and seems to be fairly accurate. For a DO meter, I bought the one from Cabela's. It also seems to work well...  I didn't want to spend huge money at first, just to see how it worked, so I bought lower priced meters... I may buy better ones as time goes on, especially considering the age of the Lake Systems PH meter....

I'm just getting into it, but so far it really is very interesting and I can see it changing how I look at fishing, especially on a new lake that I've never been on...  You know, once you establish DO, PH, structure and cover, you find out that most of the water is not holding fish... Very interesting stuff indeed!

Out here, in Iowa, most of the small lakes are very shallow and many do not have much cover in them... I concentrate on finding some structure, then look for cover, then check DO & PH, but in most of the shallow lakes, in the hot summer, the fish are usually in 0-3 feet of water during hot, dry spells and in 5-8 feet of water after wind and rains come... Combine that with structure and cover and you get fish piled up on cover, or buried in the weeds on the shorelines...

What brought me to the DO & PH thing, is that I found I was catching Bass, Pike, Musky, Walleye and Crappie off the same cover!! at the same time!! I mean to say, that shocked me, but it starts to make sense... I'm sure in lakes where there's plenty of structure and cover, that fish can be more picky about where they are located, but with little structure and little cover, you just don't know what will be attached to that spinnerbait or crankbait around here!

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I remember 20 something years ago when PH and oxygen meters were all the rage.

I never got into them.  If you believe in them, more power to ya I say.

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If there is a current and water can mix well , a PH and 02 meters are useless. Small ponds and areas with no mixing can move fish out of the area but for the most part they are useless. Most fishermen already know what spots are hot from fishing them under similar weather conditions.

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Very true about ph.  My local waters have taken a huge hit this summer.  The local government contracted wholesale weed eradication spraying.  The ph and the fishing took a nose dive.  Local golfers dont like the look of weed growth from the greens and their back windows!  It distracts them and disturbs their serenity.

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Fishinginiowa! I don't follow the PH in a lake but D.O. is very "RIGHT ON" !  The lake can be 40 Ft. deep but if the summer time D.O rate is only 4ppm at say 15 ft. depth and 0 below the 15 then your wasting your time beyond 15.ft.  In your lake that you refer to as 5-6 ft. depths > You may have area's of springs and thats a diffrent ball game and fish will follow to them depths. Bottom line on lakes for me is that all fish seek a comfort zone and they will be there. Find the comfort zone! on lake its D.O. and in rivers and streams I watch the PH level.  I find fish in non traditional places as a map maker and fisherman continue to just miss them for that same old grounds . I call it a change up and locating structure in the comfort zone near the traditional locations is the key. I use D.O. meter & underwater  cam to prove my point.

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Thanks for the replies so far. It's god to know that others use these methods to help locate fish.. I fish just for my personal enjoyment. It takes everything else off my mind and that's why I do it... Plus the fact that it's very interesting and a lot of fun... I hope that the day never comes when I think I know all the answers. I learn something new on each fishing trip...

Happy fishing to all of you....

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first I agree with all you said...but...

talk about making fishing into a science experiment!

an old guy in our tourney league challenged three guys to a simple challenge...you guys and all of your fancy equipment, fishfinders, DO meters, sonar attractors,  even allowed them to bring their underwater cameras...against him in his old jon boat, just a really old depthfinder that does not even mark fish...on any lake or river anywhere.

They took the challenge and got their butts whooped ( on a lake the old man had never fished)

Is the science there and is it quantifiable? YES for sure it is...but experience, knowledge, and skill, with or without all the gadgets, has its value as well.

The old man says the science is cheating...I am not sure I would go that far, but you cannot deny that using a bunch of technology to fish takes alot of sport out of the sport of fishing.

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Fishinginiowa! I don't follow the PH in a lake but D.O. is very "RIGHT ON" !  The lake can be 40 Ft. deep but if the summer time D.O rate is only 4ppm at say 15 ft. depth and 0 below the 15 then your wasting your time beyond 15.ft.  In your lake that you refer to as 5-6 ft. depths > You may have area's of springs and thats a diffrent ball game and fish will follow to them depths. Bottom line on lakes for me is that all fish seek a comfort zone and they will be there. Find the comfort zone! on lake its D.O. and in rivers and streams I watch the PH level.  I find fish in non traditional places as a map maker and fisherman continue to just miss them for that same old grounds . I call it a change up and locating structure in the comfort zone near the traditional locations is the key. I use D.O. meter & underwater  cam to prove my point.

You'll probably find in the summertime that that point is the thermocline.  A good LCD depthfinder can see that as well as a sechi disk.  

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I have an inexpensive depth finder and have not yet been able to determine the thermocline level with it... Any hints on how to adjust it to see the thermocline? I use it in "auto" mode right now, since it's my first ever depth finder... It's the garmin Cuda low priced model...

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Optimum levels for largemouth.

DO levels at 5mg/l or above.

PH levels at between 7.4 to 7.8, or as close to those levels as possible.

Digestion is optimum at 80F to 82F.

Good Luck!

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Guest ouachitabassangler

To see a thermocline take it out of auto, run the sensitivity up as high as you can stand it and not get such a cluttered screen you can't pick out a thermocline. It appears as a band across the screen, sometimes a couple feet thick, sometimes dozens of feet thick, or anywhere in between. It can be deeper downwind than the upwind side of a lake due to hot water stacking up on the downwind side (and more mixing of air into water, making it less dense than cold stale water), so while it might only be 10 feet down upwind, it might be 20 feet deep downwind.

Jim

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