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So, if I use my fishhawk and find where the water makes a sudden change, do you start fishing just above the thermocline?  20 feet above it?  New to this and just wonder what depth you target after finding this?

 

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Years ago the thinking was fish the majority of lures around 54-56 degrees, but active Chinook can be found as cold as 42-43 degrees so set one line down there and fish the rest spread from there up to the mid 50s. If you’re marking bait or fish high, try a line high out of ideal temp.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Temp break was 50 degrees 45feet down so we ran lines at 35 to 65 all fish about 30 came from 35 to 55 not one fish came on deepest rigger until raising it up to 55 all big kings and big steelies .

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9 days outta 10 just fish your Marks and you will catch fish


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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You'll notice that this thread is over 2 years old:lol:. It probably is something that is worth thinking and talking about though especially now that we are in between seasons and the weather isn't cooperating for either ice or boat fishing.`

First of all there isn't just one correct answer to fishing the thermocline just as there isn't any one particular temperature that the fish will be found in all the time. Fishing the temps and fishing the marks are both important ingredients for potential success, and add to this fishing the bait. There is nothing magical about the thermocline itself or that it is a usually a 3-8 degree break in temperature. The underlying importance of it lies in the fact that when it forms (primarily during the summer months) the food sources (e.g. zooplankton and phytoplankton) that the baitfish feed on can become trapped within the layering of it and  a lot of the stuff clusters there for large expanses within the water column and depending on underwater currents will often snake up and down within the water column and sometimes even drift sideways with current and or wind conditions, and travel along the bottom around major structural features (e.g. points etc.).

Generally, the fish species may differ in how they orient to the changes in temperature residing above within or below it. As John mentioned above if you are fishing just above or within the thermocline especially in mid to late summer you often will be missing Chinooks as they may be either looking for food or actually feeding below the thermocline. Much of the time lakers are thought to be the marks down deep or suspended just off bottom and often they are but not always. Chinooks are frequently found down in the ice water (42 or 43 degree temp) and you sure don't think you have a laker on the downrigger running there after they hit:lol:

 

So what you are left with is fishing the temps, but adjusting to the marks, and fishing back and forth around bait with setups "covering the bases".

Edited by Sk8man

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As a fishing wizard once said fish the fish, in the kill zone. Its just that simple and complicated. 

I would add find the green water.

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Fishing this fishery since the beginning and getting a fish hawk for the first time  2 years ago I can say this . 

 

I use to fish the bait and marks , and still do well. 

 

Now that I have down temp , I put my probe at  50 deg and put baits  above and below and adjust from there .  

 

If I see fish high , I bring 1 up , or the other way . 

 

But I can say I have found 50 at say 50 ft and caught kings at 100. 

 

And marked everything at 70 , where the temp was and caught kings at 40 ft . 

 

 

So you  never really know . 

Temps over rated IMO . 

Edited by HB2

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I’m not anywhere near as experienced as a lot of you guys but I find the speed on the fishhawk very useful. The temp. Not so much.

I generally find the same thing I found before I had a temp probe. Start covering different depths and looking for bait and hooks and dial it in based on bites.

I often get my bigger fish down deep in 42deg water on meat rigs but there was a 2 week period this past year where the big kings were in the top 25fow. I got a couple on the free slider, started pulling everything up high into the warm water and started slamming them. Found later other guys were doing the same thing.

Maybe I’ll figure out the temp better with more experience but so far I may use it as a starting point but am quick to abandon it when I start catching fish.

Also. In terms of marking bait, at least when it’s up high, I’ve seen videos of people using the Panoptix and the bait drops as the boat goes over. So if you see bait 20’ down it may have been on the surface before the boat came. I’ve experienced this myself with walleye when I’ve had to pull up into the top 5-10’ when the bait is real high even though it’s showing deeper when my transducer goes over it.

Apologies for the rant but getting cabin fever with the crap ice.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Fish often come in to see the rigger weight, and drop back ... they come down to see that.

 

We fish from around 42'F to around 52'F ... bigger fish normally caught in 42F to 44F ... but not always.

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