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How Deep Are They Biting?

 

This is one of the most common questions I hear when fishing, be it summer or winter. And it is true that fish will bite at different depths on any given day. I know better than to give an absolute answer to why they bite at different depths. Water temperature, wind patterns, moon position, the availability of bait fish and predatory fish all influence when and where gamefish will be found. Rather than try to accurately predict fish location, I’ve adapted a strategy of trying many depths until the fish tell me where they are and if they are willing to bite a hook.

A depth sounder can help with locating fish, but it isn’t necessary. Rarely have I found a trout lake where trout are not willing to take bait. When I am ice fishing I try to find a fishy location, like a point, and cut a line of holes from shallow to deep and back again. Once a pattern of holes is drilled, I’ll place a line in shallow and another out deeper to see if or where the action is. I consider shallow water anything less than 6 feet. My first deeper set will generally be around 12 to 15 feet.

On both lines I’ll fish my bait right next to the bottom. However, if after a half hour I don’t get a bite, I’ll bring the shallow line half way up the water column and crank the reel handle on the deeper set up one complete revolution. This will give me two new fishing depths. If after another 20 minutes or so I still don’t get a bite, I’ll bring the deep line up another full revolution and move the other line to another shallow location. This winter, I’ve found that most of my trout action has occurred in 12 to 15 feet with the line 4 to 6 feet off the bottom. For my reels, that’s around two complete revolutions off the bottom. By using this technique of systematically trying various depths and locations I’ve enjoyed some excellent results. Give it a try next time you are out on the ice.


Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) The Roll cast

(2) Fly-fishing for Pike

(3) Walleye Tip

(4) Mountain Lakers

(5) Hints For Dry Fly Success

(6) Survival Strategies For The Silly Season

(7) Local Advise

(8) It's A Pink Year

(9) Ice Fishin Safety

(10) Third World Travel

(11) Casting Angles

(12) The Rocky Mountain Whitefish Rig

(13) Using Sinking Leaders

(14) The Pike Fisherman's Vest

(15) Walleye Tips

(16) Trophies Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

(17) The Right Tool For The Job

(18) Respect The Weather - Expect The Weather

(19) Approach

(20) Gearing Up For Ice Perch

(21) Do It Yourself Excersions

(22) Shots

(23) Atlantic Salmon Fishing Techniques

(24) Fishing Etiquette In Crowded Conditions

(25) Swinging Caddis Flies

(26) Selecting a Fishing Rod

(27) Pike Angling Retrieves

(28) Detecting The Strike

(29) Unmatch The Hatch

(30) Off The Grid Air Travel

(31) Practise

(32) How Deep Are They Biting?

(33) Netting and Landing Your Fish

(34) Texas Travel Tips

(35) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(36) Be the Last Man Standing

(37) Water Temperature & Trout

(38) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(39) Stillwater Stratagems

(40) Those Crazy Cohos!

(41) Leaders & Tippets

(42) Big Water Strategies

(43) Small Stream Stealth

(44) DO I GET UP EARLY?

(45) ACCESSIBLE PLACES TO FISH

(46) Travelling Angler Tips

(47) Choosing The Right Fly

(48) They come out at Night - Our Friends that is

(49) Fishing at Night

(50) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(51) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(52) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(53) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(54) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(55) Wading Safely

(56) Double Your Fun

(57) More About The Red River

(58) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(59) Hook Sharpening

(60) Going Light

(61) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(62) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(63) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(64) Three Flies to Live by

(65) Reading Rise Forms

(66) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(67) A Fly for All Seasons

(68) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(69) Effective approaches to working small streams

(70) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(71) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(72) Road Trips

(73) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(74) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

(75) Summertime and the Fishin’ Ain’t Easy

(76) Depth and Light

(77) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(78) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(79) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(80) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(81) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(82) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(83) Fall Primer for Pike

(84) Packing Tips

(85) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(86) Hunt them Shallow

(87) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(88) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(89) Know Your Knots

(90) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(91) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(92) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(93) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(94) Catfish on the Fly

(95) Get Your Backswimmer On

(96) Reading the Sonar

(97) Insect Identification Made Easy

(98) The Sinker and Floating Plug

(99) GADGETS & GIZMOS for "OLD GUYS"

(100) Fishing Drop Offs

(101) Stay On Fish

(102) Landing The Big One

(103) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(104) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(105) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(106) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(107) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(108) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(109) Fishing Journals

(110) First Casts of the Season are at a River Near You

(111) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(112) The Bait of Choice

(113) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(114) Getting Started on the Ice

(115) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(116) Brookie Season

(117) River Fishing is Heating Up

(118) Become a Better Angler

(119) The Forgotten Pike

(120) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(121) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(122) See You at the Show

(123) Red Hot Whitefish

(124) Staging Walleye

(125) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(126) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(127) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(128) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(129) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(130) River of Gold

(131) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(132) Small Stream Fun

(133) Consider the Spawn and Water Temperature
for Early Season Fish

(134) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(135) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(136) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(137) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(138) All I Want For Christmas

(139) Staying Warm on the Ice

(140) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(141) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

(142) Keep an Eye on the Weather, Fury of a Storm

(143) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(144) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(145) Prime Time for Lakers

(146) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(147) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(148) Catching a Big Pike

(149) Purchasing a Rod

(150) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(151) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(152) Gearing Up For Pike

(153) Getting the Most out of Your Fly Fishing Set Up

(154) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(155) Fish Where They’re Biting

(156) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(157) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(158) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(159) Keeping Your Head Above Water

(160) HEALTHY BAIT CATCHES FISH!

(161) Beginner Baitcasting Tips