Millions of people love being able to get out on the water to go fishing. There’s something so relaxing about spending an entire day out on a lake, and many people consider it to be a favorite pastime.
If you wish to get good results while fishing, it’s going to be important to have the right information. This is why you need to be able to find the depth of the water.
Those who are still somewhat new to fishing might not understand how to get this information or why it’s important, though. Below, we’ll dive into the steps for finding the depth, as well as the benefits.
Why Does This Matter?
The first thing that you should learn is why the depth of the water matters when you’re fishing. You see, the depth of the water is going to make a difference when you’re trying to find certain fish.
Some fish might be more or less likely to appear in certain depths. If you don’t know how deep the water is, you’re going to have a tough time finding fish at all.
Having a good idea of the depth will give you the ability to make the right decisions. You’ll be able to choose which lures to use to catch fish so that you won’t be going home empty-handed.
If you’ve been fishing for a while now, you should know that different lures have different weights. Some lures are weighted to help you fish at specific depths, and this will make catching fish easier.
You can get lucky when fishing blind, but if you wish to get consistent results, knowing the water depth truly matters. Now that you understand this, it’s going to be time to move on to how you find the depth.
1 – You Can Check Online to Get the Information You’re Looking for
Typically, you’re going to be able to find water depth information online for any spot that you’re planning on fishing in. If you’re going fishing somewhere in the United States or Canada, getting in-depth information online is not going to be difficult at all.
Popular lakes, rivers, and other fishing spots should be listed online with plenty of information. You can find out basic details about water depth so that you can plan for your fishing trip.
Most experienced fishermen will look up information like this ahead of time. It makes it easier to know what lures to pack and what they should be prepared for during the fishing trip so that they can catch the most fish possible.
In the past, it wasn’t quite this easy to find information about water depth ahead of time. You would have to buy fishing books and read up about spots that you planned on visiting.
Maps can be helpful as well and some fishermen choose to bring maps to the fishing locations. You can reference the maps even when you’re in spots where you aren’t getting a good signal for your phone to look things up.
Having so much freely available information truly makes it simpler for the fishermen of the present day. You can feel very confident that you’re bringing the right tools for the job every single time now.
2 – Using a Weight and Float
Using a weight and float is another tried and true method for getting water depth information. All you need to do is tie a float to your fishing line and then put a weight in place of the hook.
The weight will sink to the bottom and you can use a bobber to measure the distance between the weight and the bobber. You can get a very accurate depth reading using this old method, and it’ll allow you to make informed decisions about how to approach fishing.
It’s also possible that you might need to keep readjusting the float to get the information if you aren’t using a bobber. This is because the weight could keep pulling the float down, but you can get it right over time.
You just need to keep enough distance between the float and the weight. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where the weight stops pulling the float under and you’ll know that the weight is at the bottom.
3 – Using a Marked Fishing Line or Rope
Using a marked fishing line or rope is a standard method for figuring out how deep the water is. The only downside to this is that you might not have enough line or rope to reach the bottom if you’re fishing in particularly deep spots.
The basic idea is to tie a rope to something that has enough weight to sink to the bottom. You can use a nearby rock or anything else that is heavy enough to accomplish this task.
Once you’ve tied things off, you can start lowering the rope to the bottom of the water. This should work out fine if you know for sure that the water depth is less than 125 feet or so.
You just have to be sure to bring enough rope to reach the bottom of the lake or river that you’re fishing at. To get the measurement that you’re looking for, it’s necessary to mark the rope at different intervals so that you’ll know how deep the water is.
When you pull the rope up, you’ll be able to tally the marks that you made to determine the exact depth of the water. It’s a very simple idea that works quite well in practice.
You can also use a fishing line to accomplish this task, but using a rope might be a better idea overall. You see, the fishing line tends to get tangled up, and this might make it tough when you’re trying to mark things and pull it out of the water.
Just go with whatever method you think is best so that you can get the information that you need. If you only have a fishing line available to use, that should work out even if it’s a bit trickier than using a rope.
4 – Just Use a Depth Finder
Perhaps the easiest thing that you can do is buy a depth finder to get the information that you’re looking for. Depth finders are handy tools that can tell fishermen the depth of the waters that they’re fishing.
If you’re worried about depth finders being expensive, you shouldn’t be. These depth finders are so common that you can buy them at very reasonable prices.
Most fishermen are going to want to take them with them whenever they go on a fishing trip. There are different types, but many of them utilize sonar to determine the depth of the water.
Some of these depth finders will just attach to your boat, but you can also buy a handheld depth finder if you’d prefer something like that. Either way, you’re going to want to buy some type of depth finder because of how convenient they are.
For the most part, the handheld ones aren’t going to be as great as the more expensive ones that attach to your boat. There are some good handheld options out there, though, and it’s likely worth your time to look into various options.
Spending a bit more money can give you access to more accurate information. Some depth finders are good at finding deeper depths as well, but for fishing, you likely don’t need anything too technologically advanced.
5 – You Could Use a Fish Finder as Well
Technology makes fishing a lot easier than it used to be because of how much information you can get. You just read about depth finders that make finding depth information easy, but you can even find tools that help you to find fish.
A fish finder is a type of sonar that finds the location of the fish in the water so that you can cast your line in good spots. It’s also capable of giving you water depth information just like a depth finder.
This means that you could just decide to invest in a fish finder instead of worrying about getting a standard depth finder. It might be even more useful to you since you’ll have specific information about where the fish are located in the body of water.
Fish finders range in price, and you can get standard ones for $50 or less. The best ones that give you very detailed and accurate information might cost hundreds of dollars, but they can be well worth the investment if you’re passionate about fishing.
The practicality of owning one is very high if you’re going to be fishing often enough. Even just getting a basic one might make more sense than buying a standard depth finder, but it’s up to you to decide what’s best.
If you buy a more complex fish finder, you might be able to reel in some record hauls. It all comes down to how much you want to spend and what your expectations are.
Some Waters Are Too Deep
Of course, fishing in very deep waters will be a lot more difficult because finding the depth won’t be as simple. You can still get some information about very deep waters, but you might not be able to get to the bottom.
For example, if you’re fishing at a very deep lake, fishing the bottom of a lake that is hundreds of feet deep might be impractical. Fishing in the ocean or something like that would also make finding depth information more difficult.
Depth information is most useful when you’re fishing in lakes and rivers, and finding the information that you need shouldn’t be overly difficult. You have many methods at your disposal and can choose how to go about doing it.
You can get some depth information about very deep lakes online, but finding the specific depth at certain spots might be tough. Some types of fish radar might be powerful enough to give you the information that you’re seeking, though.
You now know everything that you need to know about finding the depth of the water while fishing. These are the most reliable methods that you can utilize, and you shouldn’t have any trouble getting things figured out.
For the most part, finding the water depth is never going to be difficult. So long as you’re not fishing in a spot that is hundreds of feet deep, you’re always going to have options available to you.
You can look information up online to get a basic idea of the depth that you’ll be fishing at. It’ll then be possible to get more detailed information by finding the depth yourself with a rope or using a fish finder or depth finder.
The most important thing to remember is to bring the right tools with you so that you can get things done. As long as you don’t forget to bring your depth finder, fish finder, rope, and other supplies, you’ll always be able to get depth information.
Go out fishing with full confidence that you can get good results. You’ll be able to have a good time fishing and should be able to catch a lot of fish when you know more about the water depth.
Hopefully, this information will lead to you having some truly memorable fishing trips in the near future. Even if you just fish so that you can relax, it’s going to be nice to reel in some big catches now and then.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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