Saturday, August 15, 2015

Warm Water Musky Fishing. The Issues!

With water temperatures at or near 80 degrees in part of our Musky Fishing Waters, here is a re post on warm water effect on Muskies.

Warm Water and Muskie Questions!

  Here is part of a great article by Elmer Heyob on the dangers of fishing for muskie in hot water conditions.

 Delayed mortality may occur from the combination of stressors a fish experiences during a catch and release fishing event along with any associated tissue damage and blood loss. Our lake conditions since the Fourth of July have become a major factor because the sustained hot weather conditions have warmed the surface waters above 80-degrees (morning temperature) and caused that temperature to reach all the way down to the thermocline. The dissolved oxygen at the thermocline depth drops below 4 ppm. This is a key point because once the coolest water available to a “cool-water” species like muskies goes above the 80-degree range or below 4-6 ppm oxygen, the fish reach a stressful situation. That’s why the odds for delayed mortality go up under these conditions. The fish are already at the point of stress before being caught. A muskie stressed by warm water or low oxygen will continue to feed to a point, making them vulnerable to angling. In fact, being cold-blooded means their metabolism is greater at higher temperatures, but eventually the stress shuts their feeding down and they start to lose body condition.
  For example, both Alum Creek and Caesar’s Creek Lakes currently have conditions where the 80-degree water has reached all the way down to the 4 ppm oxygen levels at the thermocline. With continued hot weather conditions, it will only become worse. The oxygen in warm upper layer the (epilimnion) that doesn’t mix with the colder water below it with little or no oxygen (hypolimnion) will continue to reduce in depth, making the thermocline shallower and forcing the muskies into hotter water and even more stressful conditions.

At what temperature is the "Stop Fishing Musky Temp"? 
 Yes this is a good question so if you got comments, please do below. Our stop fishing temp for musky is 81 degrees. With that said, we also think the deepest one should fish is 16 to 20 feet down. If a Musky is caught a fast release is a must.

Is the thermocline shallower in warm water lakes?
 As Elmer said above it does. In our local lakes the thermocline during hot summers is around 20 to 32 feet. This summer it appears to be about 15 to 20 feet (with surfaces temp's between 81 & 87 degrees). What does this mean? Most fish will be on the cooler side of the lake (usually the up wind side) and with the thermocline shallower in a more concentrated area. But with Musky, does this mean the bait fish are abundant and easier to feed on? 
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See you on the water!  Pops 

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