Thermometers

Maverick

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Do any of you use a thermometer to test how cold the lake water is during the winter months? If so which ones are the best to use?
 

ukzero1

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I don't use one myself but there's a few on Amazon to look at, take your pick. The question is though, are you after the surface temp, or the temp at depth? If the latter then I think you'll be struggling to find one that you can cast.
 
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Northantslad

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Yes to the first part of the question and 'mine' that I borrowed a few times was just a digital one, not on lakes, but on rivers, but same thinking.
After reading about the effects of water temperature and across various sources of info, I did take some readings out of interest over a season, but I came to the following conclusions:

I travel an hour or two to the venue, take the first reading of the day- if the water temperature isn't favourable, I don't then go home again.
If the reading isn't favourable, I can glean its going to be a tough day and ease into the session granted, but I generally ease into any session and gauge how the session is going to be anyway through indications/lack of etc.
Fish response and observing others results can tell me just as much.
Getting several readings throughout the day, or leaving the thermometer in the water might lead to observing a rise in water temperature as a trigger for an increase in fish response that occurred, or seeing a drop as a reason for sport stopping- but again, I generally am there for the day regardless.

If the venue is local to you and you can build up a picture of water temperatures and subsequently results regularly it may well be worthwhile, if recorded and analysed. For me and for somewhere like the Severn, having someone local you can contact or like used to exist, a water station number to ring, who would give levels and temperatures, would be beneficial if planning a trip around whether its worth going at all or not.

So I'm not saying its waste of time, much depends on your situation and how you plan to gather and analyse the outcomes, but for me, if I waited for perfect conditions or after building up a picture of things, decided day x isn't the day to go, then I would probably only get out once year.

Much prefer taking conditions as I find them on the day and seeing how the session pans out using other indicators. I doubt I will ever know a venue that well or have such a depth of results, where I could I could look at a reading and think right I need to do tactic x today, nor would I find that approach efficient when compared with using all other observations to adapt at the start or during a session.

Rueben Heaton is always a brand I come across as highly rated, and one that can show trends even better.
 

davylad

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I use a cheap one, probably made in China and it seems to work fine. I know it can be miles different taking the temp in the edge, rather than where your fishing, but it just gives you a rough idea.
 

Tinca Steve

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A lot of Tenchfishers use one, I use one similar to the above #3 post.
 

Silverfisher

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I just have a fairly cheap one as well, is quite interesting seeing the differences and how it effects the fishing. Main thing I’ve learned is that you are better off results wise in very warm water than very cold by quite some distance.
 

Tinca Steve

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It also lets you know if temperatures change, up good ,down bad.
 

squimp

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In the days when I specimen fished seriously we used thermometers all the time. Originally old fashioned ones in weighted plastic sleeves and then digital as per the examples above.

you learn really quickly what conditions suit which fish species and how temperature trends make a difference.

for example barbel generally feed best in winter in warmer water - above 43 degrees F. Below 40 and it gets really slow. But 43 on a rising trend is MUCH more productive than 43 on a downward slide. there is a reasonable correlation between river colour and temperature - so when it rains and the water colours up it tends to be warm. When it is low and clear (in winter) it tends to be cold.

once you understand what is going on in the river, you then choose which species to target based solely on the prevailing conditions. So that basically means you go roach or barbel fishing when the river is coloured and warm and you fish for pike, chub and maybe perch when it is colder and clearer.

on stillwaters I would target carp and roach on a rising temperature (probably low atmospheric pressure as well) and just fish for pike if it was really cold.

the bad news is that other factors also come into play eg air pressure as mentioned above and also moon phases - so it can get pretty complicated If you delve into what is really going on.

all of the above depends on good record keeping. You need a fishing diary and an analytical mind to spot the trends. it takes years and lots of effort, but once you work it out the results are astonishing.
 

Silverfisher

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Squimp you’ve thrown a curve ball referencing Fahrenheit I only really understand that in warmer climes! In terms of centigrade I’ve found sub 10 is hard 15-20 ideal and 25 the limit. Surface temperatures that is so probably a fair bit cooler where I am actually fishing.

In terms of Fahrenheit I only understand around 80 is the sweet spot when I fish in Florida and much above 85 or much below 75 you might as well go home haha
 

squimp

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If you talk any more about Florida and high temperatures I will start talking about permit fishing !
 

Method Man

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If I need a thermometer to tell me to fish or not stay at home I turn the heating up get the coffee pot brewing and find some old Matt Hayes DVD, simple. 😜
 
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lp1886

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If I get to the lake and it’s got a ripple I fish. If it’s frozen solid...I’ll still fish after I’ve smashed a hole in it. Some folks make this fishing lark far too technical.
 

Silverfisher

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Doesn’t tell you whether to fish or not, just an interesting/nerdy thing to know.

Also squimp we can talk permit fishing if want, problem is I’ve only seen one in the flesh myself but it was not my line it was attached to :(
 

squimp

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I would disagree; once you understand the natural feeding triggers they absolutely do tell you when you should (make that ‘must’) go fishing.

And as for permit; fly fishing for them is one of the biggest challenges out there......
 

Method Man

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Can anyone tell me what are the best times to fish by looking/ reading a barometer as I’ve never really understood this high and low situation might be interesting thanks guys.. 🤦‍♂️
 

Neil ofthe nene

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I use a cheap eBay aquarium thermometer. I started because I was just curious about the water temperature and how it changed in Autumn and Spring.

Yes it only has a metre of cable and thus I am taking the temp close to the surface and edge, not down deep at approx. 10m where I am likely to be fishing. But I am comparing like for like week to week.

I have found that carp tend to drop out of the margins when the temp. gets below 12, on some lakes 10. Depth of margin may have an effect. If I see a reading of below 4 then I know that the bottom at distance will be 4 or above. That temperature does not bother me but I know I am less likely to catch carp and it will probably be more use fishing pinkie.

As we know we can break ice and still catch. So really the water temperatures we are likely to see in this country should not put us off having a day out. But our expectations may need adjusting.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Can anyone tell me what are the best times to fish by looking/ reading a barometer as I’ve never really understood this high and low situation might be interesting thanks guys.. 🤦‍♂️
The absolute reading does not, in my opinion, matter. It is the speed of change that can have an effect. Rapid changes can put fish off. I think this may be down to the effect on the swim bladder and the fish feeling uncomfortable and needing to adjust the bladder to the air pressure. This takes time.
 

SteveinSwindon

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I would exercise caution using digital thermometers. have gone through a couple for use in our aquarium and they are so damn unreliable, giving varying temperatures through the day. I would question their accuracy if used to just dip in the water!!!!
 

Neil ofthe nene

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The one I use seems accurate and gives consistent readings. Air temp through the day matches the forecast and I have tested it against the central heating thermostat.
 
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