If you just began learning how to fish, you’ll be surprised by how many things there are to consider when you want successful catches. You need to have the proper equipment, great timing, good fishing skills, and a lot more.
Another important factor to look into is water type and depth. That’s why you need to learn how to tell how deep the waters are before and during fishing.
Fortunately, it isn’t as hard as one would think since these methods need equipment you already have! So read on as I show you how to tell how deep you are fishing!
How to Tell How Deep You Are Fishing
Learning how to measure your water depth when fishing is important for the following reasons:
- It can help you know what techniques and equipment to use (such as lure weight and kind)
- You will know what kind of fish you can catch based on the depth
- It helps you learn where the fish are to catch them successfully
There are various ways you can tell how deep the waters are before you cast your line. Here are the top five effective ones to follow:
1. Use a Depth or Fish Finder
This is the easiest way and shows accurate readings, but it’s also quite expensive and you have to be careful when handling these delicate devices.
A depth finder will use sonar to find the bottom and since it’s smaller and easier to carry, these can be a part of your fishing kit. You can attach it to the back of your boat or point the device to the body of water from the shores.
Fishfinders are also portable devices that are mainly used to find fish, but some have built-in depth gauges as well. It can look for fish and give you the GPS reading, or even map the area.
While easy to use, they are quite expensive, though you can find cheaper devices available. Also, be wary when packing and using them to prevent it from breaking, since these can be quite fragile.
2. Mark a Rope
This is the cheapest method that’s very easy to learn, an old-fashioned way to get a reading. All you need to do is to measure and mark your rope at regular intervals, using either electrical tape, marker pens, or knots. Afterward, tie your rope to weight or rock, then drop it in the waters.
This is a great way to get a reading for cheap, but it’s cumbersome to carry around. Sometimes, you’ll need to bring over 100 feet if you plan to use it for deeper waters.
Also, take note that ropes will only measure the depth at the exact point you drop it. Unless pre-marked with measurements, you need to manually measure the wet rope once you have retrieved it.
3. Use Weights or Floats
Using a weight or float is another good method since you’re already using the equipment you have and will bring with you. It will also show the distance between both the hook and float.
Besides this, you shouldn’t only learn about the depths of the water, but what surrounds the water as well! You need to learn about the shape of the water bed to see if it’s flat, slopes away, or if there are sudden changes in the water depth. This method can also show you more information about the water bed and depth.
However, make sure that you pack a float rig and be ready to do trial-and-error. This will be a bit of a tedious and time-consuming task!
To do this method, attach the float to the fishing line with a weight on the area you would place the hook in. Allow this to sink, then the bobber will give you a gist on the water’s depth.
If the water is too deep, then it pulls the bobber under and you’ll have to add more line between both your float and weight.
4. Use Your Fishing Line
Using your fishing line is also a great way to gauge depth because it’s cheap and easier than using rope (no need to carry over 100 feet of rope for fishing). But, you’ll require extra setup and it may be difficult to see the markings, especially when fishing at night.
Simply follow the similar steps of using a rope and mark it at regular intervals using marker gum, pen, or electrical tape. When using a rod, you will need to change your line before you begin fishing.
If you fish in poor light, then use a tape or marker gum over a pen, which will be difficult to see.
5. Checking Maps and Online Information
If you want to find out about the water’s depth before you go fishing, you can check a map or online. Many rivers and lakes that are popular to fish in have specific and detailed online data.
This is where you can discover how deep waters are at certain distances from the shore, or wherever you plan to fish from. Then, you can head on to the body of water and measure the distance, so you know how deep the waters will be from there.
Do you want to learn more about telling the fishing depths from various bodies of waters? Check out this helpful video:
Wrapping It Up
Figuring out the depths of the waters you plan to fish in is important and not as hard as you’d expect! However, do manage your expectations if you use methods other than the depth finder, especially with deeper waters. With that in mind, you can start gauging the water depth to know how far you’re fishing to get more catches.
I hope that this article on how to tell how deep you are fishing helped you out! So choose a method suitable for you and prepare the equipment to have an accurate reading on how deep the waters are before fishing.