Make sense of the dog days

As we hit the 90-degree water temperature it becomes the norm that fishing gets tough, and we look forward to some cooling water temperatures that will really help the fishing. The key to success during this time is to understand what you’re facing when you get on the water. Knowledge is the key to overcoming the obstacles of the dog days of summer.  
One of the most important things to understand is that the oxygen levels in the water gets depleted when we move into this period on the water. Finding areas that have some higher oxygen levels can make all the difference in catching fish. The first thing to remember is that there could be areas of the lake that produce more oxygen than others; what causes this is the key to finding fish.  
One thing to always take notice of is your graph. Observing where the fish are in the depth range will really help you understand what and where to fish. If you notice that fish are congregating mainly at a certain depth off the bottom, your lake could be suffering from the thermocline setting in. This removes the oxygen from the depth below where you see fish on your graph. When this occurs, bass will sit above the thermocline which gives you a depth range to examine to find active fish. Bass on grassy lakes move into the grass, as a general rule, when the oxygen depletes. The grass holds more oxygen and forces them into the grass to find it. The thing many people don’t understand is the nastier the grass, the more likely it is that the oxygen levels are higher, as dying, nasty, foamy grass covered in algae puts oxygen into the water during the day while consuming oxygen, at a lesser rate, at night.  
Current becomes the key during the dog days as moving water always brings oxygen to the hot water. Look for current edges, wind driven change, and that will produce more active fish and help during the dog days. May times docks become great targets as docks produce cover from the sun; help hold oxygen and cool the water underneath the dock. Shadows, nasty grass, docks, suspending fish, and obscure structure sitting alone are ideal targets to find increased oxygen levels that can produce some activity and help you overcome those dog days!

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