Trout Fishing – Deep or Shallow?

Using fish finders and by sight I have been able to clearly see at what depth the trout are to be found in lakes.  From shore we use Cedric’s portable unit that has a castable transducer that enables us to visualize what depth the trout are at and how far out we need to cast. We have also used side scan portable units on rental boats as well.

Fish finders are totally worth having as it can really make a difference in knowing if you are fishing in productive waters.  Plus, with the 3 dimensional unit you can see the slope of the bottom to identify pathways along which the schools of trout are most likely to swim thru.

Here’s my thoughts about what depth I’ve seen trout at based on deep and shallow lakes.  Higher elevation deep lakes such as Lake Crowley are very much different compared to a lake in the city such as Corona or SARL (Santa Ana Rivers Lake).

Deeper Lakes 
  • Found most trout between 12′ to 25′  of water
  • Rarely found trout below 35′ of water
  • In the Spring, the trout can found in shallow water 5′ to 10′ deep along the shores
  • During mid-day the Trout can often be found in 12′ of water in weed beds or 25′ of water with no weed beds
  • When the lake is churning (due to temperature change the lake bottom layer rises to the surface and ‘churns’) fish become scattered across depths
  • As the summer temperatures hit their peak, trout will often cruise below the thermocline (where the cold water and warmer water meet – often 18’+ deep)
  • Trout often will cruise along deep and shallow underwater current lines often associated with inlets and outlets.
Shallow Lakes (less than 20′ deep)
  • Found most trout between 5′ to 12′ of water
  • Trout are often at inlet and outlet flows
  • Seek water further away from shore when the Sun is high
  • Trout are often close to shore in 4′ to 5′ of water in the early morning

Mr. Trout has a preference of what depth he likes to hang out at depending on the water temperature, surface temperature, underwater structure, and exposure to the Sun. The perfect bait or lure doesn’t have much value unless it’s being used where the trout are located.  Even without a fish finder I will first follow my fishing thoughts and later change it up a bit if I get no action.  Probably start even thinking about using some WD40.  lol.

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