Catfish and the thermocline

How far below the thermo cline can you still find Catfish?

Those that understand the habitat of the Catifhs will know all about the thermocline and its use in the life of a Catfish, but many people wonder how far below the thermocline they can expect to find Catfish.

For the uninitiated it is important to first explain what the thermocline is so they know exactly what we are talking about.

The Thermocline

The thermocline is a layer of water in any body of water whether it be river, lake or stream. To understand the thermocline you have to understand how a body of water gets its temperature.

Imagine a lake that is 100 feet (thirty two metres) in depth, this lake will have warmer water on the top where the sun hits it and may keep this warmth for the first twenty feet, but below this the temperature will lower quickly the deeper in the water you go. The thermocline is the layer of water that is the barrier between the upper warmer waters and the lower colder waters.

The Catfish and the thermocline 

Generally the Catfish will stay in the thermocline region as this is the most comfortable region of the water for them, this means that when the thermocline moves due to the climate of the land above the catfish will move to deeper or more shallow waters.

An example of this is during the summer months where Catfish will be swimming around depths of around 20 feet during the month of May (except when spawning) but when the temperature changes in July to August they can be found closer to the surface at around 15 feet.

It is important to note that it is rare for Catfish to go any lower than one to two feet below the thermocline as the water is too cold and oxygen can be more difficult to come by. 


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow catfish fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004.

One Response to “Catfish and the thermocline”

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