Before you attempt to catch fish, you need to find out where they are. Remember that fish are found nearly everywhere there is water with sufficient levels of food, oxygen, and cover. You are certain to be within a relatively close distance to a body of water that has fish living in it. For an angler, this is good news. They are there – now you have to find them!
All fish are different. Because of this, they do not all live in the same kind of waters. Fish tolerate different environmental conditions. Some of these include differing levels of salt, amounts of oxygen, types and amounts of food, water temperature, and hiding areas. The most distinguishing element of fish is salt. Some fish do not live in areas where there is a lot of salt.
On the other hand, some fish need salt to survive. There are also some types of fish that can live in both saltwater and freshwater. Freshwater ponds, reservoirs, and rivers contain significantly less salt than the ocean. North America has a majority of freshwater bodies. Some of the fish that you will find in these freshwater bodies are the bluegill, carp, catfish, crappie, and bass. In contrast, many species of fish live in the ocean’s salty water. Thanks to their kidneys, these fish are able to keep the proper balance of salt in their body. The more popular saltwater fish are the bluefish, cod, sea trout, tuna, and flounder.
Another factor that weighs heavily on where you will find certain fish is oxygen. All fish must have a certain level of oxygen to survive. Some fish, such as carp, survive on less oxygen than fish like trout. The living plants within a lake or stream directly affect the amount of oxygen in the water. They add oxygen to the water through photosynthesis. This process uses sunlight to make food. Oxygen also makes its way into water from the surrounding air. You will find certain fish in certain bodies of water based on what kind of food is there. It is based on the amount and type of food available in a setting. All fish need to eat, so the amount of competition with other fish is a factor that determines which fish will be in certain areas.
Fish prefer different water temperatures. Some fish are flexible. They have the ability to live in a wide range of temperatures. Other fish, however, need either cold or warm water to survive. Trout is an example of this. You will only find trout in cold water. Your best bet for finding a certain type of fish is to learn about the type of water it prefers. They are most often found in water that is close to their preferred temperature. We, as humans, can control one factor when it comes to where fish live. Water quality often determines where a fish will live and we have the means to ensure a high level of water quality. All fish must have water that has adequate levels of oxygen. Good-quality water will obviously support more species of fish than water that is polluted. Water that is stagnant, polluted, or lacking adequate oxygen simply cannot support a large group of fish.
While some fish, such as carp, live in water that is not very clean, most fish need a high quality of water in order to survive. Discovering the places where fish live is the first step to successful fishing. Several factors come into play when looking for a fish’s habitat. Some of these are the levels of salt and oxygen found in water. Another factor is the temperature of the water. All fish are different. Because of this, it benefits you, the angler, to take the time necessary to find the bodies of water in which they live.
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