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Zorba

Lake turnover in the metro

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Does anyone know when the lakes should start turning over in the metro area? How long does the process usually take and how do you usually change your approach to muskies after the turnover is complete?

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The way this weather is, it's a total toss up. The lake I fished this weekend was 54 yesterday and kinda looking turn-over'ish and today it was 62 and pretty clear for this lake. It's gonna be a process this year...looking at the forecast, it might be a week yet.

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It's going to be a long time. Water temperatures and wind have to line up. If it's 62 it's gotta drop twenty degrees yet, and a little wind action always helps.

It's a little harder to find 'skies when you can't work temperatures to your advantage. Post-turnover metro fish where you don't have the benefit of spawning coregonids could mean trying a number of different schemes. The submergent weeds are usually down by this time, so finding a good muskie ambush point is helpful...rocks, bars, points, any nonvegetation structure you can find are good starting points. Emergent weeds become important. Guys talk about fish just flying out of the rushes at baits, late October and November is the time to be hitting those spots.

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All lakes can be a bit different. But turnover typically occurs in the 54 to 58 degree range.

Aaron

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Then you have lakes like Mille Lacs, that are big, shallow and wide open. With the wind blowing the water around so much, it doesn't even have a turnover, as the water is mixing all the time.

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With the way many of the metro lakes are structured I wouldn't be surprised if well over half of them don't have a distinct turnover. Take Bald eagle for example. Fairly shallow without a big deep main lake basin. You add in a lot of heavy winds which will in fact mix up water columns, so you don't get that distictive thermocline you need for turnover. On lakes where turnover happens, I'm no expert, but I don't think you can throw out a specific degree and apply it to every lake.

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This debate happens ever year. It all depends on how you define turnover. A few people think when the weeds die, which has more to do with lack of light than water temps. If you look on the DNR webite, which I have provided a link to, they relate it to temp and water density.

DNR Turnover question

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I did notice dead grassy weeds floating up all the sudden. I found muskies there Thursday and for 6 weeks prior in that spot. Then Friday the weeds floated up and no follows. Across the lake the water temps were up to 58, from 55 in the first spot, with no dead weeds and there were the muskies again.

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Looking at the DNR link posted above, they make it sound as though turnover is a continuous process until the water column is generally around 39 degrees. I probably need a better education on this subject, because like Aaron, I thought this process was completed for most lakes by about 55. Maybe da chise is closer at 42 degrees than I previously thought. Anybody have the definitive answer, and more importantly, how can you tell if turnover is "complete" on your lake, at least as far as muskies are concerned and the disorientation they experience or trouble finding them that we usually have during that time? RK, care to weigh in here? I spoke to Dan Craven a couple years ago about lakes in his neck of the woods, and what we had witnessed in late August/September - the bottom debris being brought up and floating as minner describes above, even though water temps were 60 or above - was part of his definition of turnover.

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Turnover is a process, so I should clarify by saying "It's going to be a long time... (until things are turned over completely and you can work post turnover patterns). The process of turnover is already unfolding. It can get jumpy. I had mid-50's early part of last week and by this past weekend on Sunday it had shot up to 60.5. It now needs to get cold (clear cold nights (40 degrees) like tonight help, as does daily winds) and windy to speed up the process. I don't mean to mislead and make you think that it will happen in like two days. But when you get wind and cold temps it moves more quickly.

You'll know things are underway when the water clouds up a little (bottom sediments are temporarily put into suspension) and on some lakes you can get a little sulfury rotten eggs smell.

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I always thought and was told of turn over to be when the water clears and you begin to see debris floating in the middle of the water column.

I have never really paid much attention to water temps at this time, then again the boat I fished out of didn't have water temp on the depth finder.

Judging from what I seen on Flake over the weekend I would say that it is in process if not complete, clearer water and plenty of mid-column debris.

BUT... I'm an IT guy so what do I know...

RU

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water is to clear to be turned over, the shallows on waconia were empty but i did get a 40" near suspended bait in that 20 to 30 foot range. look deep for bait. Jonah

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