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Big rivers in summer - where are the fish?


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#1 The Flying Tench

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:26 AM

Am I right in thinking that, in summer, the fish will mainly be out in the middle where there's maximum flow? I fish the Thames which I'd describe as a medium flow river.

 

I realise there are exceptions. Like I think they will still hide under boats, even in summer. Do you agree?

 

A related issue is where they will be vis a vis depth. Am I right that roach will tend to be up in the water, and will certainly like a dropping bait? That's a nuisance for me, as currently I can't see a float much further than under the rod tip, but that may hopefully change after a cataract op.

 

And perch, now that's another question. Half of me thinks they'll be close in cos they don't like much flow. But on the Thames they can be very active chasing the bleak out in the middle, you see the bleak jumping out of the water.

 

So am I right that ledgering has it's problems for both roach and perch in mid summer?

 

What's your experience of summer fishing?


john clarke

#2 Ken L

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 03:15 PM

Depends on the character of the "big river".
We don't really have any big rivers in the UK, so I'll assume you mean Severn, Thames, Trent etc.
On the middle Severn, the chub will be out and actively hunting and feeding anywhere that's fairly fast but most other fish are generally in the densest cover they can find and a hole under a willow is a good place to start - but it's not generally a case of where to fish as when, with evening sessions outscoring everything else.
A bit lower down where it's navigable and deeper, the same is true, although there will be more fish about in the open and the bottom of the inside ledge is always worth a bash.
On rivers like the Warks Avon where the lower reaches are deep close in and often shaded by lilies, I'll be fishing hard in to the bank because that's where the shade and structure are.

Species caught in 2019: Pike. Bream. Tench. Chub. Common Carp. European Eel.

Species caught in 2018: Perch. Bream. Rainbow Trout. Brown Trout. Chub. Roach. Carp. European Eel.
Species caught in 2017: Siamese carp. Striped catfish. Rohu. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima.  Black Minnow Shark. Perch. Chub. Brown Trout. Pike. Bream. Roach. Rudd. Bleak. Common Carp.
Species caught in 2016: Siamese carp. Jullien's golden carp. Striped catfish. Mekong catfish. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Alligator gar. Rohu. Black Minnow Shark. Roach, Bream, Perch, Ballan Wrasse. Rudd. Common Carp. Pike. Zander. Chub. Bleak.
Species caught in 2015: Brown Trout. Roach. Bream. Terrapin. Eel. Barbel. Pike. Chub. 
Species caught in 2014: Striped catfish. Pacu. Giant gourami. Clown knife fish. Rohu. Siamese carp. Amazon red tail catfish. Arapaima. Roach. Bream. Perch. Rainbow trout. Chub. Common Carp, Ide. Brown Trout. Barbel. Mekong catfish. Jullien's golden carp. Alligator gar. Java barb.
Species caught in 2013: Mangrove Jack. Barramundi. Blubberlip snapper. Baracouda. Malabar grouper. Yellowfin Trevally. Chub. Brown Trout. Perch. Roach. Pike. European Eel. Bleak.
Species caught in 2012: Northern whiting. Moray eel. Barramundi. Snakehead murrel. Silver razorbelly minnow. Deccan Mahseer. Malabar mystus. Deccan rita. Spotted Malabar Grouper. Mangrove Jack. Indian sea catfish. Brown Trout. Chub. Perch. Roach. Rudd.
Species caught in 2011: Indian sea catfish. Sardine. Barramundi. Mangrove Jack. Deccan Mahseer. Record Humpbacked Mahseer. Yellow Fin Trevelly. Giant Trevelly. Chub. Brown Trout. Perch. Pike. Atlantic salmon. Dace. Minnow. Roach. Gudgeon. 
Species caught in 2010: Barramundi. Giant Trevelly. Moray eel. Indian sea catfish. Mangrove Jack. Deccan Mahseer. Humpback Mahseer. Chub. Brown Trout. Perch. Bass. Pike. 
Species caught in 2009: Chub. Perch. Pike. Pacu. Thai Striped Catfish. 
Species caught in 2008: Barramundi. p-i-k-e-y sea bream. Indian sea catfish. Guitarfish. Mangrove Jack. Mahseer. Squid (Not strictly a fish but it took a lure !). Emperor Sweetlip. Black Spot Snapper. Moray eel. Spangled Emperor. Bluecheek silver grunt. Yellow striped emperor. Vanikoro sweeper. Pike. Perch. Brown trout. Chub. Atlantic salmon.


#3 Phone

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 05:55 PM

Tench,

 

Your follow-up question

 

You will find our perch primarily in off-channel waters or in the boundaries with the channel. Any time you can find deep water that also has cover (structure) you will find fish - and usually the bigger fish (except during spawn).  We have you at a disadvantage on mapping the channel.  We use "fish-finders" as basic kit.

Of course, all bets are off and it becomes the "only" place to fish if you can "match the hatch".  In this instance you simply must pay attention to nature.  I mean who wouldn't love a nice overhanging mulberry tree. It's becomes a feast for predators as well.

 

The time I fished the Themes, illegally I was later told, was behind Windsor Castle.  A famous boys school was on the other side of the river?  In that bit of a stretch the flow rate was 3 - 4 mph and very featureless.  The only thing I caught was an 8 man racing scull (broke my line).

 

Phone 


Edited by Phone, 22 June 2019 - 05:56 PM.


#4 Martin56

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:16 PM

In the Yorkshire rivers, we have a lot of what we call 4 o'clock holes whereby you won't catch much at all during the day but, come the hour can get smashed up 6-8 times or more in very short time.


Fishin' - "Best Fun Ya' can 'ave wi' Ya' Clothes On"!!


#5 The Flying Tench

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 03:12 PM

Martin, what do you mean by 4 o'clock holes? Are you talking about holes under the bank, willow trees etc? Or do you mean out in the middle, bits where for some reason it gets deeper?


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#6 The Flying Tench

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 03:27 PM

Thanks, Ken

Interesting, because it's not what I expected. I guess I'm talking about where it's 'navigable and deeper', so your comment about 'more fish about in the open' applies.

 

I have some evidence for saying they'll be in the middle, but admittedly it's not extensive. Comments by a couple of Thames anglers on the bank. Also, some years ago I went on a trip to Hereford to fish the Wye, and found an out of date website for the Belmont Hotel where a previous manager had been an angler. It gave a detailed, swim by swim, commentary on all the pegs managed by the hotel. For peg after peg he claimed that, in summer, the roach in particular would be out in the faster water.

 

So it'll be interesting to hear more comments from anglers with experience of other rivers. Meanwhile I'll take your advice and try at the bottom of the marginal shelf, particularly if I can find somewhere where the flow comes in towards the bank.

Depends on the character of the "big river".
We don't really have any big rivers in the UK, so I'll assume you mean Severn, Thames, Trent etc.
On the middle Severn, the chub will be out and actively hunting and feeding anywhere that's fairly fast but most other fish are generally in the densest cover they can find and a hole under a willow is a good place to start - but it's not generally a case of where to fish as when, with evening sessions outscoring everything else.
A bit lower down where it's navigable and deeper, the same is true, although there will be more fish about in the open and the bottom of the inside ledge is always worth a bash.
On rivers like the Warks Avon where the lower reaches are deep close in and often shaded by lilies, I'll be fishing hard in to the bank because that's where the shade and structure are.


Edited by The Flying Tench, 23 June 2019 - 03:30 PM.

john clarke

#7 The Flying Tench

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 08:05 PM

A related bit of evidence, at least re the Thames. I'm a member of Littlemore A.S. near Oxford. For their Thames matches they fish a stretch at Sandford, just south of Oxford, that I think has a reputation for roach. In the first 2 months of 2018/19, I see from their website that all 4 matches were won on the waggler. To me, the fact that it was waggler rather than stick float implies that the fish were at a distance, and the fact that none were on the feeder implies that the fish wanted a moving bait.

 

To my surprise, given all the bleak in the Thames, 2 were won on maggot, and 2 on caster. Though one specifically said hemp and caster, so for all I know maybe all fed hemp rather than maggot or caster.

 

I've never fished a match in my life, but I find this interesting info. Later in the year there is much more variety of method, including feeder. 

 

Of course it may be quite different on other rivers. It would be interesting to hear.


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#8 Martin56

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:04 PM

Martin, what do you mean by 4 o'clock holes? Are you talking about holes under the bank, willow trees etc? Or do you mean out in the middle, bits where for some reason it gets deeper?

Tench, 4 o'clock holes (holes are a Yorshireism for Pegs/swims) are pegs that don't come on the feed till nearly teatime.


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#9 Martin56

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:32 PM

Tench, there is a term called fishing the Crease, that's where the fast and slower water converge.

 

You can actually see it on the river surface as a distinct line, fairly close in, on, near or after a bend.

 

That's where the Barbel & Chub will be, flitting in & out of the current intercepting food coming down, then back into the relative calm!!


Edited by Martin56, 23 June 2019 - 09:41 PM.

Fishin' - "Best Fun Ya' can 'ave wi' Ya' Clothes On"!!


#10 Phone

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 06:26 AM

Tigger (and anyone else who will post pictures)
 
Intrigued by Tiggers photos I decided to investigate barbel compared to our sucker family.
 
"Barbus barbus is indigenous to eastern flowing rivers in England. Anthropogenic modification of the physical characteristics - water depth, velocity, and temperature; channel width; water chemistry, substrate and suspended sediment; amount of cover that control the quality of a river as habitat for these fish. They are all elongated, streamlined and with the slightly humped form that results in the fish being forced on to the bottom by the flow."
 
I found this interesting and thought I'd pass it along.
 
http://eprints.bourn...s_Tea Basic.pdf  (2017)
 
Phone


Edited by Phone, 24 June 2019 - 06:29 AM.