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?
The reasons I find fishing the Thames in summer so much more difficult in summer than in winter are that there's little flow, which makes working out where the fish will be more difficult, and all the little fish are ravenous and everywhere, which makes catching the ones you want that much harder. On top of that, there's boat traffic, dog walkers, swimmers, hikers, and all the rest of it.
In answer to your question, I have to say that in general they could be anywhere. I've had perch, roach and chub tight to the bank, out in the middle, far bank. Tight to cover and snags and out in open water. On the bottom and mid-depth. Ditto bream, although generally on the bottom.
Except in flood conditions, I don't think the Thames ever flows too hard for fish to tolerate. In general, I'd be looking to fish in the flow than out of it, even if it seems fast on the surface. Even in winter, when I fish for roach and chub it's almost always in the flow. Perch possibly less so, but with the flow so much slower on the bottom I wouldn't dismiss it.
So, this is the problem I have too, not much to narrow it down unlike in winter!
I wouldn't worry about legering, that will still definitely work. You can use a long hooklength if you want a slowly dropping bait. On the upper Thames I'd probably try to find steady, flowing water and start fishing out to the middle - get some feed out and just see what happens. If it's no good, move to somewhere a bit different (deeper/shallower, faster/slower, deep margin/outside of sharp bend, etc.). Just try things til something works and then remember it for next time. Time of day is important too - the middle of a hot summer day might be pretty poor regardless of everything else, dusk might well be better.
The other main difference between winter and summer is that in winter, they often won't come to you, regardless of how you do the baiting. You need to be in the right place. In summer, I think it matters less as they're more mobile and more likely to move to a baited area. So if you're in generally a decent area you should be OK. E.g. if you fishing for roach and chub which are hanging around at mid depth, if you get some heavy groundbait on the bottom they will move down to eat it. Doing that will usually get past all the bleak and other small fish up in the surface layers.
Edited by Anderoo, 24 June 2019 - 11:50 AM.