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Finding the fish in rivers in winter


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As I understand it, in summer the fish are spread throughout much of the river, but in winter they shoal up and there can be long stretches without any fish. So location is key.  I think I know what to do for a fish like chub - I imagine it's a case of doing the leg work trying different chubby haunts till you strike lucky. But what about a shoal fish like roach? Is it again a case of test and see?  But do they even stick to one place, or does the shoal move around?

 

john clarke

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TIGGER,

1. Winter is HARD on gear.

2. Avoid current

3. Shoals will seek deeper waters based on present water temp.

4. Slow down, shoals become lethargic.

5. Usually not feeding, but rather showing social dominance

Phone

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When the streamer weed starts to die away and the temperatures start to fall drastically the Roach in my local streams tend to shoal up a lot tighter and venture into backwaters, or seek much slower and deeper swims, or huddle together just below clumps of decaying rush beds where it’s fairly slack and they can preserve their energy a bit, but they still seem to be fully awake and very wary of predators. They also seem fairly reluctant use up their energy and rarely chase a bait once it has passed by them in the current. Plus their digestive systems seem to wind down and they eat a lot less.

However; although these are the places that I would expect to find them in the colder months and where I’ve found them in the past they can often be quite surprising and they don’t always follow the rules 😃

On stillwaters they seem to congregate in tight shoals and in places out of the wind chill like sheltered bays where it’s sometimes a degree or two warmer. On sunny winter days they seem to move into places where the suns rays fall onto the water for the same reason.

Because they feed much less and shoal more tightly and don’t move around so much you often have to be a little more mobile and go searching for them; and some swims will be fairly barren of fish because of this.

Keith

Edited by BoldBear

Happiness is Fish shaped (it used to be woman shaped but the wife is getting on a bit now)

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That could be where Black Cloud Groundbait comes in?? They might not eat it but provides cover from predators - at least from above given their dark backs.

They might then be tempted by a Caster.

Edited by Martin56

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

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I think it depends on how close you are to the coast, and what kind of rivers you fish.  Obviously northern spate rivers are a different again to a lot of the southern rivers which have less flow.  

The silverfish in my local rivers mostly migrate down stream during the winter months and occupy the tidal areas.  

So if I wanted to target roach I would be looking to fish the tidal stretches.

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Just drop a Lead with a "Quickstopped" worm down the edge & wait for the rod to go round.

Nailed on will be a Barbel or Chub.

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

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