Home » Where to fish ?
Where to fish is certainly the most immediate and determining question an angler needs to answer. You put your boat in, and then what? Where do you go? We’ll try to list and reflect on the main element you could use to make an educated decision. Keep in mind that the answer to the “where” question can only be understood in conjunction with the “when” question.
If you’re on holiday, or if you’re new to fishing, the first thing is to gather information about the fishing opportunities in your area. You can find out where to fish by contacting the local environment agency, an angling trust, or an angling club. That will tell you open days, the regulations, and what fish are present in each body of water.
I also always spend some time on Google maps, looking for boat ramps, access, but also potential information about the water itself. Look for shallow water structures, current, or even navigational hazards. There is always something of interest to find. A quick internet search might reveal fishing reports, news, and other relevant information.
Once on the water in your fishing lake, don’t rush to make the first cast. If you’re on the shore, it’s a good idea to drive or walk around. Get a feel for the whole body of water. Do you see any fish activity, any clues, birds, fish busting the surface, presence of grass, wood, water discharge you name it? If you’re in a boat, same thing. Look around, keep an eye on your depth finder.
Look for different temperatures. For example in early spring, a warm south wind blowing for a couple of days will accumulate warmer water on the northern shore. The fish might be a little more active in that area. Watch for fish return on your screen too. The fish you’re seeing might not be game fish. But it doesn’t matter, fish of all species tend to congregate in the same area.
As the day progresses, keep being open and on the lookout for clues. You need to find the right balance between being perseverant and giving your pattern a real chance and being stubborn. After a while, if things don’t pan out, move. This is a hard question and there’s no clear-cut answer. Tune back for more entries about how to make decisions such as this.
Knowing where to fish can be even more precise than just where to go. You may be in the right area but not fishing in the right spot. The oldest example of that can be found in John 21:6, Jesus tells his disciples to throw the net on the other side of the boat and they caught 153 big fish. The same thing can happen to us. We may be fishing shallow cover but the fish are just on the deeper side and all it would take is throwing on the other side of the boat. The truth is close by, but only those who seek it will find it.
It can be a matter of presentation too. In rivers with current, we need to decide if we’re casting upstream, downstream or something in between. Want to fish shallow, but how shallow? Should you fish the shore in the shade or the shore exposed to the sun? The inside or outside grass line? The devil is in the details they say. I don’t know about that but details really matter.
Regardless, the most important is to have a plan. Don’t go random casting the first place you find close to the parking lot. Know why you are where you are. That way if you are wrong and fail to get bit, you can make the right adjustment, change one variable and see how that works.
From the macro-geography, whether fish in the UK, France, or Spain to the micro-adjustment of where you place your lure, knowing where to fish, is the most important decision. I would even say it’s 90% of the fishing skill and knowledge, that’s where experienced anglers are separated from the chaff of beginners.