Are there any guidelines for the best day to go lake fishing?

Paul_B

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Today was a good for for fishing, shite for catching though :ROFLMAO:
I packed in doing my garden as the weather wasn't great and went fishing at around 12

I went t dip my net and sign in and asked if there was anything doing, he said no one has caught ought, but I should have been here yesterday, I'd not heard that one before :rolleyes:
I wondered over to the other side so the rain wasn't in my face and looked to see if there was any clues, the bubbles that were coming up didn't fill me with confidence :(
Anyway I worked my way from plan A to plan Z 27 and only had a couple of pulls, all the while watching Moby Dick coming to the surface and arching its back above the water.

To cut a long story short I stuck a black n green on, cast out and pulled back sharpish, first cast I got Moby, a deformed fat trout at about 5lb, second cast with BnG and a decent roach, then nothing, but by this time I wanted to go home and miss the 5pm traffic,

Mobby was a overwintered white fleshed fish chocobloc full of casters.
 

kingf000

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Apologies if this is too obvious, but to summarise what I’ve read here and putting it together in some sort of working hypothesis:

I assume that, other factors notwithstanding, trout on the whole wish to feed. However, there do seem to be conditions which have a high probability of putting them off feeding: high water temperature, low oxygen levels, bright sunshine and rapidly changing water conditions. So it would be a good idea to avoid those. With hotter summers it will be increasingly the situation that in July, August and possible most of September, the fish will often suffer from high water temperatures and low oxygen levels, on the cusp between being OK for feeding, put off feeding or if prolonged, increased mortality. So we should target spring or river fed lakes where water temperatures can be lower. Round here in the south east, a number of commercial fisheries, and some club waters, that are not spring fed, close for the summer months or operate a catch & kill policy only.

Surface water temperatures can change due to cool nights, strong cool winds or strong sunshine. However, the temperature of the bulk of the water would be expected to change slowly, with cooler water in the deeper sections. So although changing air temperatures may affect whether surface or deeper fishing methods are applicable, it, alone, may have little immediate effect on the feeding behaviour. Even in quite small lakes, if it is deep enough there can be temperature stratification with a sudden change in water temperature at about 5-6 ft down. In summer, one would expect the majority of trout to stay mainly in the lower, cooler water and only rush to the surface if there were something tempting enough to make the journey, or sufficient surface food for them to stay there some time. This review does not consider factors such as conditions for favourable fly hatching or conditions that make fishing easier.

The oxygen levels are affected by the water temperature and air pressure. High water temperatures and low pressure means less oxygen. In general, there is a higher oxygen content in the lower, cooler water layers. However, if there is a considerable amount of organic debris, the rotting of this can reduce oxygen levels on the bottom quite considerably, particularly at depths below 30ft. Also the presence of weed can change oxygen levels quite rapidly. Weed absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen in the day, but is the reverse in the night. So in high weed lakes, one would expect oxygen levels to be highest in the late evening/early night and lowest in the early morning. Low atmospheric pressure means lower oxygen content. However, low pressure systems are often associated with strong, cooler winds and lower atmospheric temperatures, both of which would reduce the surface water temperature and increase oxygen content. Conversely a few days of high pressure in summer is often associated with higher temperatures, strong sunshine and less wind, so higher surface water temperature and lower oxygen levels. So the relationship is not simple. From my days of degassing solvents under vacuum, changes to oxygen levels associated with pressure changes could be much more rapid than changes in water temperature, something to bear in mind.

In summer. bright sunshine, especially if associated with high temperatures, seems to be a general no-no. Though immediately following a few cold days, fishing may be good.

Wind direction – not sure about this. The effect is probably very different depending upon what time of year and what kind of water or fish you are targetting.

The concensus seems to be that rapidly changing conditions is not conducive for fish to feed and probably affects oxygen levels first. So a sudden low pressure system could suddenly result in a drop in oxygen levels. In summer, when there is barely enough oxygen in the water anyway, even a small sudden drop could put the fish off feeding. Conversely, a sudden change to high pressure could be OK, as a sudden increase in oxygen levels may spark off increased activity before the higher temperatures kick in.

So: in conclusion in summer in small waters, to increase my chances of finding the fish feeding, I should avoid fishing after a prolonged period of hot, sunny days, even if a single day may be cooler and cloudy. However, the onset of a high pressure system after a series of lows could be good, especially for an early morning start, provided it is cloudy and not too hot, or on the evening of the first or second day of the high pressure system. After the first couple of days, in August and early September, the surface water temperature may just get too high. However, if the high pressure is also associated with a cool breeze, that could keep the water cooler and lengthen the feeding period. A sudden cooler, low pressure system should also be avoided, but wait a couple of days for the surface water to cool down and oxygen levels to rise. This is only a working hypothesis.
 

anzac

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Kingf000, I would say you summarized things nicely. Like you, I'm not confident about how the wind factors into things

I'll add that you summary matches what I've read about fishing conditions and fish behaviour.
 

doobrysnatcher

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ireland
Apologies if this is too obvious, but to summarise what I’ve read here and putting it together in some sort of working hypothesis:

I assume that, other factors notwithstanding, trout on the whole wish to feed. However, there do seem to be conditions which have a high probability of putting them off feeding: high water temperature, low oxygen levels, bright sunshine and rapidly changing water conditions. So it would be a good idea to avoid those. With hotter summers it will be increasingly the situation that in July, August and possible most of September, the fish will often suffer from high water temperatures and low oxygen levels, on the cusp between being OK for feeding, put off feeding or if prolonged, increased mortality. So we should target spring or river fed lakes where water temperatures can be lower. Round here in the south east, a number of commercial fisheries, and some club waters, that are not spring fed, close for the summer months or operate a catch & kill policy only.

Surface water temperatures can change due to cool nights, strong cool winds or strong sunshine. However, the temperature of the bulk of the water would be expected to change slowly, with cooler water in the deeper sections. So although changing air temperatures may affect whether surface or deeper fishing methods are applicable, it, alone, may have little immediate effect on the feeding behaviour. Even in quite small lakes, if it is deep enough there can be temperature stratification with a sudden change in water temperature at about 5-6 ft down. In summer, one would expect the majority of trout to stay mainly in the lower, cooler water and only rush to the surface if there were something tempting enough to make the journey, or sufficient surface food for them to stay there some time. This review does not consider factors such as conditions for favourable fly hatching or conditions that make fishing easier.

The oxygen levels are affected by the water temperature and air pressure. High water temperatures and low pressure means less oxygen. In general, there is a higher oxygen content in the lower, cooler water layers. However, if there is a considerable amount of organic debris, the rotting of this can reduce oxygen levels on the bottom quite considerably, particularly at depths below 30ft. Also the presence of weed can change oxygen levels quite rapidly. Weed absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen in the day, but is the reverse in the night. So in high weed lakes, one would expect oxygen levels to be highest in the late evening/early night and lowest in the early morning. Low atmospheric pressure means lower oxygen content. However, low pressure systems are often associated with strong, cooler winds and lower atmospheric temperatures, both of which would reduce the surface water temperature and increase oxygen content. Conversely a few days of high pressure in summer is often associated with higher temperatures, strong sunshine and less wind, so higher surface water temperature and lower oxygen levels. So the relationship is not simple. From my days of degassing solvents under vacuum, changes to oxygen levels associated with pressure changes could be much more rapid than changes in water temperature, something to bear in mind.

In summer. bright sunshine, especially if associated with high temperatures, seems to be a general no-no. Though immediately following a few cold days, fishing may be good.

Wind direction – not sure about this. The effect is probably very different depending upon what time of year and what kind of water or fish you are targetting.

The concensus seems to be that rapidly changing conditions is not conducive for fish to feed and probably affects oxygen levels first. So a sudden low pressure system could suddenly result in a drop in oxygen levels. In summer, when there is barely enough oxygen in the water anyway, even a small sudden drop could put the fish off feeding. Conversely, a sudden change to high pressure could be OK, as a sudden increase in oxygen levels may spark off increased activity before the higher temperatures kick in.

So: in conclusion in summer in small waters, to increase my chances of finding the fish feeding, I should avoid fishing after a prolonged period of hot, sunny days, even if a single day may be cooler and cloudy. However, the onset of a high pressure system after a series of lows could be good, especially for an early morning start, provided it is cloudy and not too hot, or on the evening of the first or second day of the high pressure system. After the first couple of days, in August and early September, the surface water temperature may just get too high. However, if the high pressure is also associated with a cool breeze, that could keep the water cooler and lengthen the feeding period. A sudden cooler, low pressure system should also be avoided, but wait a couple of days for the surface water to cool down and oxygen levels to rise. This is only a working hypothesis.
wow and its you asked op question
 

ohanzee

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Apologies if this is too obvious, but to summarise what I’ve read here and putting it together in some sort of working hypothesis:

I assume that, other factors notwithstanding, trout on the whole wish to feed. However, there do seem to be conditions which have a high probability of putting them off feeding: high water temperature, low oxygen levels, bright sunshine and rapidly changing water conditions. So it would be a good idea to avoid those. With hotter summers it will be increasingly the situation that in July, August and possible most of September, the fish will often suffer from high water temperatures and low oxygen levels, on the cusp between being OK for feeding, put off feeding or if prolonged, increased mortality. So we should target spring or river fed lakes where water temperatures can be lower. Round here in the south east, a number of commercial fisheries, and some club waters, that are not spring fed, close for the summer months or operate a catch & kill policy only.

Surface water temperatures can change due to cool nights, strong cool winds or strong sunshine. However, the temperature of the bulk of the water would be expected to change slowly, with cooler water in the deeper sections. So although changing air temperatures may affect whether surface or deeper fishing methods are applicable, it, alone, may have little immediate effect on the feeding behaviour. Even in quite small lakes, if it is deep enough there can be temperature stratification with a sudden change in water temperature at about 5-6 ft down. In summer, one would expect the majority of trout to stay mainly in the lower, cooler water and only rush to the surface if there were something tempting enough to make the journey, or sufficient surface food for them to stay there some time. This review does not consider factors such as conditions for favourable fly hatching or conditions that make fishing easier.

The oxygen levels are affected by the water temperature and air pressure. High water temperatures and low pressure means less oxygen. In general, there is a higher oxygen content in the lower, cooler water layers. However, if there is a considerable amount of organic debris, the rotting of this can reduce oxygen levels on the bottom quite considerably, particularly at depths below 30ft. Also the presence of weed can change oxygen levels quite rapidly. Weed absorbs CO2 and releases oxygen in the day, but is the reverse in the night. So in high weed lakes, one would expect oxygen levels to be highest in the late evening/early night and lowest in the early morning. Low atmospheric pressure means lower oxygen content. However, low pressure systems are often associated with strong, cooler winds and lower atmospheric temperatures, both of which would reduce the surface water temperature and increase oxygen content. Conversely a few days of high pressure in summer is often associated with higher temperatures, strong sunshine and less wind, so higher surface water temperature and lower oxygen levels. So the relationship is not simple. From my days of degassing solvents under vacuum, changes to oxygen levels associated with pressure changes could be much more rapid than changes in water temperature, something to bear in mind.

In summer. bright sunshine, especially if associated with high temperatures, seems to be a general no-no. Though immediately following a few cold days, fishing may be good.

Wind direction – not sure about this. The effect is probably very different depending upon what time of year and what kind of water or fish you are targetting.

The concensus seems to be that rapidly changing conditions is not conducive for fish to feed and probably affects oxygen levels first. So a sudden low pressure system could suddenly result in a drop in oxygen levels. In summer, when there is barely enough oxygen in the water anyway, even a small sudden drop could put the fish off feeding. Conversely, a sudden change to high pressure could be OK, as a sudden increase in oxygen levels may spark off increased activity before the higher temperatures kick in.

So: in conclusion in summer in small waters, to increase my chances of finding the fish feeding, I should avoid fishing after a prolonged period of hot, sunny days, even if a single day may be cooler and cloudy. However, the onset of a high pressure system after a series of lows could be good, especially for an early morning start, provided it is cloudy and not too hot, or on the evening of the first or second day of the high pressure system. After the first couple of days, in August and early September, the surface water temperature may just get too high. However, if the high pressure is also associated with a cool breeze, that could keep the water cooler and lengthen the feeding period. A sudden cooler, low pressure system should also be avoided, but wait a couple of days for the surface water to cool down and oxygen levels to rise. This is only a working hypothesis.
Alternately if you work Mon - Fri go Sat and take your chances.
 

ohanzee

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Or, if you've got the alternative, get up early and fish the river, which has a different set of guidelines!
I'd guess we all fish more or less when we can rather than the perfect moment, different circumstances but for me the most productive time is visible in the natural cycle of things, late spring/early summer evenings, then a bit at the end of season, coincides with fish packing on weight at their most productive time which is dependent on when that food is available or in abundance.

The other extreme is a stocked fishery which at the extreme end the most productive time is straight after its stocked, the natural cycle there being replaced by an artificial feeding cycle, that I think is way harder to predict.
 

kingf000

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I'd guess we all fish more or less when we can rather than the perfect moment, different circumstances but for me the most productive time is visible in the natural cycle of things, late spring/early summer evenings, then a bit at the end of season, coincides with fish packing on weight at their most productive time which is dependent on when that food is available or in abundance.

The other extreme is a stocked fishery which at the extreme end the most productive time is straight after its stocked.
I never go to a lake on my own just after it has been stocked - unsporting! That said, I did take a beginner at fly fishing to a newly stocked lake last year so that he could catch something. For me, as expected, it was just too easy, catching about 15 trout in a 3 hours pulling a damsel nymph across the surface of the water.
 

ohanzee

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I never go to a lake on my own just after it has been stocked - unsporting! That said, I did take a beginner at fly fishing to a newly stocked lake last year so that he could catch something. For me, as expected, it was just too easy, catching about 15 trout in a 3 hours pulling a damsel nymph across the surface of the water.
Yes there is a broad range of scenarios between the two extremes I mentioned, and I'm more and more thinking its connected to level of natural feeding going on, I personally can't catch stocked fish to save myself, it seems more luck than anything because I'm not responding to natural cues from fish activity, insects, birds feeding or not and so on, the more naturalised the fish become the more cues you get, without them it is naturally harder to know what to do.
 

Rob Edmunds

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Ok...if you want to actuualy catch fish consider this.........

If I'm planning a personal fishing trip, or guiding then I want the best opportunity to catch. Once I've ( or my clients) have caught a few I can then move round the lake or reservoir and choose/change my tactics accordingly , perhaps go for a big fish etc.......after a few fish in one spot it's pretty monotonous and easy and you prove nothing.....anyway....

Ok

First I'd check out the weather and wind speed, ideally it should be between 16 to 24c and between 5 and 10mph.between the months of March and October

As regards the best day, for English reservoirs and Still waters it is undoubtedly a Thursday or Friday.. no question at all in my mind

The reason being, more people are fishing at the weekend so the fish get pressured......they then need a couple of days to calm down...( Monday & Tuesday)

If the small still water receives a supplementary stocking during the week usually it's a Tuesday

However Thursday is usually the main stocking day on all reservoirs so there are easy fish if you want them..and are desperate.

Thursday & Friday are less busy than weekends, less sailors on reservoirs etc less disturbance...so you have the pick of the best spots as less anglers



If i was retired and had the chance to pick my day.....no question it would be a Thursday or Friday....
 
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kingf000

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Ok...if you want to actuualy catch fish consider this.........

If I'm planning a personal fishing trip, or guiding then I want the best opportunity to catch. Once I've ( or my clients) have caught a few I can then move round the lake or reservoir and choose/change my tactics accordingly , perhaps go for a big fish etc.......after a few fish in one spot it's pretty monotonous and easy and you prove nothing.....anyway....

Ok

First I'd check out the weather and wind speed, ideally it should be between 16 to 24c and between 5 and 10mph.between the months of March and October

As regards the best day, for English reservoirs and Still waters it is undoubtedly a Thursday or Friday.. no question at all in my mind

The reason being, more people are fishing at the weekend so the fish get pressured......they then need a couple of days to calm down...( Monday & Tuesday)

If the small still water receives a supplementary stocking during the week usually it's a Tuesday

However Thursday is usually the main stocking day on all reservoirs so there are easy fish if you want them..and are desperate.

Thursday & Friday are less busy than weekends, less sailors on reservoirs etc less disturbance...so you have the pick of the best spots..



If i was retired and had the chance to pick my day.....no question it would be a Thursday or Friday....
Yes something else to consider. I actually find Tuesdays quite good. Wednesdays are often busy, middle of the week etc. and one day rest after the weekend seems to be OK, at least for the majority of fish that were not caught. It would be interesting to see if the day preference is reflected in catch returns, if we ever see them!
 

Rob Edmunds

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Catch returns are just a rough guide.........it really depends on the quality of the angler fishing..

After a big match say the Anglian Water - Airflo international final then even Rutland needs 2 weeks to get over 120 anglers who have fished for 5 days solid..

120 anglers ( top class anglers) average 6 to 10 fish minimum per day for 5 days...

That's conservatively between 3,000 and 5,000 fish caught not to mention the pricked and lost fish......thats a month and a half stocking !!


The water needs a rest...I fish these matches every year and see the chsnge after a match...

If it's a club match its generally ok......the standard is totally different




×
 
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ohanzee

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Ok...if you want to actuualy catch fish consider this.........

If I'm planning a personal fishing trip, or guiding then I want the best opportunity to catch. Once I've ( or my clients) have caught a few I can then move round the lake or reservoir and choose/change my tactics accordingly , perhaps go for a big fish etc.......after a few fish in one spot it's pretty monotonous and easy and you prove nothing.....anyway....

Ok

First I'd check out the weather and wind speed, ideally it should be between 16 to 24c and between 5 and 10mph.between the months of March and October

As regards the best day, for English reservoirs and Still waters it is undoubtedly a Thursday or Friday.. no question at all in my mind

The reason being, more people are fishing at the weekend so the fish get pressured......they then need a couple of days to calm down...( Monday & Tuesday)

If the small still water receives a supplementary stocking during the week usually it's a Tuesday

However Thursday is usually the main stocking day on all reservoirs so there are easy fish if you want them..and are desperate.

Thursday & Friday are less busy than weekends, less sailors on reservoirs etc less disturbance...so you have the pick of the best spots..



If i was retired and had the chance to pick my day.....no question it would be a Thursday or Friday....
That is really practical and useful but who would have thought the answer to 'the best day to go lake fishing' would be as simple as... 'Thursday':)
 

Rob Edmunds

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Its not always the best day, and largely dependant upon weather conditions...

But generally speaking ( if weather was consistent)Thursday or Friday are easily the best days..

I'm talking about Midlands waters here, Rutland, Grafham, Draycote, Elinor, Ravensthope, Pitsford, Farmoor, Carsingston...

Mondays the worst....after it's been hammered all weekend...

I would have thought it's pretty obvious actually
 
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kingf000

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Its not always the best day, and largely dependant upon weather conditions...

But generally speaking ( if weather was consistent)Thursday or Friday are easily the best days..

I'm talking about Midlands waters here, Rutland, Grafham, Draycote, Elinor, Ravensthope, Pitsford, Farmoor, Carsingston...

Mondays the worst....after it's been hammered all weekend...

I would have thought it's pretty obvious actually
This may be true of the waters you mention that do get hammered at the weekend. For other waters, which aren't so popular and where big matches are not held, things are a bit different. And it is small waters that I'm talking about here. Larger waters will have a similar, but different set of guidelines. Also those waters you mention have a larger turn over of fish with frequent restocking, whereas for the smaller waters they often only stock three or four times a year, or even less if it is mainly C&R.
 

Rob Edmunds

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Well with waters that are only stocked 3 or 4 times a year then the fish will definitely be wised up.....so weather conditions will play a bigger part

But personally I'd still avoid weekends ( and mondays/tuesdsys)as the fish will have had more pressure...

Same principles apply no matter what the size of water or frequency of stocking.....

Angling pressure makes fish harder to catch....
 

ohanzee

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I fished the Tummel once without knowing the river championships had been through every pool the day before, confusing to see olives floating down and not see or catch a thing, it is a different experience, I got one solitary fish and under a pound, the only thing that rose and I got it but still went home feeling like it was a poor performance from me.
 
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