Ideal depth for different species

Zerkalo

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What’s the ideal depth for different species?

Sorry if this sounds misguided lol I’m just trying to start a conversation. It would seem to me that other than Bream most fish prefer shallower water? Am interested in what people think about Barbel in different depths of water though as I don't know much about that...

Fishing on a stretch of the Severn I have in my mind that the deeper pegs there are a waste of time for Barbel. I could be wrong on this, but it's because I have caught in the 4’ stretches and blanked on the deeper 7’ sections. I get the impression that while the odd bigger fish might hole up in deeper water, at most times of year about 4 to 5' is spot on?

The deeper sections are a bit slower and so easier for to learn float fishing rivers and I had a nice mixed bag of Roach, Dace, Chublets and Perch from there. On the other hand my personal best Roach came from Barbel fishing a shallow peg.

Likewise, most of the proper Chub I catch come from a 3-4’ weir pool but Im sure that has more to do with it being a weir and they will hole up in deeper holes on the rest of the small river.

Bream fishing I associate with deep water, just because that’s the normal reservoir or big lake type venues I’ve targeted them on, although I’ve also caught them in shallower commercial waters.

A point I’ve made before to some 'contention' is that I fish the deeper pegs on a couple of commercials in Winter when I fish for commercial Carp even though I’m told they’re in the warmer shallower water, which is probably right at most places but when I say deeper pegs I’m talking about 7’ instead of 3’ and not mega deep like one 20’ deep place I plan to give a try later this year.
 

Silverfisher

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Its just different on different venues and at different times of the year. Generally you dont often find silverfish in numbers in super shallow water but they obviously do venture shallow at times then you dont tend to see tench in very shallow stuff but apart from that I wouldnt say theres any general rules. They are almost all in any depth at some point.
 

Zerkalo

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Makes sense about the silverfish, at least it's easier for me to fish for them in slower holes as well which is a bonus.

With the Barbel I'm thinking in particular about the middle Severn, but have thought I'm probably wrong and a lot of people fish lower areas of rivers for big Barbel? Just seems that the deeper sections of the middle Severn are a waste of time?

Tench I'd imagine you could catch quite deep as they have sensitive eyes but unfortunately I have only ever fished for them in quite shallow lakes where weed provides that cover.
 

Silverfisher

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I've always liked water 3-8ft for silverfish. Not sure if its the generally steady water at that depth that they like or the extra protection from predation or that it simply provides room for the shoals or combination of the lot but it generally seems more productive than really shallow or really deep water. Not really caught enough barbel to comment on them but those I have caught have generally come from similar depths.
 

Zerkalo

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I've never fished a very deep river for Silvers but have seen/heard about it being done. It's just that on the Middle Severn there are a few stretches that have a seemingly proper depth of over 12 foot (just a guesstimation from flow) and to me they look a little devoid of fish compared to places that aren't quite as deep at 8' or under.

I'm also waiting to see if I catch anything in the deeps this winter on a 20ft stillwater, I'm told I won't due to thermoclines but then again you won't catch anything in the deeps there at any other time of year either.
 

Silver fan 82

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I think there are alot of variables really. Time of year, water temperature, features, available food, natural shelter.
Generally speaking though I think rudd generally shallow although I have caught them on the bottom. Bream and Tench generally deep but having said that I have seen Tench basking in the warm water literally just under the surface before.
I believe that most species will sit where they are comfortable and / or where the food is. I mean how many times have you fished shallow and drawn fish up off the bottom due to your feeding?
 

DAMFLASK CHRIS

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I have used a fish finder on my local deep reservoir during colder weather only picked up signs of fish shoals in water over 27 feet deep but that was winter time fish where showing off bottom but it is very deep in places
 

Fugley-fisher

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Chub and barble normally in shallower faster flowing bream tench slower deeper , the rest can and will turn up where they feel comfortable or what's available.
 

Silverfisher

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Chub are one species that do seem to get everywhere. Just about the only species that I’ve had from every depth from very deep holes right down to water that barely covers their back.
 

Zerkalo

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Way off the mark that Barbel are normally from shallow,faster water.The Lower Severn,Trent and Thames are far from that.

You do a lot of Barbel fishing on the Lower Severn don't you? Sorry if I'm wrong. I get the impression the lower stretches of those rivers throw up bigger fish but not as many?

So would you not outright write off the pegs I mention then if you know the Middle Severn? How about the deeper stretches of the middle like Ribbesford or even the slower stretches like Stourport? They just don't strike me as very Barbelly even though fish get caught on the lower stretches.
 

tunna

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Ribbesford does hold Barbel, but can be a waiting game. I have had them to 11lb in the past, and plenty of blanks just fishing for them, also had bream on the pellet, from there. Generally now fish a barbel rod, and a feeder /maggot /groundbait, rod for anything else.
 

Zerkalo

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Nice one. I'm thinking if I want to catch a bigger Barbel I am better in a deeper peg but if I want numbers I'm better going for a shallower peg. Just going from the few times I've fished for them and not a steadfast rule.

It's all about numbers for me at the moment so don't think I have the patience to wait it out on deeper stretches and would rather fish them for Roach etc.
 

Lee Richards

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The Lower Severn will always produce lower numbers of Barbel caught per session than the Middle as it's almost a different river.
It's far wider,deeper,slower in the Summer and can be subjected to heavy boat traffic.
This means the Barbel are more dispersed throughout the river and pegs that produce one day may not produce a Barbel for weeks or even months afterwards.

On the Middle they are more concentrated,see more anglers and thus regular feed going in.
For some reason they also seem to reach lower weights than the Lower and that could be down to the anglers are not fishing the areas that hold the larger fish.

Conditions and angler traffic can dictate where the Barbel are and my largest Teme Barbel of 12-12 came from the slowest and deepest part of the stretch I had targeted for five seasons.
Other anglers were not fishing it as literature throws up the myth that Barbel don't like silt,yet this one and six others that evening all came from a heavy silted area.

One of my group had five doubles in one night in 2017 from Severn Stoke and that part of the river is like most of the Lower deepest and very silty.

As for Stourport it's never really been thought of as a Barbel water but has/had some fantastic shoals of Winter Roach over the years (cormorants as well though)
NoCarpPlease and the lads on the Stowe thread can probably help with that side of things.
 

Zerkalo

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Thanks for that, good read and informative post. (Y)

I’ve had a few Roach and Perch from Stourport but get the impression the silverfish are well dispersed given the width of the stretch and it’s all about getting them shoaled up in your peg. Whereas on the more Barbel fished stretches, these hold a lot of silverfish so I’ll be fishing those a lot more.

Basically I’m going to follow the wind and if it’s blowing then I’ll fish for Barbel and if not then I can fish a float for silvers.
 

Me and my lad

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Evening Zerkalo. Our annual Severn holiday (three times a year) always threw up barbel in the faster, shallower more oxygenated water in the summer so I would agree with your assessment. The same swims have thrown up 2lb plus roach too. try the last peg at the Ship Inn in Highley that is on the bend. There is a fence going down. The bigger barbel always appeared in this deeper swim, didn't interest me as I would rather catch 8 or so stamp fish than 1 or two lumps.We got to know the middle Severn quite well as there were 10 of us to work it out. However, it was always worth asking the local anglers who gave us secrets in exchange for the currency of beer
 

Zerkalo

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Glad my gut feeling about these stretches doesn't seem too far off. Hope you have some good times there again.

My feeling is that even in Winter, the same pegs are likely to produce, floods aside, as there is more water on? For example, I've been told the best pegs at Hamton Loade, you have to walk down a bit past the very shallow water, and these are the same pegs I'd go for all year round.
 

rudd

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What’s the ideal depth for different species?

Sorry if this sounds misguided lol I’m just trying to start a conversation. It would seem to me that other than Bream most fish prefer shallower water? Am interested in what people think about Barbel in different depths of water though as I don't know much about that...

Fishing on a stretch of the Severn I have in my mind that the deeper pegs there are a waste of time for Barbel. I could be wrong on this, but it's because I have caught in the 4’ stretches and blanked on the deeper 7’ sections. I get the impression that while the odd bigger fish might hole up in deeper water, at most times of year about 4 to 5' is spot on?

The deeper sections are a bit slower and so easier for to learn float fishing rivers and I had a nice mixed bag of Roach, Dace, Chublets and Perch from there. On the other hand my personal best Roach came from Barbel fishing a shallow peg.

Likewise, most of the proper Chub I catch come from a 3-4’ weir pool but Im sure that has more to do with it being a weir and they will hole up in deeper holes on the rest of the small river.

Bream fishing I associate with deep water, just because that’s the normal reservoir or big lake type venues I’ve targeted them on, although I’ve also caught them in shallower commercial waters.

A point I’ve made before to some 'contention' is that I fish the deeper pegs on a couple of commercials in Winter when I fish for commercial Carp even though I’m told they’re in the warmer shallower water, which is probably right at most places but when I say deeper pegs I’m talking about 7’ instead of 3’ and not mega deep like one 20’ deep place I plan to give a try later this year.
6ft - Keith Arthur said that regularly on Tight line's 😉
 
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