Water clarity

Zerkalo

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One thing I like about fishing rivers is the way they are different every time you fish them, not just in depth and pace but also water clarity. I walked the banks of the Severn today and although the river is low, there was still a tinge of colour to the water which to me made it looks spot on.

I remember when I met a kind forum member who was selling me some tackle at Barford on the Warks Avon. I think it was first day of the season and he was getting ready to fish. Thunder was rumbling in the background and upon looking down off the bridge I remarked that the water looks very clear, it had been years since I'd seen the river, and only have vague memories of it being so clear. I think he mentioned to me, not to worry, the Chub love it, which makes sense to me, and I expect that river is often like that.

Another reason I'm thinking about clear water situations is I walked around an estate lake the other day with my dad. The water was like tap water. I remember it being clear at the end of May last year when I had a few Tench, but it was gin clear this time and I plan to fish it, without much expectation, on Monday. Really I think it needs a touch of additional colour in the water, from fish churning up the bottom, Carp spawning, and presumably weed/algae growth, and whatever else causes colour.

There have also been times I've fished the Severn when the water has been very clear, so much that you could see the bottom a good few metres out from the bank. Fishing has been mixed on those days, having had some ok days and some tough days fishing for Barbel. I hope my Chub approach should fair better this year when it's like that.

I'm also reminded of my canal fishing youth when we used to go on canals a lot in the winter, similar situation with gin clear water.

What are your experiences of fishing clear water venues?
 

Deejay8

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When the water is clear like that, then tench will often tend to only feed around dawn and a couple of hours after and again a couple of hours before dusk. They dislike strong unfiltered sunlight, so will disappear back into the shelter of lilypads and weed once the sun is above the treeline and shining strongly on the water. A bit of colour in the water will often see them feeding all day, as will a cloudy day.
 

Zerkalo

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When the water is clear like that, then tench will often tend to only feed around dawn and a couple of hours after and again a couple of hours before dusk. They dislike strong unfiltered sunlight, so will disappear back into the shelter of lilypads and weed once the sun is above the treeline and shining strongly on the water. A bit of colour in the water will often see them feeding all day, as will a cloudy day.
On some of the shallower pegs there, it's not that deep anywhere as far as I can tell, you could see the weed from one side of the lake to the other! The gates open from 7-7 with fishing from 7.30am so I don't hold out much hope until as you say, it gets just a touch more colour for whatever reason like at the end of May last year. It also meant I couldn't catch them on the waggler line as they were a bit further out.
 

buygoodtackle

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The estate lake I fish has been like tap water in the past with dense weed growth. I have found that as long as I can rake a swim at some point prior to fishing then the tench will feed providing there is a light bed of feed down. Some swims are only 2 feet while others go up to 9 feet. Have often had tench at midday with bright sunlight but evening or morning up to about 10am is usually better.
 

Zerkalo

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I've only fished this lake once before and didn't expect to catch anything at all given the conditions, clear water on a bright sunny day, but just out of interest these are the time I caught my fish. 9.03, 9.33, 10.07, 10.57, 11.18, 11.42, 11.53, 12.24. 12.34, 12.52, 13.04, 13.26, 13.32, with only Roach after this point. There was a touch more colour to the water then though as it was 28th May 2020.
 
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Silverfisher

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Locally speaking it depends what the standard conditions are. Some river stretches are almost always quite clear so when it goes super clear it doesn’t really affect them but those stretches that usually have a bit of colour typically are a bit harder when they go clear although not always. Think temperatures, air pressure and overhead conditions are more important than clarity tbh.
 

Zerkalo

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The Warks Avon at Barford looked like a proper Mr Crabtree stretch. I should hopefully try the Warks Avon again this year. 😁
 

smiffy

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I’m normally expecting a bloom on some of the pits I fish by now but at the moment they are tap water. So, what I wait for is cloud cover and breeze. The two normally come hand in hand. I’m quite happy to leave it until those conditions arrive because I know I’m going to struggle otherwise and that’s not fun.
For Bream the age old conditions apply. Open water, overcast, depth, clean bottom, plenty of ripple and plenty of feed. If I have these then I’m fairly confident that at some point they’ll turn up. If I was to fish for Tench then I’ll be looking for cover. This will be lilies, overhanging trees, weed beds,cloud and margins.
Back in the days of pick your own, when my area used to supply Strawberries for Wimbledon, the water levels used to drop considerably and colour up more often with the irrigation. Those days are long gone and the fishing is harder because of this. The other option in gin clear water is to fish the seed. Hemp and Tares really come into their own and it’s always worth watching the water as Tench will often feed on any seed that makes it through the Roach.
Our rivers get choked with weed in the Summer so aren’t really worth the hassle until the first frosts kill it off. But my attitude is the same in Winter. If they are clear then I’ll leave it until we get some colour and extra water.
Often, for Barbel, it can mean getting the more natural baits working. Feed consistently with Hemp and Caster/Maggot and you still stand a chance of fish. It’s easier to catch Chub in coloured water because they will venture out from their snags and can be caught in open water.
 

OldTaff

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Walked the banks of the lake around the corner from me - it’s heavily silted to an average depth of 2‘ to 3’6” - the water is clearer than our tap water !

Had a couple of small tench out a few weeks ago but hoping to try again next weekend having spent a few days this week raking out a couple of swims before I go to work.

Not holding out high hopes but interested to read of the dawn & dusk approach.
 

tipitinmick

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Yesterday on one of our ponds.
 

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Zerkalo

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Himley Hall this morning. Needless to say we didn't catch anything, but I think when I had a load of Tench out of there before it was just as clear and water temperature/locating the fish in the big lake is as big a factor at this time of year. When I had a load before it was warm and I was fishing in quite a shallow area. Coldest April since the 80s my dad said he heard.

2021-04-26 09.15.01.jpg
 

smiffy

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Far too much bend in that tip mate😉 Next time try with a slack line and watch the line off the end of the rod. You’ll sack up😁
Seriously though. It’s still chilly overnight. We’re still getting close to frosts down here so I’d leave it a few weeks. Or, maybe try shallow water late in the day.
 

Zerkalo

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I probably won't go fishing again now until end of May depending on weather, as I wait for it to warm up, I've always said that I think April is the worst month of the year for me. The tip is the 1.5oz glass tip on my Greys rod, you're right it does look a bit bent round in that pic. :LOL: I think I was really lucky first time I fished it, just randomly settled on a peg and it was full of female fish, I reckon something to do with a 'spawning ritual' or something. Always felt like if I went back there I wouldn't have the same luck, but like I say, end of May. (y)
 

Silverfisher

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I wouldn’t not go I’d just stick to commercials. I’d normally have tried a more natural style lake by now but as the water temperatures are more like early April levels rather than the late April levels that they should be I’ll be sticking to the commercials that I’ve fished so far this year until the water goes up another couple degrees. God knows when that’ll be though as May looks no better than April so far! Might have a more natural style venue session this weekend but only because it’s a long weekend so there’s time for a reliable commercial session as well 😅
 

Zerkalo

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Ah you seem to have some decent ones near you though with a mix of fish. I'm not in the mood to catch Carp, they've woken up enough to fight hard at the moment, and seem to be either shallow or in the margins, not my favourite sort of fishing at the moment. That being said I might go to the Crucian place I went to once. I had planned to go Bream fishing at Earlswood but they've drained it and given my form at the moment, I probably wouldn't have caught much there either.
 

Silverfisher

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Ah you seem to have some decent ones near you though with a mix of fish. I'm not in the mood to catch Carp, they've woken up enough to fight hard at the moment, and seem to be either shallow or in the margins, not my favourite sort of fishing at the moment. That being said I might go to the Crucian place I went to once. I had planned to go Bream fishing at Earlswood but they've drained it and given my form at the moment, I probably wouldn't have caught much there either.
True you do have to have the right venues available I guess. Took me going back to places I hadn’t for fished for I think 8 and 4 years respectively to find decent mixed fishing for the conditions though which just shows how this weather and losing other venues has forced me to change from my norm. Along with the Covid restrictions effect obviously. I’m with you on the shallow and margin fishing it doesn’t do much for me either. Always feel like I’m missing fish fishing shallow unless they’re really up for it and I feel a bit silly fishing margins sometimes and whilst I’m not one for big casts I do like to look out at a water rather than just staring down the edges. I prefer to fish commercials with a more traditional style because it makes it a bit closer to the more natural styles of fishing I prefer doing.
 

Zerkalo

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I'd agree. I don't mind fishing margins so much on the pole as you get better presentation than just dangling a waggler down the edge. I find it a bit difficult to control the big Carp that muscle in on margin lines too, but I've found that sometimes even the mixed species are down the edge too! :LOL: Shallow fishing I'm the same, it can be a brutally busy method on rod and line. This is why I prefer commercial fishing in winter and why I fish in a bit of dodgy way with a cage feeder, the Carp are a bit more docile, and it reminds me of fishing natural venues a bit more
 

Silverfisher

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I'd agree. I don't mind fishing margins so much on the pole as you get better presentation than just dangling a waggler down the edge. I find it a bit difficult to control the big Carp that muscle in on margin lines too, but I've found that sometimes even the mixed species are down the edge too! :LOL: Shallow fishing I'm the same, it can be a brutally busy method on rod and line. This is why I prefer commercial fishing in winter and why I fish in a bit of dodgy way with a cage feeder, the Carp are a bit more docile, and it reminds me of fishing natural venues a bit more
I wouldn’t call it doing it a dodgy way it’s just doing what you like 👍🏻

Last couple sessions I could have caught way more fish fishing at like hand feeding range and down the margins. But I just find it a lot more fun getting into the routine of casting a waggler out a reasonable distance, catapulting bait and having to actually strike and play a fish from a reasonable distance rather than just lifting into it and having it in hand within a couple turns when fishing closer. Caught plenty of fishing doing it so I’m not fussed about doing anything different to eke out a few more fish. Is ironic though as on a river I’m the opposite. I’d rather fish at hand feeding range on an underarm cast as the extra control and efficiency that gives tends to mean you do catch a lot more than at range if you can get them feeding there.
 

Zerkalo

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Yeah I know what mean, last time I went on a commercial I started out around 15m, nice casting distance and felt like the way a waggler should be fished, until I saw people catching more than me down the edge, I decided to throw some bait in down the edge and suddenly it's like a jacuzzi down there. I think when it comes to river season I'm most looking forward to fishing the little river near me at start of season, as I imagine the Severn will be very busy to start with and might take a while for the fish to turn on.
 

Silverfisher

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Yeah I know what mean, last time I went on a commercial I started out around 15m, nice casting distance and felt like the way a waggler should be fished, until I saw people catching more than me down the edge, I decided to throw some bait in down the edge and suddenly it's like a jacuzzi down there. I think when it comes to river season I'm most looking forward to fishing the little river near me at start of season, as I imagine the Severn will be very busy to start with and might take a while for the fish to turn on.
Yeah I’ve been feeding two areas at like 15m and 10m on the lake of my last two sessions. Prefer being on the 15m but sometimes I’ve had to rest it a bit so then it’s easier to come a bit shorter than it is to go longer hence the 10m rather than going out to like 20m. Plus shorter is less effected by the weather! Amazing how switching between the two can help keep the stamp up as well, should probably do it more than I do tbh 🤔

Nearly halfway through the closed season though aren’t we then we’ll have the joys of the rivers again! In a similar boat to you in that the first couple weeks can be tricky with crowds plus the fish not yet being where they should be or feeding on what you want them to be but it’s only for those couple weeks generally so I can live with that. Closed season just makes you appreciate the rivers more doesn’t it get more excited for them the closer the 16th gets 😍
 
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