The magic of June the 16th and the re-opening of coarse fishing on rivers is held as one of the most important days in the angling calendar. After 3 months of the rivers being closed to angling activity, at midnight on the 15th of June anglers all over the UK were casting out in an anticipation of catching some fish from our rivers again.
I have had some mixed starts to the new season, from cracking fish first cast to complete blanks after hours of trying. Over the years, I have learnt a few things that help to put fish in the net over the early days of the new season which this blog will cover.
1) Best Baits for Early River Fishing
It is worth remembering, the fish haven’t seen an angler’s baitfor several months, so fish have had to survive on the natural larder of the river. For this reason, natural baits often work well over the first few weeks of the season. Maggots, casters, worms, hemp and sweetcornwill produce loads of fish so make sure you have a good supply of fresh bait. All Angling Direct retail stores have a good supply of the freshest best quality bait.
Fishing both very early and late can be rewarding during this time of year on the river. Many anglers would agree that there is nothing better than being on the river bank as dawn breaks. Not only is it a great time to be fishing but it is also a fantastic time to see and hear nature at its finest. Just picture the dawn chorus of British birdlife which is amazing and missed by so many as they are still in bed whilst nature is wide awake. If your fishing is limited to a few hours, make it the first few hours of daylight or indeed the last few hours before nightfall.
3) Protect Yourself from the Sun when Angling
Bright summer days can be tiring and many, like me, suffer from headaches after a few hours in the sun. I never go fishing without a hatand sunglasses. A good quality pair of polaroid sunglasses are essential for all anglers. On very hot days I will also use an umbrellafor protection from the sun as this provides extra shade on the bank for yourself, your tackle, fishing bait and also offers a good place to unhook and care for a landed fish.
4) Prioritise Fish Care During River Fishing Season
With the water temperatures now reaching much higher in the summer, the oxygen levels will coincidently lower. This means that it is essential to adapt to good fish care techniques. Be sure to get yourself a good unhooking mat, which you always wet with the river water before using it to unhook a few. Be sure to return the fish to the water as soon as possible, avoiding keeping the fish out of the water any longer than is necessary. This means quick photos and weighing.
5) Best River Fishing Spots
I suggest looking for weir pools and areas of deeper water along the river, especially those immediately after shallow fast-flowing water as these can be very productive places to fish. Many fish are attracted to the higher dissolved oxygens levels in these areas so baiting here is a wise move.
6) Research Your Chosen River Fishing Venue
If you only have a few hours to spare, it is worth sometimes leaving the rods at home first and going for a walk by the river. Take a pair of polaroid glasses for fish spotting and make a note of these busier spots so you waste no time when you are on a session. A lot of anglers (myself included) keep notes of swims, tactics and successful baits. A walk by the river is a great time to gleam and record new information for future sessions. Of course, you can also pop into your local Angling Direct store to your venue of choice to see what works for the coarse fishing members of the AD team that have fished that spot.
Finally, I would like to wish good luck to anyone out fishing on the rivers in the next few weeks especially to anyone making the most of the glorious 16th of June.