Monday Top 5 - River Fishing Tips

Rivers hold some absolute gems of all species, which are often over looked in favour of still waters. For those who want to try the river for the first time, as well as those who already fish them, here’s a few tips to help you make the most of your time among those river specimens.

Bait and wait
Being able to identify areas that look “fishy’, and then applying bait to these areas, allows you to avoid blanks when, after you’ve caught a couple of fish from a shoal, the rest move away. Using this technique, you can have spots all over the river with fish already feeding confidently when you come to fish for them. You can move between baited spots all day, keeping bites coming rather than relying on just one area.

Go with the flow
I don’t mean walk all the way to the estuary! I mean look at the river and how it’s flowing when you’re trying to target certain species. Carp, for example, tend to like areas of slack water on the inside of bends, barbel and dace love faster flowing gravel glides, while chub love creases, or areas near cover and snags. Being able to access the flow of the river will help you single out the hiding hole of the specimen of your choice. Also, as an additional tip, I have always found that rivers generally fish best when they are returning to normal levels after a flood; don’t miss getting out on them in these conditions.

 

Tackle Up
Make sure you have strong enough tackle, especially when the river is carrying more water from recent rain. There’s nothing worse than being under-gunned, as it can be totally detrimental to getting bites. Rods capable of chucking up to 10oz leads at times, and suitable strength line, are the order of the day on rivers like the Trent when it’s in flood. Make sure your tackle is up to the job.

 

Multi Species
Some of the best river fishing I’ve had has been due to targeting the multitude of species they contain, all in one session. I have started by float fishing maggots, then ledgered for chub and barbel and even finished off with a spot of predator lure fishing, or carp fishing. It’s amazing what you can make happen in a day on the river, and this sort of busy, active day keeps your enthusiasm at a high, rather than waiting for a bite that may never come from a single specimen.

 Be Mobile
The best and most simple river tip is to move and search the river. There’s so much water to go at that, if you stay in one spot, you are missing 90% of the water you could cover. Even if you’ve had results in one spot near the car park, try travelling light and moving; you may stumble across an area that is rarely fished that holds more fish than the better known, more popular area.

I hope these tips help you the next time you find yourself on running water, or if you are planning on heading out for your first taste of river fishing.

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