Anglers have waited long enough for the weather to improve and with Spring fully in action we can say goodbye to those frozen toes and the frosted days of winter spent at the bank. With spring, anglers can come back to the bankside with the warming sunshine and the sweet fragrance of blossom.
Not looking for tips for Springtime angling? Why not check our other Guide to Fishing the Seasons:
The exact date differs each year but the season of Spring tends to start late March and ends late June.
Why Do us Anglers Love Spring?
Spring is often a very productive time of year, coined by some anglers as ‘silly season'; fish are becoming more active and therefore are feeding more after a long winter. At this time of year, the banks are, in most cases, a lot quieter due to the cold weather and are yet to see the maddening crowds!
Not only is Spring quiet but a prime opportunity for you to get out on the bank and get to know your water but also an opportunity to speak to other anglers, share tactics and glean as much information as you can before the busy season of summer.
What Fish can you catch during Spring?
Carp - As Spring breathes new life into the lake, the carp begin to stir, awakened from their winter slumber, and bringing the promise of a new start! Crucian carp are a given in spring with feeder tactics whereas average commons and mirrors can be caught in shallow areas with a pellet feeder during the height of the sun.
Coarse – Not only are carp an option in Spring but monster bream and tench are also known to make some early appearances. Semi-regular feeding of PVA bags of groundbait or groundbait balls will help attract plenty of coarse fish in the spring.
Match – Catch plenty of silvers in the spring (be mindful of closed river season) such as rudd and roach. Worm and caster baits are good for this fish with a waggler rod or short pole.
Predator – It starts getting a bit too warm for pike as the temperatures rise but Perch are still on the cards. Get the running rig at the ready with some chopped prawns and worms attached and you are in for a perch treat.
Fly – Early fly fishing for trout can occur in spring but it is recommended to fish high in the water with nymphs, buzzers or bead head flies. You can also try combination rigs of either adding another lure or an indicator.
Here are a few fishing tips to help you this spring…
Tops Tips for Spring Fishing in the UK
1). Refresh and Sort Your Fishing Tackle Collection
As everything starts to turn green again, it’s time to take a look at the tackle that has served you well over the previous year. Be sure to refresh the essential items such as your mainline (which we will cover more in the next tip), as well as ensuring you are all prepped and ready with bait, rigs, and everything else that you may need tackle wise.
Get rid of any old rigs and items you don’t use, and prepare everything for your next bankside session. Take the time to practice using new concepts, and prime those new rigs. Lightening your load will not only save your back but will aid you in becoming more mobile and help you track down the carp. A tidy tackle box will also ensure you have a tidy mind which will certainly aid your fishing dramatically.
You can even take your rig preparation to the next level and before hitting the bank, get into the habit of tank testing your rigs and baits, especially pop-ups and critically balanced hook baits. This ensures that once you’re on the bank your mind is allowed to focus on the task at hand and not cluttered with the mechanics and the niggling thought of your rigs are not working. There is nothing worse than being ill-prepared when the spring action kicks off on the bank.
2). Replacing your Fishing Line for Spring
Replacing your fishing line on your reels from season to season should be a top priority as the last thing you want is to lose that fish of a lifetime as a result of a damaged or compromised line. This is true regardless of whether you choose to fish with mono or braid. (See more of line types in our dedicated guide, here).
Some anglers feel the need to change their mainlines maybe 2 or 3 times a year or even more, however, if you look after and check your line for nicks and frays each session you will dramatically reduce the number of compromises and put more fish on the bank!
When choosing or replacing your line there are a number of factors you should take into consideration, such as;
The size of your quarry,
The environment in which you fish
The pressures which you subject that line to
What potential damage may be caused every time you wet a line.
For example; a mainline used for fishing open water in a snag-free environment is not likely in most cases to become damaged as quickly as one which is used to extract fish from a snaggy or weedy lake.
3). Be Sure to Check the Weather For a Spring Angling Session
Always have an eye out for the weather forecast and don’t be fooled into thinking you can pile loads of bait in as the fish are waking up and hungry because Spring fishing can be very changeable. How to act in spring is subject to the weather!
A cold snap can mean that less baitand more careful feeding can work, whereas with warm winds it can pay to bait more heavily. Follow warm winds, look for low pressure, and try and adjust your approach to the conditions as the fish will certainly adjust their feeding.
There is a multitude of different weather applications available to download on your mobile or you can quickly google BBC weather, so you can always have information at hand to help to locate those prime spots and maximize your time on the bank! For sea fishing, it is a good idea to check tide times too.
4). Set Yourself Fishing Targets for Spring
Whether you have had your feet up in front of the telly all winter or been hardcore and fished all through, spring is a great time to set some targets for your angling. This could be across different species, or just as simple as your first bream.
Setting yourself a goal or target for spring will give your angling direction, give another reason to head to the bankside and allow you to aim at something for the upcoming season. Just make sure that, once you have achieved your target, you set a new one! If you are an avid angler, perhaps set a goal to change up your tactics, try perfecting something new?
5). Try to Fish in Shallow Water During Spring
At this time of year don’t overlook the shallows, as they warm up fast making them the most productive areas in spring. The water warms up more quickly, which draws the fish there. Carp are cold-blooded, and so are as only as warm as the water in which they live, so will naturally look for the warmest corner of the lake, particularly in spring. Get yourself a quality set of polarised glasses; you’ll soon find the fish! Tread carefully, and minimal disturbance is of course key!
Also, the weed growth isn’t as high as it soon will be, so these fertile areas can be a deadly place to target most species before the weed takes hold.
6). Keep A Record of Your Angling Success
It is good practice to get into the habit of keeping a diary and document your time in the bank. Over the years this will become a valuable tool when it comes to maximizing your fishing every Spring.
Make a note of the peg, location, casting distances, nearby features, weather conditions, and the bait used that gave you the most success. It all goes in here and will help you stay one step ahead of other anglers.
You’ve already done your homework, so now is the time to reap the rewards.
7). Try Using Backleads for Spring Fishing
At this time of year, the water clarity in most lakes is crystal clear so sinking your lines and pinning everything to the deck is a must. This is where backleads can come into their own. Getting everything out of the way ensures that even the wiliest of carp can feed freely without running the risk of being spooked by pinging your lines mid-water.
Whilst this is not always possible in the warmer months as heavy weed can take hold, back leading is certainly a tactic worth trying whilst you can get away it and it may just bring you an extra bite or two!
8). Best Bait Choices for Spring Fishing
The best baits for Spring tend to be high protein-based fishmeal food bait/ boilies. This springtime fishing bait not only highly digestible but is loaded with exotic spices and is geared to get those carp taste buds tingling!
Although you can increase your bait from the amount handed out in the winter, with most fish such as carp only just starting to move about in the Spring, you should still aim to keep baiting as light as possible, even if this means throwing out a single boilie or pellet. To help with bites, ensure your hook baits are boosted with as much liquid attraction as possible. This also helps with your bait becoming tainted by accumulated silt and rotting vegetation from the previous winter.
Generally, when it comes to pre-baiting in early spring, the fish tend to cruise around the lake; in most cases, it’s hard to pin them down to one specific area. On most lakes, prebaiting (when it's allowed) can definitely tip the scales in your favour.
9). What Fishing Bait Colour is Best for Spring?
Many anglers find that small, bright yellow or pink hookbaits tend to do well in spring. Whether it’s the fishes’ eyesight being poor due to a reduced metabolism all winter, or because they are moving around, catching their attention, spring is a perfect time for fishing hi-viz baits. You can use brighter baits either on their own, on a zig, or over bait.
We hope you found this guide to Spring Fishing useful. If you are a beginner looking for all the latest tips and tricks to get an edge at the bankside, be sure to check out beginner and buying guides on the AD Blog. We also have a host of video tutorials over on ADTVand our in-store teams are loaded with lots of fishing knowledge. Find your local AD store here.