With long days and weeks of sparkling weather ahead, summer is a great time to try something new. Whether you try something new at home, or hit the road for a completely new experience, here are some great ways to spice up your summer holidays!
1. Target the surface layers
Bright, sunny conditions can completely change the depths and locations fish feed at. It’s not only sensible to follow suit, but brilliant fun! Whether it’s floaters for carp, dry fly fishing for trout or popping plugs for sea bass, surface sport is about as exciting as it gets, so be bold and make the switch. Don’t forget those polarising glasses while you’re there.
2. Take your coarse or fly fishing tackle to the sea…
Even for those who live hours from the coast, that family summer holiday trip is so often the window to something completely different. There are so many different species to catch- and you needn’t buy any new rods or reels to enjoy yourself.
A carp or power match rod is a great way to target everything from mackerel to wrasse. Just make sure you step up your tackle a bit. For the general angler, you can catch a stack of different species using small hooks (sizes 6-16 are perfect), lines in the 5-10lb bracket and small baits like worm or prawn slivers. That said, fly tackle is also great fun, whether it’s school bass, mackerel or mullet you find on your travels.
3. Go night fishing
So many of us seldom fish at night, but it can be an exciting and completely different way to experience your favourite venues. It’s also a fantastic way to beat the heat when daylight conditions are scalding hot or the banks are crowded with swimmers and paddlers.
Carp are one obvious target, but many other species also respond even better after dark. Whether you want to catch a catfish, specimen eels or a PB bass, grab a head torch and give it a go this summer. You’ll not only avoid sunburn and holiday crowds, but could be in for a big surprise!
4. Head for the wild
With busy banks and heat to contend with, perhaps the ideal angling escape in late summer is to get well off the beaten trail to find more remote water. Whether you head for the heights of Dartmoor, the Welsh mountains or Scottish Highlands, there’s some wonderfully wild fishing to enjoy. A good general rule for any wild location is to walk for at least 15 minutes before fishing, as every step from the car park means more peace and quiet.
5. Look after yourself and the fish
Fishing in hot sunny conditions can actually be pretty dangerous, so always make sure you use some sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Warm water conditions can also be dangerous for some fish species too, with trout, salmon, barbel and pike all being particularly susceptible to hot conditions. Generally speaking, the warmer the water the less dissolved oxygen it can contain, so it’s worth thinking twice about targeting salmon and trout once the water temperatures reach 19 degrees and avoiding fishing for barbel and pike when it reaches 21 degrees. If you are fishing in warm water conditions, make sure you get the fish back quickly and that you support them and rest them in the water to allow them to recover. More details on this subject can be found HERE
6. Get afloat
Another great way to experience the water in new ways is to get out in a craft of some kind. This is especially true on the coast or in a large lake. Where it’s safe and permitted, kayak fishing can be great fun. Nor do you need to save up for your own, because quite a few venues and locations will hire you a vessel for a few hours. Lots of seaside towns and natural lakes do this- allowing you to get afloat and catch some fish for a modest outlay and no need to transport a mountain of kit or tow a trailer.
7. Catch a crucian!
When did you last catch this classic summer species? Thanks to efforts nationwide, they’re back on the bounce these days. See our previous blog post for loads of expert tips.
8. Take friends or family fishing
If there’s one thing even more enjoyable than catching a fish, it’s giving that experience to a newcomer. Why not share your love of fishing with someone else this summer? Just remember to keep it fun and go for something achievable. That friend, son or daughter starting out doesn’t need to break any records- a few bites from smaller fish will do nicely.
Your “pupil” can be any age- and if you use the Take A Friend Fishing scheme, you can also get a FREE one day fishing licence. See our main website for more details and signup info.
Meanwhile, if it’s youngsters you want to take fishing, our previous blog post on taking kids fishing also has some useful tips.