What then?

Danish inshore fishing

By Martin Joergensen

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Sure there's a lot of water, but following a few rules will help you conquor the chaotic masses.
A lot of water
Once you have found a place where all these things come together, you still have a lot of water to cover. Luckily you can spot the places that will hold fish on an even smaller scale.

I mentioned color. My experience with sea trout tells me that they will generally prefer darker color on the bottom. The darkness is often provided by sea weed which adds further positive factors to the site: shelter and food. Given the choice between a naked sandy bottom and gravel the fish will mostly prefer gravel and if a darker spot with larger stones is nearby the fish will often move there. Sea trout will forage over sandy bottom, but generally only to strike on seen food items. They will sometimes be very reluctant to leave darker bottom, even in favour of food, and turn back when a fly is drawn out over the naked sand.

The topography will also have an important influence on where to look for fish. On a completely smooth bottom with a hole in it, the fish will use the hole as a base. On a smooth bottom with a groove the fish will often travel along the grooves edges and on a bottom with a ridge the fish will often be behind the ridge -- behind being in the back water when there's current.
Of course no bottom is a smooth< surface with one 'landmark', but often you will consider a given characteristic part of the bottom as such.

The fish move around the water along 'corridors'. These can be ridges (reefs, piles of stones etc.) or they can be holes in sand bars or the deeper parts between these -- called bathtubs in Denmark. If weed or darker bottom reach toward land in an otherwise characterless water, the fish will often follow these towards land an more shallow water.

Things happen
Fish will often be where something 'happens' in the water;

  • a drop off,
  • deep part,
  • a ridge,
  • a band of faster current,
  • a group of large rocks,
  • a large bush of sea weed.

    Look for these places and use them as a mental origo when fishing that immensly large body of water.

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