Published May 1. 1995 - 27 years ago
Updated or edited Nov 17. 2017

Rule no. 3

Fish are where they feel good. That is where one or several factors are present: food, shelter, optimum water conditions, other fish ...and more.

Rule number three is a bit more complex (but actually quite simple):

Fish are where they feel good

That is where one or several factors are present:
food, shelter, optimum water conditions, other fish ...and more.

Now the rules might seem to start contradicting each other a bit, but still there's a logic behind it all.

Food and shelter - what more can a fish want?

A sea trout is an eating machine

Take sea trout (which this is mainly about). Sea trout in the ocean are opportunistic eating machines. They're hungry and will eat all kinds of stuff: fry, small fish, shrimps, worms, small crustaceans and much else. Big fish will eat small things and small trout eat big things. So the fish will want to find plenty of food. The more stuffed the fish is (late season) the smaller things it eats.

A sea trout wants shelter

Also the fish will want shelter. Trout is not a pelagic fish (of the free water masses). It's primarily a shallow water fish, that wants weed, rocks and variation. Also the shallows will offer something else: dirt in the water and in dirt there are two important things: food and shelter.
The bigger trout will roam the free water masses and eat pelagic fish such as herring, but smaller fish (up to 10 lb. even more) will stay in shallow water.

A sea trout wants good water

And the fish wants good water, meaning good temperature and water movement. The optimum temperature for trout is about 8-12 deg Centigrade (45-55 F). The fish will slow down in colder water and seek fresh water like in fjords, estuaries and streams when it's really cold. Opposite it will seek deeper and colder water when it's really warm.

Sea trout will often school

Smaller fish (1-1.5 kg or 2-3 lb) will often go in schools. These small schools of a dozen fish or so will constantly be on the move. Often you'll find that fishing can be slow, but suddenly get going. You'll probably have hit a small school of trout. Keep fishing., stay in the water, and have 30 minutes or so of fun. After that the fish will often disappear. You might even be able to determine where the fish are going and follow them. Schooling is rarer in the summer, but will often occur in the spring and autumn.

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Just stumbled on you...

Just stumbled on your article. I am an avid sea trout fisher in Orkney and can't believe how similar most things are!! Our average size is smaller - about 1.5 lb but you have larger streams which has a genetic bearing on fish size.Very interested to hear of your night fishing - traditionally this is practically unheard of in Orkney.Therefore, I must give it a shot! Although during June, July and August I concentrate my efforts on the excellent loch fishing, I have caught sea trout in the sea during all these months but not consistently.Probably making the mistake of fishing the same spots I frequent in Spring and not seeking out deeper, cooler water. Anyway, must go - so glad I discovered your article. Tight lines!!


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