Currents, Water Outlets, Rips, Tides, Waves and Wind
All these have a huge effect on the mark you choose…. Do you know how?
You may already how currents bring different temperatures of water as well as water masses carrying food to different areas. It is a conveyor belt of food and riches for aquatic species.
Water Outlets / Streams / RIvers
Water outlets often attract small prey species feeding on the detritus produced from all types of water out lets. Power stations create warm water outlets which thrives with zoo plankton creating a sustainable food chain. Mullet can be caught in good numbers around features like this.
Lots of fresh water can put some fish off so think about the weather conditions. If we have had heavy rain there will be a lot of fresh water in the local area to the outlet, this might help or hinder your fishing, so consider this carefully.
Some outlets carry undesirables out to sea, so maybe you do not want to eat what you catch. Use your head or get some local advice!
Rip tides are caused by tonnes of water dumping on a beach in the form of waves, the water runs along the beach until it can find somewhere to run back out to sea. This might be a gully between rocks, a man made obstacle or a trench in the sand. Again these currents not only denote deeper water, but also carry highly oxygenated water, packed full of food stuffs. (Fish with caution as the current will take you out to sea if you fall in. Don’t try and swim against it, allow it to take you out swimming parallel to the beach until you are clear of it, then head back in!)
The coming and going of water happens normally twice per day. Spring tides are large, neaps are small. You get one of each per month with differing tides in between. Tidal flows carry fish and food aorund our coast line as well as water of differing temperatures.
Tidal flows are increased where rocks and other object restrict the flow of the tide so consider how this will effect your mark. Fishing in the lee of the tide (behind a rock for example) often proves productive as fish and food hold in these slack water areas.
Waves are circular in motion, as the wave nears the beach this draws up “stuff” from the seabed, pulls the items forward then down and backwards, although ending up nearer the beach than when it started. The pattern would look like a pulled out coil if seen from the side. See my awful sketch below:
This action scours the sea bed pulling lots of lovely food in to the water column. It creates rich and easy picking for many species. After a large storm or swell the food particles will be held in the water column for hours and even days.
Waves and the coloured water due to all the sand and mud the stir up also provide the fish with cover, they can hide in the coloured water and feed much more confidently. This is an huge advantage to day time sea fishing. but on the flip side lures moved quickly through the water might be harder to target with the lack of sight and noise and vibration caused by the moving water so consider this.
Another thing waves tell us when learning about the mark is the depth of the water, the location of underwater features including reefs, rocks and deep water gullies. I love this bit! A moving water wave will start to break when the wave reaches a depth about 1/2 of it height. So a 2 meter wave will break in 1 meter of water as a rule of thumb.
If you get waves known as spilling breakers where they slowly break starting from one point which seems to move along the wave, this is a sign of a gently sloping beach and a small hump in the sea bed with deeper gullies to the side the water breaks into last. A plunging break happens where there is a sudden change in depth, like a reef or steep shelving beach. Many other factors like wind and current will effect the wave, but you should have the basics now.
Features In The Sea, find, Record and Remember
We need to hunt down features that hold fish, to recap:
Gullies – areas of deeper water in sand or between rocks
Rocks – Create havens for sea life, large or small
Man Made – Piers, jetties, platforms etc.
Sand Banks – They often move
Drop off – Generally around reefs and rock areas
Currents – They come and go but are valuable sources of food
Habitat – Seaweed, mud, shale, pebbles, sand etc
Waves – Change lots but often improve fishing, look at what is effecting them
Pools and Eddys – Caused by objects, often create
Tidal flows – changing daily, some marks fish on low tides, some high, experiment.
Ecotone – the area between different habitats (valuable hunting areas)
Carry out some initial research with maps and google or bing. Then get to the water and look for the clues I have explained here and record with your camera phone where the features and fish holding areas are. Re-visit the mark in different conditions, low tides, storms, summer, from the cliff tops, in summer and winter and learn the mark inside out.
Make sketches, use your video camera or just remember the key points. Once you get the hang of it you will find it easier and easier and it will become second nature when you learn about new marks.
Great anglers rely on knowing which mark to fish under the conditions and seasons they are presented with. Good luck!