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Where to fish?

The question of where to fish at any given time is probably the most important.

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The lure, technique, and depth are irrelevant if we are fishing where the fish are not present. Whether it’s a fishing lake, canal river or pond, one must clearly first figure the where to fish riddle first. And that information is rarely found on social media, but by observation and common sense.

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Follow the rules

The first thing to consider is what rules might apply to your lake or river. In France, there are closing seasons based on fish populations. For those who fish in the UK, and are registered in England and Wales, there might be rod licences to consider. Spain has boating regulations that need to be observed, so check your local regulation before heading out to fish.

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General observations

Before making the first cast, take a moment to observe and think about where to fish.  Game fish, like us, are first concerned about feeding. So there has to be food close by. You can look on your depthfinder or just directly in the water. Then fish need comfort in terms of water temperature and habitat. Grass beds, sunken wood, boat docks, reeds, bridge piling, and much more provides shade and habitat to both bait fish and game fish alike.

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Current is also a key factor, it brings food, oxygen, and much more. Most game fish will be close to the current by avoiding being in a fast current for an extended period of time. It will help locate fish if you can read the current and find places with slack water close to a faster flow.

Where to fish for pike ?

Pike fishing requires a different mindset to find them. A big pike is the perfect ambush feeder and will disappear in cover before an ultra-fast attack. It’s a good time to fish around cover in shallow water. I love to fish around reeds or any other vertical type of grass.

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But pike can also stay in deeper water. They don’t like warm water and in summer will seek cooler water by moving deep. Pike do live in rivers but will stay away from the strongest current. Their slender body can find shelter behind a log.

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Where to fish for zander ?

The first criteria to take into account when figuring out where to fish for zander is available light. Zander do not want to be in direct sunlight. They can hide under concrete docks or rocks or just in deep water. They will come shallow in low light conditions, at night or in very muddy water.

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Regardless they will always remain close to baitfish because of all game fish they are the ones who need to feed the most often.

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Where to fish for perch ?

Perch is the quintessential open water feeder. They will hide in cover sometimes but they are most active chasing baitfish in the open. But they still relate to something, an isolated grass bed, a bridge piling or a brush pile. Regardless, perch are prone to chase baitfish in open water, it is therefore never a bad idea to cover water with fast lures. Perch are not afraid of a little current, and fishing mid-current is a productive pattern too.

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Where to fish for black bass ?

Bass are probably the most versatile game fish that can live in thick cover, as well as open water. They can be as shallow as having their back barely covered or very deep and anything in between. Again, finding baitfish is the key to success. Bass follow a general pattern of holding deep in summer and winter and shallow in autumn and spring. It’s a good and reliable guideline yet full of exceptions. By and large, bass like to hide in grass and wood cover. But they ambush like pike but chase like perch.

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To conclude, the most important rule to figure out where to fish is to always look for baitfish and habitat. Other factors such as weather or fishing pressure are to be considered but secondary. One little trick is to look for other fish species. Fish of all kinds tend to congregate in the same area. So even if you see carp for example, it’s a good idea to fish that area regardless.

Where to fish?