Colin Mitchell, our regular pleasure fishing blogger, looks closely at fishing weather - and are you missing out by not going when conditions look 'unfavourable'?


WITH the sun beating down recently I thought back to the days when the weather never used to influence my fishing.

Snow, hail, rain, tropical style sun…nothing would deter me from venturing to the river or lake banks.

Now I sometimes think far too much about the conditions and don’t venture out on days when I know I won’t catch well.

What I should be doing is thinking about those days when I did go out in conditions that weren’t that clever… and still caught plenty.

So I cast my mind back to hot, sunny, almost unbearable days when I could remember catching fish. Incredibly I did remember some!

Those balmy and barmy days on the river

The first one that sprung to mind was a day on the River Swale in Yorkshire – or to be precise two different days.

The first one I fished fast water on a club stretch where you could see the bottom and also the chub and barbel that were holding in the shallow runs and pools in the middle of some rapids.

You dropped a straight bomb into these areas baited with meat or cheese – or even a bunch of maggots – and got almost instant reward.

A caught fish spooked the others but it wasn’t long before you were back in action.

Fast shallow water for chub in sunny weather would not be everyone's first choice.

Fast shallow water for chub in sunny weather would not be everyone’s first choice.

Likewise you could catch at the foot of the rapids in the really fast water where you cast out a leger or just ran a float through at the pace until it went under.

Now fast, shallow water does sound right for those sunny conditions – so how come further down the stretch I caught in deep, slower water in similar conditions? Barbel this time but no chub.

That’s fishing for you – totally unpredictable.

And don’t forget tench fishing habits on lakes!

It’s a bit like the belief that tench only feed early morning or in the evening when the sun is not high in the sky. Rubbish!

I can take you to loads of waters in Surrey, Hampshire and most of the Home Counties where I have caught Tincas almost all day, providing the water has some colour.

 Tench can feed all day long.

Tench can feed all day long.

Tench also come up in the water when it is warm and that’s where you catch them – again total bunk to the theory they are solely bottom feeders.

Yes fish do bask in the sun and you can spot more of them but numerous times I have fed heavily on a bright day and got the fish hard on the bottom and feeding.

So it really about our own favourite fishing weather?

Like cold or wet weather, strong bright sunshine can be almost unbearable. That is the real reason we don’t catch – we can’t handle the conditions.

Those anglers who switch off and can fish on through the extremes whilst still maintaining their thoughts still keep catching…


I know I’ve been missing out sometimes by not fishing when the sun’s bright.

Cold doesn’t worry me and that is why you will always find me on the bank in winter.

Rain doesn’t deter me fishing, neither does a bit of a breeze – although the two elements together aren’t exactly a good recipe for a day’s sport!

But strong sun that makes me sweat buckets, squint and burn alive despite sun block does put me off being on the bank…

Blog MitchWell, until early evening that is when the rods are in the car and I am off to the water’s edge to soak in the atmosphere and be there for what is the prime feeding time.

The lesson is that fish can be caught in all conditions if you are in the right place at the right time and have confidence in what you are doing.

As for myself… I’m going to take my brolly out more when it’s not raining, and use it as a sun screen.

Being on the bank is better than being indoors!



* A new book from Colin Mitchell containing loads of fishing tips and tricks is out now and also contains contributions from Bob Nudd, Mark Pollard, Darren Cox among others. Check it out at here.