Greg’s Thoughts On Factors That Trigger Fish Feeding
- Changes in water level in freshwater dams, lakes, rivers and in estuaries. Usually rising water fishes best, but variable levels trump stable water levels.
- Water colour and clarity. Most of the times when clear water becomes slightly cloudy or slightly tannin stained there will be an associated increase in fish activity.
- Barometric pressure seems to affect the appetite of many species, but different species seem to be affected differently. There are no hard and fast rules, you’ll need to crack the code for your species and locations.
- Generally speaking, any kind of variability in weather, cloud, wind, atmospheric pressure, water temp etc will affect fish. Variability creates opportunity, stability creates slow fishing, as a rule.
- The short term abundance of food items can stimulate feeding frenzies. For example, migrating whitebait, hatching insects or other explosions in food availability.
- Wind will generally stimulate feeding in lakes and dams as well as river, estuaries and inshore locations.
- Tidal cycles and water movement are usually considered important only in marine and estuarine environments, but in freshwater impoundments there is often an increase in feeding activity around the time that tide changes occur in nearby tidal systems
- Lunar cycles are important but affect different species and locations differently. Move rise, moon set and periods of moon above or moon below can also influence feeding but need to be figured out at a local level.
- In estuaries, tides and freshwater influx are the two biggest factors affecting fish feeding as well as where they locate themselves.
- Water temperatures are important. Each species has a range of temperatures that are comfortable. They’ll often start to feed as the water temp returns to their comfort zone after a period of being too warm or too cool.
- Bile acid excreted by fish after feeding can signal to other fish that there has been feeding activity and can increase the feeding levels. Likewise, schooling fish can sometimes become switched on when other members of the school start hunting or feeding.
Even before I’d uploaded this episode I’d thought of factors that didn’t get a mention. Things like sunlight, life experience, taste and smell….. the list goes on and on. Please let me know the factors you think are important but didn’t get a mention in the comments section below!