Keep on moving…
…if you fish rivers, that is.
Well into September most larger seatrout have left the ocean and ascended the rivers to spawn later in the year. They are no longer silvery but have taken on the colours of the spawning dress.
Especially the males become territorial this time of year – a habit you may use to your advantage when fishing for them. By making several repeated casts to the same holding spots you may be able to lure an aggressive fish into striking.
But do consider that this late in the season you are seldom alone on the river. For that reason many rivers have adapted the rule that you should constantly be on the move while fishing. In this way you avoid the irritation of having one fisherman putting a particularly good spot under siege and thus keeping others away from trying it.
Heavy rainfalls in late July made it possible for many salmon and seatrout to ascend the rivers of East Jutland and fill up the pools. Both the River Guden (with the productive tributary Lilleåen) and the Channels of Kolindsund now hold good numbers of fish making a trip to either one a promising proposition. In the River Guden you even stand a good chance of hooking up with a real Atlantic salmon!
Golden Trout on Golden Days
Most large seatrout have now matured and left saltwater in favor of freshwater rivers. The remaining seatrout in the sea are thus smaller but nevertheless still difficult to catch. They have spent all summer feeding voraciously in the ocean and are now well fed and very discerning.
On beautiful sunny September days they can be particularly difficult. With the sun shining from a cloudless sky and the water lying mirror calm, fishermen often have to look at fish finning around in shallow water – rather than catch them. Unless you switch to the lightest possible tackle – ultralight gear with diminutive revolving spoons or tiny dark flies.
It is by far easier to hook up with a fish on grey, wet and windy days where seatrout are much more active. This kind of rough weather may remind them of the upcoming spawning season and a winter where food is scarce. Thus they want to make sure not to let any food pass by. At the same time they start migrating along the shoreline – probably searching for freshwater.
On days like these strikes are often hard and uncompromising – on lures and flies that may be surprisingly large. Those megahard strikes are followed by long lasting battles!
Points and landspits in the Bay of Aarhus and along the shoreline of Djursland produce salty seatrout in September.
Prime time for Perch
If you fancy the striped predatory perch in freshwater lakes, you cannot posibly find a better month than September.
These fish are now extremely well fed and in top condition after a summer of relentless attacks on this year’s pinfry – activity that usually takes place in the margins of the weed beds. At the same time the water is still warm enough for fish to hunt actively all day long. Thus September is the top month for bringing home some very tasty perch fillets for the pan!
Pike are a different matter alltogether as they do not fancy the warm water of September. They have moved into deeper and cooler waters where they are more difficult to locate. The peak season for pike is later in the year – in October and November – when they migrate back into shallow water.
The same goes for the ever unpredictable pikeperch that also has its peak season later in the year when frost has killed the algae and cleared up the water. Right now it is difficult to find and catch.
The pike and perch of September may both be caught in the beautiful Lakes of Silkeborg or in Lakes Glenstrup and Fussingfurther north.
Time for the annual oxygen depletion
It is sad but it is a fact: If you are a dedicated sea angler, September is not a top month for you here in East Jutland. Reason: September is the month where the annual oxygen depletion sets in – in the depths of the sea. This inevitably has a significant impact on the fishing.
Despite a summer that was quite grey and wet, the sea still holds fairly warm water. And for that reason the best angling spots are those that offer deep water and strong currents – be it close to the shoreline or reefs and banks way out in the sea.
The annually recurring oxygen depletion pushes cod and other bottom fish away from the depths of the sea – back into shallower water where oxygen can still be found. Thus these fishes should now be sought in shallower water with a strong current to cool down and oxygenate the water.
The ocean at Sletterhage offers both – steep underwater slopes and strong currents. Here it is almost always possible to find some fish and get some action while you are waiting for the cooler waters of the coming winter.
© 2023 Steen Ulnits