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I was reading a post on Facebook relating to shark and impact of temperature on their migration and behavior and this got me thinking about temperature and fishing prospects. The post was at first relating to blue shark and if the recent beast from the East would delay the start of the shark fishing season off Cornwall. Anglers commented that the optimum temperature for blue shark to feed is around 13 degrees. Porbeagle shark are apparently less affected by temperature and can be found throughout the year around our coastline.

Ian Tyldesley with porbeagle caught in December off the North Cornish Coast

I used to consider grey mullet a fish of the summer months yet we now catch them all year. Does the cold water temperature stop them feeding. I often fish a local venue where the mullet are clearly visible and ignore baits for the majority of the time. They do this all year yet when I fish in winter  I blame water temperature. Is this relative? With heavy snow melt dropping the water temperature I would feel success unlikely but will a rise in temperature trigger feeding even if the water rises to a temperature that is still low for the time of year.

A bitter east wind is undoubtedly bad for fishing but why? The temperature of the water does not drop that quickly so why is it so poor for fishing?

Each species we fish for is impacted upon differently by water temperature. Water temperature can impact upon both feeding, migration and breeding. It is this complexity that makes angling so fascinating. Whatever we fish for water temperature impacts upon the behavior of the fish we seek. Each species has its own niche of coarse and we think of winter cod and summer bass. We consider mackerel a fish of summer yet I saw some caught in Norway where water temperatures are far lower than South West England even in mid July when we were there.

In lakes we now catch carp all year and these were once a fish of the summer months. The reason we catch carp all year round is of coarse twofold in as much that we fish for them and expect to catch them. They have more food and are kept more active by anglers fishing for them.

Winter Carp

( Above) Catfish a true fish of the warmer months.

I have perhaps rambled around a bit casting a few thoughts with no real direction in relation to water temperature and fishing but then that’s what anglers do at times just think of fish and fishing. Temperature is a big factor in fishing for many reasons. For my own sake I say roll on summer but how much does it impact upon the fish we seek?