Either way knowing what you are doing is essential for safety’s sake and in order to know where the fish are, fishing in a poor spot is fruitless whereas fishing a great spot is productive.
Whatever means you use to catch your prey, spear-gun, hooked line or nets, to have a productive session basic information should be gathered before setting sail.
Understanding the environment that you are fishing is therefore vital, prevailing weather conditions, potential changes that can happen in a short span of time, currents, tides, are all the difference between good fishing and potential disaster!
However, there is another dimension to getting it right, understanding how to get the best from the environment in which you are wanting to fish.
When fishing in shallow water where there is a relatively flat seabed the fisherman/woman may see an abundance of fish, especially where there is clear water, areas of the Mediterranean for example where one can see the bottom clearly through water that is several feet/metres deep. Fish will follow their food regardless of the depth of water and may not respond to the tides, however, the tidal race will affect the fisherman/woman and for the amateur boat user this can mean a risk to life and limb and the status of one’s boat.
One reason why we may see tidal fish in shallow water is that fish feed on invertebrate’s that live in coastal waters, when the tides rise areas of land where the food supply is become accessible to predatory fish.
Currents carry many types of fish such as blackfish, and large Pelagic fish (that live in the pelagic zone of ocean or lake waters – being neither close to the bottom nor near the shore), and this phenomenon also occurs at certain times of day, understanding the local current conditions is important to maximise your chance of landing your lunch. Whilst local fishing people will know the conditions amateur boaters may not, it is a wise move to ask for directions – before setting sail, keep an eye on where the locals’ fish – they know the fishing grounds, always maintain safe procedures and if you are not certain don’t go! Safety first, always! With currents comes underwater obstacles, rocks and shoals that can damage the boat, catching a monster fish but having to swim to safety makes no sense!
The moon affects fishing people too, not only can night time waters be risky to even the experienced boater and fishing buff, but the moon can affect the fish. The moonlit conditions are observed by fish whose appetites respond to it; they always follow the food.
The nights surrounding a full moon, when the light is brighter, often attracts white fish, whereas dark fish prefer dark skies. Also, the nights with a big moon have shown that deep fishing is more efficient than shallow, on the darker nights we need to focus on shallow fishing.
The moon cycle controls the tides, knowing the moons position where you are fishing, or sailing helps with knowing about the tidal conditions. This is a global phenomenon.
Please, note, only experienced fishing people should fish during the darkest conditions and must take safety procedures at all times. Darkness not only affects the presence and location of fish, but it makes knowing where you are, finding your way home safely, and not drifting into prohibited waters or obstructions more difficult.