A Strange Burst of Activity

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garman's picture
A Strange Burst of Activity
Huh? Fishing crawlers in a local stream, I went 2 hours with nothing at all, then in 30 minutes caught 7 fish of 6 species before activity shut off again. I think it's strange that many different species would be triggered at the same time by presumably the same conditions. Any ideas why this would happen? All I know is that I have to fish a lot more to better understand fish.
TaleSpinner's picture
Maybe something happened up

Maybe something happened up or down stream that caused a pool of fish to spook and move into your section of river.  

Life list goals for 2023: Silver Redhorse, Greater Redhorse, and River Redhorse

smurph's picture

Not sure if this applies, but in the Muskie fishing world the moon is very important to trying to time bite windows. Moon rise, Moon set, Moon overhead, and Moon underfoot can all be important times when muskie fishing. I did not believe in it at first, but I have experienced it enough to now believe the moon plays a major role in when Muskies are more active and more likely to eat. I've been wondering if this applies to more species of fish, presumably affecting other large predatory fish, but maybe it affects the smaller "prey" fish which then causes the predators to be more active.

It is a long shot, but I am Just throwing it out there!

Tyler W
Tyler W's picture
Light levels

Any change in light levels? Shadows? Clouds? Sunset? Turbidity? That is always my first thought. Especially for sudden changes. 


Another theory, that can't be tested, is the presence of a top predator. Say you have a nice fishy spot, but it is so fishy it has attracted a big pike/ musky/ flathead/ etc. I think a big predator could keep other fish in hiding until it moves off.  

Jason E.
Jason E.'s picture
Six species in 30 minutes is

Six species in 30 minutes is pretty awesome!  Fish sure can be mysterious sometimes. I've pretty much confirmed Tyler's observation about big predators while ice fishing. Several times, I've been consistently getting smaller perch or sunfish for hours when suddenly the bite goes eerily quiet.  Then, moments later, my "other" pole with a big minnow on it goes crazy and I end up with a decent walleye or pike.  I've seen this in WI and other "multi-pole" states in open water too, but not as often and it's not as clear-cut or obvious.

Another possibility is that the sunlight shifted so that now it was behind a tree or rock, providing shade to a specific spot near your bait.  Or, clouds moved in and the fish liked it for some reason.

I'd also say that I've noticed on rivers and streams that storm drains can have a big impact on activity. If someone waters their lawn or washes their car nearby and the storm drain picks up some current, it can trigger a quick flurry of bites.

But in the end, it's all theories and possibilities, which is part of what makes this all so interesting. 

the pyromaniac
the pyromaniac's picture
It do be like that sometimes.

It do be like that sometimes.  Just appreciate & enjoy it when it happens.




Let there be fire!