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27 Dec 2016
by Allan Parbery
Do 'big fish windows' exist?
Is there such a thing? According to the folk who fish the world famous Rainbow Lake, yes, so we commissioned bait pro, Allan Parbery to dig a little deeper into the subject...

Hi Allan,
I’ve recently heard of a situation known as ‘The Big Fish Window’. This is a specific time during the day (or week) where the lake’s larger carp will have a feed – for example ‘Big Fish Thursday’ at Rainbow Lake which I’ve read about. Have you heard of this theory? If so, what would influence the big carp to feed? Is it the weather? Air pressure? Light levels, bait, baiting patterns etc., etc. Stephen Lowe, via e-mail

What a question, and maybe one given the choice I’d have avoided. Yes, I have heard of it yet I think the “big fish window” could really be called the “bite window” too.

I think we are possibly looking for the perfect storm scenario to get to this peak in feeding activity when all conditions fall into place at the same time. I would have thought it highly unlikely that just one of them was responsible unless my theory is correct, however, this too could be part of the perfect storm.

I have often wondered why we can go for hours without a bite and then get two on at the same time, or even three. Matey in the next swim might get a few bites too. Everything in just a short period of time. Strange isn’t it? But, when you look back throughout your angling career it is a fairly common occurrence. One lake I used to fish you could almost set your watch for the activity to start, in fact you could set your watch three times in the morning and then you may as well have gone home.

Another lake I fished you would never get a bite at night, I mean never too. Others have been very random though and with these lakes the burst of activity is at present taken as a bonus. Lucky people will be fishing, the unlucky ones will be at work. It might only happen a few times per year but when it does you remember it.

Let’s breakdown the points raised. Air pressure: yes, it can have a profound effect on your fishing. We all know that with too high a pressure the fishing is rarely as good as it is during a big low. However, the changes are more common than ‘big fish window’ opportunities are so we can rule that out as a single reason. The same could be said for light levels. These are similar most days. I would rule out baiting patterns myself. I don’t think we can force fish to feed, in fact, I know we can’t. We can tempt them, that’s all.

That leaves me with my thoughts on this matter. I am going to say I would prefer lower light levels with a decent low pressure system but what may well get the ‘big fish window’ going is natural food. Maybe we get a hatch of a certain type of bug happen very rarely each year but the hatch is one that the carp love to eat. Maybe the hatch triggers them off on to a feeding spell where they are competing with each other for the available food. They may well throw caution to the wind during these periods making them more likely to make the error of being caught.

Am I right? Who knows, but it might be an interesting topic to throw to The Rotary Letter writers soon.

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