Get a Head Start: Essential Early Season River Fishing Tips You Can’t Miss!

Try These Early Season River Fishing Tips And Transform Your Angling Game

Seasonal Guides
Simon Palmer

Published: June 30, 2023


One of my favourite things in life is watching the world awaken on a cool, early spring morning, especially when I’m perched on a river bank, fishing rod in hand, the faint dewy mist rising from the water. There’s an undeniable allure to the start of the fishing season. For me, a seasoned angler with years of experience under my belt, it’s a moment of renewal, a time to rekindle my connection with the great outdoors. The excitement courses through my veins as I cast my line into the awakening waters, waiting for the first tug of the season. Today, I’m here to share with you some indispensable “early season river fishing tips” to make the most out of your time by the water.

Understanding Early Season River Fishing

“Early season” is a term we anglers throw around quite often, but what does it really mean? Simply put, the early season refers to the period right after winter when the ice has melted away, leaving the rivers flowing freely once more. As an angler, this is an important time of the year. The fish are emerging from their winter lethargy, and they’re hungry. It’s during this time that you have the chance to land some big catches.

But early season river fishing is not without its challenges. The cold water and unpredictable weather conditions can pose unique obstacles that you won’t find later in the year. However, with the right knowledge and preparation, you can turn these challenges into opportunities. Here’s how.

Essential Early Season River Fishing Tips: Pre-Trip Preparation

Research, Research, Research

Let’s start with the most vital tip: do your homework! I remember one of my most successful early season fishing trips on the River Avon, where I caught a hefty trout within the first hour of casting my line. It wasn’t a fluke, rather it was the result of extensive research on the river, understanding the fish’s early season behaviour, and identifying the potential hot spots where fish would likely be found.

During early season, fish tend to stick to the deeper, slower pools where the water is a bit warmer. Rivers change from season to season and what was a fruitful fishing spot last year might not yield the same results this year. A bit of pre-season scouting can go a long way in ensuring early season success.

Gear Up

Picking the right gear can make or break your fishing trip. I’ve seen many enthusiastic anglers, including a good friend of mine, run into troubles because they used gear that wasn’t suitable for the chilly conditions of early season fishing. You’d want to ensure that your rods, reels, and lines are able to handle the cold without becoming brittle or rigid.

In terms of bait, live bait is always a good choice during the early season. However, don’t write off artificial lures just yet. I’ve had quite a few victories with them, especially when I’ve matched them to the local baitfish.

Dress Appropriately

There’s nothing worse than having to cut a fishing trip short because you can’t feel your toes. I learned this the hard way during one early season expedition where I underestimated the lingering winter chill. Since then, I’ve always stressed on the importance of dressing for the weather. In the early season, the temperature can be quite chilly, especially in the mornings and evenings. Layering your clothing will allow you to add or remove layers as the temperature changes throughout the day.

Safety First

Finally, remember that a safe fishing trip is a successful fishing trip. I’ve seen too many cases of anglers getting into trouble because they didn’t have a first aid kit on hand. Always have a well-stocked first aid kit, know the basics of first aid, and ensure your mobile phone is fully charged before you head out. You never know when you’ll need it.

Essential Early Season River Fishing Tips: On-The-River Strategies

Patience and Persistence

If there’s one thing you should take away from this article, it’s this: early season river fishing requires a lot of patience and persistence. In the early season, fish are still adjusting to the warming water and might not be as aggressive or active as they are in the summer. That means you’ll need to wait longer and try different techniques before you get a bite. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get a catch right away. Remember, the joy of fishing lies in the chase!

Reading the Water

Part of being a successful angler is learning how to read the water. Pay attention to signs of fish activity, such as surface disturbances, diving birds, or visible structures where fish might be hiding. Over time, you’ll develop a keen eye for these signs and become adept at locating fish.

Casting Techniques

Another crucial aspect of early season river fishing is mastering the right casting techniques. I’ve found that a ‘low and slow’ approach works best in the early season when the water is still cold. The fish are less likely to chase after fast-moving bait, so a slow, steady retrieve can be more effective.

Legal Considerations for Early Season River Fishing

Before you set out for your fishing trip, make sure to familiarize yourself with the local fishing regulations. I once ended up paying a hefty fine because I wasn’t aware of a new regulation that had been introduced that year. Always remember, a responsible angler respects the law.

Early Season River Fishing Tips: Handling Potential Challenges

Just as the river’s currents can be unpredictable, so can the weather during the early season. Always have a backup plan in case the weather turns sour. Additionally, it’s important to be prepared for potential gear malfunctions. Carrying a basic repair kit can save the day. After all, the last thing you want is to miss out on a great fishing day because of a broken rod or reel. You may also like our article: BEST EARLY SEASON BARBEL RIVERS: TOP PICKS FOR ANGLERS.


And there you have it, my top early season river fishing tips. It’s not just about catching fish, it’s about enjoying the process, learning from each trip, and creating lasting memories. So grab your gear, apply these tips, and get ready to experience the thrill of early season river fishing. Good luck, and tight lines!

Your Thoughts

Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear your early season river fishing tips, or perhaps a story from your most memorable fishing trip. If you found this guide helpful, please share it with your fellow anglers. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. Let’s continue to learn, share, and enjoy this wonderful pastime. Happy fishing!