Fly Fishing For Pike In Brackish Water

Fly Fishing For Pike In Brackish Water

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Pike are freshwater fish, which can also live in brackish water. Well, upto some degreee of salt level that is. At this moment the salt level on Rügen island seems to be critical for the pike. They almost stopped feeding for about two weeks now!

So yes, it still is tough to get them eating our flies. Still we have managed to catch some nice fish. But it's fair to say we had to work very hard for every single fish. Extremely unusual here on Rügen island!

By definition brackish water can be defined as:

  • brackish water, mildly : 0,1-0,5% salt
  • brackish water, moderately : 0,5 - 1,0% salt
  • brackish water, heavily : 1,0 - ca. 2% salt
  • sea water : 3 - 5% salt (approx. 3,5%)

The Baltic sea around Rügen island usually has 0,8 - 1,8% salt level on the outer sides. That's where we fish for Sea trout. On the inner sides (so called Bodden waters) we usually have 0,6 - 0,9% salt.

Since we have nearly no tidal movements (the Baltic sea is too small for this) we hardly ever see more changes in the water level than some (let's say 20) inches within a week. All changes come and go with the wind. However two weeks ago we had a dramatic change of around 60 inches within just 2 days resulting in an increase of the salt level by bringing water from the open water on the outer sides to the inner island waters.

A key factor for me right now is to find out what salt level pike can resist based on the water temperature. I have been talking to different international biologists about this. Yet, it seems as if there are no reliable datas available yet. So I am going to have a serious measurement with me next season. Time to start a serious study. I want to learn all details on pike behaviour!

During the past 14 days I received a lot of emails, text messages and pns by fly fishermen and spin fishermen asking me where it might be possible to catch a pike in these days here on Rügen. The truth is: Most of the pike seem to have completely stopped feeding. Even the local net fishermen don't catch them anymore - which is related to the pike just lying still on the bottom (instead of moving back and forth).

I am sure that the cause is a significant (unusual sudden) increase in the salt level. But I need datas to back this up and to prove it. So there is no way out - next season I will be well prepared to study the changes in salt level and put it in relation to pike behaviour. Hopefully I will be able to mark some pike and see what they will do when the salt level suddenly increases. Lots of work for sure to get some reliable datas!

Ok, time for some hours of sleeping now. Tomorrow we are going to catch a shit load of pike again!? ;)

Great week to all of you!

All my best

Some pictures of the last days...

flyfishing Rügen