When August arrives, the light northern nights are definitely over. Now the eels start migrating towards the Sargasso Sea. And the mackerel is in!

The darker nights hasten the mature eels, and, under the cover of darkness, they will start their several thousand kilometre long migration back to the Sargasso Sea, where they were born in the colossal seaweed forests at a depth of several kilometres.

Mackerel are occasional summer guests allong the shores of East Jutland.
© photo: Steen Ulnits

This is why now is the time to catch the delicious eels - in traps, at bob or with a hook and line. If you like cosy fishing for your dinner, there is nothing like a nocturnal bob in the warm, soft and quiet darkness of August.

The increasing darkness also hastens the sea trout, whose migration to spawn goes in exactly the opposite direction - away from the salty larders of the sea to the fresh waters and gravelled spawning grounds of the rivers. Particularly if there is enough water in the rivers - and that is often the case in a typical Danish summer of rain and wind - the sea trout really start ascending into the rivers.

Angling for sea trout is often done in rivers that cross the Jutland heath - in fantastic surroundings as the heather will be blooming in August. The colour of the flaming heather is a perfect backdrop for fly-fishing, spinning or angling.

Perch preying

August is the time when the black-striped perch of the lakes triumph in the weeds. Here they feed on this year's fry, which have now become big enough to venture out from the protective weeds towards the end of the day. Here they have lived in hiding and safety among the long stems.

However, as darkness approaches, they must come out to forage, and a large number of them end up in a voracious perch's mouth. This year's fry are so tiny, and the perch's mouth so frighteningly big.

Often you may experience regular episodes of "seagulls' pranks", where the poor small fry are hunted by birds from above and fish from below. Then it is no easy task to be a small fish in the big waters.

If you do see such an episode, the thing is to get within throwing range as soon as possible, because it may die out as quickly as it started. And on no account sail into the tunnel of fish and birds. Keep your distance, so you do not frighten the fish with the boat. Do not go any closer than you need to reach the fish with your throws. Then they will rise!

Oxygen depletion

Towards the end of the month, the water temperature will peak in the Danish waters. This may sound ideal if you are one of the many holiday-makers at that time, but if you have to live all your life in the water, it is far from good news. Actually, it is very close to being the worst news possible.

Because now the first loss of oxygen may be approaching. Typically this happens in deep waters first and then moves into more shallow waters. Low oxygen content and a high water temperature make August a slightly dull month on the coast.

© Steen Ulnits
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