September is the first real autumnal month - the one that symbolises that summer is over and that autumn is waiting to move in.

It can be seen in many ways - in the river, in the lake, along the coast and far out at sea. Nature is now preparing to replace the warm and abundant summer with a winter with little nutrition. Now is the time to put on some weight - while there is still enough food in the water.

Coarsefishing is very good in September as the water is still warm.
© photo: Steen Ulnits

Salmon and sea trout

In the rivers - at least in the ones with unobstructed access from the larder of the sea to the spawning grounds of the stream - the salmon and sea trout are now gathering. The November-December spawning is now starting to be noticeable - in the form of roe and soft roe developing in the mature sea trout. And when the internal pressure rises, so do the sea trout!

As more and more sea trout move into the rivers, the greater the battle for the limited number of spawning places in the river. New ascenders have to run the gauntlet of "old" fish, which often perk up in the battle to defend their territories.

If there is a period of rain, it will often speed up the ascending. And at the same time, the battle between new and old fish improves the odds of the river angler tremendously!

Along the coast, the "remaining" sea trout become more and more choosy ­ well-nourished after a long summer stay in the warm coastal water. They become more and more difficult to catch - especially on warm and quiet "Indian summer" days when the sea is as smooth as a mirror. All you will see is the odd tail fin from time to time.

In such cases you will have to rely on your fly-fishing tackle with tiny flies moved very slowly through the water. Then you may experience the rush as the line is tightened and a fat sea trout engages the turbo and moves out to sea.

Perch and pike

If you like these black-striped robbers of the lake, there is no better month than September. The fish are well nourished after the forays of the summer in the weeds, and the water is still so warm that they hunt actively all day. Thus an ideal month for hooking a number of delicious perch fillets for the chef!

The pike, on the other hand, is not quite so easy to get in touch with in the still lukewarm water. They have moved to deeper and cooler waters where they like the conditions better. Their peak season will come later - in October and November.

If you are going specifically for lake pike, you will have to fish at greater depths ­ typically 10-15 metres. Out here the pike is hunting - often swimming freely in the water, which is not so common during the rest of the year. Trolling with large, weighted wobblers is a good method for locating these free-swimming heavyweights!

© Steen Ulnits
© 2000 Steen Ulnits
Skytten 116 · DK-8900 Randers · Denmark
Tlf. +45 23 32 89 88 · Website: · E-mail: