A rip channel is a deeper area between coast and bar, or an underwater groove of a significant depth. A rip channel usually has a dark bottom shaped by rocks and bladder wrack, but it can also consist of pure sand or gravel. You can’t avoid finding these rip channels on the coast, since they are some of the most common bottom conditions in Danish waters. The size of a rip channel varies greatly. Even the smallest rip channels, only a few meters wide, can contain many fish. The sea trout swims around these rip channels to hunt for food. In line with the tide, the fish cross the bars to reach the rip channel that’s closest to land, since that often contains the most food options.
Even though walking around on rocks along the coast may feel annoying, it’s often a good indicator of the presence of optimal bottom conditions for the sea trout and its food options. Everything from pebble to huge chunks of granite provides cover for sand hoppers, shrimp, and small fish. If there are waves, these food options are easily whirled up into the water column. A rocky bottom can be good all year round, but especially so during the cold months with few food options in the deeper water. A rocky bottom at a good depth also attracts other predatory fish such as cod and garfish.
In many fishing spots, large areas of the bottom are covered in sand, and often the coastal angler will skip these areas since they don’t seem like much. However, it’s worth considering that many small fish like sand eel and sprat often migrate across the sand bottom, and they have sea trout and other predatory fish chasing them. On days with waves, unclear water, or dimmed lighting, you’ll likely find predatory fish in these areas. The sandy areas along the deeper water or close to dark areas can be true sea trout magnets.
Along with the eelgrass, bladder wrack is the most prevalent aquatic plant along the Danish shores. This seaweed attaches itself to smooth surfaces such as rocks, gravel, and other variations on the bottom. The bladder wrack is a good hiding place for food options and fish. Bottom conditions with bladder wrack are good indicators of fish being nearby.
A stretch of coast with sand bottom and scattered rocks covered in bladder wrack is often called leopard bottom, because it resembles the pattern found in the leopard’s fur. These bottom conditions are always important to fish, since the sea trout often hunts above the sand between seaweed bushes and rocks. The contrast between the sand and the food options along the bladder wrack provides the sea trout with an advantage during the hunt.