No. 8 spot a fish

A boy peers at a starfish in the hands of a woman

Spotting fish is one of the best ways to spend time on a seaside or countryside holiday, or if you're lucky enough to live nearby. It's tricky though, with the fish darting around and trying to avoid you. We've put together some ideas to make sure you can master no. 8 of our '50 things to do before you're 11¾' activities in no time.

Choose your spot

You can find fish in fresh or salt water from the sea, rivers, canals, lakes or streams, so you can either look for a spot close to your home, or wait until you go on holiday to do this challenge. Once you've decided where you're going to look for fish, then you'll just need to wait.

Be patient

If you want to spot a fish, you'll need to be patient while you wait. If you want to catch the fish to have a closer look, be quick!
Fish tend to feed early or late in the day, so these are good times to search. Around midday, however, you will find them easier to spot as the sun is overhead. Wearing sunglasses can also help, as the sun causes glare on the water, making it difficult to see in. You may find you have to wait for what feels like forever to spot one, but the feeling you get when you do will be worth it.

Identify your fish

You'll need to be a little bit careful as some fish are poisonous, like weaver/wrasse or spiny fish, so it's a good idea to have a spotter sheet or have done a little bit of research into the most common types of fish in the sort of place you're looking for them.

If you're fishing with a net in a stream, then look really carefully in your net as you may have little tiny fish like sticklebacks or minnows which you might not spot straightaway.

Look after your fish

If you do want to catch a fish, don't forget that it will need to be in water to stay alive - so if you don't want to look at it anymore, then always put it back quickly and carefully so it can swim off home again.

If you want to transfer the fish to a container to have a longer look at it, then it's best to use the same water (at the same temperature) as the place where the fish came from in your container, and please don't leave it out in the sun to get hot.

If possible, avoid handling your new fishy friend completely. Don't feed the fish either, all the food it needs will be wherever it lives.

Let it go!

The fish will be much happier if you can pop it back in it's original home so it can swim off again within half an hour.


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