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Watercraft; or the art of good fishing. Knowing where to feed and place your hook baits is vital to maximising your chances. Fishery Manager Clint Elliott give pointers towards catching more fish…
Have a good look…
When you arrive at your swim have a good look at it and take note of features such as islands, reed beds overhanging trees etc. Take into account the wind speed and direction, whether its bright, sunny or overcast. Also note the colour of the water. All these factors combine to determine fish location and feeding activity.
The weather is one thing but under the surface of the water lay many other equally important features. The depth of the water is one, and this can vary enormously throughout the different areas of your swim. That is where plumbing the depth is very important. Whether you pole fish, use a waggler or feeder you can check the depth in the various areas of your swim to build up a mental picture of the topography of the lake bed.
Understanding your target species, and it’s feeding behaviour is another point. For example carp love to patrol the shallower water of nearside and island margins, so fishing close to the bank or an island is a hot spot in most swims. Most margins have sloping bottoms that you will reveal by careful plumbing. In summer a good depth to look for is around 3’ feet but you can catch in less against the islands. These margin fish respond to a bed of feed in reasonable quantities and waiting is advised.
In deeper open water, when the water is warm and the oxygen levels are rising carp will often feed near the surface, on the surface itself or just a few feet down. In these circumstances they love to intercept loose feed dropping through the water so you need to feed fairly small amounts frequently. For example 15 pellets every minute to keep the fish entertained.
Use a diamond eye threader to pass the elastic into and through the top kit pulling enough though the sections to run the length of the top kit and leave you enough to attach the bung and connector.
Carp will often follow a warm wind so if it is blowing to a corner of the lake you can expect to find carp there. Conversely they can avoid cold winds and in that situation you’ll find the calmer areas offer better prospects.
You can’t beat good old fish spotting. When you are surveying the swim look for signs of fish activity. This can include the obvious presence of fish on the surface, rolling, jumping out or basking. However there are more subtle signs to look for like bubbles emerging at the surface – this can be from fish feeding on the bottom or in mid water. Another tell tale sign is the colouring of an area of water. Usually in shallower areas carp will disturb the silt and mud when feeding and this plumes up in the swim.
Looking Cool Helps
To help with all this observation a good pair of polarised sunglasses are an invaluable aid. Polarised lenses cut down the glare from light reflecting off the water. This in turn lets you see down into the water further than you can with the naked eye, even on overcast days. Polarised glasses also prevent eyestrain and headaches from staring at floats or quiver tips all day.