The venue is an old gravel pit with no weed, or menace species to worry about. All brown, green and beige colors match the lake bed
Fish will normally be scattered or will move with angling pressure, bait application or natural food sources. The important thing is finding a feature in your chosen area. This may be in the form of an undulation, weed bed, silt pocket or marginal snag, the fish normally get caught on one of these as opposed to casting into an open flat area. To find the features you can use the trusted marker rod or jump in the rowing boat with an echo sounder. In any event it is essential you make detailed notes of distances and horizon markers to ensure you can get back on the spot.
You can use a marker rod to find and mark your features or an ‘H’ block marker from the rowing boat using an echo sounder. In any event markers must be removed once you are fishing, nothing worst than loosing a fish due to it getting tangled round a marker line.
For a standard week at the lake, I would recommend the following bait:
As the carp are pressured all edges will help you when at the lake, consider; big baits, small baits, fake bait, unusual baits from the human grade food chain. Please bear in mind there is a 15kg bait limit per person per week, so do not throw it all in at once. In my experience it is far more effective to start with no more than a few handfulls of bait lightly scattered over a few square metres, rather than 5 kg in a tight area. Obviously all applications have their day, but consider what has happened the week before your arrival and do not be tempted to think that a big bed of bait will draw them in, I assure you it will not, and will probably have the opposite effect. Over the last few years it has become apparent that “bird feeding” or very lightly scattering over a 9m2 area by rowing boat is one of the best ways of applying bait. A single grain of maize, tiger nut, part of a boilie, fake hemp, maggots fake and real, fake pellet are my favourite hookbaits when fishing over a light scattering.
Vary the quantity of bait applied per rod. If you are going to introduce a large bed of bait then be prepared to sit on it for at least 4 days before thinking of moving it. It’s always worth dribbling in a few kgs of bait on a few other spots that you are not fishing. This will give the fish confidence to move into the area and feed. Then if you want to move a rod you will be a step ahead and could drop onto feeding fish, think ahead !!
During this period fish will go into a semi hybernation once the water goes below 5°c, so check with me what the water temperature is before setting out so that you are equipped with the best bait for the job. My top hookbait for cold water is maggots. I mix these 50 : 50 with bloodworm pellets, sweetcorn, Vitalin, pure krill groundbait and high levels of liquid amino. This mix is used for pva bags and then a small amount, one handfull, for bait boat top up. If this does’nt get you a bite then nothing will!!!!
Although you must put it on the right spot, in the winter carp do not stray too far away from where they are comfortable. I would also recommend zig rig fishing, if you find fish are topping but you are not getting a bite, always worth ago. Also in the depths of winter the fish will sit in a thermocline they are most confortable with, this is not normally on the bottom of the lake and they can be very vulnerable once you discover where they are and at what depth! Always use proper zig components and work the rig every few hours from a metre off the bottom to two thirds the depth, 15cm at a time is normally good. Favourite bait is either black foam for bright conditions or yellow for dull conditions, 1cm cube on a 8 or 10 hook to 10lb BS floating zig line.