How confident are you about fishing a 3 acre lake, or maybe a 4 acre lake or even a 10 acre lake? Most anglers would say that they would feel comfortable and would instantly believe that they know the feeding areas to bait up to:- snags, overhanging trees, island margins, the edge of a lily or weed beds to name but a few.
Large open waters of the new Angling Lines water, Castle lake.
Now lets increase the size of this lake to 20, 40 acres or more. The lake has no island, no visible snags or weed beds. How do you feel now? Maybe out of your comfort zone.
In reality there is no need to panic as open water fishing is easy if you know what to do. Any lake bed will have as many features underwater as you can see on the surface. How to find them is the difficult part, but with a bit of thought and hard work these features are easily found.
So lets say you arrive at a 25 acre lake for the first time. You have done all of your research :-
Checked feedback reports,
Read any articles on the lake
Viewed any videos
Read any blogs about the lake
Liaised with the bailiff or owner.
Read logs if kept to find out previous fish captures and locations.
Another very important thing that should have been done prior to your arrival, is to have researched a few weather stations on the internet to find out the following:-
Will the air pressure be high, low or changeable
What temperatures are forecast
If and how much rain is expected
Most importantly, wind direction and strength and any changes that are forecast
So, you now are now up to speed with as much information that is available.
Large grassed banks on Grande Oreint
If for example, you are aware that the wind will be changing direction either the next day or in a couple of days time, it may well be worth getting prepared for this event by setting up somewhere in the head of the proposed wind. Normally on bigger than average lakes, doing this can lead to a feeding bonanza with multiple catches on the cards. Reading the weather and having the hindsight to be in readiness for the fish certainly can give you a massive advantage.
It may be that there are no noticeable weather changes apparent for the near future. In this case it is solely down to water craft and observation. The fish maybe showing themselves, by head and shouldering, cruising, crashing out or just bobbing out their heads as they feed on naturals. If this happens you have a starter for ten, you have located the fish, the art is now not to spook them and to present both the hook baits and your loose feed in the perfect feeding area.
More often than not the carp remain hidden so a good pair of binoculars are a very useful tool. These can help you to locate feeding fish which could be fizzing, colouring up the water, or vortexes, which cannot be normally spotted with human vision alone.
Now that you have chosen your area of the lake to fish, make sure that you are comfortable in the swim. Choose a flat grassed area or a well maintained set swim. It is no use pitching up camp on top of rough terrain, on top of an ants nest or in a location where everything is tight. You need room to manoeuvre, weigh and photograph your trophies and most importantly, erect your kitchen (brolly and table, or beer tent)
Leading and Plumbing the Lake
So you have decided where you think could be a decent fishing area. The first thing to do is to establish what the depths of water are out there and if there are any unknown snags or weed beds. This is where the marker rod comes into play.
34lb 5oz mirror from swim 8 on Castle Lake
Starting off at one side of your swim, cast the marker rod as far as you think that you want to fish too. Draw back the rod a few feet, feeling for any bumps, snags, graveled areas, or for silt or weed. Raise the marker to the surface, making a mental note of the depths and lake bed make. Again, wind down the marker float to the lake bed and draw back a few more feet following the same procedure, making a mental note of what you find. Repeat this until the marker float is back in the side of the lake. Now with repeated casts, work the rod in a fan style to the other side of the swim, again repeating the procedure for feature finding
Try to avoid heavily silted or weeded areas as these could prove difficult to present your bait and certainly do not pick an area that is past your comfort zone for casting. Remember the weather and wind can change at any time making re-casting to your chosen spot almost impossible. When you have found your likely spot to fish too, mark up the marker rod, fishing rods and spomb or spod rod and you are ready to fish. Try and pick a noticeable marker on the sky line to cast too, for example a tall tree, a dip in the tree line, pylon or farm house. This overall procedure may take a couple of hours but it is well worth the effort.
Now for the easy bit! Baiting up!
Angling Lines have a large variety of lakes of all sizes ,which cater for anglers of varying experience and requirements, some with accommodation, others bivvy only. Click here to see what is on offer.