In my experience there is nothing better than donning the waders, coupled with a prodding stick and venturing into the wet stuff analysing viable spots on the lake bed in which to present a bait on to start priming for later sessions to create a feeding spot. Having a long handle rake is helpful to remove any unwanted twigs, weed etc. that may impair line lay or rig presentation.
Providing the venue allows wading, the task must be undertaken safely, feeling you’re way into the lake is a must, having a vague idea of depth and substrate you’re treading is paramount as the last thing you want is a wet ‘booty’ or worse still getting stuck in a deep pocket of silt or sand.
Gardner Inline Bolt Bomb as I feel this converts more bites when fishing on firm spots when the fish are feeding on small food items.” alt=”When it comes to lead set-ups, I prefer a Gardner Inline Bolt Bomb as I feel this converts more bites when fishing on firm spots when the fish are feeding on small food items.” width=”623″ height=”508″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-15312″ />
It never ceases to amaze me just how different a spot can be when you arrive above it with a prodding stick. Pulling a lead over it and dragging back gives you a good guide, but in my mind it is never as accurate as treading over it ascertaining size, depth, substrate etc. with the underside of your boot and a prodding stick.
Another tip is to collect a sample from the spot, by simply digging in the handle or raking over the lake bed surface and carefully bringing it up to the surface, which can often reveal secrets like natural food larders such as bloodworm beds or other aquatic life. Clay spots are a favourite of mine, which carp are renowned for flanking on for mineral absorption to aid health and well-being. These are a reason for carp to visit the spot even before application of pre-bait.
This process helped piece together the capture of a very special fish that was on my most wanted list recently.
By venturing out into the ‘drink’ I was able to ascertain how far I could fish my hook bait safely, stacking the odds in my favour under a tree-line nearby a coots nest. The carp regularly use this subsurface jungle of branches and debris when it’s hot or a good south westerly is blowing. The money spot within the spot was the very edge of the gravel that met a smooth silty area in around 4.5-5 feet of water.
I had fished the spot on a previous session and received lots of liners and unfortunately lost a fish. I decided to firstly calculate how far I could fish allowing for stretch and rod compression before the carp could make sanctuary of the gnarly snags. Next step was to clean the spot coming back towards the rod angle to improve the line lay and then bait the area with hemp and a mixture of Velocity AK4R and P-Nut+ boilie chops in preparation for the next session. I opted for a slightly longer than normal leader of about 4-5 inches of Camflex lead free for added protection against the snags and aggressive gravel. This was fished with a Gardner Inline Bolt Bomb as I feel this converts more bites when fishing on firm spots when the fish are feeding on small food items.
No more than two hours into the session and my preparation and knowledge gained paid dividends, as a stunning dark blue mirror known as ‘Enoch’ was slipped into the waiting net. The fish was in fabulous condition and weighing a healthy 43lb 14oz was securely landed on a size 6 Covert Wide Gape Talon Tip, which I favour when fishing a Velocity Peach n Black Pepper Fluoro Wafter over Hemp.