One morning in May I woke up at first light after an uneventful night, to see at least a dozen show on a shallow plateau I knew was there, right down at the bottom end. That in itself was interesting, as being the shallowest feature, it was also the first place the weed had started to grow, and the week before I had noticed the first few strands of Canadian appearing there. By 6am, and after a few more leaping clear of the water, I was throwing my kit into the boat and on the way, as fast as my battery powered motor would go. Being my first chance that Spring, I didn’t want to mess it up by boating straight onto the spot, so I hastily tackled up with a couple of chod rigs and 1.5oz leads, and even though the plateau was around 120 yards out, I boated at least 20 yards short before flicking the rigs gently out and moving away, sinking the line as I made my way back. I knew the fish wouldn’t tolerate the boat, and I smiled to myself knowing I’d not ruined it at the first hurdle. Both rigs had gone down nicely, with gentle soft thuds so I knew they were presented well on the shallow area. I didn’t bother with any free baits, and spent that day in anticipation of them returning the following morning, and actually having my first chance. I was up well before first light, cupping mug after mug of steaming tea, as I waited for the show to start. An hour into daylight and I knew they weren’t coming back, sure enough not a single fish showed anywhere in that bottom end, and I sat there deflated, knowing any chance had long gone as the morning passed. It showed that setting up on the fish, other than in the snags wasn’t the answer. The trick was to anticipate where they were going to turn up, and have traps set in advance, something I just couldn’t seem to master, even as the summer went on.
As the weed got up I felt the main areas of the lake would start to come good, and one week in early June, after fishing the night in the snags, I had a walk up to the best vantage point nearby and sat and watched. Immediately I saw a couple show, long right behind the back of the second island, where I knew there was a huge weed bed, and an area that hadn’t to my knowledge been fished so far this season. As I sat there, a huge dark mirror launched itself completely clear of the still lake, and I was in no doubt which one it was, even at that range, the king of the lake. It was at least 30lbs bigger than anything else that I’d seen jump, and again I was packing up as fast as I could. The swim next door to me could reach this channel, but it was a long tow out. Being the quickest option, I moved in there, and took 3 rigs out there one at a time. It was a seriously long way, but with the Hydro sink braid on, I wasn’t worried as I had 200m on each spool. I’d coupled this with a rod length of 20lb Mirage fluorocarbon as a leader, and placed all my rigs against this weed bed, on clear sandy areas I could see easily from the boat, with a few handfuls of broken up B5 baits. That day I had three ripping takes, landing two, and the following morning another, before I had to pack up. Nothing big, but all very welcome after struggling so far. It showed how straightforward it can be to catch them, when you’re actually in the right area!