Stocked with approximately 180 carp and the venue on constant hire all year round, the lakebed inevitably does see a constant spread of bait and lines cutting through the water. It’s therefore no surprise these fish can be cagey as they have seen it all. That said, they are carp who are familiar with the food tap being turned on and will respond given the right placement, quantity, and quality of bait. In equal measure, balanced with simple and reliable rig mechanics incorporating a super sharp hook will catch them.
On the Thursday morning of our trip, we congregated in the car park just off Cottage Lane. After me consuming a finely cooked bacon and sausage sandwich at the breakfast hut, it was time to navigate our way through the four combination locked gates down to Blue Pool. The previous group must leave the venue an hour before the next group arrive, so we didn’t obtain any insights on the previous groups successes or failures. But what was instantly noticeable was the water clarity was completely discoloured from the recent heavy rain and there was no weed visible across the entire lakes surface. It was literally the polar opposite of what I experienced the previous autumn. What was also clearly evident, the carp have tuned in to the transition between groups as there was heavy fizzing across all areas of the lake. It was obvious the carp were quickly consuming all the surplus food with confidence with no suspect traps set.
The weather forecast for our four-night trip was dry, with relatively high temperatures both day and night and higher than average air pressure. It made for pleasant social conditions and no need to set up the large gazebo I had in the back of the van just in case of heavy rain. On the social bank we set up the up-cycled BBQ I bought a few weeks ago for only £10 that I couldn’t resist spraying Vietnam green ha-ha. Catching carp was the priority, but we all agreed to congregate every night early evening for some dinner.
We all walked round and concluded the draw. It wasn’t long before I was flicking around with the marker rod attached to a small 2oz lead to start with. I really quickly found a glass smooth silt area off the back of a blatant gravel plateau in front of peg 3. Gaining confidence from every cast working out exactly where the gravel started when drawing the marker back towards me. I settled for and clipped up the marker around 3ft on to the glass smooth silt area before the gravel started to knock the rod tip. I then decided to keep things simple and planned to fan out all three rods fishing to the same area. They probably ended up about three rods apart approximately from left to right.
With absolute confidence with my spots and a visual marker float on the surface, I set about deploying a midi spomb initially to ensure it was landing within a range of approx between 3-6ft past the marker. I then clipped up the marker and switched to the big brother large spomb. It was then literally spombs away for the next 20 minutes until 4kg of 12mm sticky manilla active soaked in Calanus and 2kg of perfectly prepared buckwheat with a decent sprinkling of rock salt was deposited. Whenever I take the fanned-out approach, I always try and ensure the concentration of bait is applied in an equal line but the majority sitting in the two main gaps between my three spots. This way, I am basically fishing my left and right rods on the outer section of the baited areas and the middle one smack on it. I take a lot more confidence in this approach from a line lay perspective and I am a firm believer carp start feeding on the outer edges and work their way on to the main concentrated area.