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Looking Back Over 2020 Part 1 of 6
I’ve decided to look back over 2020 as part of my Podcast series and will feature multiple trip in one long podcast, from pike to carp fishing and easy lakes, to the big water I love to fish so much.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours – 22 Hrs
My original plan was to fish Sunday night, unfortunately, my daughter became unwell and we had to cancel our arrangements. However, there is always a positive with everything in life. After checking with the wife that’s it was ok to go tonight instead of tomorrow, I find myself here.
After not being anywhere near a lake or in contact with any syndicate members over the Christmas period. This is always best, otherwise, I would have tried to get on the bank and I really wanted 2 weeks with the family. It’s always nice to have a break and reset yourself for another year.
With this in mind, I really don’t have any idea where to head and what to expect. We had had a lot of rain, the River Avon was still over its banks and very high. The level on the lake could only have gone up! I drove around the lake looking for signs of carp and had a walk into a few swims. There was only one other member night fishing and he was at the end of one of the points and I didn’t fancy a walk out there. There was a day angler about somewhere, a couple of the swims were pretty much underwater and unfishable. However, the one that I was in on my last trip of the year here was free and just about fishable (as luck would have it) and I’m always confident that the fish are better here. The next point along, being a few hundred yards of unfishable bank, does very much depend on the fish moving down this far because they treat that area as a sanctuary and don’t venture out that much. If the lake has been quiet over the holidays with not much bait going in there, it will have certainly slowed down and been just staying put.
I baited as before, after checking how clear the small gravelly area I have been fishing was. As I was a lot further away from my rods than normal, I was going to be fishing this side of that spot, but I’m not sure it’s a good move. But I need to be able to get to the rods before the fish make it to the cover of the overhanging margins. If that means I need to fish it differently, then I will. As I don’t think it’s good angling to get a take at all costs, this could be to the detriment of the carp’s safety. My bivvy was set up as close as possible on the path which leads down to the swim.
I baited as before; with a mixture of 12/15mm Catalyst boilies, a bag of the particle mix and all soaked in Catalyst syrup. They have a Ronnie rig with a small Catalyst dumbbell wafter and with a 12mm PPS on top – this sits up perfectly. I use a safety clip and a 3oz Touchdown distance lead. I like the heavier lead as I use slackline, this will help to get the hook home and generate the perfect hook hold.
With the rain arriving, it was time for a bite to eat, brew on, watch and listen out, hopefully for some Carpy signs.
The night drifted by without a single bleep and no sighs of Carp. They may well have been active to my right, but I couldn’t see very well. I was certainly not leaving my swim with unattended rods, as 9 am drew ever closer, it was nearing the end of my first of many 2020 session.
Location – Ice Lake
Hours – 2 Hrs
It’s about time I started Perch fishing, I enjoyed every minute of it last year and I have a few lakes to have a play on. There isn’t much information on the size of the fish, but that’s not a surprise as its very secretive with specimen hunters! So it’s going to be a lot of hard work and perseverance on each lake. I’ll stick to one lake each trip and try to divide my time by splitting them up over different sessions.
After spending two hours in one swim; flicking the baits about by the dead pads. It was clearly time to get the Deeper out and locate the baitfish. You’d feel that this is very simple on a small lake but there are so many nooks where they can hide, it took me over an hour. There were a few definite spots worth a try, but I may have to get some worms or try live bait. It was clearly going to be hard work and a challenge that I’m definitely up for. I can easily split this up with the odd carp trip.
After not even a knock, I headed home early in the hope that the other lake was empty and I could quickly get the Deeper out on there in advance of my next trip. Unfortunately, not this time as I don’t particularly like the idea of disturbing another angler’s tranquility, so I headed home.
Location – School Lake
Hours Fished – 4hrs
With my gardening job canceled today and unfortunately, the Perch bait is still in the freezer. I quickly organized the carp kit, which is pretty simple as I keep it all sorted and ready to go. I just need to grab the bait and as I had received my order yesterday from SF with the new Classic Corn Boilies, I just had to give them a go.
I arrived down there to find a couple of guys fishing and a work party going on down the shallow end. I headed down towards the island, as this had to be my best option. I catapulted some crushed CC out around the island and fish both pop-ups, one CC & PPS as I was interested in how they performed as hook baits against each other.
I was soon rewarded with my first take of the year and my first fish on the CC bait, it was a good fight which was over quickly and back safely.
With the rod back out, I finished sorting the swim out and got the brolly up as a windbreak, it was pretty blowy out here today.
The second take happened out of the blue on the right rod, not long after a single bleep on the left rod, which I was expecting to fly off. After a very hard fight, which was a Common, that just wouldn’t give up in the margins.
19lbs 8oz Common
I flicked the rod out on the spot and topped the swim-up again with more CC. I was hoping to bait up a couple of spots on the way back, I also moved the other rod, as it hadn’t received any action.
Unfortunately, the next take took me straight into an underwater snag that I was unaware of. This is never going to help and despite my best effort, the hook pulled out and the fish was gone.
That was it for today. Heavy rain was forecast, so I was off by 1315 and I’m so glad I was, the rain was tropical.
Location – School Lake
Hours Fished – 4hrs
With the success of yesterday, I decided to head back to the school lake. As it’s Friday, I was in two minds, we all know what a Friday can be like on a carp lake. I was surprised to only find one other angler on the lake when I arrived, but it didn’t take long for another two more to arrive. I do need to know for future reference how busy it gets.
After baiting the island before I left yesterday, it was my starting place. With a bit of movement around the sticks on the water, it was definitely the place to start. But this time, I had moved round to the right and was fishing off the dam wall. My left rod was positioned on the same spot as my right-hand one was yesterday and the right rod was now in a completely new spot off the other corner of the island. Hopefully, this change of swims will produce the goods.
The first take happened at 10 am on the left rod, this turned out to be a lovely looking Mirror.
The second take happened just as I was putting the first fish back! This was a lovely Common.
Both were very hard fighting and gave a good account of themselves. This is what it’s all about over the Winter months.
The third take was not long after that and this was also to the right rod. This had a PPS 12mm pop up over a bed of the CC and 8mm Catalyst pellets. The other rod was a 12mm CC pop up, I love these little pop-ups on the Ronnie rig as there is no need for putty, they sit perfectly.
By 11 am (and during all the action), two other anglers had set up fishing around the island. So I’m thinking if the action dies away I will have to move swim. We shall just have to see if they cut the fish off, hopefully, they are held up down here.
Just after 11.20, I had my fourth take on the right-hand rod. It instantly found a snag and after some effort, I eventually got half the rig back, it had shed the hook into a root off the side of the island! Not very helpful. It was quite ironic as I had moved away from another snag, but I’m still receiving action on the plus side.
After no getting any more action, there was now a match angler set up one swim down from where I was yesterday. He was hauling them out. It was clear that I had been cut off from the fish and it was time to move on for the last 2hrs. I quickly packed away and headed down the lake looking for signs of Carp, I hadn’t seen any when I was looking down the lake from my last swim. So, I settled on an area where I’d previously caught from in past trips.
The sunshine had vanished and there was a bit of a cool breeze in the air.
Think it’s one of those days! Within 30 minutes of casting out in the new swim, I got a take and it founds a nice snag and the line cut. Another fish has done me. I’m never a fan of that happening and always do my best to avoid it. It always niggles me for a time afterward. I can’t complain though, 5 takes 3 landed and an hour to go.
I decided to change over to a CC on the right-hand rod and move to another spot as the ducks were very persistent. Just after 2 pm, this rod ripped off and headed down the lake, it felt a lot bigger than anything that I had hooked before. After a very hard fight, with a close call with the overhanging brambles, (and picking up the other rod) it was safely in the net. I was happy with this after the last two takes and finally another one in the net
19lb 13oz Mirror
Oh so close to a twenty! As it was almost pack up time, I tidied up and headed home a happy man.
Location – School Lake
Hours – 4 Hrs
I’m out for my usual Monday session; obsessed with the Carp at the moment. The forecast is for very high winds and heavy rain this week, so I’m not sure if I will make it out again.
I arrived at the lake to find the maintenance team hard at work sorting out the dead trees, it’s always nice to see your membership money getting put back into the lakes you fish. I was really hoping to fish a different area from the island today but felt that was my best option with all the noise and falling trees.
I headed to my normal area and baited with 8mm Catalyst pellets, crushed Classic Corn boilies and fished a 12mm CC pop up, with my ever faithful Ronnie rig.
The first take happened just before 10.30 and just after the rain had started, which wasn’t forecast to arrive until later this afternoon. It was only a small Common, but still very welcome.
With a fresh bait on the rod, it was soon back out on to the left-hand spot. l topped up the swim with a small amount of bait. By 11 am, as there was no action on the right-hand rod, I moved that one down to the bottom of the margin shelf. I had a feeling this was going to be a hard days fishing, the weather had changed and there were absolutely no signs of Carp. Just as I was thinking this, the right-hand rod ripped off, with a very unhappy Mirror on the other end who was clearly not happy but it was soon on the bank and then safely back in the lake.
Just shows you can never really tell.
The wind had really picked up and the brolly was taking a beating, there was the odd break in the rain, it wasn’t too bad on the bank today.
Well, it’s almost heading home time and this wind has certainly got a chill to it. I’m very happy with two fish, as it’s gone from warm and sunny, to cold and windy in the space of a few hours. I’m certainly feeling the difference and I’m sure the carp will be.
Location – School Lake
Hours – 4 Hrs
I arrived down the lake to find the maintenance guys had finished the first bank and were headed around the island. This gave me the opportunity to try in open water again. I’d been meaning to do for some time, just need to stock up on maggots and casters. Previously, the carp didn’t pick up anything I’ve tried so far in open water, it’s all been margins and underarm flicker. I’m sure this may well be where the bigger carp are, we shall see over the next few weeks.
I’ve not forgotten an item of tackle for some time, but today it was my buzzers! And the trusty barrow pod was put into action, must be my age, I turned 55 today.
I’m using a combination of maggots, casters, crushed Classic Corn boilies in a large pva bag with 12mm pop-up and casting just over midway across the lake.
The wind is pushing down this end of the lake nicely and there is the odd heavy rain shower, but nothing too drastic, it looks like its being pushed up North more. I’ve been putting out the pva bags once every hour. However, just before noon, I decided that the last two hours I would put a fresh bait on and stick it tight to the far margins as that tends to produce a Carp or two, as I’ve had no action yet.
Not long after putting out the margin rod, it was away with this lovely dummy Mirror.
I put the rod back out in the same area, you never know, it may well rattle off again.
Unfortunately, that was the only take of the day, but it was all I needed not to blank.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours – 44 Hrs
It’s Syndicate time and with a kind friend offering to collect the kids from school; this saves me a night time set up. The water levels are pretty much as high as I’ve ever seen them – 3ft+, so a high proportion of the swims are either underwater or extremely hard to fish. When I arrived, there wasn’t a soul here. After a quick drive around the lake which ruled out a fair few swims, I was standing in this swim and a nice fish rolled. My choice was made. I hadn’t seen anything on my walkabout around the few fishable spots.
I felt that as I hadn’t been here for some time, I had to get the Deeper out and see if I could locate a couple of good spots away from the normal ones. This swim can be very tricky. I located a perfect gravel spot I had previously not found, which is brilliant as the Carp have hopefully cleaned off the weed/silt and created a feed spot. All I hoped for was that I wasn’t too late and the Carp had moved on. This was in a perfect position as an interception route out of the bay area to my right, it leads into the sanctuary area. The other spot was at some range and was along one of their patrol routes. This spot was silty but you could pick up the odd signs of gravel. I always run the marker rod over the area once I’ve located a spot with the Deeper, this also helps with baiting up and lining up your horizon markers; unless its a flat calm day, unlike today, I had to sit in the bivvy for 15 minutes before continuing to set up, as a very heavy rainstorm pushed over the lake.
I baited up both areas, the range rod was going to be Classic Corn boilies with a matching wafter. The other was Catalyst boilies, pellets soaked in Catalyst syrup with a bag of particle blend with a 12mm PPS pop up. Once all the rain had finished, the temperature started to drop and the pressure was steadily rising, there was sunshine forecast for tomorrow with the prospect of a northerly wind. The part of the lake I was in would be sheltered and hopefully warmer, fingers crossed.
It was just after 3 am when my first take happened, I was happily pumping across the lake what felt like a nice Carp when the hook pulled out, I thought I had got around that problem, perhaps not. That was a real shame as that was on range rod baited with the Classic Corn, it would’ve been nice to catch on my first trip here using it. Well, at least it produced a pickup, which is certainly positive as there is a pretty hard frost on the ground. Onwards and upwards. With the rod back out there and a fresh bait on, the hook was still needle-sharp, just was one of those things I suppose.
My second take happened just after 5 am and after a very careful fight, the fish was safely in the Nsr50, the hook hold was absolutely perfect and going nowhere, same rig just on the right rod this time.
22lb 9oz Common
I was over the moon after the lost fish early on, with that rod back out, it was time to get back in my pit. There was a very heavy frost and I had to break the ice on the water bucket that I use for the fish.
I awoke at just after 9 am to find that heavy fog was over the lake, not surprisingly after that temperature drop overnight -3 apparently. Once the fog had cleared and I could see my horizon markers, I rebaited both rods on their spots and a couple of spombs over each for the day. It was going to be a sunny day but with a fresh northerly wind.
As there had been no action by 13.45, it was time to top up the swim fully for the night. This was in the hope that I will receive more action and after seeing a Carp crash out some way past my baited area, I was pretty confident. A moving carp will be using up energy and therefore must feed to replace what it’s been burning off. Fingers crossed again for tonight, it’s going to be another cold one and the pressure is through the roof, I can only hope.
Just after 3 am, which was more or less the same time as the take yesterday morning, I get a couple of bleeps and no more – don’t you just hate that? You are never 100% sure until it either rips off an hour later that it was a liner or you reel in the next morning and there’s a problem with the rig. Well, I took the decision to leave it, as I was 100% sure I could get the bait back on the spot and there had been no real positive signs it was a take – we shall have to see. I stayed up for a bit and heard a Carp or 3 topping out in the open waters. This boosted my confidence, I was more positive than it was a liner and a take would happen sometime soon. That wasn’t the case and morning soon arrived along with pack uptime. I can’t complain about 1 Carp on the bank in these first proper Winter conditions and the ‘oh so’ sudden changes in the pressure, wind, and temperature since Friday am.
p.s the rig was perfect on rod.
Location – Water Works Lake
Hours Fished – 5hrs
I’m well overdue a Pike session and after taking a walk around here yesterday afternoon in the sunshine, I was pretty inspired. It’s not going to be an easy venue, but it’s certainly worth a few sessions before the close season. I really love the Pike, unfortunately, the Carp bug takes over too much!
When I was walking around yesterday, it was clear that the Grebes were feeding in this part of the lake and I felt it would be a good starting point.
I flicked the Deeper out to try and locate the baitfish and they were pretty abundant. They were in a couple of cast-able spots, however, the trees were overhanging the swims, so this made a couple of them unfishable. I found a suitable one to fish and would give it a couple of hours then move on.
With no action, I moved on to my second area. I’ve decided that I will try and cover another area before going, then return tomorrow and fish the other end of the lake. I’m able to use live bait, so if I can get myself sorted, I will come kitted out to catch some tomorrow. Oddly, I feel the best area for that is where I started this morning as there was a lot of fry in the margins. I was surprised by the lack of action, but these things happen and that’s the joy of fishing.
After walking right down to the far end and not finding very much to shout about, I find myself back in the first swim I started in! There was way more baitfish out here and I will spend the next 2 hours here in the hope of a pickup.
With not a knock or bleep its time to head home.
Location – Waterworks Lake
Hours Fished – 5rs
I’m back out after the Pike again and hopefully, I will be out for a couple of trips next week. The conditions are a bit better – other than the wind. I’ve been trying to catch some live bait, but with the restricted casting from the tree in my swim, it’s been problematic.
I’ve come to the same area and put the Deeper out for good measure. Yep, the baitfish are still about and hopefully with some Pike mixed in. I’m sure it’s not going to be that simple unless I catch the live bait, the Pike are less likely to pick up a dead bait when there is an abundance of fresh food.
I’ve moved along to the right, from yesterday’s swim, otherwise, the wind would be in my face and making casting harder. Plus I feel I’m in a better area and today I will be sitting this one out in the same spot.
I’ve nearly come to the end of my session today, unfortunately not a bleep again and any signs of Pike. We will keep on trying, it’s probably just one day next week, but we shall see.
Location – Meadow Lake
Hours Fished – 38hrs
I arrived down the lake at 1830 and it was completely dark, I always like to drive around the lake to see if anyone is about. To my amazement, there were 5 other anglers already set up, this left me with not a lot of choices, so after 3 laps around the lake and a lot of thought. I was also very happy that I always leave my waders in the car, I have probably not used them for over 4 years, but you never know when you will and tonight’s the night! I very nearly set up on the smaller lake, but I finally decided that if I had no choice but to use the waders, which to be honest are a bit of a pain, I should at least be in a swim which gives me access to the area I feel the carp are in. After 2 barrow trips through the mud and a lot of effort, I was all set up – some 2 1/2 hours after arriving here. I did feel very confident and happy with the location of my baits for the first of two nights fishing.
Overnight I had a few liners but heard no signs if Carp crashing about, it was going to be another of those Winter grey days, but with the wind changing around to the Southwest and the pressure dropping slowly, I could be in with a chance.
Just after noon, I set about baiting up, fine-tuning my spots and recast for the rest of the day and night, with the hope I will get a Carp. I was baiting up both areas with the new Spotted Fin Classic Corn boilies and fishing a 12mm CC & PPS.
The first take of the weekend happened just after 2230 on the second night and it absolutely screamed off. I had to calmly and quickly get the waders on, then grab the rod – this felt like a lifetime. We had a nice slow and not to spectacular fight, which was a help, the Carp was safely in the Nsr50 and soon back home after a quick photo shoot.
I rebaited the rod and had it back on the spot. I was over the moon, it wasn’t the biggest Carp.
16lb 12oz Mirror
But it made all the difference this time of the year and the bait was producing Carp.
The rest of the night had a few fish topping, I was forever hopefully and even after dawn I spotted a Carp showing not too far away. After 2 hrs of hoping, it was pack up time, but I went home very happy as I’ve been quite lucky lately.
Part 2 of 6 will follow in a couple of weeks
Until then Richard
I’m finally on my new syndicate (doing my first trip). It was before Christmas that I last did a night and it feels like a lifetime ago and quite strange, to say the least.
I arrived just after 7am for the draw and had a trip around the lake checking out the swims as we went around.
I was number 6 or 7 out of the hat, this was perfect, as I’m the newbie and I prefer to keep myself to myself for a few months. This gives me time to formalise myself with the water, the swims and slowly get plugged into the lake routine.
I picked one of the swims that I quite liked the look of, not necessarily in the best area, but close enough that I felt I was in with a chance of a bite. For the past 3 day’s, there’d been a strong SW wind blowing which was gale force at times, it was an incredibly cold wind, overcast and grey. I didn’t feel that end of the lake was that favourable. I quite fancied the shallower end, but I was beaten to it by 3 others and didn’t fancy being the fourth man down that end, too many rods etc, we can use 3 here.
After 3 hours of hard graft – there was a long list of Noddy nightmares (as my friends at Carp Cogs would say), it was so bad at one point, I just started laughing, I’m sure I will let slip what happened at some point, but not just yet, way too embarrassing at the moment and for my first trip on new water!
This lake is very weedy and quite hard to find a clear spot, you can go out in a boat and bait up/drop your baits. I didn’t feel it was right to do this on the first morning, with so many anglers doing the first night for some months. So, with the aid of my Deeper and the marker rod, I finally cracked 3 spots and got the bait out, with a nice load of freebies. One thing I will say is that the Pike do like a pink boilie. As you guessed it, I hooked one on the retrieve, which managed to pick up the Deeper, marker rod lines and cut through the marker braid. Which by some miracle I retrieved and spliced it together (one of my nightmares).
I was planning on using 3 different colours pop-ups and flavours, just to see if there’s a preference until I get some idea of what works best here. The wildlife could be an issue, but with the sheer volume of weed stacked with naturals, I may be lucky.
The night was uneventful, except the fog and a cold easterly blowing in through the door. I didn’t hear or see anything at first light in front of me, but from what I’ve been told, there’s a good chance of a bite up until noontime. I’m going to sit still till then.
I spent a bit of time weighing up my opinions and decided that staying put, despite an early start for work on Wednesday morning, was better than going home today.
I found the perfect spots and baited up using the boat. This was so much less aggro than spombing for 30 minutes over each spot. You can even put your hook baits out as well, which I’ve not done in this instance. As I feel it helps to zone into the range you’re fishing and helps at night to recast after catching a carp.
With this swim, you need to get into the water to avoid the overhanging tree.
I’ve moved my margin rod to the same area as the middle rod and will keep my fingers crossed for today.
Morning soon arrived, it was time to get the kit down and head off to work. It’s been an enjoyable two night’s on the syndicate and I meet some nice people. I’m certainly looking forward to getting to grips with the place over the coming months.
Until next time
There have been a few great addiction added to the Lakebook page that are in the below.
The Deeper sonar is so much more than a fish finder or feature locator. You can combine all your recordings on the Lakebook online page, you can review the whole lake and get a greater understanding of your quarry.
With the Lakebook you get to understand the topography of the lake, the hiding spots, interception routes, and the underwater highways, at a quick glare.
The members of my syndicate will often kindly let me know which areas are being fished before I arrive. So, armed with the weather forecast and the watercraft knowledge I have, I will study the Lakebook before I even leave home. This gives me the ability to head straight for my perfect location and saves me a lot of time. This day and age of a fast-paced lifestyle, you can get the upper hand over other anglers and formulate a plan of action.
I use the Lakebook on my mobile phone and home computer. Due to the smaller screen on the phone, I use it in a slightly different way to get the best of all the features. It’s simply because of the size of the screen that I have adopted a couple of tricks to simplify the process. In reality, it’s the same process no matter what the size of the screen is.
Step – 1
Open up your Internet browsers and open the Deeper Lakebook page from my favorite and log in.
Step – 2
Then click on the Venue you wish to view (in this case the top one)
This will have made the map drill down on the area you wish to view. This helps if you’re traveling long distances for your fishing and/or the venues are spread about the countryside.
Step – 3
Click on the X next to the Lakebook, this will minimize the screen and make better viewing on the mobile.
Step – 4
Now by using the + or – situated on the right-hand side near the top of the page. You will be able to zoom in or out just by opening & closing your fingers as you would do on your mobile.
Step – 5
You have a couple of choices now to view the area you fancy fishing.
A – Click on the rod & reel by your selected spot, this will give you a blue outlined area. This would have been mapped at the time you recorded the swim using the onshore mode (instructions below on how to set up).
This brings up the area you have selected and the sonar view of the lakebed and any fishing found. You can speed this sonar view by pressing the play button until it gets to 10x speed.
Step – 6
Now, this is where a little trick helps when using your mobile if you turn the phone to landscape view, it will only show the sonar part of the screen.
If you scroll along until you find a feature or fish that you wish to cast to and then flick the screen round to Portrait view.
Step – 7
Tap the screen where you see the fish/feature, a line will appear and the deeper will have moved to the location that you are interested in.
Step – 8
I find that if you need to know the distance from the bank to this spot, it’s best to flick over to map view, instead of satellite, as it easier to find you standing point (swim).
This is done by clicking on the satellite button and then selecting map view.
and you now have the ability to measure the distance from the shore to where the Deeper icon is located in the water.
Step – 9
Measuring the distance – firstly, minimize the viewing style, which will let you use the rule, this is located below the map/satellite tap.
click on the rule, it will turn into an x. You then press on the screen your location and then on the Deeper, this will draw a line from point A to B.
This gives you the distance in meters & feet. If you need to, you can turn the screen back to satellite view. This will enable you to cross-reference with horizon markers on the far bank.
you can zoom if you need to on larger venues.
The other way is to view the whole lake and click on the map to obtain the depth. You will need to follow step 1 to 4. Then you can tap on the page, review the topography and choose the best area, like the drop offs on the side of a small island.
And simply follow step 9 onwards
The beauty of being able to do this on the bank, it is extremely handy and can benefit your fishing a hundredfold. Basically, if you have your phone with you, you can tinker with the Lakebook, on the bank, at home, on your lunch break, if the weather is pretty rubbish and you just want to get on with your fishing, the Lakebook is certainly the way forward. This is why I love the Deeper Lakebook online page so much. Below are a few perfect spots I have found whilst sitting at home looking over my recordings later, these can easier be missed when you are in a rush and want to get fishing.
This image picked up a lovely slope, with a couple of nice edges where fish would patrol along. A perfect spot for bait.
This screenshot has picked out a couple of depressions in the lake. Another perfect spot and unless you were extremely lucky, you would never find them with a marker float set up.
This final screenshot depicts a steady incline from 11 ft up to 9.4 ft. Again is another likely area that fish would patrol along.
Once you have completed mapped the lake and even understand what is out there. I would still get the Deeper out and flick it out into your chosen area and double check your spot. This is a very good idea in the summer months when there is plenty of weed growth. It’s also very handy in the winter to find any new areas where the fish have been cleaning or even new silty spots if the carp have been digging up the bottom and making any new feature.
Here’s a quick Carp Fishing Tip
When casting the Deeper out and you find the perfect spot, I flick the marker out and retrieve the Deeper. I then cast a lead to the spot and clip up. I clearly don’t want to hit the Deeper with a lead! This is also a good way to get accurate baiting up with the Catapult or spomb.
How to set up onshore GPS mode. This is very important, as is a key part of getting your recording on to the lake book.
Step – 1
Open up the Deeper on your mobile or tablet and click settings
Step – 2
select Sonar mode: On Shore Gps
Step – 3
Then make sure that OnshireGPS Mode (pro+only) is ticked
How to download to Lakebook
Step – 1
Open up the Deeper on your mobile or tablet and click history
Step – 2
This will bring up a long list of recordings
The ones that have names against them, I have already uploaded and I have renamed on the Lakebook. The one which reads Onshore GPS, needs uploading, which will auto-download depending on your setting (which I will cover below). As you can see there is a circle in the top right-hand corner, this indicates that you recoding is uploading and once it has done, the cloud icon will have a tick, as you can see.
You will also notice that the bottom recording (New point & Vincents) is not high lighted, this denotes that the recording has been deleted from your device. This will save storage if needed, they can be simply downloaded again as and when you need.
Just tap on the screen and you then hit yes, if you need to save storage space, press on the recording you do need and it will be highlighted in grey. A trash icon will be in the top right corner.
Then you have a choice of deleting from the App or both.
When doing mapping, I always just put the deeper in the margin to make sure its connected properly. You don’t want to cast it out on the perfect spot and find the atmospheric conditions will delay connection. You don’t want to disturb the fish too much.
Step – 1
Open up the Deeper app and select settings
Step – 2
Then tap Sync settings
Step – 3
Choose which option suits you.
I hope that I have covered everything you need to know about the Lakebook. I can safely say that I wouldn’t be without this feature, as it certainly helps me put fish on the bank. My best advice is to study it as much as possible, it will reveal some hidden treasure. The more you map and download the better it gets. I have uncovered some hidden spots and overturned some areas that were supposed to have one type of feature like a gravel bar, but it tuned out to be more a hump/dip.
My best example of how the Deeper helped.
I had struggled to catch anything from the left-hand the side of this particle swim and I spent a long time getting this right. I came across it one day when I was looking over my Deeper recorded and I noticed a perfect spot. At the next opportunity, I was in that swim and it produced this lovely mirror and a couple of other fish.
I have found the deeper very useful with my perch & pike fishing, even on the river & small lakes. You are able to locate the baitfish, this certainly saves a lot of time.
This spot just off the old dead pads, the Deeper picked up a shole of bait fish and produced this lovely Perch.
One of three Perch that day, I was very happy with that.
I have also found that on the river the Deeper is very helpful, it can save you a lot of time. If there is no bait fish in the perfect looking spot, there is no point in flicking a bait out. Below is a spot on the river which has produced some lovely Pike.
You can see from the Deeper view, there is a lovely bowl which holds the bait fish and the Pike do favor spots like this.
Not a bad pike of my efforts.
Hope this helps
Looking Back Over The Years
I’ve put together a few of my memorable trips over the past few years.
After packing up early from my social trip with Rob, as the fish were clearly not playing ball and as my family were still away. I would be able to fish another night on my local lakes.
Here I am at first light and with only 3 other people on the lake, I had the pick of the swims, more or less.
After a walk around and a check of the weather forecast. The only fish I saw were along the snaggy margin bank and as there is one night swim in the middle of this bank. This was the spot for me. I set up as quietly as possible, on the gravely swim and dropped both rod’s in the margin for the day. I would move them out a bit for the night.
The wind was picking up nicely and there is a good chance of some sunshine. So I am feeling very confident. Time for crumpet and jam on the ridgemonkey.
Hot food is a must for Autumn and especially in the colder Winter months.
This swim was getting a bit of a squeeze, my bivvy was pushed back up against the bamboo as much as possible and the water was still only a foot away from the bivvy door as the rest of the swim was well under water.
Hopefully, I will be able to fish this swim over the winter still.
At 1600, the right hand rod bust into life, I picked the rod up and stuck the tip under water. The fish would be under the overhanging tree and I did not need it breaking the surface.
After what was quite a battle, I had managed to get the fish under control and plodding around in front of the swim. It did have the odd attempt to get back under the overhanging tree, no way you are mind I thought, as I drew the carp into the waiting net.
Another hard fighting carp, at 20 lb 8 oz, I was very happy and after re-baiting both rod’s for the night. It was time for a 4 pm brew and a sausage sandwich (with cheese – thanks Rob for the idea), they taste fantastic.
The sun was saying good night and I was very hopefully of another carp.
As the temperature dropped through the night and it was also very still, this amplified the sound of the odd fish crashing. Unfortunately, they where not very close and the night was filled with that and broken sleep.
Hopefully the sun will be out before I am off at 1400 hrs, not sure as there is no wind and no sign of any sunshine. This will be interesting to see how the fishes behaviour is affected along the snaggy bank.
It’s around noon time, a light wind has picked up and the sun had burnt off the misty morning. I am going to give it until 1400, has I need to be home and sorted out in time to collect the family from the airport at 1730.
I am hoping I should be in with a shout by then, as most of my daytime takes happen before 1400 hrs.
Unfortunately, this was the only fish of the trip. I did think I would get another one, but hey, that’s fishing for you.
Down on the Meadows lake for my Sunday night session. After a look round in the swims that are on the back of the wind, as the last few days there has been a chill in the air.
I quit fancy this one that gives me access to a bay area with overhanging trees and a gap throw to the santry area and also with the sun and no wind on that bank, I felt that would be a perfect area. With the night temperature not dropping that much I am hoping the fish will feed, as the lake has been fishing not that we’ll over the past few days.
The righthand rod was cast into the gap that’s in the middle of this photo, with a Godman Pva Versacast filled with Bait-tech krill and Tuna oil and 5 spombs of a mix of groundbait and poloni boilies.
The other rod the same, just fished into the bay more
By the reed’s some 70yards away.
It was then time to soaked up the afternoon sun.
At around 10 pm the left hand rod was off and attached to a good old lump, that was kiting to the left and if I was not careful would be round the back of the small island to the right of me, I started pump the rod hard and the fish moved more into open water and a bit more under control and I new there was a good chance this would be much second thirty of the week, once under the rod tip is was just a matter of time before he fish was betten and slopped over the cord.
And sure enough in the net was another 33lb 1oz mirror, what a week this was turning out to be.
I recast the rod after reshaping the hook and with a fresh 14mm poloni pop up on , the rod was back on the spot again.
With the normal interrupted by the bream. That was it and the clock sprung into life at 0545 signaling it was time to be on my home.
After my night out and what can only be described as bream fishing. I have done my school run bit and have headed straight back down the lake (after the Mrs came home) to have a play along the snag bank.
My first port of call was my favourite spot along this bank. I scattered a good couple of handfuls of ground up poloni boilies.
I put them over my favourite spots, sat back and waited. The right hand rod was away within half an hour of being there and this fish was very powerful. It stayed well and truly under the tree for what felt like a life time. I literally had to hang on with both hands and keep my tip well under the water. Even when I finally managed to get the fish out for a few seconds, it powered of again straight back under. I knew right from the start I was attached to a lump, I just needed to hang on and get that fish out into the small bit of open water in front of me and into that net.
When it finally slipped over the cord, I let out a sigh of releave as close quarter playing a big fish, in a tiny snaggy swim, is a real adrenaline rush.
34 lb 2 oz of power was finally mine.
After that and with still another 2 hours left, I moved on to another swim that I had not fished before but really fancied.
Unfortunately, the swim move didn’t result in another fish. But I don’t care, I am so over the moon with my result today, I am going home with a great big smile on my face.
I have picked one of the point swims this time. According to the weatherman, the wind will be swinging around to the south and there is a nice storm pushing through over night. This should steer the fish up and I have been told they do move on the wind here.
This swim has a nice bay area with a small island to the right of me and open water to the right.
After a plumb around for the best part of an hour. I was happy with what I had found and felt that one rod would be fished on a nice 6 ft plateau with 8 ft around it. This would be a good start and the second rod would be fished at the back of the bay.
Just in front of the reeds where there was a nice clear area. I spomb’d out around 10 large loaders of ground bait and poloni boilies over each spot.
The ground bait was a mix of Bait-tech Poloni ground bait and the big carp method mix.
With a bag of particles and a tin of sweetcorn with a good load of Krill & Tuna Oil for good measure.
Both rod’s had pop’s up on with a Godman Versacast filled with the Hemp oil to add to the attraction.
And by now it was time to get the Ridgemonkey going for a nice bacon sandwich, with a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy the view.
As darkness fell, I spotted a fish sticking it’s head out, not too far away from my left hand rod. This gave me a nice confidence boost before I got my head down. At around midnight, the wind started to pick up nicely and rattle the bivvy around a lot and I was still thinking of that fish. By 0230 and no signs of any fish including the bream, I finally drifted back off to sleep and woke to a couple of bleeps on the left rod. I quickly got to the rod and turned on a small pen light which I have in my pocket at night, so I can check what’s happening as I never remember to grab a head torch. The bobbin was up the top and tilting forward and holding steady. With another single beep, I grabbed the rod and pulled into a nice lump that was having none of it and headed straight into the open water and past where my right hand rod was. This was a good 70 yards away. At this point, I knew I needed to turn the fish and get it a bit more under control. There is a nice overhanging tree on the right side of the point, which would be a right royal pain if the fish got into the bay round to the right of me.
I had the rod tip under water and I was pumping the rod hard to keep it away from the tree. I could feel the fish fighting hard and I new that it was close to the tree and it finally broke water just the other side on the tip of the tree. Luckily, the water is deep at the front of the swim and I buried the rod farther underwater and pumped nice and slowly, the fish passed this danger point. It clearly knew this and powdered off into open water in front of me again. I thought I would have to repeat the process (clever bugger), unfortunately for the fish, I was aware of it though and put a good bit of side strain on. The fish was well away from the tree and after a good few more minutes of plodding up and down the margins with a couple more bids for freedom (under the tree) it was all over and I could breath a sigh of relief as the fish was safely in the net.
And it tipped the scales at 34lb 8oz and a new PB for me.
What a stunning long fish, which gave it all the power.
I checked over the rig and recast the rod and checked the time and it was 0515. With only 45 minutes before the alarm was due to sound, I just sat and made myself a brew.
Same swim, same spots and the same tactics as before.
Let’s hope I am right, eh folks?
About 11.45, the right hand rod was off with a fish diving under a tree. I stuck the rod tip under the water, held on and slowly gained line. (What powerful fish these are.) Once under control, I played the fish out and safely hand a nice 20 lb 14 oz Common in the net.
I placed the retaining sling in the water and moved back towards the trees it had been feeding under.
Well my feelings where correct about this swim. Lucky me.
Till next time
As I joined a new lake the other year, I thought I would write about how I go about tackling a new venue.
Firstly, get yourself down the lake as much as possible; walk around it as much as possible, observe the lake looking out for potential areas where the fish my frequent, and try to spend as much time as possible just watching these areas in the beginning. I can’t stress how important observation is.
Next, get the Deeper out or if you don’t have one, marker rod and lead about (even if you have a Deeper, you can do this as well). It will let you understand the makeup of the lake bottom; silt, gravel, etc. Also, it will let you know the depth of the water and the topography of the lake. You will have an idea of where to start looking for where the carp are likely to be. Put it all together and you’ll soon find the best areas to start fishing.
My new venue is a small estate lake only 4 miles from my house. It’s given me the opportunity to go there quite a lot. I soon mapped the lake and found where the carp like to hang around. It wasn’t until the water temperatures came up that I started to spot the carp, but I did know where to look. This was done partly by walking around a lot, but also when I was fishing. I set myself up in a position where I could watch the other parts of the lake at the same time. I had still yet to lead about fully but knew a lot of spots by walking around the edge of the lake with a 9ft pole. It’s a man-made lake with a stream flowing in at one end and a dam wall at the other, with fairly straight cut sides in most places. This made it easier for me, but I still prodded every inch all the way around and found some perfect spots and some not so.
Talking to other anglers is a great source of information but only if they are willing and are happy to open up – some will and some won’t. I didn’t have that issue, I’ve yet to see another member. I do know from some anglers, that they find that doing the whole process by themselves is more satisfying, which is what I personally prefer as well.
My next step, in the journey, is to get leading about and seeing what sort of silt is where. As the lake is surrounded by trees, there’s going to be a lot of leafy matter about or to steal a word from Rob Maylin – CHOD. Not all venues will follow the same process or pattern, this is just the path this particular lake took me down, as I progressed my understanding of the water.
I’ve managed to fit a night in and this did throw me somewhat! I’d clearly tracked a group of fish down and was convinced they were feeding at night. However, it turned out that I was wrong! You mustn’t let this get you down, it’s all part of the learning process and developing your understanding of the water.
Another option you could look at is teaming up with another member and pooling your findings. Fish different nights and gradually you will discover more about the lake and a lot faster. I’ve started to do this here with the person who introduced me to this water and recommended me to the Syndicate Manager. Neither of us plans on regularly fishing the lake, in my case a day trip every week to keep the travel costs down and I am sure I will do the odd summer night.
I’ve now been a member for probably six months and one fish to my name. This will do me, as the amount of time I’ve been able to get down here has dropped right off. After doing another evening a few weeks back where the mozzies really loved me, it’s a bit of a problem.
I’m very confident at the location every time I go now, it’s more about getting the carp on the feed and I may just have to wait until the Autumn. I can then get a few nights in, and hopefully, start a baiting campaign, to get them to start picking up boilies.
These fish are very hard creatures to predict. After having a few months away, I returned to find no change in their locations on the lake – pretty evenly spread about. One thing became very apparent and that was the lack of angling pressure. I’ve become convinced that if you set up one end of the lake or even in the middle, they would simply drift out of that area. I managed another take by dropping baits in the margins and sitting way back. I still remain convinced that they totally know when you are on the bank. I did a whole day and a night, I arrived quite early in the day (about 9 ish), used my baiting pole to place my baits, and set up as quietly as possible over the next 2 hours. I was very conscious of any noises I made. I then spent the next 24 hours tucked up in my bivvy with the mossy panels open, but the door down, so no movement could be detected and I hardly saw any carp close by. They had drifted around the back of the island and up the main arm of the lake. However, in the previous few days, they were showing themselves and topping, they just melt away.
Autumn has arrived and we are having an Indian Summer. There’s been a work party de-weeding part of the lake and giving the place an Autumn tidy up. Work parties are a great opportunity to meet other members and have a laugh and a joke. This will break the ice; as we all know too well, most anglers will never give up much information. However, on these occasions, you will be surprised how forthcoming they will be, so if you get the opportunity, go for it, as any knowledge gain is a bonus.
I’m holding back a little on the full-blown baiting up as the weather is still pretty hot in daylight hours and not really getting below 10 degrees at night. So, at the moment I’m only sticking in a kilo a week and will move on to more, once things change.
Unfortunately, it finally dawned on me, this lake clearly did not have the carp in there that it was supposed to have. One of the members that had been more successful than me – after catching 10 carp, was getting repeat captures! But I was happy with my 3 carp landed and 1 lost, I didn’t really put that much effort into the lake until late Autumn.
I have moved on to an old club lake where I fished over 18 years ago and been quite successful. If you search under School Lake on my website you will find plenty of blogs.
The key to cracking any lake is observation and sometimes a bit of luck and next year I’m going to have to put this into good use again.
Until next time
I have converted or will be, all my old and current blogs to Spotify so you can listen to someone else reading to you my fishing adventures. Either when you’re in the car or on the bank! Enjoy!
All being well, this is my last day trip on here until next winter. With that in mind, I’m doing a bit of an experiment in the way I fish this swim from this bank. You can see from my results recently, that this swim has certainly produced some lovely carp. All have come from the same spot in this swim, albeit casting over from the other bank. As this is a club water, you can never rule out someone setting up opposite me when I’m casting across. Therefore, I need to understand why I’m not catching when I set up in this swim and that is why I’m here today as an experiment with my set up and positioning of my rods and bait.
I plan to try this until the afternoon and with any luck, catch a carp (or not) and then move on if possible. But after yesterday’s influx of anglers, I’m not holding my breath, currently there are only 2 of us on here.
With a couple of liners and the only swim I fancy, had just been taken, it looks like I’m in to win it in this swim. I hope it’s pays off. I’m just not a 100% confident with it at the moment, but I must stick with it and just may be the big girl comes along this margin today.
Fingers crossed for this afternoon.
It’s certainly looking like a blank today. It’s nearly time to head home and set about sorting my night fishing kit and 3 rod set up. All organized and ready for the 29th March and the start of many nights to come. Especially start on my new syndicate, which isn’t going to be easy, but I’m so looking forward to this new challenge. The Airfield Lake will still feature in my fishing this year as I really can’t keep away, its just a stunning water. It has plenty of unfinished business, so I will be splitting my fishing on both until it closes at the end of October. I then plan to spend a lot of the winter on the new water, which I have yet to give it a nickname, time will tell, what it turns out to be, all will be revealed when I finally get there.
I do a lot of five-hour trips over the winter and even the summer months due to school hours. I’ve found that the deeper has saved me so much time. There is no point in fishing in the wrong spot for five hours. It’s best to be in the right spot for two hours and spend the other three looking for fish. If you fish a lake like I do, the chances of a fish giving away its location in late morning to early afternoon are zero.
I have already mapped the lake and generally have an idea where the fish may be but there is still a lot of water to cover in such a short time.
I have solved this by carrying the deeper with me on these short trips and then spend some time looking for the fish. This can be straightaway or take a couple of hour’s but results in a carp or two.
My best result was on a winters day, I found a group of fish and out of interest I carried on looking for more for about an hour. I didn’t find anything. So, despite the swim being underwater and lucky for me I had some wellies in the car.
I made up a couple of tiny PVA bag and flicked out two baits on the spot.
and within an hour, I had banked a 30+ and near 20.
This certainly goes to show that you can save yourself a lot of time and bank some cracking fish on short trips using the Deeper.
Hope this helps
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