I’m sure you will all agree that fishing club lakes can be hard going in the Summer months. This is due to the volume of anglers on the bank, which is why those who can join syndicate waters as they have fewer members. However, there is a hidden secret out there, club waters are becoming increasingly quiet over the Winter months. If you can find the right one, they can be completely void of anglers in those cold bleak Winter days. If you’re after some action and not particularly bothered about the size of the Carp and you are just after some action, to boost your confidence, over what can be a very bleak time on some syndicate lakes, then these are a perfect opportunity which could be overlooked and they could be just on your doorstep.
Which is what I have decided to do this Winter. I will document my exploits over the coming months.
My first month was more of an exploration trip, in the hope of gaining plenty of knowledge before Winter properly sets in. This would have to involve fishing as many swims as possible over the first few weeks and doing a considerable amount of watching the water to gain an understanding of where the fish prefer to hang about. In the dead pads was my first area, which is approximately a third of the lake and clearly, they were down here. I also needed to know if they were by the island, which is at the far end of the lake. Unfortunately, you couldn’t really see both at the same time. This meant I needed to fish up there at some point before December. I couldn’t assume it would fish the same has it had done 15 years ago when I last fished here. As I would only be doing Winter days for just over 5 hours, I need to do my homework work.
The two weeks of November when I started my membership, turned out to be very fruitful and produced a few double figured Carp. In all honesty, I had absolutely no idea of the stock level. I was quite astounded that when I arrived at 9ish on every day trip, there where carp always showing and continued over the 5 hours I was there. I was straight on the fish each time and bagged a total of 13 carp including 3 doubles.
With steady action, it’s going to be hard to move into a different area, but I need to explore other options before Winter really sets in. All my action has been from casting across to the far bank in between the dying pads, not a heavy padded area which did surprise me at first. It was probably due to the angler pressure the main padded area all Summer long. I also think the island will have the same influence.
I have also been exploring fishing off the pads, I’m sure the Carp will feel safer feeding there, I’ve not had much success with that so far. In December I will be exploring other areas and dropping baits in the margins, with the view of moving swim more – this is dependent on the weather, I never like moving in the rain, but sometimes you just have to make that extra effort to bag a fish.
This month has been pretty good to me despite the horrendous weather, I’ve managed 9 carp, with a good few doubles. The weather has certainly played its part when it was fine, I needed to be finishing off all the gardens I work on before Christmas. This only left me a few dry days, which I have found are clearly the most productive. It’s been so valuable this month from cat ice to flooded swims. With a little effort, still very productive and will me being only able to fish up until the 20th due to the school holidays, I was very happy with my results.
With the kids only started back on the 6th January, the wife’s and my birthday and some gardening work to catch up on, it was going to be a busy month to fit fishing in and I do like my Perch and Pike fishing, we shall see how things progress.
I have snuck out in between all the storms a couple of times, as I’ve been sent some new bait from Spotted Fin to test out before its release at the NAS show. I’ve had some amazing results (not quite cracking the 20lber mark but very close) with 3 x 19lbers and a handfull of doubles over 4 short 4 hrs sessions. I was a bit limited in the areas I could fish due to maintenance work taking place, but I’m never going to moan about that.
Now, I understand it’s not everyone cup of tea. The hardcore anglers out there would probably not dream of doing this, but the old I get the more I realized that it’s all about the joy of fishing (the take, fight, etc), it’s not all about size. As you pass 55 (as I did this year), it dawns on you that you probably have fewer years to fish than you have already done. So, I decided that it’s going to be about enjoyment and sometimes sitting in a bivvy on a hard water over the Winter months, has started to feel a bit crazy in the wrong weather conditions.
So why not give your local club a go over the Winter? You’ll find them void of anglers and the ability to catch plenty of Carp. You will realize that its great fun and brings you full circle back to why you enjoy fishing some much.
Until next time