Preparing for spring is something I start looking at as the new year starts.  If I’m sticking to the same waters as last year, you would think that it’s just a continuation of last year.  However, it’s always good to look back and analyzing your results – there are always areas of improvement.  Don’t just look back at last year, take into consideration results from other years, when you may have changed or tweaked your rig, when something noticeable happed and your catch rate dropped or increased.  Over time these small changes can be forgotten.  I’ve always kept a log book since I started to fish, it’s very simple on noting conditions etc, if I switched bait or alter my rigs.  This is how I ended up starting my website as a way for recording a lot more information.  At one time, I had a spreadsheet on excel to analyse this information to try and spot the obeserved changes.  Unfortunately, this went in the bin at some point at a time when work was manic in the shipping world and I had started to progress up the career ladder.  The kids had also arrived and there wasn’t time anymore.  Unfortunately, I lost the data.  This is a shame as I’m sure I could of cobbled it together and back into something usable.


Sorry, I rambled on a bit there and of track somewhat.  My point is, that any small change can alter your catch rate and if you can work out when and especially why, this will give you a greater start for the coming session.  It can be a time-consuming process, but the rewards can out weigh that easily.

If you’re starting on new water, a lot of people like to search for as much past information as possible and study when the big girls come out to maximize their chance.  I don’t disagree with that process. However, I personally like the challenge and there’s always the new to spot and new thoughts on how the lake will work.  We have all seen the new members come along and start catching immediately because they have done something different or do something that was done before but everyone has all found themselves using the current method regardless.  Your bait and approach needs to stand out from the others and give you that edge.


I love to know that new water has the type of carp I’m after and that’s as far as I go.  I don’t Google search all the carp a look at them as target fish anymore, simply because it can take off and become an obsession within my obsession for fishing.  This isn’t good for me anymore.  I like to discover the beauty of the carp as I go along the way and often don’t really want to know their names (if they have them).  I’m not a fan of that either, but I suppose it’s a necessary thing to promote waters and encourage other anglers to go hunting after them.  I grew up fishing for the unknown and do my best to carry on that theme with my carp fishing as best as possible.

My approach to new waters, is simply about confidence in your abilities, self believe.  Start with the bait and the rig you have the most confidence in.  How many times have you been going through a hard patch and you pop onto a club water to bang a few out and your confidence is high again?  You then go back to your syndicate and start catching, simply because there was nothing wrong with your approach, you just need that confidence boost to shows you can do it and you will!


But and it is a big but.  Keep your eyes open and do lots of observation, as I’ve written about before, things may need to be changed, but don’t rush those decisions, you can send yourself off in the wrong direction and it takes a long time to get back to where you started.  If you feel the need to change things about, do it gradually and one step at a time.  If you do multiples things you will never quite know which is the key factor in your lack or gain in catching carp.

Remember to discretely, keep an eye on other anglers, but please no asking.  Give it time and the information will flow and should always be both ways.

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The real obvious choices; are look in the swim with no carp in, if you get told they don’t like something or if a swim is overgrown, these can be good starting points.  Walk around a lot (this is not so easy with the modern lifestyle of people always), lead about and maker or even use a Deeper sonar.  Please remember to respect other anglers.  If I’m going to do any other these, I really like to do it when the lake is empty or if it’s a large lake, head down the other end away from people.

Time of the bank is a real help, but not always possible.  If you can team up with a friend and fish at a different time of the week, this is a real game-changer on many waters.

In the early sessions on new water, I really like to position myself in a swum that can view as much water as possible, and you can sit all day watering the water.


It’s all about observation in many forms that will bring you success.

More rumblings soon!