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Rod Hutchinson Feature Catch Report by Ken Beech
All the best laid plans saw me starting to write this, and a few
hundred words further to my intro to the team at Rod Hutchinson, I
meant to expand on how I approach
my angling and the key areas I
concentrate on when out on the
bank. However the word count soon
crept over the thousand mark,
therefore wherever it ends up, I
hope you enjoy the read.
These days since ceasing self
employment (self unemployment
when the conditions looked good), I
have set days when I can get out on
the bank, and gone are the days
when I can move my workload to suit
weather conditions, angler pressure
and even moon phases. I go when I can these days, and with my
favourite time of year just around the corner, I like to be prepared,
organised and focused when I am out angling, which over the last 30odd years has honed my approach as follows:
My angling mentality is pretty basic and is based on three key
• Preparation
• Watercraft
• Angling effectively and efficiently
Great timing for this piece, as I have just secured two new tickets for
the coming year, one of which starts in a couple of weeks and the
other in April. Many of you may also be embarking on a new journey
or just keen to hone your spring approach on an existing challenge. A
bit of preparation work will pay dividends when the solar powered
anglers start coming out to play and the fish start playing ball.
Preparation for me now starts in front of the laptop. Once I have
my ticket, I will locate and label the lake on Google Earth, print out a
couple of copies, and using the ruler tool I will
measure the distances to islands, midpoints
between swims, widest points etc. I will then trawl
the forums for any potentially useful information.
Then the fun bit begins when I get to visit the lake,
get a feel for the layout and note which way the
prevailing winds will blow etc.
A few years ago I was a member of the
Farmwood Pool syndicate. The lake is a large, deep,
exposed sand pit. Each swim has known areas of
shallower water surrounded by depths up to 35
feet. I knew those features would take time to map
out accurately, and I didn’t want to be thrashing the
27lb 4oz.
Baby Orange Scaley caught from a small gravel spot in the margins
in 22 foot of water.
water to a foam once the fish were active.
Over a cold pint discussing the water, a plan was drawn up, which
saw a mate and me down at the lake from February onwards, armed
with four marker rods and a flask of coffee each.
We picked and noted a reference point in each swim, then cast
from left to right until we found an interesting area, noted the
direction on the horizon and measured the distance. Using the other
three markers we then found the right hand edge, then the front and
back of the area. These extreme edges of the area were measured,
noted and eventually plotted on a swim-by-swim map. It took two
months to map out the key swims; some of the areas found were
known features, which most members were aware of, however what
were known as small humps or bars turned out to
be large features with lots of varied depths to
explore. As it turned out, it was the deeper areas
that didn’t get hammered like the shallowest
spots, which produced the prizes. We also found a
few bonus areas to consider.
We now had a few swims on each bank that
we could jump in when the conditions looked
good, get the relevant map out, mark and
measure the rods and drop the rigs and bait on
the spots with very little disturbance. Our efforts
were unknown to 99% of the members, however
word must have got out, as members who came
28lb 8oz.


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