FL12Sept - Page 124



The Things That Really Matter
areas that the birds are ripping to
shreds for no apparent reason then
often the fish won’t be far behind.
Don’t believe the hype that fish are
scared by bird life and always bolt; it
just isn’t the case – more often than
not they will even compete with each
other to get at the grub.
Islands
bottom, much of which will be carp
grub and will often bring those fish in!
Weedbeds
Whatever time of year, these are a
great pull for fish. They give loads of
people the geebees, and presentation
problems and landing fish can often
freak people out, but it really doesn’t
need to. Weed is a larder for the carp,
and nine times out of ten it is packed
with carp grub; snails, mussels,
shrimps and a myriad of other bits
and bobs. Why would they go searching about the lake for a meal when
they could just plough their heads
into a weedbed and suck up a gourmet meal! They often don’t move
much when in a weedbed, so observation is the key. Get as high as you
can, get the Polaroids on, and just fix
your eyes toward the weed. You are
looking for a fin poking out, a tail lobe,
a bridge of the head or maybe even
just a gentle rocking of the water. All
these things are telltale signs that
there is at least one fish held up in the
weed. Another major thing to look for
is their patrol route in and out of the
weed. Often they will not pick up a
bait amongst the weed, but a strategically placed trap set up on their route
may just be the winning ticket, so
take your time, sit there and watch.
(Top) Low oxygen levels meant that
this swim, fed by a stream, was a
good place to start.
(Right) Birds hungrily but nervously
inspecting the weedbed.
122 FREE LINE
Bird Life
Another little edge I use to try and
locate those wily old carp is to use the
lake’s bird life to my advantage. Often
we despise the little blighters, diving
on our baits, catching my hookbait on
the drop or simply having a swan
plough through your rods, but often
they can be used to your advantage.
On my club water I have had three of
the handful of 30’s whilst the swans
were actually sitting in the weed in
4ft of water above my baits! A lot of
the time birds such as coots, swans
and ducks will feed on the same fodder as our scaly friends – fresh weed,
bloodworm, snails and other waterborne insects, so if you can locate
Similar to weedbeds, islands can
hold a lot of natural food, either
amongst the island’s marginal cover
or on the shelf that leads off the
island, so again look for the same
sorts of signs as you would amongst a
weedbed. Remember as well, often
you don’t want to be mega tight to
the island, so often I see people
blindly casting as close as possible to
the island.
Often at the bottom of the shelf
leading off from the island will be a
larder, as lots of food congregates
against the shelf, and on top of that it
is very likely to be a patrol route for
the fish around the bottom of the
shelf, so bear that in mind before you
bust a nut trying to get a lead stuck
up a tree on the island!
Although I have covered a bit there
are obviously still many more things
to look for, but these are the main features I look for. In the next article I will
look at how I would actually approach
fishing these different features,
because chucking and hoping is often
not the way to go. I will look at different rigs for situations, baits and even
changing mainlines.
Until next time, be lucky. n

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