YOU'LL find great venues, including in-form cormmercial fisheries, with the Angler's Mail's mega Where To Fish This Week guide. But what do you look for when you get there?
Regular sport is more of a guarantee on these densely-stocked carp-based commercial fisheries , but do remember: as with any water, there will be more productive areas than others.
Carp, no matter how big, are creatures of habit, and are drawn almost magnetically to particular features in their quest for a decent mouthful of tucker.
Most commercial carp pools include all the key fish-holding features, and even the plain looking pools will have areas that contain concentrations of fish.
Try to familiarise yourself with the layout of the pool, discovering which areas yield the most bites.
These receive the most bait, so will generally hold a good head of resident fish, though these fish can be particularly cautious. A little rig fine-tuning is often the key to catching fish from car park pegs.
Car park or ‘lazy’ pegs hold resident fish because they receive the most bait. Clever carp learn quickly what areas provide the most feed, and these pegs are a popular fish haunt. Fine tune your presentation, though, as residents in popular pegs are no push-over.
Heading off to the distant sanctuary areas on busy days is also worth the trek, as the pool’s biggest residents can often be found in the quieter spots, and can be tempted to feed confidently if approached with a little stealth and caution.
Casting a well-presented rig close to islands will produce bites all year round. Reed beds on island margins are particularly productive, and the denser the better.
This is where a pole comes in handy as you can place baits with pin-point precision every time. It can be a devastating and consistent method.
Look for any corners where the wind is blowing in. These areas can hold surprising numbers of fish and shouldn’t be ignored, even if they do look unappealing.
Lilies are an obvious hotspot, as they harbour an abundance of natural aquatic food all year round, even when the pads have long since died back, and will feature heavily on patrol routes.
Scum lines look pretty horrid, but in amongst that grime are an abundance of aquatic goodies – terrestrial morsels also end up in these wind-driven scum lines.
Some shrewd anglers rate these spots highly at dawn, and choose to fish them – you always seem to see plenty of bubbles, fizzes and bow waves amid the scum before other pool hotspot areas awaken.
Keep an eye out for subtle colour differences and agitated water caused by grubbing fish. Twitching reeds are another tell-tale sign of moving fish, and bites from alongside these key areas can be bold and confident, so get ready.
This is where great fun can be had with a stout margin pole – try lowering paste in gently. This seems to select the biggest of the ‘kerb crawlers’!
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