Thursday, 14 April 2011

Learning to deal with weed

The pit I started to fish in Leighton Buzzard averages around 9-12 ft in the shallower end with a deeper end dropping to depths beyond 20ft. In most of the lake there is Canadian and other weed growing 3/4 of the way to the top, with very few clear spots.

On arrival I tried to approach it like the other gravel pits I'd fished in the past by getting the marker float out and really trying to feature find - maybe I'd find a bar or clear patches - I didn’t really have much luck, the only thing I could find were areas of deeper silt that appeared to be weed free.

I spend most of the late summer blanking there trying to work out how to fish in this featureless weed, there were a few swims in the shallow end that had a clear gravel strip that was fishable - apparently it’s an old footpath that existed before the lakes level rose, this allowed me to present a bait relatively confidently - however the local coots and tufties knew the spot well and I would often catch more wildlife than I did fish, I think I only ever manage a few tench from those spots.

My nightmare of trying to present a baited area properly continued until I discovered a great plateau area in the deeper end of the lake in late September - the near margin dropped rapidly down to 20ft, however at about 30yrs the depth rose up to more like 12ft and more importantly it appeared to be basically weed free whereever i cast from that swim! At last I'd found an area I could fish to with confidence, and more importantly I could lay a bait of feed and recast to it in the dark without fear of landing a few feet to the side in the weed!

I still managed to blank a few more nights in the pouring rain until I finally managed a fish from the spot, it was a 9lb 6oz bream. I'd never seen a bream that large before, and although I normally consider bream a pain, especially on carp tackle because they don't really fight, this beautiful golden brown bream was more than welcome! Finally I got to use my camera to document a fish rather than my surroundings!

The session in the deeps actually got better because a few hours later, after I’d drifted back to sleep I had a screaming run from the deeper patch and I was finally into a fish that was taking line - something I'd not yet experienced at this pit! The fish was quite erratic in it movement, and in the deep water was taking massive kite paths across the swim on a tight line, however due to the lack of snags, the fish finally gave in and rolled into my landing net - it wasn't the biggest carp I'd ever caught (13lb), but I don't remember being happier to catch a carp, especially after such a long barren spell on a new water.

I would like to say that effort = reward, however I think that in this case it was more about location and presentation. The location of the large clear plateau allowed me to present a bait in a way that I felt confident in, and also allowed my rigs to work giving me the correct presentation!

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