"I don’t want to generalise too much as every water is different. Some fish in some lakes definitely tend to live in one half of the lake, whilst big fish in other lakes get caught from certain areas but still use the whole lake.
“If we go back to the first piece in this series, I mentioned that in the summer months it’s rare to find fish in the same place for 24hrs on the trot, or at least that’s how it’s been on most of the waters I’ve fished. Quite often they will be feeding somewhere early morning and then they’ll be elsewhere later on in the day, maybe sunning themselves amongst weed or snags. Big fish do have their favoured feeding areas but you will still see them elsewhere around the lake. On a lake like Burghfield, that could be from one end of the lake to the other! The Big Common could be seen in Alsatian Bay in the afternoon and then the following morning it could be up the other end of the lake.
“I’ll tell you an odd one, a totally different example. On a stretch of the Thames that I fish, there’s another big common that myself and my mate Dave Swinchatt have both been lucky enough to catch. I took Nick Helleur out on my boat last year, just a short evening trip, and he caught it as well. As far as I know, it’s been caught four times over the last four years and every time from the same place. Going back even further, there have also been captures of it further downstream, through a lock in fact, but never upstream of the area where we’ve caught it. I honestly believe that fish doesn’t swim any further than the point of those four captures. There is no lock or obstacle in the way to stop it swimming further upstream and the rest of the carp in that stretch use it all, no problem, but that fish is different.
“I’ve done loads of fishing upstream of those four captures, as have many others, but for some reason it just doesn’t seem to venture any further up-river. Not that it matters as I’ve no desire to catch it again, I’m hoping for a different one, but the point I’m trying to make is that every venue and every fish is different, some get caught all over whilst others seem more ‘residential’.”