Question: What do you think is your biggest asset: being able to read the weather and the environment around you, or knowing the perfect place to present your hookbait?
Good question. The thing about carp is that they are able to adjust to suit their environment. So for example, if there’s an abundance of natural food then they might go looking for it on the windward bank. But on the flipside, if there are loads of anglers, the angling pressure might keep them away. The real asset I aspire to have is the ability to process the information from session-to-session in a way that enables me to see the bigger picture of WHY they do what they do?
For example, if you know WHY they are doing something then you can begin to predict where they like to be in certain conditions. Sometimes carp can be very nomadic and at others they might stay in the same place most of the time but WHY? The key is understanding and in my experience most of the time there is a reason.
At Burghfield for example the way the buoys are positioned, the bankside access we now have, coupled with the high quality angling pressure the lake has received over the years, has made what were previously highly nomadic carp, into carp that never venture from the inaccessible water. You will all have seen it on the waters you fish. If you can’t fish there, then the fish are always there, right?! So that’s solid proof for me that angling pressure is as important as actual weather conditions. The year I fished one of the lakes in Ringwood it was plain to see. You had a fairly large square lake where the fish could sit beyond the angling pressure of most anglers. It was a simple case of fishing further out than everyone else. On all lakes, I look to exploit areas that others can’t/don’t, as it’s a pretty safe bet the carp will feed there.
The other point to your question was the actual spot, and yes, I’d say it could be up there with the most important elements of my fishing. I have, at times, been meticulous in finding spots, and in certain situations a few inches can be crucial. It’s not just about finding a spot where you can present your baited rig, but also one where they will be willing to pick it up! As a general rule though, you won’t go far wrong fishing near to where they jump, on a hard bottom, in the correct depth for the conditions… and that’s as much as I’d like to say about that!