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27 Dec 2016
by Dave Lane
How should you approach a prolific day ticket venue?
In-depth answers to some 'proper' questions all thanks to one of the UK's most natural anglers, Dave Lane

You do the majority of your fishing during the week, usually when the lakes are a lot quieter so this must be a massive advantage over the weekend angler. If you are doing a two or three night session how will you approach any prolific day ticket venue, with a ‘bait and wait’ approach in a swim with pedigree or maybe a more mobile approach using ‘little and often tactics’?

I do fish in the week, yes, but it is not always quieter then as it depends on the type of venue I am fishing. A lot of the big fish syndicates have as many regular mid-weeker’s nowadays as they do weekenders. In general though, most lakes are indeed a lot less angled during the week, particularly day ticket type venues or club lakes. I don’t actually tend to fish day ticket venues very often but, on occasions for features etc., I do have a dabble.

The ‘bait and wait’ approach is not really something I favour whatever the type of lake I am on, I just don’t have the patience to sit there and wait for the carp to arrive in a ‘going swim’. I would much rather take the fight to them and spend my time tracking down the best spots at any given moment of the session. This becomes even more important, and productive, when applied to busy day ticket lakes that have certain swims fished almost on a rota system. These swims may also be the top spots because the lake is so busy, often the carp will have a ‘default area’ where they go to when every nook and cranny has somebody casting into it.

Angler activity is the only thing, apart from weather, that will change the natural behaviour of the fish and they may well want to be in areas other than the best weekend swim but, due to the level of anglers present, they do not feel safe there. The fish will feel a lot more relaxed during the week when there are less lines and disturbance so, rather than fish the hot swims I will go off and look for opportunities that would not exist at weekends.

Location is always the most important part of any angling trip but even more so if the fish are allowed to behave more naturally. Even at weekends though, carp can usually be found in the few ‘forgotten areas’ of the lake and I have caught carp in the past on lakes that are packed out just by stalking around in un-fished corners with a very softly, softly approach, such as a float rod and a handful of pellets.

I remember once taking fish and chips up to our young lad Billy as he fished a weekend on a very busy little day ticket lake a few miles away. When we arrived the small lake was packed, there were kids all casting over each other’s lines, bait being fired out everywhere, a scene that basically horrified me as to what some people have to put up with for a bit of carp fishing.

While he ate his tea I took a stroll around the lake and pretty soon found a few fish bubbling up in the only quiet area of the pond, a small neglected corner of a bay. Grabbing a spare rod, a float and a handful of pellets I returned to catch a fish on my first cast. By keeping quiet and trickling in a few more baits there was also time for my wife, Dee, to hook and land a little mirror carp there before the hordes arrived and the fish once again disappeared in search of sanctuary.

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