Back Issues June
Dean Watson Columnists

Homework session

CC Moore's Dean Watson tells us what he's been up to this month...

If you look back down the years of all the successful carp anglers your find that most of these guys did their homework
Now I don't mean extra work after-school, I mean homework on the venue they're fishing.

Knowing more about the venue you're targeting gives you a massive edge. Locating and priming spots in certain swims, learning the carpโ€™s movements, their favourite areas of the lake to hold up in. Knowing all these aspects gives you a far bigger advantage to tackling your quarry. It goes back to that old saying that "effort equals reward."

My chosen venue

The venue I'm fishing has kicked me in the teeth far more times than I care to remember. It's handed me more blanks than any other place in the UK. This was all down to me not showing enough respect. Just going there and thinking that I can just flick the rods out and expect the bobbins to bounce isn't the way forward. The venue has a very low stock and these fish are very cute, some of them are over 55 years old so they've seen every trick in the book and they know when they're being fished for.

My plan was to go down before the session and really learn about the water, know exactly how far each cast was to a certain area, that being a snag, a set of pads or an open water hard spot. I wanted to know the lake inside-out., especially the particular swim I was going to target.

Armed with two markers, a boat, the Fox Swimmapper app and enough Live System and Pacific Tuna to feed the North Sea I headed to the venue and set about my day of homework.

The 20lb mirror

After several hours of marker work I had my three areas all primed and ready for the up-and-coming session. All spots were baited and confidence was high. Two of the spots were a cast of around 85 yards to a pad line each rod would be fished 30 yards apart giving enough space between each line.

The third rod would be an open water spot. The lake itself is a proper old silty mere. I wanted to locate a firm area of silt maybe a place where the fish had polished off, an old bloodworm bed they had found, but the main reason was to present a bait on to this spot and not have the hookbait take on the that rotten silt smell. Finding the "good areas" of silt in open water can be the difference of the camera in use or a blank on the cards. I would return to the lake about three days later to repeat the baiting process this was to get the fish feeding confidently on those chosen spots and establishing the baits in the lake as a food source.

The session soon arrived everything was primed and ready for action the business rods, were all clipped up and ready for the cast. A perfect stealthy approach.

The 28lb 8oz mirror.

I was fishing within 20 minutes of arriving at the lake. I topped up the spots with about half a kilo of the Pacific Tuna and to the open water area I topped up with half a dozen large Spombs. Nice simple multi rigs were the choice.

At first light next morning I was woken by an absolute screaming take on the middle rod, after a scrappy battle a gorgeous dumpy common was the prize in the landing net. The scales ticked round to 17lb. Size was irrelevant this fish meant so much to me because of all the hard work and the prepping that went into the session. Such a buzz catching one out of here but knowing exactly why I had caught one meant so much more.

As the sun rose that day I knew that the feeding spell had past and it was the one fish for that session, but I felt that I had cracked the code for the first time in a long time.

I returned to the lake five days later. Exactly the same as before, same spots, same rigs, same baits. Trusting in the homework, trusting in the spots I found, once again the next morning I was rewarded with two more stunning beauties.
Two mirrors of 20lb and 28.8lb. What a buzz! Finally I was cracking the lake and reaping the rewards. I know that if I kept plugging away one of the A-team members of the lake will visit unhooking mat soon! Very soon!

All this session can be seen on video diary below, please check it out! Until next time, tight lines & stinky nets.