With the snow now cleared it's left my carp fishing in limbo for the time being until the waters warm up. I have had a few day sessions on a couple of the tougher waters down on my club, the water temperature is still very cold so understanding I was probably up for a few blanks I decided to use my time to find some interesting spots and start to get a better understanding of what is in front on me. Putting the effort in now will set me up when the fish start to wake up from their winter slumber.
Through the years I have approached my carp angling in a varied fashion. I remember when I use to go away for four days and four nights all the time, practically living on the bank thinking the more time I put in the more I'd get out.
Over the past few years I have phased night fishing out, it was something I use to think was vital but on reflection I feel it actually made me pretty stale. I'd turn up to a water with a fixed idea where I wanted to fish, bait up in abundance whack the rods out and BANG!! I was done. Not a great deal of thinking involved and very much a 'I'll wait for them to come to me' approach.
It started to occur to me that 'the more time I put in, the more I'll get out' philosophy wasn't entirely true. It became clear that it was actually how I used my time, be it a couple of hours, a day a week etc. When I reviewed and looked back through my old notes about my night sessions it worked out that apart from a few low doubles and one twenty I really hadn't had a great deal of success.
All my bites came in the early mornings or mid evening, I started to think that this was all obtainable with out the whole camping aspect that night fishing entails. I found I was spending more time thinking about what food I was going to take with me and if I was going to have enough water, clothes, fuel for the stove etc rather than actually thinking about my fishing.
For me to fish at my best I need to feel energised and focused, after a couple of nights on the bank I felt worn out and unproductive. I understand that there are benefits in doing nights, and some waters are known for their nocturnal action but I still feel you can get the same amount out of a day session with the right approach.
I find nowadays I have become much more systematic on the bank and adapt according to the conditions, if I see fish moving in another part of the lake I will move on them. If things are slow I will make the changes, seek out features and keep actively looking at the water for answers, all these things I could never do when I was trying to prop my eyes open two days into a four day session, three days in I had totally switched off.
Getting down to the water for sunrise or just after is still an exhilarating feeling and staying a few hours after dark can prove fruitful especially if you've spent time during the day clocking fish activity. I find the night away from the water can give you a fresh perspective on how to move forward and more times than not gives you a real hunger for the next days adventure.
If I am fishing the same swim a couple of days in a row I make sure my bait application is consistent, I feel the benefits of not actually having lines in the water during the night can really work in your favor because it allows the fish to move in without any angling pressure. Many times have I fished the same swim for three days straight and found by the third day you're really getting amongst them and you can get quick results straight after the first cast, your fresh, alert and getting down to business.
Don't get me wrong, I know everyone fishes for different reasons and we all want to get out of it what makes us happy, I am sure at some point in the future I will be back under the stars but for the time being making the most of the day light hours is what is inspiring me the most.