If you read my first article of this short session carp fishing series you will already know that I am the sort of person that will do everything I possibly can, to get the best out of a 4 hour evening session. I my last article I mentioned how, knowing when to move swim and cut your losses, can turn a blank into a fish or two.
For this article I want to talk about the preparation you can do beforehand with regards to conditions and more specifically, the weather.
Anybody who lives in the UK, knows how unpredictable our weather can be and I definitely believe that by having an informed knowledge of what the weather is doing, will help us maximise our little amount of time on the bank. From frosts to glorious sunshine it all affects the way we go about fishing for our target species.
I personally check the weather once, twice, even three times a day via the Met Office because as we all know in this country, it can change in the blink of an eye. When fishing short sessions, you really want to make the most of the sort of conditions that suit the water you fish. If you are fishing a deep gravel pit, a prolonged spell of increasing temperature may be a good time to pounce. On shallower waters, a quick rise over just a few days might be enough to get the fish on the feed.
With this all in mind, our recent, short flurry of decent weather was perfect for my local estate lake.
Having kept in touch, via the mobile app version of the met office (downloadable via most smart phones), I could easily tell what conditions were on the way, so I decided that an evening session was on the cards.
With my target day in mind, I made sure everything was prepared, ready for me to get home, get changed, grab the gear and go.
Making my way on foot to the lake, I realised the winds were far stronger than I first thought. But knowing that these were blowing in from the south west, I could only be confident of a take or two.
Doing my homework prior to getting to the lake meant that I knew exactly what area I wanted to fish, so dropped straight in to a favoured spot. Armed with ready-mades, I crumbled a few baits and pva bagged these with pellets, just enough for just a grab and go mouthful.
After a brief battle with the thrusting wind, I cast the bait to an island feature. Sitting on the bait bucket, watching the water for any tell tale signs of fish activity as the sun slowly started to set, a good couple of hours passed. I started to think about a re-cast, as I tend to leave it no longer than a couple of hours usually when fishing short sessions, when the alarm burst into life with a savage take. Lifting into the fish, it immediately shot straight towards me and I struggled to make firm contact. Once within 20 yards of the margin, it started to really hug the bottom and did not want to get his head up at all. After a good 10 minute scrap under the rod tip and various attempts to try and snag me, I managed to slip the net under a very nice common.
At 18lb, I was delighted with the fish and especially as, once again it had come during a very short 4 hour session. Keeping an eye on the weather and wind direction, ensured that I was in the right place at the right time. If you have days to spend by a lake, you can obviously patrol it for a few hours and locate the fish by sight, but when you are restricted to a grab and go session, this might not be a luxury you can afford.
Many great anglers have written about how the weather, barometric pressure and wind direction can change the way fish feed. However, there is no specific golden rule as it all depends on the venue you are fishing. Heavily stocked waters, where fish are reliant upon anglers baits, will fish well when large pits struggle. Shallow estate lakes like the one I fished will have water that heats up rapidly during the day but drops like a stone at night.
If you monitor the weather before and during a session on any water, you may start to see patterns forming. Once you recognise those patterns, you will know when is best to target that water and what swims to fish.
I hope this article has been a helpful insight into the things I think about when approaching my short sessions. As I continue my short session carp fishing series, I will pass on other little edges and hints that have helped me improve my catch rate.
Fishing short sessions isn’t easy, you don’t get the benefit of walking a lake, watching for fish or baiting up. You have to be able to maximise the potential, in as short as time as possible.
Use weather apps to keep you in the picture and I guarantee it will put more fish on the bank
Until next time. Tight lines – Martyn