Water Selection

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Long old Linear, I love catching fish like this

The situation I find myself in at the minute is that I’m completely unsettled as to where to fish this season. Normally I have very defined plans and my name is on waiting lists for waters for the future but, because of a recent turn of events I just don’t know where to go and I haven’t settled on any of the waters I have looked around or fished in the last few weeks. In fact the question on where to fish is the one I get asked most. Whether that is by lads on the bank, at shows or via the internet and it can be a hard question to answer. There are so many different lakes around that can be pigeon holed into different categories, from an easy / runs water to a low stocked, big fish waters. But most people’s desires fall somewhere in-between. I would say that the majority of people that I talk to want a water with a good head of 20s, a handful of 30s and the outside chance of something bigger. This is of course a sweeping generalisation and very dependent on area, because a water of that ilk will be the best water in some counties, but be one of dozens in others.

There are so many different types of lakes too, regardless of stock or water size. I have advised anglers to try nice quiet out the way places that are considered a paradise to some, but because the paths are tricky to get down and the swims are untended and awkward to fish, they have hated it. I suppose it is a shock to the system if people are used to the busy day ticket lakes and well maintained syndicates, and despite what a lot of people say about wanting the banks to themselves; most anglers like to bounce ideas and swap info with other anglers. So an unfished lake isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!

A very tight swim on a water off the beaten track

There are also different strains of Carp to consider, some people are content fishing for Carp based on size and aren’t too bothered what the fish look like. A lot of fast growing strains tend to produce fish that look the same; pale fat and relatively scaleless mirrors. There is nothing wrong with these fish, but once you’ve caught a few it must get boring? I have seen angler’s photo albums where the only thing that seems to change is the size of fish and the colour of their hoody! I prefer waters where a lot of the fish are different; I don’t mind the odd fat pastey one as long as there are a few long scalely mirrors and dark commons to catch too. It makes things a lot more interesting when all the fish have their own character and it certainly makes a better photo album!

I also like to mix things up it terms of water size, because each lake offers a different challenge and I really thrive on overcoming each obstacle. So far this year I have fished 8 or 9 different lakes ranging from 2.5 acres to around about 100. It’s really good to chop and change, but I find my best results come from a prolonged campaign on just one water, so I just hope I can find one to get my teeth into sooner rather than later!

A younger pale stocky, makes for a water full of variety

There are waters out there now to suit everyone’s needs and levels of angling ambition, it’s just a case of working out what type of water most appeals each individual and finding the right one that suits their needs.

Good luck

Ed Betteridge

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