Spring is about to spring!

It’s the first week of March, and after what seems like another long hard winter (for us oop’ north anyway!) Spring is about to hit. After numerous freezes, snow and God knows what else over the last month or two, the temperatures are starting to come up bit-by-bit and the length of daylight each day is starting to stretch out nicely again. Yet many anglers I know still have their gear tucked away and probably won’t have any intention of dusting it off for another month and, therefore, could well be missing a trick.

As an obsessive angler, I fish right through the winter, but for me, the moment where the temperatures start to rise consistently, bit-by-bit, to the point where the water temperature of the whole water body starts to rise, is when you should really be getting out onto the banks.

Carp FisheryYes, it’s still going to be hard going for a month or so, but that’s my point, Far better to get your fishing head back on now, and get back in touch with the lake you are fishing so that when things do really start to kick in over the coming weeks, you’ll be on the ball and in touch with what’s going on. I’ve seen it so many times where anglers venture out in April, take 'til May to get their heads in gear properly and, before they know it, they’ve missed a chance of having fish at their top weights.

My main syndicate water has been dead over most of the winter, but over just the last couple of weeks there have been those unmissable signs that things are about to change. As a fishery manager, I’m on my waters all the time and you just know when things are about to happen. We’ve hardly spotted a fish for months, yet in the last week or we’ve spotted half a dozen – most of which have been having a mooch in the shallower areas – fish which will, undoubtedly, be up for a feed at some point.  

To spot these signs and reap the rewards, you need to be out there now. As if to impress the point, I got an excited call of my bailiff yesterday. He’d been down for a check around the lake and on sticking his head through one of the sneaks where he’d not spotted anything since last year, he was suddenly greeted by one of the most sought after fish in the lake, sitting less than five feet from the bank in two feet of water – seemingly happy sitting just below the surface with a bit of warming sun on its back…

Yes it’s still cold at night, and I’m sure we’ll still have a few cold spells before things really start to get going, but the sun is starting to make an appearance on a more regular basis and the water temperatures are responding as a result. The syndicate lake was up to six and a half degrees yesterday, and as a result I can’t wait to get the rods out tonight once I’ve put the kids to bed!

Every session out now I’m seeing more and more. I’ve had some good results over the last few weeks and so I’m feeling very confident about my approaches - just as the fish are starting to wake up and get on the feed… hopefully I’ll be able to take full advantage as they begin to shake off their winter slumber!

Julian Grattidge
March 2013

Carp Fishery