During the closed season, I made my first few trips to a Carp syndicate that I have decided to fish this year. Although I had baits out most of the time, my main aim was to get an idea of the lake's features while there still weren't many people about.
I'd been told that the lake was fairly featureless, apart from the islands, and didn't have much in the way of depth changes, so I went out in a dinghy to see if this really was the case. (Please check with club rules before going out in a boat, and always make sure that there is an accompanying adult and that both of you wear life jackets. Although we'd all do almost anything to catch more fish, it is not worth losing your life over.
I covered the lake in sections, using a pole to find the depths and to tell what the lake bed was made up of. Most of the lake was silty and of uniform depth, but I did come across one area which interested me: In about 7ft of water, in an unfancied area, I found a gravel hump about 6ft square in size. I quickly dropped a marker float and returned to the bank to make notes about where the hump was situated in terms of far bank trees, etc. Even though I was fishing a different area of the lake, I collected my rods and practised casting to the feature, so that on my next visit I might find it more easily. In fact, another member had a small echosounder which, when taken over the area later on, revealed a large number of fish.
The trip was, therefore, not a waste of time, and will hold me in good stead for the rest of the season. Although it's only a small feature, as the lake is quite barren, I'm sure that it will hold fish throughout the year. I'll tell you next month whether it has yielded any fish!