Explore the depths TACTICS
When it comes to fishing close to islands or the far banks of snake lakes, anglers are often confused as to how close they should actually fish to the feature. Should you fish a couple of feet off or tight to the reeds, for example? The answer is that the depth will dictate which you choose. In my experience, carp and F1s prefer to feed in slightly different depths. These only vary by a few inches but that difference can be vital. Carp feed best in water between 9in and 15in while F1s prefer it slightly deeper, with 12in-18in a better option. If I am fishing a venue where I expect to catch a mixture of both, I will hedge my bets and look for 15in of water. I will set my float to this depth and then plumb around carefully to find it. Make sure you are accurate and use a ruler to set the depth to 15in. It may sound a touch obsessive but a ruler is one of the most vital bits of kit you can own and encourages you be accurate in a number of ways. Although I will fish in 15in for a mixture of carp and F1s, I will also plumb a line tighter to the island that is 12in deep and feed some bait there. This is often the place you will catch bigger fish later on and, if you see swirls, you can guarantee it will be carp that are responsible. Finally, if you are unable to find the shallow water you require, then start on the bottom. Some fisheries have 3ft of water even tight up to the island and I’ll kick off on the deck. If I miss bites or foul-hook fish, I will shallow up to half depth.