Murky Madness- Alan Atkinson
People are often under the misconception that cloudy waters are much easier to fish in general than those that are clear, well, Alan Atkinson proves that isn’t always the case and putting in the extra effort to fine down his approach has seen him succeed while recently approaching a turbid venue.
In gin clear water, the biggest advantage carp have is their eyesight, their sense that allows them to avoid danger, pick out suspicious objects and potentially sus out rigs. Anglers often think that when fishing lakes that are stirred up and cloudy, the fish are less cautious to lines, baits and where they feed. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as in fact; they are much more adapt to their surroundings.
This how- to feature takes a brief look at tackling those waters that are of a murky nature, where visibility isn’t often the greatest, either due to the make up of the lake or the number of fish present. Many farm type venues or clay dug lakes are turbid all- year round, but this certainly doesn’t make the fishing any easier at times, with many of the old, wise residents having wised up to years of pressure.
Spot location on these types of waters is equally as important as it is on your typical, weed infested gravel pit. Many anglers are under the assumption that you will catch wherever you cast on a murky venue, but like any other lake, the fish have their regular haunts and preferred feeding spots. Utilising the marker float and trying to find those subtle differences in the lakebed is often key. On a lake predominantly made up of clay, those small humps or seams of differing detritus are often a carp magnet, so spending some time casting around with a braided rod and a weighty lead will help to reveal these areas. Once found, you can simply mark up the rods to the area and easily have rods fishing on the money in no time at all.
Islands and areas of sanctuary such as lily beds are also attract carp on these types of venue, especially when the majority of the lakebed is devoid of naturals, these spots often hold natural larvae at most times of the year. Beds of pads and overhanging trees often collect naturals, so presenting baits tight to these areas will produce bites more often than not. These marginal areas are a real hotspot on these types of venue, as they are generally dug with steep sided margins going down to the lakebed. On these cloudy lakes where the margins are steep, the fish will use this regularly as a patrol route around the lake, looking for food. At certain times of year, they may be looking to use the shelf as a rubbing spot
Visibility is a key factor when it comes to the murk, most people are under the impression that bright hookbaits are the out and out must haves, but this is far from the truth. In turbid water, carp come to rely more on their sense of smell, which means those more potent, high leakage hookbaits and free offerings work extremely well. Adding high oil items and liquids to your baiting approach such as hemp and G.L.M will no doubt help carry strong feed enhancing signals further across the lake, drawing fish in from far and wide. This is important when fishing short sessions, to maximise the instant appeal and food signals that the carp are likely to encounter in the cloudy water.
Hookbait wise, a simple match- the- hatch type of hookbait is often the best, especially when feeding items that are very similar in nature. Alan’s cloudy water spod mix contains a good helping of Odyssey XXX pellets, these break down and turn to a cloudy, smelly mush on the lakebed, providing a draw to any passing carp. The hookbait then matches the free boilie offerings in the mix, which is a balanced bottom bait over a pop- up in this situation. In cloudy water, a bottom bait is more effective over bait, as the fish are feeding close to the lakebed as they sift through the food items present. A pop- up in this instance would be less effective, likely to be sitting proud of the feeding carp.
To provide a small pile of attraction around his hookbait, Alan use a golf ball sized mesh PVA bag of matching XXX pellets, which also help to prevent tangles on the cast. This small bag ensures there is maximum leakage around the hookbait once cast out to the spot and the small piece of artificial corn is merely there to balance the hookbait, making it very easy for the fish to suck the bait back when feeding.
If you are looking to tackle a murky pool or just your local farm pond, these neat tricks will certainly help put you on the right lines to catching a few of the residents that reside in these turbid waters.