As I get asked reguarly what works best regarding bait and swims, I thought I would put some basic tips down for you all. 

If we get a NEW change of wind, especially a westerly or south westerly (blowing towards the reeds swim) the fish will sometimes follow it straight away, but after a couple of days they will move back off it again. 

Try and get your rods in as quickly as possible. First thing in the morning is prime bite time and if the weather allows you to get your rods in before setting your bivvy up, then get them out fishing, even if you want to move them again after you are all set up. That first hour fishing will often get you that extra fish that you may miss if you are not casting out till 9am onwards.

A good spread of quality frozen boilies seems to work out better than spodding loads of particles out.

Don't fish too tight to the pads unless you are sitting by your rods, and you can guarantee to drop your lead,as even if you do get a fish, they will probably lose you in the pads if your not on them quickly. The lake bed shelves away quickly from the pads, and the bottom of this shelf can be found 1-2 rod lengths out from the pads, and this is an excellet area to target. Its easy to find with a lead, or marker as if you cast out and bring the lead back over the middle area of the lake, its very smooth. Once you hit the shelf you will feel it bumping as it comes up the slope and hits all the lily pad roots.

The lake bed has a covering of light silt, but NO weed. You can fish fairly simple rigs, and bottom baits work well. I usually recommend a small bag or stringer, mainly to keep your hoolink straight, and slow the lead down as it desends, although the silt is not that deep and you shouldn't find that your leads get plugged in deep. Losing your lead on the take is imperitave, even if you are away from the pads, as when they come in close they will no doubt head for the pads on your nearside and having no lead will ensure you get them out quickly and safely.

Zigs don't work that well for some unknown reason, possibly the lack of clarity.  However when we have used an echo sounder, or anglers using deepers, then the majority of the fish seem to often be around 4 feet off the bottom.

If its really hot, make sure you bring suntan cream and water, plus a brolly or something to get some shade. We have had two cases of severe sunstroke this summer which is very unpleasant and can easily be avoided.

Please remember, its Barbless hooks only. this is due to the fact we have a few snags and lilly's all around the lake, and if fish get lost due to break offs. we want them to shed the rigs easily so they can be caught again, and not tethered up in the pads awaiting a slow death.

The seagulls can be a nuisance, so its best to spod or spomb your boilies out, or if fishing close enough put multiple baits into a catapult. They will hammer you if you use a throwing stick (unless its going dark) so please bear this in mind when baiting up.

Open Water spots are also productive, and the fish will generally show themselves first thing in the morning, and in the evening, but also occassionally during the day if its windy and overcast. The fish tend to roll quite quietly, as opposed to 'Boshing' out, so keep your eyes on the water as much as possible, as if there's a ripple you will easily miss rolling fish.If you see fish rolling in an area, got one or two of your rods onto that spot.

Don't be afraid to move. Obviously if your just down for 12 hours it may not be worth the effort, but if you are here for 24 hours or longer, and not catching, watch for rolling fish. If they are somewhere else, then pack up and move to get on them. This is possibly the single biggest reason why people don't catch, as the fish are in a different area, and they cannnot be bothered to move and get on them.

If you are bringing a partner, or child, why not put a light float rod in. There are tons of Roach, Rudd and Perch and will keep them busy all day with just a pint or so of maggots.

Other than that, just enjoy yourself. Carp fishing is a sport that can be unpredictable, and we can't catch all the time, so you need to be able to relax and just enjoy your fishing.

Please ensure you take all litter home with you when you leave. Thank you. 

I hope that has helped some of you, and look forward to seeing you soon at Blakemere.
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