THE FISHING AND BAIT
The Graviers, the lakes are open from April to early December.
The fishing changes through out a season, as does the weather, and the lake itself.
The Carp here have never been easy to catch, even back before I acquired the place, the fishing was never classed as easy, a phenomenon that can only be put down to it being a rich and balanced water.
I've blanked before, as have many other anglers here, and it's a possibility you must be aware of. A good average guide would be about 15 chances a week to a group of 4... although you may get twice that amount if they are feeding well, or just a few takes if they are not.
Unfortunately it's down to the Carp themselves, and the mood they are in during your week!
This lake is unfortunately classed as a "commercial venue", a term as I've said before that I don't really like, as it tends to paint the wrong kind of picture about this place for people... Many "commercial venues" have been over stocked, (and over fished) as I'm sure you are all aware, with the intention of making the fishing much easier for the anglers that fish there... One of the most obvious differences with the Main lake at the Graviers is that it has not....
The lake is effectively "naturally balanced"... by that I mean the population of Carp has settled to the quantity of fish, that can exist healthily and happily within the lakes environment, and on the natural food that it produces.
(Although if compared to most UK gravel pits of a similar size, it could be classed as having a good head of fish).
With over 250 adult carp (total head count still unknown) in 25+ acres, it's amazing to think they could avoid you all week! but, sometimes they do!...A good advantage is definitely a good quality freezer bait, and enough of it, just in case!
Question?..... How much bait should I bring then?
It's obviously down to preference, bait can be expensive these days, and if you like to use lots of bait, it could even cost you more than the weeks fishing will!
Observation; If you compare the average modern day angler's approach to their Carp fishing now, against the old style or more traditional approach, you will notice that the pre-baiting, substantial feeding and patience of the Carp angler of the past, has been replaced with the reduction of feed to what seems sometimes to be a bare minimum, to almost ridiculous amounts in some cases, and the expectation of instant results!
I know it's expensive to buy quality bait, but that's because someone is making it for you!...Personally, I would rather spend a few quid more on my bait when I go fishing, than keep replacing my fishing tackle (which has nothing wrong with it) every couple of years!
Boilie wise, you must consider the other fish in the lake too, It's not just Carp that eat boilies! the Bream and Rudd for instance, they can peck away at your offerings and leave you with just a hook bait if you are not careful.
It takes a shoal of Bream a while to decide to eat something, but it doesn't take them any where near as long to actually eat it!
Bait sizes can help a lot.... 20 to 24mm baits for example, are fairly difficult for the smaller fish to eat. It's for that reason too I do not recommend smaller items of feed such as particles and small pellets, unless of course you prefer to have the other fish in the swim.
I usually advise anglers to allow for at least, 1 kilo per rod/ per day minimum. which if you add it up, for 4 rods, and six days fishing, comes to 24 kilos, and that's not counting catching a few fish and re baiting ....
I would make sure I have enough bait in case they are feeding well.
(e.g. Sept 23 - 30, 2017 - 4 anglers, 29 fish caught, 280kg of bait used)
The thing is this, If you have waited ages to fish here, and your chance finally comes around. Imagine your week, the fish are feeding their heads off, and you have only got a hand full of boilies left!
There are freezer facilities here so if you don't use it all, you can always take it back home.
Question ?..... Does using the boats spook the fish?
Definitely not.... most of the anglers use the boats for feature finding or baiting up and dropping their baits. You can learn so much more about a water when you use a boat, it would be a shame to limit yourself by not using one.
Every angler must have a boat in their swim anyway in case it is required to land a fish.
Do your homework?.... do you really have to? Seems like so many anglers now are trying too hard to find an easy way, or a short cut...The thing is this, If you ask a carp angler for a tip, he will give you one, no problem, but that's even if he does not actually have a valid tip to give!!
Some body who fished here 2 or 3 years ago, or even 1 year ago, is not really in a position to give you any tips about how the place will fish during your week! The lake goes through many changes, both through out each season, and from season to season too.
I've seen so many anglers that have never fished here before, arrive with a set plan, or convinced of something based on advice from some one who has only fished it once themselves, and then they have a tough week because of it.
The best thing you can do is come equipped and open minded...fish the lake by using your own initiative...that way when you do catch, it will mean a lot more to you.
With a group of 4, you will have just 16 rods to cover 25+ acres of water!.. it's madness to fish tight patches with small handfulls of bait... you would just be making it harder for yourself, with these obvious "traps".
I would advise wider area baiting, with regular top up's... a wider baited area will last longer out there! creating more competiton for the food, as more fish arrive in the swim....The reality is with that "handfull" of bait idea..you could be cleaned out in minutes!
I've seen anglers out in the boat for hours, prodding the lake bed, seemingly obsessed in finding something they think the carp will feed on!...I don't think a carp will ignore the bait, because it's a few feet off a bit of gravel or silt ...do you?
Note! You are welcome to use the float type markers if you wish, H-block types or other floats, as long as a week link is included between the float and the lead. (please note; the conduit/pipe type markers are not acceptable)
BAITS - IMPORTANT NOTICE
There are restrictions in place on particle baits, and some like Maize and other larger particles are not allowed.
You can only use the prepared particles in Sealed tins and jars, available from recognized bait companies...but in realistic quantities only.
Please read the restrictions page, or call for which particles are accepted here.
At THE GRAVIERS, through out the closed season, we have a Winter feeding program in place which has been devised purely to help maintain a healthy stock.
The main objective of the feeding program, is to offer the Carp a food source through out the Winter months, a time when their natural foods are in very low supply and the Carp themselves are relatively inactive.
It's not about them gaining weight, they do not need any help in that department....It's aimed more at offering key essential Vitamins and Minerals, that will help the Carp through this period of vulnerability regarding their overall health, so their resistance, immune system and and general condition.