Fishing Small Lakes - How To Approach Small and Intimate Lakes
Fishing small lakes is a fun way of fishing, being able to see most of the lake from every swim and often you get more opportunities to catch that extra fish or two. If you fish a small lake correctly, you can be really successful with your fishing. Here are some points to consider when fishing a smaller lake
Keeping quiet is essential on a smaller lake. The fish are tuned into their enviroment a lot more than fish in bigger waters, meaning they are easier to spook. Honestly it would not surprise me if they could tell when a car drives into the car park. As it is a smaller lake they are naturally going to be very aware of what is happening on the bank.
I see a lot of anglers on smaller lakes who turn up and start smashing their banksticks in with a mallett. Using a mallett will spook fish which will can kill your chances of having a bite, it spooks fish even in different areas of the lake. The fish feel vibrations from the bank, and the amount of vibrations caused from a mallett will definetly let them know that you are fishing for them. I've witnessed multiple fish in different areas bowave and spook because of a mallett.
If you are struggling to get your banksticks in the ground, use a bivvy peg or the inner bankstick to create a smaller pilot hole which will make it easer. You can even just fish with your rods on the deck but keep your eyes on your line to watch for line bites, this will definetly improve your chances than using a mallett.
Keep Casting to a Minimal
Again, because the fish are so tuned in to their enviroment, too much casting can completely ruin your spot. Of course if it takes a while to find a spot and get a rod out then it takes as long as it takes and there is not a lot you can do about that. However you don't need to reel your rig in every half an hour just to cast it back on the same spot. Leave it on the spot unless you think your bait has lost bouyancy, you've been done or there is something wrong with your rig.
A massive edge for this is a baiting pole, on smaller lakes the fish are going to be more used to commotion on the surface from bird life so they will be a lot less spooky of a baiting pole than a lead.
Don't fill Your Spot!
Too much bait can completely ruin the fishing on the lake all together. When fishing smaller lakes, you don't even need a kilo of bait on a spot. On smaller lakes fish will move around and they will find your bait! Personally I believe 7-9 whole / chopped boilies on a spot is perfect. The fish find your spot and there's a nice little pocket of bait which is more likely to give you a bite. Remember, you are fishing for a bite, not a big hit of fish because small lakes are not the lakes for big hit fishing.
The carp generally have less of an appetite on a smaller lake. Food for them is easier to find because there is less water to for them to search in, they could easily swim off your spot before clearing it.
Rest a Spot
You've caught a fish from a spot on a small lake. The commotion of that is likely to put the carp off visiting that spot for a while or so. I would consider putting my rig somewhere else where I have seen fish and fish there for a couple of hours. It is unlikley you will catch another straight away anyways so you may as well rest the spot and fish somewhere else where you are more likely to catch another fish. Saying this, if you do notice signs of fish on that spot still, then put it back out.
It is not as common to have big hits of fish off a spot on a smaller lake. There is never any harm in moving a rod to a different spot even if its only for a couple of hours, just use a small amount of bait / a solid bag!
Fish on smaller lakes often have routes where they will regularly patrol. Keep an eye on the water and watch for any fish. If you see them moving take note of where and look for any patterns in where you are locating the fish. This could catch you a couple of extra fish if you the find the areas where the fish like to be the most.
The margins in smaller lakes are ussually a lot deeper than big pits. The fish often find themselves patrolling certain margins on the look out for natural food. For this reason always keep your margins quiet as you could easily have a stalking opportunity. If you see fish in a margin, put some bait once they have left the area and see how they react once they are back in the spot. Not only could this give you a stalking opportunity, but you will also learn a bit more about the behaviour of the fish in the lake. The more you understand about the fish behvaiour in the lake, the more you can adjust your angling approach to catch more fish!