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WATER CRAFT
COARSE & CARP FISHING  WITH  THE  ESSEX  ANGLER



Learning the "water craft" can be the difference between catching or blanking, and for a reasonable success rate you will need to know your features as these are where the fish will be.
As many fish are creatures of habit you will be able to predict their behaviour.They are very intelligent when it comes to knowing their own environment,where their food is,where to shelter etc.
These areas are what we know as "features"so what are they and where do we look?




ISLANDS: the most obvious feature and which have many other features associated with them.These are a great feeding ground and shelter because if there is a wind this is where the natural food sources will accumulate collecting tight to the island and in small pockets on the bottom.

OVERHANGING TREES & BUSHES:  These provide the fish with natural food in the form of grubs and berries that fall from the branches and also protects them from predators in the form of birds.

GRAVEL:  Many popular lakes are old reclaimed gravel pits which have very hard rocky bottoms which with time have become a flood plain very rich in silt, and generally very little gravel. These are knowon as "hot spots" because it is a haven for natural food on the lakebed. Larvae, snails, mussels etc. can all be found in abundance in these areas.

Because of their hard texture, gravel patches allow excellent presentation of rigs and hook baits,resulting in a larger amount of effective set ups and bait presentation.
The shape of a gravel bar tends to allow natural food to accumulate at the bottom of the slope. Fish however also feed on mussels or snails living on the sides or on the top of the bars amongst the weed. In addition to the gravel "bar",large patches of gravel are often prominent and vary in size from a couple of feet to hundreds of meter's. This is known as a gravel "plateau" and can be substantially higher in the water than the lake bed and create a whole new environment.


FINDING UNDER WATER FEATURES:


The best method is to use a "Marker float". These will give you a clear indication of the lake bed, its depths and an accurate marker to which to cast and bait, however this is something where practice is needed.
The marker float is a large visible and very buoyant float which has a single eye and/or swivel attached to the bottom.
A rod of about 2½ test curve should be used with a braid mainline of around 10lb for better results, as braid has minimal stretch as opposed to mono.




To set up the marker float, thread the run ring onto the mainline, put some shrink tube over the snap link and attach the weight.
Thread on a rubber bead and tie the end of the line to a snap link with a
 grinner knot.
Push the bead tight onto the snap link to prevent it from pulling through the run ring.Then simply attach to the marker float.




When you have found a target marker i.e.tree etc, cast out and as soon as the lead hits the water close the bail-arm and wind up any slack until you can feel the float is tight against the lead.Keeping the rod tip high, then gently lower the rod as the lead pulls the tip down.
When the lead has reached the bottom turn 90 degrees so that the rod is parallel to the bank.Do not reel in, but gently pull the rod back so as to drag the marker float and weight towards you alittle at a time.
You will see and feel the rod tip vibrate, giving you an indication of what you are pulling the lead through.
Continue to do this either side of the orignal cast so as to get an overall picture of the swim.






To find the depth with a marker float, keep the line taut with the float tight to the lead, and then slowly pay off line from the spool, 1 foot at a time.
Make a small mark on your rod one foot from the bale arm.Continue to pay off 1 foot of line at a time counting each time until the float rises to the surface. The amount of line that you have payed off plus the length of the float is the approximate depth of the water.
Once you have found a potential spot, keep the float in place and catapult freebie baits to the float, and cast your baited rig to the hot-spot.
FEATURE CHART
GRAVEL The rod tip will vibrate violently and "shudder", with constant vibrations down the line as the lead bounces over the gravel.You will also see lots of marks and scratches on the lead when retreived
SILT The rod tip will pull round further and the lead will feel heavier and will 'stick' as though the lead is being pulled through ‘porridge’ taking a bit of effort to get it out.You can feel resistance as the lead is pulled free of the silt,then once freed it will be an easy retrieval.
WEED The lead starts to snag up and gets harder to pull along, but then will pull free with not too much effort. You can actually feel the strands of weed snapping as you do this.
CLEAR SPOTS The lead will pull in smoothly and a minimum of vibration will be felt through the blank.


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