For many of us, fishing in still waters is much more difficult than looking for fish in rivers. Running waters reveal quite a lot on their surface and an angler who can read the water will certainly manage and quickly notice potential spots full of fish. If he also has some experience in fishing in such waters, the chance of success is quite big. Still waters have their own rules, often completely different. Here angling electronics and a boat of some kind will be much more useful, as it will let us change the spot quickly and reach much further. It will also help us find good places. While they are not necessary elements of the equipment, using them well will give us much more knowledge about the water we are exploring.
How do you find your way?
As you stand on the bank of the lake with a rod in your hand you are wondering where to cast the lure. The huge surface of water can be overwhelming and the number of potential spots you can see brings chaos to your actions. It’s a good idea to get a bathymetric map of the fishery. Having even a general plan of the bottom of the fishery will make fishing much easier.
Another step should be doing some research among local anglers. They always know what’s what, so there is a chance of getting some fresh and interesting information. An opportunity to use a pontoon or a boat will be a great advantage. If you also have an echo sounder and you can make use of this electronic monster rather than just trust it blindly, you have a really good chance of a success.
Starting the exploration from the bank, we naturally choose either approachable spots, or piers, often crowded with hunters of coarse fish. In such places within our reach we’ll find reeds, shallows covered with vegetation, areas close to fallen trees, sometimes also the first slope. The first spots are good all-year-long fisheries of pikes and perches, since there is always a lot of small fry in the vicinity of the obstacles, and the predators follow. But they are not the best places for specimens, at least not all year round.
If you have a boat you have access to all of the water, without any restrictions. It’s important to be careful because it can be tricky. It’s better to calmly pinpoint a number of places and keep checking them, than move around the whole body of water chaotically.
Even the simplest echo sounder will let you read the depth of the fishery, water temperature, shape of the bottom, and even its hardness. Such information is much more useful than a whole day of chasing after the small icons which are supposed to represent the fish.
When fishing “from the water” you can explore not only the spots available for those fishing from the bank, but most of all you have access to those that we wouldn’t reach from the bank or where we wouldn’t be able to present the lure in the right way. I am talking about all kinds of underwater hillocks, slopes and flats. Today I will focus on slopes, which are a great fishing spot for many species of fish, including coarse fish.
Faults in the ground are places well-liked by both the anglers and the fish. They can be varied in terms of the angle of the slope, the speed with which the bottom lowers, the type of ground, the toughness and number of tangles, vegetation (or lack thereof), and these elements determine whether and how often fish visit the place.
We can locate a slope in a few ways. We can use and echo sounder and find the places where the ground begins to fall or rise. Another method is sailing in the right direction (e.g. based on the bathymetric map) with a lowered anchor aimed at a measured depth until we get anchored at the depth we want. It’s a good idea to observe banks along which we sail. Generally speaking, a bank with a sharp slope will be mirrored by a sharp fall below water. Capes also tend to have their counterparts under water surface.
What and how do we catch?
In the places described today you can encounter any predator species and importantly, of any age. There is no rule regarding the kind of fish we’ll deal with, so we have to be ready for anything, especially facing a specimen.
When exploring shallow spots with submerged vegetation, neighboring a deeper place, it’s a good idea to use a shallowly-sinking wobbler or a steerless jerk or a large, lazily-working Fishunter armed with a light head on a large hook.
The deeper spots will be easiest to explore with the “fall” technique. The mass of the sinker should be adapted to the depth of the fishery, the strength of the blowing wind, and… the direction of the cast, and specifically the depth at which we begin exploration.
From the deep to the shallow.
This means either anchoring the boat in the shallow water or fishing from the bank or a pier. The lure is sent in the direction of the deeper part of the fishery, you let it fall and you lead it “up” with jerks. We’ll need a slightly longer rod for this style of fishing so that you can jerk the lure up higher, despite the depth difference of the bottom and present the lure to the fish. Don’t forget to make sure that the jerk is much higher than in classic fishing, otherwise your lure will get stuck in the ground over and over again. For this type of fishing I usually choose Inazuma X-Plode Zander up to 30 g measuring 2.4 m, but you can also pick a longer rod, e.g. from the Almaz or Nihonto series.
From the shallow to the deep.
This type of fishing will only be available to the mobile ones, people who have a boat. Anchor the boat in the deeper part of the fishery. If the slope isn’t too long, place the anchor on the flat bottom at some distance from the fault since you don’t know at which section of the slope the fish are. The lure is sent in the direction of the shallower water, let it reach the bottom, and then with short jerks let it jump on the bottom in the direction of the depths. The jerk doesn’t have to be too aggressive. One or two rotations of the handle should be enough. The rest of the work will be done by the fault in the ground. Jerking up too aggressively can mean that we will make too few jerks as we lead the lure and the lure will only make a few jumps. For this method I use a one-piece, short (198 cm) Inazuma X-Plode up to 22 g, or 30 g, or even 35 g, depending on the depth of the fishery, the weight of the jig head, and the method of fishing (soft lure or rooster tail). Rods from the new Nihonto series will also certainly work for this type of fishing.
The average size of the lures I use is 5-12 cm. Lures of this size are attacked by perches, pikes, and zanders. For extremely delicate fishing use twisters in the smallest sizes. For such light lures pick more delicate sets, e.g. Nihonto Flash Spin rod up to 7 g.
The best line to signal delicate touches on the lure swimming in the current is braided line. X-Plode and Nihonto series, including the newest, Octa Braid with eight braids. Choose the yellow one and you’ll observe many delicate bites on the line itself. Thickness? From the thinnest while fishing for perches, up to 0.12-0.14 for zanders and pikes.
Oh! And don’t forget a metal leader!
Exploring lake slopes is very interesting, but it requires some skills and knowledge of the fishery. Accessories such as a boat or an echo sounder will be very useful or even necessary. It’s worth making the effort because the results may surprise you. Take a friend along. Not only can you share the boat rental cost, you’ll also find the secrets of the fishery faster by using different methods and exchanging information. You’ll also take pictures of the caught specimens more effectively, not to mention the fact that you’ll have someone to share the joy with and to high-five!
Good luck on your fishing trips,