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Dave Ash

Margin fishing on large waters

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Margin fishing

Ok guys.. Let’s step outside of our comfort zones and have an open discussion about fishing margins on LARGE waters. I have been fishing the swim posted below for a few years with Rich here in Holland. The swim for all terms and conditions is ALMOST featureless. There is the dock to the north and a solid sand bottom across the entire swim. The 7’ trough runs almost the length of the area that I am fishing a there are some random chunks of old concrete in a small area of the swim which are marked with the circle.

The water depth can vary a bit as to the north there is a small creek that fills another bay and being connected to such a large lake the wind does push water in and out of bays. That being said you could add a foot of water to any of the spots depending on the weather and the water level of the lake.

As many of you know I am bait and wait type fisherman, I am writing an article to discuss this tactic currently that will be released in the spring of 2015. I would however like to put into the context of this article that I chum with nothing shy of 20 pounds of particles multiple times per week prior to a session if possible. This chumming covers the entire swim with no area being more or less covered than the rest.

While fishing this swim over the past few years, I have tried multiple times to fish the margins, both above and below the swim, I have placed rods in the margins during all times of the day and left them there for the entire session, with minimal results compared to the other four rods. Which are fished at range near or around the drop off. I know the fish have been moving in and feeding at some point, because I walk the bank and check to see if they have cleaned up the freebees put out. You even at times see the fish swimming near shore, but not spawning.

I have watched many of videos speaking of fish in the margins, but have not found the magic in this area.

Is this a EURO thing that is produced by the closed water heavy pressure fishing that happens there?

I completely understand that we have all free lined bread to carp showing themselves in small waters or at bird feeding areas, but on waters with millions of fish do their habits change?

post-3345-0-48585400-1421426449_thumb.jp

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Hey if you cant catchem them with rod and reel then get on your boat and use a BOW :knifefork: :knifefork: :knifefork: :knifefork: :knifefork: :knifefork: :knifefork: :knifefork: :knifefork: :knifefork: :knifefork:

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Bait and wait sounds like my wife's idea of fishing- heave it and leave it. Just wanted to add that but I'm new and looking to see what people tell you.

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Hi!

I have often been amazed at the size of carp I catch in incredibly shallow water...it often appears that they would have to swim on their sides! However the shallow water has typically been very close to cover OR cloudy. As I look at your diagram, it would appear that any carp would be well away from safety and so I wonder if that is why they tend not to enter the margins.

You will gather from the above that I tend not to fish through the night, which is the obvious time that carp would come into clear shallows and so

It would be interesting to see what eats the bait in heavily baited areas in the shallows.

Having said all that, all too often I have been frustrated when I have found the "perfect" carp swim only to discover, after many wasted and unproductive rod hours, that my version of the perfect place and the carp's version...is different!

I would be looking for margin areas with nearby cover( overhanging bushes, trees in the water) or with a significant drop -off nearby.

Tony

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Tony,

Thank you for the honest feedback. I believe your right however in the fact that without much cover they are going to stay in deeper water.

I am hopping others would share their success or failures in margin fishing as well.

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Dave

To be honest, I really am almost exclusively a river carp angler...mainly because, due to my limited skill and patience, I reckon it is easier! However, wherever we fish, the easiest way is to find the carp's natural feeding route and hijack them as they forage along it. If we aim to draw them away from their chosen path, the best way is to utilize their keen sense of smell. herein lies your problem and my advantage...the river sends that smell trail downstream and lures the fish away from their cover to me. I suspect that when you are fishing the flatish expanses your diagram shows, then the distribution of any smell will be quite limited....andf it appears you are trying to draw the fish well away from their normal route. A strong wind into your face would probably create quite an undercurrent and take that smell out into the deeper water.

My usual attractant is a German concoction but is very sweet. When I run out of that I use creamed corn in bread crumb with added fruit flavoring.

If I were you, I would continue to put one rod in the margins. I see loads of anglers blindly assume that the fish are "out in the middle" when this is typically an area devoid of food...the feeding fish in my humble opinion, are more likely to be in the margins.

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From my experience fishing all kinds of places....you can't force a swim and sometimes you can't force a fish to feed aggressively in a location that is out of their comfort zone. Carp are creatures of habit. I find it is best to use their habitual behavior to your advantage, versus trying to change their behavior to suit your preferred fishing approach.

Seeing carp in an area is a lot different than seeing carp actually EAT in an area. Have you seen them FEED in the margins? Are you sure the freebies in the margin aren't being consumed by something else? Carp tend to have feeding zones, safety zones, and transit zones. Are the margins on this body of water just a transit zone?

If you actually seen them feeding in the margins (tail up, nose down posture or feeding clouds), , then the problem is your rig/approach. Carp are increasingly shy in shallow water. How subtle is your rig? If the rig is stands out or the fish bump into your line a lot...they will be spooked.

There's a lot of factors to work out.

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As FW, IC and many other great carpers have said, it's better to fish one hour where the carp are than 24 hrs where they aren't... ;-)

Try to find areas that have better possibility of carp in the area and fish those...unfortunately with the lack of public access that is limited.

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Question here- wouldn't baiting an area on a regular basis draw carp in to that area? I know it works for my family.

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I fish some where sorta like this i catch tons of fish in deep water but some in the shallows only see them in shallows here and there. The only thing that i got them to hit on and got good at it. Was sweet corn out the can with a little vanilla small hook no method or pack. I threw a quater of the can out. A small weight or no weight 1/4 3/8 of a ounce. Till this day margin fishing at this place only works this way. I tried a lot of different baits thats the only thing and way it worked. I caught buffs up to 35 there and had days with 20+ fish none under 20# all margin fish. The bottom was smooth till about 20 feet out then it got real rocky. I would see fish swiming the margins only in the am

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