Does resting a swim increase your catch rate? On certain waters and situations I believe that it does.
Now, what do I mean by resting a swim? Basically, it means removing all lines out of a swim for some considerable time to allow the carp to gain confidence in feeding on a baited area. I have used this tactic on what I would class as runs waters and also on some quite difficult waters, which have brought me some considerable success on numerous occasions.
If I am considering ‘the resting a swim approach’, I first of all need to find out what the general feeding patterns are of carp on the lake that I am fishing. Obviously this type of fishing would only be used on a long session, of say 5 days or more. It may take 2 days to establish what the main feeding times are, either day or night. I have come across a lot of lakes in France that will not fish during the day, but as soon as the sun goes down they start to feed and carry on until first light.
Other lakes, such as Alder Lake, this produced carp for me all day, but as soon as the sun went down, it went quiet until first light. After 2 days, I had assessed the feeding pattern so Jim Kelly and myself drew all our rods in overnight, recasting at first light. By the end of the weeks session we had caught 161 carp between us, in some very hot conditions with high pressure being dominant. It all depends on what time of the year you are fishing and the water depths, and obviously the size of the lake. Fish do move around visiting certain swims at certain times of the day and through water craft you can generally follow their movement and feeding habits.
So why try and rest a swim?
Fishing days only
Sometimes, I have found that I am catching enough fish during the day to justify pulling the rods in overnight so that I can get a good nights sleep.
First light the next day, and I am fully refreshed and I can focus on a full days fishing, hopefully with my full wits about me. The other thing is, I can have a drink in the evening without endangering fish through me being tipsy. If your fellow angler is of the same mind it makes it a good social week.
For a few years, Pat Gillett and I visited France on a couple of occasions each year, booking lakes with accommodation. We would have a late evening meal and draw in our rods. A few drinks then it was heads down for the night.
At first light we would be back on the lake again. The runs almost came immediately and we caught as many, if not more carp, than anglers on previous week’s had caught fishing 24 hours a day.
So what do you need to do to ensure a good week’s fishing?
Just prior to wrapping up for the evening, I would heavily bait my baited area with both particle, pellet and boilies. With the lines out of the water you would be surprised how easily the carp will feed on your bait. They begin to feel safe and keep returning for more food. When you cast out the next day, lightly bait up and then it is light baiting all day after every occurrence on a rod, then again heavy baiting as you draw them in for the night. It does work and I feel that I do increase my catch rate and also draw in the bigger specimens.
Night feeding carp
On some waters you will find that the carp only feed at night. On this type of water the roles are reversed. I will fish until around 10.00am then draw in the rods until the evening. As soon as I draw in the rods, out goes my bait and it is probably topped up around midday. No lines are put out until the evening when I would make a light baiting. Again during the evening a light baiting after every occurrence. This type of fishing can be quite tiring as you are active during normal sleeping hours. I often take one or two rods during the day and go stalking in the shallower areas, well away from my swim. Again this method allows the carp to come and visit and feed freely on a baited area, without any danger of being spooked by lines and rigs.
I am not saying that I rest my swim on every session, but I do seem to know when it is needed. The last time that I visited Margot, I rested my swim during the day and fished nights only, still catching more carp than those fishing 24 hours a day. During the day I left my swim and went stalking in the shallows, picking off fish that I would not normally have got the opportunity to catch. On this occasion it was a good decision, but it is not a guaranteed method.
Why not give it a try! It certainly makes the week a more relaxing one.