As a weekend angler, getting to know the places I fish can take several trips. So when the club I fish with rented a new lake, I decided to make an effort to get to know the place in advance.
It is mid April, the weeds and reeds around the lake have barely started to grow. This is a good time of year to have a look, because nothing is hidden by under growth. Then, as the seasons progress, I can watch the lake come alive in summer, and die back again in the autumn.
I have drawn an accurate outline of the lake using an aerial view I found on the Internet. I will use it to note down the peg locations and features of the lake.
Plumbing the water depth
The most basic piece of information I need to know is the water depth. I don’t need to be exact, because the depth will change through the year. But I do want to know which end is deeper, and I want to find any holes or shallow areas.
I notice the plummet is not sinking into the bottom very much, there is only an inch or two of soft mud. The lake bed also feels very clear of twigs and debris, which will make for easier bait presentation.
The eastern end of the lake turns out to be very uniform in depth. It is slightly shallower around the island and close in, but essentially, to within a few inches, it is all the same.
I continue around the lake plumbing and making notes as I go. It doesn’t take long to reach the other side and complete the survey. It turns out that the lake is much the same depth all over, I could not find any major underwater features.
This is a man made lake. It has a causeway holding the water in at the western end and has two conveniently placed islands. The water is very coloured and I have seen a few Carp moving around. In short this looks like a typical Carp lake to me.
I note that Peg 1 is submerged at the moment. Peg 3 once had a jetty, the legs remain and are an obvious snag. Pegs 6 and 11 have branches over them. The north bank is very wet this time of year, and there are no swims to the south. There are no trees on the eastern side to shield the lake, I expect a cold easterly wind would just kill the fishing.
I also notice that Pegs 3 and 5 have both been fished recently. I am not going to read anything into that, as they are both near the gate.
With the entire lake being the same depth, water temperature and oxygen levels will be strongly effected by the weather. Wind direction will play an important part in deciding when, or even if, to come here fishing.
By surveying the lake in some detail, I can plan future trips with confidence. I will have peace of mind when I do fish, as I will not be wondering what the other end of the lake is like, because I already know. I will be able to concentrate on my fishing, and that is the true value of surveying the lake.
Keep an eye out for the next film in this series, where I will test fish our new lake.
Part 1 – Fishing a new lake – first look [this post]
Part 2 – Test fishing the new lake