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Tony Gibsons Top Tips For Fishing Bluebell Lake.

Bluebell is a proper mixed fishery with a host of good fish of a range of species, so plenty of good sport can be had if the right approach is taken.

Most anglers will be wanting to target the lakes carp population… and there are plenty of carp to fish for. Standard boilie tactics of a 15mm – 20mm boilie (bottom bait or pop-up) on each rod, launched out towards the middle, with a full handfuls of free offerings catapulted around each hookbait will produce the odd fish. However a little more thought about location, bait and presentation could see much better results.

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Simply using smaller baits is a good starting point, as similar presentations to normal can be used, just scaled down to suit the size of bait being used. I’m a real fan of 10mm and chopped boilies, especially as the carp tend to be less suspicious of these smaller baits and will often feed much more enthusiastically and for longer periods of time over a bed of little baits than they will over a couple of handfuls of larger baits.

Obviously the smaller baits also make them an easier target for the smaller carp on the venue, but the larger fish are also enthusiastic about the smaller baits and can often be encouraged to feed once the smaller ones have started having a go. Smaller baits can be a very worthwhile big fish tactic.  photo 0514.jpg

Getting free offerings of 10mm and chopped baits out any distance may require a bit more effort. Nice round 10mm’s can be catapulted a fair distance if the wind is favorable, but a spod rod can be really useful for getting the freebies out at distances over a few yards.

PVA bags are another really useful way of getting some free offerings tight to the same area as the hookbait. A 10mm boilie on a short hair with a PVA bag of chopped and crumbled boilies nicked on the hook on each cast can be a great tactic for getting bites when things are a little slow.

I’ve had a lot of my Bluebell Lake carp from very close range. Often in relatively shallow water just past the reeds in the margins. The bluebell carp love patrolling the marginal shelf, but it’s surprising how many anglers ignore the margins in their rush to throw baits out towards the middle.

Close range carp fishing can be really exciting, especially when you can watch the groups of fish coming into the swim and feeding over your baits. Fishing close in helps to make it really easy to bait up and to monitor the reaction of the fish to both the baiting situation and your rigs, especially if you’re able to wear some Polaroid sunglasses to cut out the reflective glare and simply stand there looking into the swim in the area of the baits.  My usual tactic when fishing in this way is to use just a small handful of bait around each hookbait and to carefully monitor the swim on a regular basis. I’ve actually watched my hookbait being taken on several occasions. I rarely use standard sized boilies when fishing close in on Bluebell. I find 10mm boilies fished amongst chopped baits a good choice, but also sweetcorn on the hook or hair, with a small handful of hemp and a few extra grains of sweetcorn as a bit of loosefeed over the top has caught me plenty of fish. I’d love to try maggots for this approach too, but in the warmer months the hordes of rudd and roach soon switch on to the steady stream of maggots and will quickly rob all the loosefeed and the hookbait. I’ve not fished Bluebell Lake in the colder months though, when the smaller fish might not be so much in evidence; so this may be a viable winter tactic.

The bream are another popular target species on bluebell Lake and large multiple catches of fish ranging from a few pounds up to double figures can be had in return for a bit of effort.

My favorite tactic for the Bluebell bream that’s caught me lots of fish is to fish a couple of method feeders (or simply method mix squeezed around the lead) over a decent bed of mixed goodies spodded out over a clear area of bottom between 30 and 40 yards out. The mixture I usually spod out consists of hemp, pellet (note that the correct type has to be used as trout pellet is banned on Bluebell), sweetcorn and crumbled boilie with some liquid molasses added and allowed to soak into the mix before spodding for extra attraction . I’ll add dead maggots and/or castors to the mix if I have them, but they’re certainly not essential.

The fishmeal based method mix that I use also has the liquid content boosted with molasses and the juice from the tinned sweetcorn. I usually start off with a corn (real or artificial) hookbait on one rod and a 10mm boilie on the other. I’ll swap both rods over to one type of hookbait if the bream start to show a marked preference between one or the other. 

The bream can come at any time, but tend to feed at their best in the evenings and early mornings, so I usually do my baiting up early to mid-afternoon to give the swim time to settle before the anticipated start of the main feeding spell. If the action has been fairly hectic and suddenly bites come to a stop, it could be because the fish have cleared you out of the loosefeed. In this instance, a couple of further spods of bait over the area can sometimes bring the fish back for another feed.  

The carp can also home in on the baited area and a mixed bag of both bream and carp can sometimes be had with these tactics.

Bluebell Lake has produced some excellent tench in the past. I’ve not had a real chance to fish for them much, but the odd one of over 5lb has fallen to the close in approach that has been so successful for the carp. I suspect that in the right swim concentrating on the margins with appropriate bait and tackle could see numbers of good tench being caught.

The smaller species like rudd, roach and perch are numerous in Bluebell Lake and can provide plenty of sport to anyone adopting the appropriate tactics. Float fishing maggots close in will produce rudd and roach at a bite a cast in the right swim if a few maggots are fed in alongside the float on each cast.  Beefing the float tackle up a little with a larger hook and changing the bait to worm can work well for the perch, with lots of small to medium sized perch seemingly present in every swim on the lake. However there could be some nice surprises waiting to be caught, as Bluebell has produced some big perch and I’ve had a number of perch over 2lb myself. 



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