Richardson Lake: Plumbing up and preparing the swim
One thing that always sets top anglers apart from also-rans is the time and care they spend to plumbing up. Alex spent a long time working the plummet in and out and across his swim, looking for silty areas and harder bottoms. Alex selected 4 areas for his session.
• 13 metres left at 10 o’clock
• 13 metres right at 2 o’clock
• Top kit plus 3 – straight in front.
This was the bottom of the hard
slope just before it met the silt.
• Left margin off the end of rushes.
Both his 13 metre lines were the same depth – not unusual on Richardson – so he could swap swim or feed one alternately with the same rig. Alex deliberately kept both these swims at angles to leave a channel down the middle so he could steer hooked fish down without disturbing his target
zones. The 6 metre line was a line he wanted to move on later in the session, if needs be. The left hand margin had a good 2½ ft of water which, again, was promising. This would be his last port of call for some big tench. Tench seem to favour deeper margins and use the edges of the marginal rushes as cover.
than carp and use the edges of the marginal weeds as cover. This means you want margins with a bit more cover and depth than on typical carp venue.
The biggest single mistake that anglers new to Richardson make is to over-feed
their lines. There are a few things to consider when thinking about feeding.
1) The absence of carp. You are not going to get a response from greedy carp by feeding aggressively. This is unlike any other commercial fishery in the south!
2) These are educated fish – “streetwise” as Alex calls them. They go round in small clusters of fish – groups of 7 or 8 of each species, and patrol the lake. Think of setting small traps to try and hold the fish for a while. However, do not attempt to feed 6 lines and keep them all going by rotation.
Start with 2 attack lines, feed both cautiously and perhaps differently – a bit of groundbait on one, no groundbait on the other as Alex did and, feel your way from there. Margin lines are for later so only feed them when you want to go over them. If a line dries up or does not produce, abandon it and start
again, setting up a small trap somewhere else in your swim.
3) You are not looking initially for non-stop action, although it can happen! Target weights need to be built here. With fish averaging 2-3lb you need to be thinking anywhere between 20 to 50lb+ to frame, patience is required.
These fish will not all come from the same line, so plan your match in stages and start to build a weight by getting the best during each stage. Alex began concentrating on his two long lines and worked to get the most from these before starting a margin line later on.