If you’re fishing a small, commercial-type venue this late-winter, then Andy Maker has six top tips to help you crack it…

At this time of year, and especially with the poor run of form on most big-carp waters this winter in particular, many anglers are turning to local commercials in a bid to keep a bend in the rod. This is a great tactic as opposed to sitting in the cold, behind motionless bobbins waiting for a stroke of fortune. However, a few tweaks to your normal angling practice may be called for…

 1) Give Yourself Some Room

First things first, you need to decide whereabouts on the lake you are going to fish and I have a simple approach to this. Such venues can be relatively busy, especially at weekends, so I’d initially say find a few quieter areas of the lake where the carp may be seeking refuge from the angler pressure. If you can, then find an area which offers you plenty of room and options in terms of where to present your baits. The last thing you want is to be stuck in ‘no-carp corner.’

Above: Opt for a swim with plenty of water, giving you scope to cast around until you find the carp.

2) Marginal Gains 

The single biggest feature on any lake is its margins and, yet, the vast majority of anglers neglect or ignore them all together, preferring instead to cast as far as they can in search of carp. On smaller commercials the long casting approach is not relevant and the often-undercut margins are a magnet for carp.

Commercials may often boast islands, the margins of which are well worth targeting, but don’t forget the near margin as well. Ask any match angler worth his salt where they target for the bigger carp and they’ll say “right under your feet.”

Above: Carp love to hug and patrol undercut margins, especially those closest to you.

Above: Commercial venues will very often have islands and visible features.