Day Session Success
Over the years I've fished a fair few days only waters, back home in the northwest like Petty Pool, Coate Water in Swindon, and as far afield as the south of France. Day session fishing presents a unique set of problems, but it also presents some opportunities for those willing to take them.
I firmly believe being mobile is absolutely key to any sort of short session success. Not only will it help make things easier for the short sessions - packing, loading, etc it will just make you far more efficient as a day session angler. trim your kit down as far as possible. A small brolly, a little rucker, sling, neat barrow set up and tea kit is all you need. Day sessions hinge on you being on the fish as often as you possibly can be, there is no time to wait around for them to find your area so you have to find them. Staying mobile is key and being able to move quickly and easily makes this far more viable.
inked to mobility, location is always key on any water, with any amount of time at your disposal, but on a day session, it is absolutely vital. Do everything you can to make sure you are on the fish by watching the water all the time. Hide your smartphone in your rucksack, it will only distract you. Any shows or activity need to be capitalised on and just one single show might lead to a few captures or the fish of a lifetime. You won't find that on Instagram no matter how hard you look. Not pinned down to a big baited area, or a fully set up bivvy, you are freed up to fish on your toes, stay mobile, and move only anything you see.
PREP - 1
Some prep and recce work can be really important for day sessions. You haven't got a three-night session stretching out in front of you so knowing spots, and likely areas in advance can really help you focus in and be angling well, quicker. Prior knowledge of depths, spots, weed, etc can all be really useful and will help you capitalise on opportunities when they arise. If you see some shows at first light, and already know there is a lovely firm sandy strip at 22 wraps towards X tree that the shows are close to, then with one cast, you can potentially be angling really well instead of hanging in the weed somewhere near. Keep everything recorded in your phone with wraps and marked-up photos and very quickly you'll be building up a picture of things that will come in handy further down the line.
PREP - 2
Baiting up is another form of prep that can sometimes be incredibly effective if you can find the situation to make it work. It hinges completely on a water being quiet enough to allow it, and it being close enough to home for you to be able to utilise it well but done well, it is devastating. I made it work on the Swindon park lake, even though that was 250 miles from home. I was doing 3 days on the bounce, and the nights sleeping in my car. I'd bait 4-5 areas heavily on the first evening and then the following morning be at a good vantage point before dawn, watching. I'd move straight onto any shows and be angling really well, really quickly. I caught far more than the lads with night tickets that year purely because of the mobility and way I was baiting.
Presentation should always be an easy one. Just use rigs and presentations you trust, 100%. There's rarely time for tweaking on day sessions. What you use will be linked to the spots you are fishing and the make up of the lake bed, if it is weedy and you are casting at shows then something that will be presented well over weed is important.
Bait is another thing you should never be worried about. Keep it super simple, a food bait, and a couple of bright ones that you trust 100%, and don't worry about it beyond that. Little bags, singles, zigs in the spring, and scatterings of bait are likely to be a far better option on most waters than the spomb or going heavy.
If you are boilie fishing, turning up with 16 millers straight from the bag isn't doing you any favours at all. I am a massive fan of heavily washed out boilie for short sessions as it replicates the 'three-day old' scenario that fish often feel far safer feeding heavily on. Either use lake water, or bottled water, heated up and poured over your baits the night before, with a little boost of GLM and some salt in summer and you are winning. Washing it out in steaming oily hemp water for 12-24 hours is even better if you have time. if I haven't had time to wash them out, crusting them up with some salt, GLM, Liver, Krill powder etc will make them far more active for a short session.
Staying organised is all part and parcel of day session fishing. Having rods ready to go quickly, having some rigs tied and ready to go and having a bit of a plan and being in tune enough to be able to execute it is all essential. Just turning up and going with the flow rarely results in much
Having the energy for day session fishing is really important I think. The early starts, late finishes, and lack of comfort can be tricky for lads sometimes, but if you're not lazy just take that as an opportunity and you can have some great fishing to yourself. Personally, I love a short session because of my work and other constraints so I like working as hard as I can in short spells - day sessions suit that perfectly
Probably the last tip I have is to choose the water wisely, ideally somewhere with a decent stock to go at, and fairly local is the ideal situation. And lastly, just enjoy it. carp fishing doesn't always have to include a bivvy, bed chair, and rakes of expensive and heavy kit. Just keep it streamlined and simple and focus on the 'angling'.