First of all I've had some enquiries about why I don't use a bivvy heater. The answers are simple:
1: I believe that they are potentially dangerous.
2: My bivvy door is always open so as any warmth created by the heater is lost instantly.
If you have got your baiting right then this is easy if not then the first areas of the lake I would look at the North East corner of the lake, this is because if it is a mature lake it should be sheltered from the cold North and East winds. And also the end of a warm south-westerly.
The second area I would look depending on the depth of the lake is the middle of the West bank which is the bank that receives the first glimmers of the winter sun so in effect start to warm the water first.
The third area has to be the Snags. Fishing snags is an art form in itself which I shall cover in another blog.
The mainlines that I use come from the FOX International stable being Exocet and Illusion flurocarbon Trans khaki. I've used the Exocet for the last two seasons with no complaints and the Illusion flurocarbon since it was released and then moving onto the Illusion XS and now the Trans khaki.
In my summer fishing, I use 2 basic rigs which will be the first two rigs shown but come winter I add a third into my armoury. The first and third rig hooks are tied with a knotless knot but, with the same sort of effect that you get with a multi-rig main difference being is that you cannot change your hook like you can with the multi-rig.
The first rig is my 'go anywhere rig', and I use this for about 90% of my total fishing time. It has taken me about nine years to get to this stage so far. Having changed hair material, hook patterns, but 2 things have remained constant as such and that is a stiff boom section made mostly from flurocarbon and a braid forming a combi link. If fishing over particals then the boom section is made from a stiff link/chod type material. This rig can also double up as a popup rig by the addition of a pop up bait and a blob of putty on the albright knot that joins the boom section to the braided section.
and my bag rig.
The second rig is my PVA bag rig and is a braided rig of about 4 to 5 inches long with a wipe gape type hook with an inturned eye and tied the same as Steve Renyards basic complicated rig and as can be seen the hook sits very agressivley.
and finally my pop up rig...
The third and final rig is again a Steve Renyard rig, this being the Withy rig. With the manufacture of Withy Curves from the likes of Fox international and Taska there is no more guess work when steaming down the curve section. This rig is made up totally of braid and to eliminate tangles the braid is placed into a PVA tube. I prefer this rig over the chod rig as there is a lot more movement within the rig and its componants.