Steve Lyas talks through how he makes the most out of his
overnight sessions between work and family life

Steve Lyas talks through how he makes the most out of his overnight sessions between work and family life

Most of my fishing time is made up with overnighters, always between work. Like most people reading this, I have a family, wife and our own business, so finding time to go fishing can be tricky at the best of times. Still, where there is a will there is a way and I make every effort to go as much as I can. Fishing is like anything in life, you get out what you put in, so I always make sure I put in maximum effort.

Thankfully my life isn’t that full on where I have to just go fishing at the drop of a hat with no preparation. I know several days in advance before I fish, and during the summer and autumn months, I pre-bait an awful lot. I still keep a bit going in through the winter too, just a lot less with the lower water temperatures.

If I stumble on or find an area that I like or see a number of fish show in a spot, I will find something nearby and keep note of it. I note it all down; wraps, horizon makers and so on, so that when it comes to me fishing it again, I can quickly look back at it and know where it is straight away. It takes away the time and disturbance caused by leading around again and makes use of every minute I have on the bank.

MAKING NOTE OF YOUR SPOTS WILL SAVE YOU A LOT OF TIME

Fishing the types of venues I do, busy club lakes, I have to be a bit sneaky with my fishing and baiting. It’s no good dropping a load of bait in and other anglers seeing you do it. They could capitalise on your hard work without you even knowing! Firstly, I always use the cover of darkness to bait up even if I can’t get out to actually fish. My favourite method is to use a baiting pole if the spot is close enough of course. It is silent and supremely accurate, but sometimes a few sly tactics go a long way. I often stand in a swim with a head torch for ten minutes, so people know you are there. Then walk down a few swims to bait up with the torch off. Then walk back to the first swim, pop the torch on and people will mistake that one for being baited. Very sneaky I know but needs must!

In the winter, I add some of the Cloudy Liquid and Hemp oil to the Manilla

As far as my bait goes, in the warmer months I use Krill, but as the weather cools, I switch up to the Manilla. I always boost them in one way or another, adding liquids and powders to help active the swim a bit more than bog standard baits. It also helps bring everything to the party in terms of small fish, which can only help get the attention of the carp. I do the same with my hookbaits too. It just ensures I can get a quick bite in the short time I am actually on the lake with rods in the water.

A simple bottom bait rig is my go to presentation for clean bottoms

To maximise my time, I tend to tie my rigs up at home. I only use a couple I am super confident in so it’s just a case of grabbing the rig stuff while the missus watches the soaps. I couple my rigs with a helicopter lead system too. Yet again this just makes my life easy. No matter where I cast, I will be fishing effectively. As despite having pre-baited zones, I do cast to showing fish if they are clearly evident in another part of the lake. I stick to an aggressive line aligned bottom bait rig and the good old chod for the vast majority of my fishing. If it works, there’s no need to change it.

A simple bottom bait rig is my go to presentation for clean bottoms

To maximise my time, I tend to tie my rigs up at home. I only use a couple I am super confident in so it’s just a case of grabbing the rig stuff while the missus watches the soaps. I couple my rigs with a helicopter lead system too. Yet again this just makes my life easy. No matter where I cast, I will be fishing effectively. As despite having pre-baited zones, I do cast to showing fish if they are clearly evident in another part of the lake. I stick to an aggressive line aligned bottom bait rig and the good old chod for the vast majority of my fishing. If it works, there’s no need to change it.

As far as my bait goes, in the warmer months I use Krill, but as the
weather cools, I switch up to the Manilla.

As far as my bait goes, in the warmer months I use Krill, but as the
weather cools, I switch up to the Manilla.

Don’t get me wrong, I have often questioned my sanity as I have pulled up to the fishery gates on a wet, cold night, being shattered from work. But that’s why I fish the hard venues, there’s something in there I want to catch and that desire keeps me going, as I know, I will eventually reach my goal. It’s just a matter of consistency and believing in my approach.

Over the years I have caught some serious fish on overnighters, from all times of the year. There’s nothing quite like a net propped up in the margins ready for a first light trophy shot, before shooting off back to work.

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