The lake bed at Etang Bertie is a mix of light clay/silt and crystal clear gravel. Both can produce fish, although it can be worth spending a little time to find the clear clean areas as these are often a result of fish feeding heavily on that spot. A boat is provided and drifting around with a landing net pole as a prodding stick, you soon build up a picture and finding the clear spots is made easy.
Etang Bertie is not a difficult water to read and the fishing can be prolific from most swims. Below is a swim map, followed by some advice on each of the main swims and their potential hot spots.
Baiting up and then resting a swim from time to time can really pay dividends. It gives the fish a chance to relax and move around the lake without lines in the water, hopefully finding your baited areas and getting their heads down for your return.
The House Swim… The first swim you come to on the lake, a very spacious comfortable swim with several good areas to consider. To the right, you have a reed-fringed bay. It’s shallow, but fish visit it regularly. I wouldn’t think of it as an area to make my main baiting up area but rather a small PVA bag and one catty of boilies approach. The same goes for the left-hand margin fishing just past the margin weeds.
My main focus would be the island margins, which is an easy cast to both the left hand and right-hand sides of the island. Both margins are clean and snag free and produce fish regularly. I don’t try to get mega close, I aim to land the cast about a metre off. If I want an open water area to bait regularly I go for the open water to the left of the island. Out of interest, I have caught more cats from that area than anywhere else.
The Field Swim… Most of the fishing from the Field swim is short range. I’ve never done very well from the left-hand margin, but the right-hand margin just off the overhanging tree is very consistent. Casting to the corner of the island, almost directly in front of you, is very consistent. If no one is fishing Mistletoe Corner then regularly baiting the open water midway between the corner of the island and the bank can be superb.
Mistletoe Corner… This swim has some fabulous options and is my favourite stalking spot. First, the stalking spot, looking sharp left you can see a small bay, only accessible by a sort of sideways swing. It seems to always hold fish, and I love putting a cast into the area, and just watch the rod tip, waiting for it to lunge round. The open water directly in front of the swim is very consistent, and the island recess, directly in front of you, very productive. It is not necessary to go very tight. The right-hand margin can also be very good, particularly if no one is fishing Bendy Bivvy.
Deep Bay… A nice quite spot (until you hook into a big cat!) in the back bay of the lake where the water drops off deep close in.
Bendy Bivvy… My favourite swim overall, because it offers so many options. It’s also a swim that two people can fish efficiently. The open water either directly in front, or to the right looking towards the House swim can both be excellent if baited regularly. Looking to the left, the full length of the far reed lined margin from the pipe on the point right round to the corner can produce fish regularly. Along this margin I like to set small traps rather than bait heavily.
Shallow Bay… To the right of the swim is the large shallow bay that gives the swim it’s name. Fish regularly visit and feed in this area but I suspect it is very much weather dependent. The open water slightly left is a good area to bait up, but is probably better fished from the House swim or Bendy Bivvy. In my opinion this is more a short session swim rather than a bivvy up for the week swim.