How often do you sit in one spot all day, only to blank?
Well, it’s never happened to me, why you ask? Because if I see they day turning out to be a duff I leave one rod baited up with my bite alarms set, and head around the lake to do some stalking.
Carry as little as possible, depending how far from my swim in going I normally just take my rod and reel, bait, landing net and unhooking mat. If I’m close to my swim the unhooking mat stays at the swim, as when I catch I take the carp back to the swim.
The key is to tread as lightly around the bank as possible, and keep low down, especially if the sun is behind you as your reflection will go over the water and spook any fish.
If the lake is clear, look out for carp, I advise you invest in a good set of sunglasses, as the reflection and glare is removed and carp will be very easy to spot. If the weather conditions are dim, or you are spotting fish from a distance then a decent pair of binoculars will help, and they should fit into your bag easily, or just hand them around your shoulder.
If the water is brown, look out for muddy swirls or water movements as this is a sign of carp feeding on the bottom.
If by reeds, watch out for the reed cluttering together as this is a sign of carp swimming and feeding between them.
When stalking I keep things very simple, normally just a hook length tied to my main line, with a hook. No weights, floats or anything else.
I throw very little bait in, as I want fast results, and then move onto another location, so only half a handful of bait is thrown in to entice the fish to feed, using this small amount I can guarantee the carp will be onto my bait within a few minutes, if they aren’t I move on…
The bait i tend to use for this method is either pellets or a lump of bread flake squashed on the hook so it sinks. If the fish are feeding on the surface I use either bread flake or dog biscuits.
Fishing with only a hook prevents the carp from being spooked, to detect bites I simply watch the line, when it moves about a foot I strike, if fishing on the surface I just watch the carp suck the bait in and then strike.
Using these methods I catch big carp 20lbs+ as I can see the fish I want to catch and drop the bait right in front of them, this tactic works 90% of the time.
A bite alarm is a method used to alarm the angler that the fish has taken or playing with the presented bait.
Electronic Bite Alarm
The standard bite alarm which will spring to mind is the ‘electronic bite alarm’, these have become very popular when fishing for carp and catfish. Used throughout the day, but become a very valuable piece of kit when night fishing.
They vary in price depending on the features you require, the high-end range of bite alarms are presented in very stylish protective cases and the functions include volume, tone and sensitivity controls, plus remote controls, buzzer boxes and ear phones.
A quiver tip is an extension to the rod, normally a ledger rod. The idea is to screw or push a quiver on the end of the rod, this is very light and sensitive, when a bite occurs the quiver will move, and the angler will strike. You may sometime require a dark board, which is pushed into the bank with a bank stick, this helps to make the quiver stand out on sunny days when the quiver may blend into the background.
They are an advanced method to the bobbin tactic below. Basically the line is clipped to a bobbin which is attached to either string, a thin pole or the rod stand, they can be used in conjunction with the electronic bite alarm for additional detection. When a fish bites the bobbin moves up or down.
A bobbin is attached to the line between the reel and the first eye on the rod. The line is pulled down so the bobbin pops-up when a fish bites. A very simple, cheap method which works. The bobbin can be bought from all tackle shops, or homemade from cork, washing up liquid caps. I have even used bread paste in the past. There are different variants of bobbins, some come with rod stands, which are more expensive.
Commercial fishers are all different, however you can bet one tactict (most of the time) remains the same whichever commercial fishery you are on.
Feed little and often.
Adopt this method and you will keep fish in a feeding frenzy, literally throw in 5-6 grains of corn every few minutes, when you hook into a fish throw in another few grains to keep the fish feeding.
Throughout the day, if bites are getting harder, leave it for 10 minutes before throwing anymore bait in, you may find you have ‘over fed’ the swim, so just wait for the carp to hoover up your left overs.
I often find fisherman caterpulting corn and other bait by the bucket loads, even before they have a rod in the water. This can be disasterouse and wreck the swin for the day. Overfeeding a swim will result in fish pre-ocupied feeding off the offerings you have thrown in, and not taking the hook bait.
This method can be applied to breadflake, maggots, hemp-seed, small chunks of meat, pellets and any other bait that softens up quickly.
In the summer, using this method on a waggler you can see carp in a frenzy just below the surface, as soon as your bait hits the water you can be guaranteed a bite!
Also, feed little and often’ one or two other areas in you swim, if the fish do get spooked you immediately have a group of fish feeding elsewhere. Match fisherman use this approach to ‘bag up’ on a regular basis.
The below books and DVDs provide general advice on commercial fisheries, including where to fish and commercial fishery management.
It makes me laugh at times watching fisherman lofting massive baits into the middle of a lake.
Ok, at times on big lakes, or gravel pits it is sometimes necessary, and yes on occasions I do it my self.
However the majority of the time I have a much higher catch rate fishing close into the margins, literally only a foot if that from the bank.
Fist of all, before hauling all my gear around the lake I look for a spot that looks inviting, I find either reeds or overhanging trees on the bank edge, with the depth of water approx 3feet works well. Also ensure there isn’t another swim close by, as you dont want another fisherman spooking the baited area.
Before I setup my end tackle I mix up some ground bait, the mix depends on the clarity of the water, and water temperature, but normally includes halibut or trout pellets as the main feed. I verly carefully place a few handfulls of bait into the area, Being cloe into the bank I can ensure the ground bait is all within close proximety and not spread around.
My tactic is to us a standard carp rig, with either a boilie or pellet. Place the bait about 15 feet down the bank from where fishing, I don’t cast the bait into the area, but walk down and just plop the hook bait into the chosen area (where I have just pre-baited the area) and retreat quietly back to my chair (letting out line to ensure the bait remains in place). I take this approach as I do not want to sppok any fish that may already be around the swim.
Once the spare line is reeled in I clip the line through my bait alarm and sit back and wait.
Look out for watermovement or a cloud dust appear, this will mean the fish are moving and hoovering up the particles within the groundbait – It’s only a matter of time before your bait alarm sounds and the clutch is screaming with your first run….
I always find the majority of carp I catch within the margins are bigger than the ones in the middle of the lake. It makes sense that a carp will feed in the margin and they feed into the bank for worm and grubs, overhanging trees also provide a food source in the form of insects anf flys.
I highly recommend you Click Here! and purchase a great ebook which contains over 270 pages of carp fishing advice. This carp fishing guide is designed to teach you not only how to catch more, and bigger, carp, but also how to get you thinking like a seasoned carp angler.
So what do you get for $19.99, well here the index of articles:
UK Carp Fishing Secrets
Welcome To UK Carp Fishing Secrets
Introduction To Carp Fishing
- Catching Carp
- What Makes a Successful Carp Angler
- Watercraft The Carp And Its Habitat
- Stealth And Deception
- Feature Finding
- Effects Of Wind
- Polarised Fishing Glasses
Approaches & Techniques
- Getting The Right Approach
- Winter Carp Fishing
- Static Carping With Bite Alarms
- Short Session Carping
- Surface Fishing
- Carp Fishing In Silt
- Carp From Big Waters
- Margin Tips
- Kitting For Distance
- Wind Problems
- Moon Effects
- BackLeads, The How And When
- Guide To Bait Rockets & Spodding
- Finding The Right Shelter/Bivvy
- Which Carp Rods?
Rigs & Components
- Hair Rig & Knotless Knot
- Bolt Rig
- Pop-up & Hinged Pop-up Rig
- Helicopter Rig
- Silt Rig
- Semi-Fixed Running Rig
- Inline Safety Rig
- Running Rig
- Braid Rig
- Carp Hooks – Getting Right To The Point
- Safety Clips
- Mono Facts
Bait & Baiting Techniques
- The Boilie (Boiled Bait)
- Shelf Life Or Fresh Frozen Boilies
- How To Make Your Own Boilies
- Dips And Soaks
- The Method
- Tiger Nuts
- Halibut Pellets
- The Secret Success Of Balachan Shrimp Paste
- Worms For Carp
- Particle Mixes
- Hemp Seed
- Artificial Baits
- Surface Baits
- Critically Balanced Baits For Carp
- How To Use P.V.A. Bags For Distance Work
Caring For Your Quarry
- Carp Care And Fish Handling
- Rules Rule, OK!
- Angling Ethics
- Preface To Carp Journals;
- Part 1 (Introduction To The Top Pool, July 2002)
- Part 2 (Return To The Top Pool, September 2002)
- Part 3 (Thoughts On Bait, July 2003)
- Part 4 (Top Pool Triumph and Back To Birch)
- Part 5 (Winter on Top Pool, April 2004)
- Part 6 (The Top Pool Mission Accomplished, August 2004)
- Part 7 (Return to Birch and Short Session Tactics, October 2004)
- Part 8 (Top Pool Swansong and Pastures New, January 2005)
- Part 9 (Surface Fishing Adventures, Mackerel Skies and Mares’ Tails, August 2005)
- Part 10 (Surface Fishing Adventures, New Personal Best – In October!, October 2005)
- Part 11 (Surface Fishing Adventures, Last Chance Saloon,May 2006)