Carp fishing tips

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For many fishers carp fishing is considered the pinnacle of fishing on sweet water. Carp is one of the biggest and strongest fish in the water, it’s also one of the hardest fish to catch because of it’s sensitivity, they sense lines and hooks like no other and it takes a long time for them to get into a feeding frenzy, all together, a carp fisher knows very well that they end up without carp on a lot of trips.. but those trips that you do catch one of these sweet water monsters make up for all the losses. Over time, all fishermen develop a number of habits, habits that help to make life easier. Here are some of the habits that help me catch carp.

1. Be prepared

A successful trip starts at home. Before you leave take the time to check your rods, rigs and baits. Be prepared before you out to the water and have all of the lines, baits and feeds prepared, also try and compact what you bring, naturally, bring more than just the essential, but fishing is meant to be fun and relaxing, not a full fledged moving trip every single time you go out. A good tip is to make a checklist of everything you bring on your trip that you can go through before you leave.

2. There is no such thing as bad weather

While bad preparation and clothing does exist, bad weather does not. Setting aside the type of weather that removes the top of your house, some rain, sun or wind shouldn’t stop you, as long as it’s safe to go out, it’s viable carp fishing weather.

3. Try again later

Every water and situation is bound to a specific moment, sometimes a water works, sometimes a water fails. Shrug it off and come back later. Find information about the water in nearby tackle shops or from fishermen that are fishing there.

4. Be quiet and calm

Carp are very sensitive fish. Things like vibrations can scare carp away from the whole area, so the more you create them the larger the chance the carp is going to be startled. Sit down, look around and relax and avoid making a lot of noise and movements. While your sitting, use a black water proof marker to darken lead and other parts of your rig to make them less shiny, the more inconspicuous your setup is, the better it is.

5. Explore the area

If your going night fishing prepare by walking around the fishing spot during the day, explore the area and pay good attention to your surroundings. Be there before the sun sets or rises, the twilight is a very common time for carp to feed so you’ll want to be installed and ready before this time.

6. Be different

Especially on waters where the carp are trained to be caught with a specific type of food, try something new. They are much more likely to try out something they don’t associate with a hook and drill than they will the same old feed. Some suggestions from before the time of the boilies and pallets: Dough, corn, cheese, worms, maggots, bread. And even the less common ones like Brussels sprouts, small round carrots, small half-boiled potatoes, all of them can do a lot of good.

7. Feeding

Carp are fish with habits, they come and go to the same old spots that work for them. Feeding a few days on the same spot before actually going fishing there is a good idea. These days feeding means a carp fisher takes a few kilo’s of boilies and pallets and dumps the lot in the water on the spot he believes is best. I would personally suggest not to do this and only mix your bait in the actual feed, don’t use it as the feed itself. A really old trick is to take a flat stone and soak it with syrup (yeah, carp have a sweet tooth). Place the stone right on the desired spot and leave it there for a day or two. Or buy some meat, stuff it in a metal can, drill some holes in the bottom and hang it up in a tree above the feeding location. The flies will do the work and provide a steady stream of feed that ends up in the water under the can.

8. Beware of the line

Tight lines drawn through the water scare carp away, this goes for both during the day and night. Especially the final yards of a line need to be as flat on the bottom as possible. Weighing them down with for example flying backleads and a rigtube with putty or leadwire is advisable, but make sure the rest of the line is not drawn too tightly, or none of those solutions will help. You will also want to try and avoid having a line going over your feeding spot, fish on the sides of the spot so you wont disturb the area. If you happen to know from which direction the carp will approach the feeding area try and place your bait on the other side as much as you can. Before they see or feel the line they need to be confronted with the bait.

9. Treat the fish and environment with respect

Bring everything you take to the spot back with you. Don’t leave trash laying around, that includes leads, rigs and line. Respect the area around you and it will provide you with a lot more information that will help you to catch even more fish than when you trash around and fail to notice the beauty. The same goes for the carp, the first thing you unpack when you arrive at the spot is your net, the second the unhooking mat. Only take the carp out of the water for as long as is absolutely needed. Even if your going to bring it home, be good to the fish, stress does not improve the taste or your chances to catch another one.

10. Bring a phone with a camera

No-one is going to believe you caught that 30 pounder unless you provide proof. The phone is of course equipped with mobile internet, giving you all the time in the world to report on your catches and read up on’s latest articles.


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