Locating The Carp
They say that location is key when it comes to carp fishing, no matter how big or small the venue is, if you’re not on top of the carp you could be waiting hours for a bite. For larger venues, it’s typically worth leaving the gear in the car and doing a few laps around the lake, keeping your eyes and ears peeled for any carp activity or any signs of showing carp. Oh and don’t forget to check the snag areas too, carp absolutely love snags as well as overhanging trees and marginal areas.
Make sure to take a pair of polarised sun glasses with you to take the glare off the water caused by the sun, this will allow you to see that extra bit further under the surface; it is nearly impossible to see carp under the surface with the sun beaming on top.
The best signs for carp activity include crashing, carp rolling on the surface and fizzing. Many anglers think that carp enjoy teasing them, as on hot summer days it is not uncommon to see the fish rise out of the water and produce a splash as they fall back into the water. This is ‘crashing’ and it’s a great sign of activity as carp never usually swim alone, so if you see one, there’s bound to be at least 3 or 4 more carp swimming in the same area. If you find yourself in a situation like this, try using a surface fishing set up or maybe a zig rig to bag yourself a carp.
A crashing carp
Another sign of carp activity is fizzing. Carp feed on the bottom and as they forage in the mud and silt down there, tiny bubbles are released and rise to the surface, this is known as ‘fizzing’. This isn’t the odd bubble here or there, it’s a consistent stream rising to the surface. If you’ve thrown down a bed of bait or some ‘freebies’, the carp will be feeding like it’s a free buffet.
As mentioned previously, carp do not tend to travel alone, so if you do spot some fizzing, it’s probable that there are more than one carp feeding down there. Carp only feed in a manner to produce fizzing if they are confident, so if there is no fizzing in an area, it may be worth putting some more bait down but be careful to not overfeed the area.
Everybody has their own preferred technique to provide bait for the fish. This can include spodding, using a catapult, or even using a throwing stick with boilies (all of these techniques are covered here). Regardless of what method is used, the purpose is the same – to keep the carp feeding with confidence. If you arrive at a lake and there is no sign of activity, try to entice some by providing some bait in specific areas and monitor the activity across these areas.
So where should you fish? Easy, the side across from the anglers who haven’t had a bite for a while. Don’t forget to put some bait down to get them feeding with confidence again.
It depends on the lake and location, but as a general rule, carp feel safe away from anglers and tend to stay away from the danger zone. This means that if carp are constantly being caught at one half of the lake, it is very likely that after a while they will have been spooked enough to move to the other side for peace of mind. So where should you fish? Easy, the side across from the anglers who haven’t had a bite for a while. Don’t forget to put some bait down to get them feeding with confidence again.
The weather is key when it comes to carp fishing and carp activity. You need to consider the weather not just on the day that you go, but what it’s been like throughout the previous few days. If it’s been hot the day before your trip, it means the shallow areas of the water are going to be warm – carp absolutely love warm waters, so will probably be found there. In addition, when it’s warm carp will be found closer to the surface, whereas when it’s cold they will be found closer to the bottom.
The wind is also important. It is believed that carp travel in the same direction as the wind because it pushes food towards the banks of the receiving end of the wind. However, this not always the case, and carp are known to also congregate on the back of the winds. So if you’re fishing on a particularly windy day, take your time to observe, go towards the backwinds first and then work towards the direction of the blowing winds.
A carp lurking in marginal waters
Snags, overhanging trees and marginal areas are absolutely key and are great spots to find lurking carp. These areas provide the fish with protection from both predators and anglers, as most anglers will be put off by the prospect of casting towards snags as it can cause real problems. If you’re willing to take the risk though, you can be heavily rewarded.
A likely place for carp to be hiding