As most of us carp anglers can’t wait to get out the house and start fishing, it pays to think your strategy through if you want to succeed in targeting big carp. For example what tackle would best suit the venue, best times to fish, bait preferences the list goes on? Don’t just take everything with you, every fishery, small water or even large open gravel pit has its own obstacles and proven methods for catching big carp. It can be down to a simple task of getting online and asking anglers on forums or social media groups who already fish the venue on what may work best and where. Then you are able to home down your kit to the essentials, have a clearer understanding of the venue and what tactics may give you the edge for singling out those all-important big carp.
Look what’s in front of you.
Some of the biggest carp can be caught literally from the water’s edge. On a vast majority of venues the largest feature is not that island sitting in the middle of the lake; it’s the entire perimeter of the lake itself. Fallen trees, overhanging branches, reed beds are just some of the best places to find big carp. These features provide easy pickings with drifted uneaten anglers bait or can provide a perfect resting place for the carp on days where there may be a lot of activity or bad weather. So next time you are setting up don’t chuck all your gear out into the middle of the lake, perhaps you may consider allocating one of your rods with a simple pop up rig or surface rig into the margins.
Anglers can be lazy sometimes, setup, cast out and wait you know who you are. Use your bait to your advantage! Get up off your bedchair and while you are waiting for the kettle to boil drop small handfuls of bait or chosen mixes into other areas around the margins where you are currently not fishing. These areas may hold big carp and to think that they might only be just around the corner.
Start close by and then if needed, work your way further round the water’s edge. Allow the bait to settle and disperse its attractors. Go back to your comfy bed chair and observe tale tale signs of carp feeding. Indicators of activity may be slurping noises on the surface, tail splashes and water surface tension be disturbed. If you notice indicators that a carp maybe feeding on your bait offerings you may consider allocating one of your rods to that area, or even grab a spare rod and walk over to target the fish. Singling out these elusive carp in other areas may land you that monster.
That’s exactly where a big carp could be making residence. One of the major reasons behind this is it’s probably nice and quiet and gets walked past rather than fished. Yes it can be a pain to fish but the rewards may outweigh the hassle. Look for small tight gullied areas, overhanging trees, under features such as bridges and small gaps between bushes.
Get off the Boilies.
Boilies come in a huge range and can provide simplistic hassle free bait presentation. However some of the biggest carp have been taken on a whole variety of baits, everything from Peperoni, Cheese, Mixed nut variety’s and more. One of the major benefits is that some of these alternatives are cheaper than the humble boilie and would not cost you that much more to have a better selection in your tackle bag on the day. If the boilie is not working? Switch up to a natural or stronger flavoured bait. Please note some baits maybe banned on the chosen venue, so make sure you check what you can and can’t use first.
Last hours of light.
During the day the carp waters are a hype of activity. Anglers, Birds, Traffic and other fish competing for food can cause big wary carp to be easily spooked and take cover during these hectic times. It is only when the sun starts to drop and activity reduces on the water that the carp will venture out of the cover to explore for easy pickings without the disturbance. This is a prime time to fish and single out those elusive carp.
Catch after the storm.
Bad weather can be a nightmare when your keen to get out and catch. There is an advantage though! During the bad spell of weather carp may stop feeding to take cover and reside tucked up near features waiting for the conditions to improve. The carp will then be waiting for that first day of settled weather to head on out and munch back the last few days of not eating. Big carp will require a lot more food to sustain their size further increasing the urge to get out and stuff there stomach’s. As an angler there is no better time to present your offerings and target the larger fish as they have food on the brain and may not be so shy in other circumstances.
Selective floater fishing.
It’s one of the most selective methods there is for big fish. If it warms up get those floaters out. Warm evenings can be ideal, even in coloured waters. Look to target the biggest fish you can see. Polarised glasses can be an angler’s best friend in these conditions by reducing the water’s surface glare. Free line a piece of bread crust or any floating bait of your choice right onto the fishes nose and wait for your reel to scream off.
No we are not taking about the carpet dimensions in your living room. We are indeed talking about the amount and size of the bait that you lay down under or beside your chosen hookbait. Small carp and other baitfish will make short work of small carpets of bait made up of small particles and crushed Boilies. Try increasing the carpet size by scaling up the bait offerings such as half boilies and large particles so that the bigger carp can muscle in a take the prize pickings.
Not exactly a method.
The best ways to improve your chances of catching big carp is put in the time and learn from your mistakes. One of the most common questions we get asked is How do I? or What’s the best method? Yes knowledge from others can really improve your sport but every angler out there is different and it is about finding what works best for you! Take tips on-board, try them out, even add your own personal touch to them, but the only true way you are able to achieve you big carp goals is get out there and enjoy fishing.