Big thanks to our friends over at craftycarping.co.uk who have helped us put these few tips n hints that may help with your fishing
A Beginners Guide Choosing a water to carp fish on is primarily depends on what you want to achieve from the sport. Whether it's a tough challenge, peace and quiet in idylic surroundings or just to catch as many carp as possible, there will be a water out there for you.You don't have to spend a fortune on tackle but you will need to spend a bit Carp are big, strong and demanding fish to catch. Carp can be easily damaged so appropriate care must be taken when fishing for them. Cheap tackle is often false economy, as it will often struggle to last a couple of seasons and make your fishing less pleasureable. Some really good tackle is available on the cheap though, mainly through deals from carp tackle shops that have online access . On the flipside you don't need to spend a fortune though, despite the best efforts of the marketing men. Mid range tackle spending about £50-£70 on each rod and reel usually offers a good performance combination that can last you a number of years.The one thing that you should try and have the best of though is your carp care equipment. Nets, un-hooking mats and weigh slings all need to be upto the job and often the cheaper end of the market on these items will do the carp no good whatsoever and often be inadequate, depending on the size of fish your are angling for. Always buy over sized than just the right size for the fish you catch, as you never know what may take your bait next time your on the bank.My preffered choices of carp care equipment not everyone will agree with my choice of equipment but i find these do the jobs i want them to.Greys landing net - micro mesh net 42" the deep mesh allows you to disemble the net whislt still in the water.Un-hooking mat - Fox or Nash safety beanie mats, these mats have a raised outer edge filled with polystirene balls, with lower inner section of sponge.Weigh sling - Chub safety weigh sling, reinforced support bars along the top edge. Zips at both ends have protection baffles for easy release and the safety sling also features Velcro strips just below the support bars for added security while carrying and returning the fish to the water. Fine mesh patches below the zips allow the sling to be used as a retainer while preparing the fish for weighing or photography. At the base there is a safe drainage system which allows water to escape quickly for accurate weighing. Carp care kit - Either Kryston Klinik or Korda, One shot treatments following hook removal will sterilise the immediate area of the hook-hold preventing possible infection from setting in, also speeds up the natural healing process.Get a head start on a water by spending some time there and asking other anglers questionsWhen beginning to fish a new water it can be daunting at first. If you go about it the right way though you can pick up all sorts of useful pieces of information and tips on how best to approach the water without even getting a line wet. If you have some free time, rather than sit in front of the TV go for a walk a round your chosen venue. One of the most fundamental principles of becoming a good carp angler is understanding the behaviour of the carp in the water you have chosen to fish. Carp are creatures of habit and in different weather conditions, or at different times of the year or in a combination of both, can 9 times out of 10 be found in certain areas of the lake. By spending time at the venue watching the water, look for feeding signs like bubbles and mud clouds, leaping fish, or fish cruising the surface, you can get a good headstart on where to fish under different conditions. Other anglers are also a good indicator on this. Ask other anglers questions, but do this in a considerate manner, dont just trample onto there pegs making noise, approach from the back of there swim, keeping low and speaking in a soft tone, mindful of where you are standing and what you are walking on, this will stand you in good stead amongst the other anglers on the lake and effectively making friends and even fishing buddies in the process. Never sit quizzing someone though as they will eventually end up wanting to get rid of you or could end up feeding you with duff information.Choosing the right bait and approachThere are two main successful ways to approach fishing from the baiting side. Firstly, creating specific feeding spots where the carp can become confident in feeding or fishing where the carp already have confidence in feeding. As mentioned earlier, muddy clouds, bubbles and fish movement are a good indicator of where the carp have confidence in feeding.it's all too easy as a beginner to bivvy up and chuck your rods randomly out into the swim. Whilst this "pub chucking" approach will pick up the odd fish and even a few in easy heavily stocked venues with hungry fish, a considered and more thoughtful approach will be far more effective and produce better results.Try combining your free time visits with some baiting up of different areas, always with consideration to other anglers on the lake and lake rules. Building an area of feeding confidence where the carp learn they can find food again and again is probably the most successful long term tactic. Whilst boilies can be very expensive for long term baiting up cheaper particle baits such as properly prepared hemp seed and parti-blend, can be just as effective as the boilie for getting the carp to feed in spots you have created.Learn to use a marker rodAs already mentioned the "pub chuck" approach is not a tactic that will bring long term carp angling success. As you will learn on any water fish prefer to eat in certain areas and this varies from venue to venue. so it is important to understand what type of lake bottom you are fishing to. Fishing tangled up in a big bed of weed of in rotten leaf litter ( chod ) is not usually successful on most waters but sweet silt or the edges of gravel beds often are. You can use the marker rod not only to find the depth your fishing at, but also things that are on the lake bed, you can find gulleys, plateu's and the edges of silt patches, weed beds and gravel bars.Mastering the use of a marker rod is not something that comes overnight and will take lots of practice.
A guide to rod choice The choice of the rod you are going to use is very important. There are plenty different types of carp fishing rods on the market every one made for a specific way of fishing and playing fish on. You will mainly find 3 kinds of carp fishing rod to choose from every one of them designed for a specific type of fishing. You will often see other anglers or tackle shop ownermention a rods test curve when you are looking to buy one. A test curve is determined by how much weight it takes to bend the rod through 90 degrees. The most common used test curve is 2.5lb which is normally used for close to medium range fishing. If you are looking to fish long distances then a 3lb to 31/2lb test curve rod would probably be more useful.The 3 main types of action on rods. A through action rod. These bend through the whole length of the rod and you can often feel the rod bend underneath the handle. This specific type of action in a rod is for playing fish with the greatest safety margin rather than being used for a casting tool. These rods tend to feel much nicer when playing fish and are a much easier to use. Medium action The bend on these rods starts around 2 thirds of the way down the rod.This gives a nice bend on the rod while there's still power left in the butt to control a very good fish. These rods certainly give a much greater safety margin when playing a fish but at the loss of some casting distance. This type of rod is the one that is recommend by most tackle shops as a first rod. Fast tip action These often feel really stiff ( often reffered to as broom handles ) as they bend only in the tip section with the other joints staying rigid. These rods are intended for fast pick up and long casting. The disadvantage is that each movement the fish makes tends to get transmitted down the rod blank to the hand. There is also no cushion if the fish makes a sudden burst while it is being netted, this can result in your line breaking or a hook pull Ultimatley the choice of your fishing rod is down to you and your personal choice, but before you plump for the nicest looking or the one you have seen in a magazine as the next best thing, talk to any friends you know who go carp fishing and the owners of tackle shops, get many opinions from different places as seeing what a few people think rather than just 1 can be very helpful in making your choice
maggot rig Firstly i get all my little bits out which consist of 8'' of coated braid Size 8 wide gape hook (size is your choice) Fake corn,Maggot clip,Small rig ring,Shrink tube and silicone tube So firstly take your 8 inches of braid and strip a section of at the bottom. Then i thread the fake corn on longways like so.Then take the rig ring and tie it onto the end. Now push the fake corn onto the rig ring.Now i add the maggot clip and push the corn over tight.Now i add some silicone to pull the hair of down the shank of the hook. Then tie the hook on using a normal knotless knot and then adding a small piece of shrink tube as a kicker.And that's it really not to complicated brilliant rig caught plenty of carp on it including a 15lb common
How To Attach A Pop Up To A D-Rig This will show you how to attach a pop up the D-Rig part of the rig, which you use when tieing chod rigs, hinged stiff rigs etc. Step 1 Take a length of bait floss about 5 inch and form a loop Step 2 Then form a smaller loop inside the first loop you created Step 3 Thread one of the tag ends through the smaller loop and gently pull the tag end till the inner loop forms a knot. Step 4 Place your pop up of choice inside the remaining loop and pull the tag ends down till the bait floss grips your pop up. Step 5 Thread one of the tag ends through the rig ring on your rig and tie on using a granny knot. The end product Trim the tag ends and you should be left with something like this.
Spodding a short guide Bait/spod mix is used to attract fish to a swim, and it is just as important when trying to catch specimen carp as it is when targeting smaller species of fish. A shoal of large carp can hoover up a lot of loose Bait/spod mix in a very short space of time, therefore it is often best to build up a large bed of bait when targeting large carp. One of the best ways of building up a big bed of Bait is to use a spod. A spod is a tube that is open at one end. At the open end there will be a small length of line with a swivel attached. Spods come in different sizes and styles. Some are like missiles with fins that are meant to be streamlined and fly through the air easily, others have small holes drilled in them to make them easier to retrieve through the water, some are large enough to hold half a kilo of bait whereas others will hold little more than four or five boilies. Although spods are available in different sizes and styles they all serve the same purpose, in that they are used to build up a bed of bait. Depending on the size and capacity of the spod being used, a full spod can be heavy and will require a strong rod and some heavy line and a leader to cast the spod out. There are dedicated spod rods, however these can be expensive for the higher end rod, there are cheaper spod rods that will do the job just aswell, and coupled with a good reel will make spodding a relative easy task, although arm aching. Before using the spod, you will need a marker in place so you know where your baited rigs are. This is best acheived using a marker rod and marker float.Casting to the float especially at a distance of 100 yards plus will take some getting used to. An empty spod is light and casting it out on its own you may not be able to reach the marker float. In this situation the spod can be filled up with water or stones to get it out to the marker float. The best way of reaching the marker float is to overcast, i.e. cast beyond the marker float and then reel the spod in until it reaches the marker float. When you reach the desired spot clip the line up in the line clip. If your reel doesn’t have a line friendly clip, there are other ways of marking your line, you can put an elastic band round the spool to put the line under, fix some electrical tape to the line or tie on some pole elastic.With the line clipped up to the point where the marker float is, it should be easy to get the spod full of bait to the marker float most of the time. So now your ready to fill the spod with bait When filling up the spod it is important to leave a bit of space at the top, you can then push the contents of the spod down with your thumb, and just before casting dip the spod in the water quickly, this will help keep the bait in the spod during the cast. Once the spod is full of bait, your ready to cast to the marker float. When the spod hits the water it will sink briefly before popping back to the surface, and dropping the bait around the marker float. To make sure all the bait has come out of the spod, flick the rod a few times. The constant casting out and retrieving, along with the splash a heavy spod will make, is time consuming and can be noisey and will more than likely spook any fish from the swim,( although on some waters carp respond really well to spodding and seem attracted by the noise ) so you may go a few hours after using the spod without any takes or carp showing in the swim while everything settles down. Once you have your bed of bait out there it should only be necessary to top it up, so a spod full of bait every couple of hours or after a take should be fine, and keep any noise/disruption to the swim to a minimum. Keep your spod rod clipped up while your fishing your session, this way you will always be able to cast to the same spot time and again. Using a spod will take a bit of practice, though it is arguably the best way of building up a big bed of bait quickly to which you can fish your baited rigs
Locating carp Depending on this size of water you are fishing, finding carp can be easy or difficult. On large gravel pits locating the carp can be a hard task, when walking round just watch for the clues and on large lakes one of the biggest things to watch is the wind direction. Carp on these waters waters will almost always follow the wind especially if it is a new warm southerly wind. In winter the fish will change this pattern and will generally hold on the back of a cold wind. Pre baiting is a method which can produce fish at any time of year. Gradullay and steadily introducing your bait into chosen spots or swim on the lake over a length of time will get the fish used to seeing food there and over a period of time they will learn to trust this area as safe for feeding on. Boilies and particle such as hemp are probably the best baits to use when you are starting on a pre baiting campaign.Try to choose a boilie which is a little different to what everyone else is using so that others will not benefit from all your hard work. A rolling fish can tell you where carp maybe present but this does not always mean the fish are feeding when they roll. Carp will often roll after they have been troughing in an area to clean themselves. A fish which rises from the water coming straight up with its head and half of its body showing is a big sign telling you where the carp are or have been currently feeding. This is called head and shouldering. The carp may do this to clear their gills of silt and other debris. A bait cast to this type of showing fish can often result in a quick take. The weather will always play a big part in locating the carp and can be the biggest deciding factor. On silty lakes bubbles can provide clues as to where the carp are. As the fish trough's or ambles through or disturbs the bottom silt it produces a fizzing effect on the surface where hundreds on tiny bubbles are released, this is a massive give away on these types of silty estate lake waters. Sometimes rather than pulling out the marker rod when you fish a water for the first time in an effort to find a gravel bar or weedbed, just try watching the water for a while. A few hours walking round or sitting down and watching, observation can give you more ideas and you will learn more this way rather than turning the water to a foam and making the carp nervous and spooky. The key to carp location is observation. Keep your eyes open !!
Carp history Typically there are three main varieties of carp (Cyprinus carpio) that are generally sought after by the carp fishermen, these being the Common Carp, Mirror Carp, Leather Carp. There are other types of carp that you will hear of, for example a fish being a fully scaled mirror, a plated mirror, or a linear, these names are just describing carp with differing scale patterns . All of the original carp were fully scaled as per the common carp, with the mirror and leather carp being different strains of the original common carp. As early as the 13th century common carp were semi-domesticated by the monks in the UK, who cultivated and bred them for food, and consequently they selectively bred them with a lesser amount of scales to make the carp easier to prepare for the table. Hence we now see the mirror carp and the leather carp strains, which are so "common" today.
Carp have been an important and sustainable food fish for many countries for hundreds of years, which probably explains why the carp is so widespread throughout the world, although they are originally from Asia,it is the carp's importance as a food fish which is responsible for the widespread introduction and distribution of the carp. Carp are a very strong and robust fish and can cope with many different types of water and temperatures. This adaptability accounts for their survivability when you consider all the different environments in which they are being kept or have thrived in, worldwide. They can survive temperatures ranging from as low as 1 degree, to over 30 degrees celsius, with the ideal temperature for carp being somewhere between 14-24 degrees celsius. Carp can cope with waters that have a low oxygen content, although if this situation was to be over a prolonged period, it would have a detrimental effect on the carp's health, well being and growth rates. The value of carp as a food fish varies from one country to the next, for example in Japan and China they are highly respected and are also considered to be a sign of good fortune, they are often served during celebrational times and formal banquets. In these two countries there are many legends and myths, going back hundreds of years that surround the all important almost mythical carp. In some of the Central and Eastern European countries, carp are often found on the menu, in Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Poland Slovakia and the Czech Republic, carp are traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve.Within the United Kingdom, America and Australia the carp are rarely eaten.