How to Catch Carp The Easy Way

Carp fishing is the most popular type of recreational fishing in the UK, and it is hardly surprising. These shy but cunning fish can put up a surprisingly challenging fight and they grow to mammoth sizes in the right conditions.

Every angler from the casual amateur to the dedicated sportsperson is always looking for that elusive edge over both other anglers and the fish themselves. There are many factors to take into account when hunting down the perfect specimen of a carp.

The location needs to be right. Carp are common fish but there are certain places you are more likely to encounter success. As opposed to clear running streams the shy carp tend to prefer cloudier, murky environments they can stay more hidden in. Dense vegetation is a help as the shadows also provide cover that makes them feel comfortable. A lot of plant growth also tends to provide a good environment for the insects that the carp will feed on.

When to fish is another variable to put into the equation. Common wisdom suggests that early morning is the best time for carp spotting. With early morning and the shallow angle of the sun it is best to avoid anything very reflective so darker hooks tend to be better suited to this purpose.

Carp like their food so as well as looking for locations with abundant insect life there are some other tips to add to your arsenal. Any place where people have been tossing bread to ducks or other water birds is likely to have attracted the attention of carp, be careful though as if there is too much food available your hook is going to face stiffer competition and have less of a chance. Chumming the water in the area you are fishing can also help though again be aware of just how much you are tossing out, enough to attract but not enough to fill their bellies and sate their appetite.

Unlike some fish carp feed at all levels of the water so a free-floating hook or bait on the river or lake bed are equally likely to attract their attention when hungry, that said there are fishermen who swear by bottom fishing only for the best experience. Either way as they can be such fierce fighters a longer rod, for more leverage, will give you an advantage as well.

We put the question to Jed Smith of British Baits (see here) to get his view on the matter. “Carp will eat most things, they like insects as well as stuff as simple as bread but the go to bait for most serious anglers is the boilie.”

Thanks, Jed, for the words of wisdom. For those who are not familiar with them boilies are hard boiled baits that are incredibly versatile. They come in a dizzying array of colours, sizes, and flavours. Some anglers swear by the boilies that are scented with fish meal while others like more exotic ones such as strawberry. One advantage of these is their ease of carrying and long life.

So, there you go, a few tips to help make your next foray into the waters more rewarding. Happy angling.