By: Richard Sims
The first tip to someone looking to catch carp is to find the carp. Get to know the water and soon you will know the signs of carp nearby. Circular bubbling is a sign of feeding carp.. Lines of bubbles signs of moving carp .. Ripples.. Large splashes .. Muddy swirls in the water, uprooted eel grass.. All signs (and there are many more) that there are carp nearby. Even better is just seeing carp. Pick up a pair of polarized sunglasses from skipperstacklebox.com and see what you’ve been missing.
Once you’ve located fish you want them to be concentrated and feeding near you and your bait. Throwing in handfuls of bait works to bring their attention to your hook, but to set up an actual feeding area for carp takes time. I like to bait right before night fall for two nights in advance if I can. At least one night ahead though. I will use 4-6 lbs of bait per baiting session and never wet a line. If I do this near where I have already seen carp activity, it does not fail to set about a feeding frenzy on my day of fishing.
A lot of people believe corn on a hook is plenty enough to catch carp.. And it is, but my hookup rate greatly improved when I switched to euro rigs, like the bolt rig for carp fishing. The bolt rig demands a heavy weight (3oz usually) which is usually a flat lead sinker with a swivel built in. Most would let this free run on their line. I do not. I use a skippers easy clip swivel as the runner on my line and attach the weight to it.
Not only does this make it much easier to switch between weights during a days fishing, it also damages the line less and prevents twist by having the second swivel in place. It also jams better than most larger weights on the rubber stopper I place 6″ above my weight.
On my hair rig I usually lean to maize (feed corn) that has been soaked and boiled previously to fishing. Canned corn has its days still as well. Chickpeas are a good alternative.
I run 30-50 lb braided line on all my setups unless winter fishing, and a 12′ carp oriented rod is the mainstay. I also have a 9′ mh action rod that will do the same things. And I use a reel with a big spool as carp tend to run a lot!
In combination with these rigs is something called the hair rig, which is something you will want to look up if you haven’t used them yet for carp fishing.
Hope this helps you catch some carp! Head over to www.skipperstacklebox.com for more helpful hints on fishing for many species.