When it comes to carp fishing, size is pretty much everything. We’ve all seen those photographs of fellow fishermen struggling to hold up a shark-sized fish weighing more than everything you’ve ever caught combined. But when it comes to actually catching something this impressive, there are a great deal of things to bear in mind. These range from the fishing spot, the type of bait used, and even the colour of the hook.
So here at Eden’s Lakes, we’ve put together five hints and tips to help you net the carp catch of a lifetime:
One extremely popular form of bait for catching big carp is simply sweetcorn, preferably from a can, because of the added salt and sugar. The reason that carp are so attracted to sweetcorn appears to be down to several factors. There’s the colour: yellow is great at standing out and drawing the carp’s attention. Then there’s the taste, the texture, and the chemicals that are given off when the corn hits the water, all of which are attractive to carp.
While it only applies to certain areas, looking out for ducks and geese can be a good way of ascertaining the location of nearby carp. This is because carps often like to follow ducks and geese, especially when they’re being fed by humans, to get some free scraps of bread. Remember to be careful not to hurt the birds when casting, though.
When fishing for carp, it’s important not to use a hook that will be too visible underwater and alert the carp. For instance, silver, shiny hooks could easily reflect the sunlight above, especially on a bright day, and therefore become far more visible to the fish below. To avoid this, it’s best to use a hook that will blend in with the colour of the bottom of the water. One way of doing this is to use a Teflon-coated hook, which will minimise the amount of sunlight reflected. Alternatively, you could use a hook skin (those thin, rubber tubes that fit around the curve of the hook while leaving the point uncovered), which matches the colour of the bottom of the water.
As with most types of fishing, patience is a huge virtue when it comes to catching carp. This is because of the fish’s penchant for swimming past and brushing against the bait several times before they actually go for it. Therefore, it’s always best to give the fish a bit of time before attempting to set the hook.
The way you should cast for carp generally depends on what type of fishing you’re doing. For instance, if you’re method fishing for carp, it’s usually a good idea to cast the rod around every half an hour, primarily in order to check the bait is still on the line but also to try different areas. When ledger fishing, the rod can be cast for a while longer, around one hour, depending on the amount of movement around the hook.
Netted a carp you’re proud of on a recent visit? We want to hear from you! Send us your pictures on Twitter and you never know you might make our Wall of Fame!