An angler's journal

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Surface Carp Fishing


Although I love my river fishing, the close season does force me to vary my tactics and species. With cooler weather promised I took advantage to of the final day of spring sunshine to target carp. I returned to the lake which had seen my previous visit punctuated by frustration as I tried to tempt fish from the surface. However, today’s weather was much kinder and I was pleased to arrive just after 4pm to see only one other angler present.

I set off towards the island, scouring the surface for dark shapes basking in the late afternoon sun.  Upon reaching the island I noticed several carp cruising so immediately scattered half a dozen dog biscuits towards the island while I set up. I rarely use a controller. Since most of my surface fishing is done with 3-4 rod lengths, I prefer to use 10lb mainline, a 4ft fluorocarbon hooklength with an imitation biscuit hair rigged to a size 10 hook. Since the imitation bait incorporates a split shot to balance it I find that it provides enough weight to reach my desired spot. The main advantage of this is that it causes little disturbance when hitting the water and is very inconspicuous once in position. The fluorocarbon line again ensures my hook bait looks as close to the other biscuits as is possible. My final tip is to keep out of sight; on this trip that involved squatting, which was rather painful on the thighs but ensured the carp continued to feed confidently about 10m from the bank.

A great way to start the session at just over 14lb
It took about 20 minutes of regular feeding but eventually the carp started to show real interest and baits were being taken readily.  I made my first cast soon after  4.30pm. With the fish feeding well and competing for the bait it was hardly surprising that I connected with a fish within about 10 minutes. The fish produced a dogged and determined fight that seemed to last for ages. I managed to catch a glimpse a few times and could see it was good fish and easily a double. Finally, the fish was landed and the scales showed 14lb 4oz; a great start to the session.

By 6pm I had managed a further three fish of around 4lb, 7lb and 8lb. The fish as expected started to behave more cautiously so I wandered around the lake to give the swim a rest. I did find some fish but they were not really feeding so with about 20 minutes of my session remaining I returned to my original spot with the hope of one more fish to cap the evening. I had to be patient but it paid off as another carp of about 5lb was hooked and landed. The fish was safely returned and with I called a close to what had been a thoroughly enjoyable 3 hours, five carp to just over 14lbs and all off the top. Let’s hope the warmer weather hasn’t left us for too long.

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