Catch More Carp - 9 Tips to Improve Your Catch Rate
All anglers would love to catch more fish and carp anglers are no different. Carp can be a very tricky and clever species, which can also make them rather elusive.
This means you'll need to gain every advantage possible if you want to land them. In this article, I've outlined 9 tips and techniques you can employ in order to catch more carp during your next session.
1. Experiement with Lesser-Fished Swims
Try those ignored out of the way swims that rarely get fished because "no one ever catches from them".
Over time, these swims could well become a safe haven for carp for that very reason, fishing a swim that is not over-fished could prove very productive indeed.
2. Be on the Lookout for Showing Fish
Look out into the lake for signs of fish; carp will often give themselves away by showing that they are there.
Most common signs of fish are topping and tailing where the fish will actually break surface and show itself.
Bubbles are are sure fire way to spot feeding carp, try not to confuse them with bubbles caused by natural gas release from the bottom of the lake. These gas-release bubbles will appear small constant and normally always in the same place.
On the other hand, bubbles from feeding carp are normally bigger, single or in a foot round patch.
It won't always be as obvious as in this video but keeping your eyes peeled for signs of fish can help you target them more accurately.
3. Pre-Bait your Swim
Pre-baiting can be a great way to get the carp feeding but you do need to exercise some caution when using this method.
Personally, I would choose a lightly fished swim and trickle some bait in at regular intervals on your chosen area a good few days maybe even a week prior to fishing.
You will need to be a little stealthy when using this method maybe more so on day ticket waters the last thing you want is to pile some bait in only to have another angler spot you baiting up then decide to fish on your spot.
4. Switch Up your Hook Bait
Some anglers like to find there spot and put 2 or even 3 rods on it with the same bait. Others may find 3 different spots and use the same bait on all.
This is great if you already know what bait works for your chosen location. However, carp can be fussy eaters and will readily ignore some baits in favour of others.
Using different baits and hook bait presentation on each rod can help you hone in on what kind of baits the fish are likely to take and making subtle changes can entice carp to feed.
5. Invest in Some Quality Bite Alarms
As the name suggests, bite alarms are there to alert you of bites, which means they have a direct impact on your catch rate.
In my opinion it is well worth investing in a good set of bite alarms. A quality set of alarms can certainly be pricey but if you are serious about your fishing and catching more carp then they are worth the extra investment.
Good reliable bite indication could be the make or break of catching a carp.
6. Be Prepared to Move
If you find yourself several hours into a session with no bites, no indication that carp are feeding in your swim and you've made a few tweaks that haven't worked then it might be time for a move.
A change of swim or even lake if you fish a fishery with more than one lake can be very productive.
Many high profile anglers will quickly change swims if they are having no takes in the swim they are in so don't be afraid to do the same.
7. Stalk the Carp
Stalking or actively looking for and following fish in shallow or clear water and presenting you bait close to them is an excellent way of getting a carp into your net.
This method takes patience and stealth so be quite and sit well back from the water or you'll spook the fish,
8. Stay Calm when Landing a Fish
Don't make the mistake many anglers make by getting too anxious to land the fish and panicking when it's close to the net.
Don't rush and stab at the carp with your net or take the net to the carp bring the carp to your net, take time in playing the fish.
Make sure he is good and ready to be landed. The fish will tire after a while then you can calmly bring the fish over your net.
9. Do your Research
When you’ve chosen your next fishing venue, find out as much as you can about it: are there any favoured baits, tactics or swims?
Some anglers will happily give advice in order to see a fellow angler catch, whereas others are a little less willing to disclose any of their secrets.
The fishery owner or bailiff can often be a good bet for knowledge of the lake as it is in their best interest to see anglers catching fish; happy anglers mean returning anglers, which is obviously good for business.