FISH FOR A RIVER CARP

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Angling Times (UK) - - ULTIMATE GUIDE TO 2019 -

RE you fed up with chock-a-block lakes and fish­ing for the same ‘known’ fish? Maybe it’s time for some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent – and river carp­ing may well be the an­swer, says Berk­shire spe­cial­ist Jack Pells!

It can be wild, ex­cit­ing and un­pre­dictable – first you’ll need to find the fish and then tackle them with strong rigs. It can seem daunt­ing, try­ing lo­cate carp in miles and miles of wa­ter, but it’s not as tricky as it seems. Look out for fea­tures such as boats, where food is of­ten thrown over­board, the usual over­hang­ing trees, deep mar­gins and weir pools.

Of­ten the fish can show them­selves in ar­eas you wouldn’t ex­pect. Some peo­ple will tell you that you need to pre­bait, as carp will oth­er­wise move up and down a stretch, stop­ping and then mov­ing on. You need to bait up an area where the fish feel at ease.

River carp are of­ten built like tor­pe­does and are no pushover in the fight. It’s es­sen­tial to use strong tackle – don’t be sur­prised if you end up walk­ing a few yards af­ter your quarry!

Start off with 2lb 8oz test curve carp rods, and 15lb main­line down to a 20lb braided hook­link. Don’t go be­low a size 6 hook. As these fish are less pres­sured than their still­wa­ter cousins, they don’t tend to be ‘riggy’ so you can get away with pre­sent­ing strong, crude rigs with­out fear of them suss­ing you out. This is handy, as rivers can of­ten be snag city!

Don’t be put off by the colder weather ei­ther – win­ter can be a great time to tar­get river carp.

Still­wa­ter carp can hold up some­where com­fort­able in the cold and sur­vive eas­ily with­out us­ing up any en­ergy, so they don’t need to feed heav­ily. Their cousins liv­ing in flow­ing wa­ter don’t have that lux­ury. They need to keep mov­ing which means, of course, that they need to keep feed­ing. In the sum­mer, the same ar­eas will still at­tract the fish but by climb­ing

trees and look­ing down from bridges you can of­ten see them giv­ing away their lo­ca­tion as they cruise around on the sur­face

Keep your tackle to a min­i­mum so you are able to rove through as many likely-look­ing ar­eas as pos­si­ble. Rov­ing for the carp is a method that can lead to mul­ti­ple catches and a roller-coaster ride.

The long blank­ing spells and the need to fill an area in with bait are avoided by us­ing big, high­luy vis­i­ble baits dropped in the right spot. Boilies are a good start­ing point, but try not to be blink­ered by us­ing just the one bait.

Some­times a big lump of bread crust can be all it takes to get a bite. If you can get a bait to the fish with­out be­ing too ob­vi­ous they can be rea­son­ably quick to bite – pro­vided, of course, that you’re on them!

Spe­cial­ist Jack Pells – seen here with a fine river carp – rec­om­mends keep­ing things sim­ple for suc­cess.

Use strong hooks, size 6 min­i­mum Use 15lb main line and braided hook­links.Boilies are a top river carp bait Meat is a good change bait

Use two rods to ex­plore your swim.

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