Author: Big Carp News

compac coolers

Compac Coolers

In the warmer seasons or on extended outings, freshness is key for both angler and fish alike to relish their meal! Compac Coolers to the rescue!

Compac cool bags, are a versatile solution for any fishing excursion. Whether it’s a brief jaunt requiring milk and sandwiches or a lengthier trip demanding ample bait or sustenance for days, these bags have you covered. They even maintain frozen items, albeit the duration hinges on external conditions and bag capacity.

Selecting the right Cool Bag or Cooler necessitates consideration of its intended load. Packed bags with minimal air retain coldness longer, suggesting varied bags for different trip durations or payload volumes.

For optimum preservation of bait or food, the Compac Cooler stands as the pinnacle choice, available in 14-liter Light Kamo or 20-liter olive green variants.

While the Compac Cool Bags boast insulation, they aren’t as extensive as the Cooler but offer a range of sizes from small to X-large. The larger versions feature extra pockets for utensils or cooking gear.

Specifically tailored for bait storage, the 12-liter Compac Bait Cool Bag accommodates loose bait or packaged boilies, ensuring freshness for days. Regular opening hastens thawing, a factor to bear in mind.

To bolster preservation, Compac Cool Packs come in two sizes, fitting snugly within the Cool Bags and Cooler. Their design maximizes storage space and ease of handling.

In essence, whether it’s chilled or frozen items and whatever the duration, the Compac range has the solution to keep your provisions at their best!


Crafted in four sizes, the Compac Cool Bag maintains freshness for food or bait, offering a choice between olive green or Dark Kamo to complement your gear. Reinforced handles and heavy-duty zips ensure durability, while internal straps secure Cool Packs for optimal cooling efficiency.

compac coolers


The Compac Cooler guarantees extended freshness with its closed-cell insulation and airtight design. Available in 20-liter olive green or 14-liter Light Kamo, it features sturdy handles and a detachable shoulder strap for easy transport.

compac coolers


Designed specifically for bait storage, the cylindrical Compac Bait Cool Bag boasts a 12-liter capacity and reinforced construction for durability. Its accessible zip top and reinforced handles make it a practical choice for anglers.

compac coolers compac bait cool bag


Tailored for use with Compac bags, Cool Packs come in standard and XL sizes, fitting seamlessly for enhanced cooling performance. Frozen prior to use, they ensure prolonged freshness for your provisions.

compac coolers cool pack


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Carp Fishing Winter Tactics

Carp Fishing Winter Tactics (Video)

Carp Fishing Winter Tactics by Gardner/Carl Udry. Carl Udry is a Team GT-Speero angler and he shows how his tactics change as we start to enter the winter season. Winter poses unique challenges for carp anglers, but with the right tactics, success is still within reach.

Opt for slow-sinking baits and adjust your presentation to match the carp’s lethargic behavior. Target deeper waters where carp seek warmer temperatures, and consider using smaller, highly flavored baits to entice wary fish. Patience and attention to detail are key in mastering winter carp fishing and with the right Carp Fishing Winter Tactics success is possible.

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Specimen T-Rig

Introducing the Specimen T-Rig (How To)

Targeting species like Tench, Crucians, and Carp? The Specimen T-Rig is your ticket to success. Here’s a step-by-step guide to crafting this stellar rig.

What You’ll Need for the Specimen T-Rig:

Make sure you have these essentials ready for the finished rig.

Specimen T-Rig

Step 1:

Begin by taking a length of Trickster Heavy braid and tying a double overhand loop to create the hair.

Specimen T-Rig

Step 2:

Next, mount an imitation buoyant caster lengthwise and insert another one sideways into the hair loop to form the distinctive ‘T-shape’ hook bait.

Specimen T-Rig

Step 3:

Apply a small dab of glue to the bottom of the lengthwise caster and slide it down the hair until it meets the sideways caster. This helps secure both casters in place.

Specimen T-Rig

Step 4:

Now, take a Target Speci-Beaked Point hook and execute a simple knotless knot, whipping down the hook shank. Opt for a short hair for best results.

Specimen T-Rig

Step 5:

Thread a Target Anti-Tangle Sleeve down the hook link to minimize tangles.

Specimen T-Rig

Step 6:

Finally, tie a double overhand loop at the end of the hook link to facilitate attachment.

Specimen T-Rig

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passion for angling

‘Childhood Dreams’ – Passion for Angling

“Childhood Dreams,” an installment from the revered series “passion for angling,” left an indelible mark on countless anglers. I am certain that many were drawn into the world of fishing by its evocative and enchanting atmosphere. The film resonates with my own memories of childhood, seen through the innocent eyes of youth. Thankfully, I was granted the freedom to explore those early years fully—a gift for which my soul remains eternally grateful.

Growing up was a precious time. At the tender age of 3, my parents wisely relocated from bustling London to the tranquil edge of Dartmoor, where my brother and I were raised. Surrounded by lush green valleys and crystal-clear rivers, I developed a profound love for nature and a passion for angling. The arrival of fish and fishing in my life seemed destined. My father, the giver of this precious gift, forever altered my path. Fishing became his lifeline—a respite from obligations and stress—allowing the pure love within him to flow freely.

During my first year of secondary school, my father surprised me by declaring that I wouldn’t attend classes that day. His words were like an oasis in the desert of my school routine. I had little fondness for the patronizing halls of education, where I felt I paid my dues in bad karma. My schoolbooks bore witness to my longing for the lake, their pages filled with sketches of carp in weedy pools, rig diagrams, and bait recipes. My teachers often accused me of having my head in the clouds, but they failed to recognize that it was submerged in the lake, swimming among the weeds—a deep reverence for all things aquatic.

My father observed my affinity for water—a love he shared. His encouragement knew no bounds, even when items mysteriously vanished from his tackle box or my bait box miraculously filled while his remained empty. Through angling, we inhabited a space and time that transcended mere father and son. Fishing leveled the ground between us; we became equals, friends. I could ask him any question about life and its mysteries. My passion for angling was growing and creating a bond.

On June 16th, 1997, in my dad’s weathered Montego estate, we wound our way through the high country lanes. The day wore a cloak of gray and overcast skies. Towering oaks twisted as we descended toward the lake. Upon reaching the car park, my father halted the diesel engine. A sweet silence enveloped me, followed by the hiss of wind, bird songs, and the laughter of ducks. These soothing sounds touched the core of my being.

We filled out our day tickets at the entrance—a ritual ingrained in our fishing territory. Perhaps it symbolized a payment to the ferryman. As we walked, bags slung over our shoulders, rods in hand, bait and food secured, the straps dug into my shoulder, and my fingers grew numb. Yet an almost boundless wind filled my sails. With each breath, with each step, the beauty of the surroundings radiated.

The anticipation bubbled within me as I prepared to cast. Swiftly, I withdrew a rod from its sleeve and began fixing a reel. Rifling through my carryall, I discovered two new bite alarms perched atop my tackle, expertly affixed to my old buzz bars. A moment of confusion gripped me. I glanced at my father. His smile ran deep, his eyes gleaming with warmth. Returning my gaze to the bag, I absorbed the contents before me. It struck me how tirelessly my parents toiled to provide for us, and yet my father had gone out of his way to express his love through this unexpected gift. It was a gesture that touched me deeply, and my gratitude shone brightly in my eyes, evident to my father.

Fuelled by excitement, I hastened to cast. Settling in, I lobbed a bag of maggots towards an island, forty yards out. I sat there, entranced, observing the new additions to my angling setup. Time slipped away unnoticed, marked only by the fleeting visits of robins scavenging for maggots and the gentle patter of raindrops evolving into a steady shower. Suddenly, a gust of wind triggered one of my alarms, its brilliant green light piercing through the gloom. Was it a bite? Without hesitation, I dashed into the rain, seizing the rod. Tension pulsed through the line, building an eager anticipation within me. With each inch closer, the thrill mounted until the fish finally slipped into the net. I exhaled deeply, the intensity of the moment consuming me. There was nothing quite like it, especially in those early years, when every catch was a marvel to behold. Cradling the fish in my arms, I marveled at its intricate patterns and the sheer wonder of its existence in its aqueous realm.

As my gaze lifted from the water, I beheld the lush greenery surrounding me, the vibrant colors blending into a symphony of sights, scents, and sounds. In that moment, I felt more alive than ever before, embracing the beauty of life with an unwavering spirit. The journey home that evening was permeated with the scent of carp, my mind lost in reverie. My heart flowed like a tributary into the lake I held dear, a sentiment that persisted through my college years until I could explore new waters. The confines of academia could only contain my body, for my soul found freedom by the lake, whether in presence or in spirit, where it could soar like a carp in its liquid domain.


Introducing SUBbraid For Carp Angling

For anglers exploring new braid options or seeking a change, delving into the realm of SUBbraid offers insights into its virtues.

While braided main lines have a longstanding presence, particularly in spod and marker rod setups, their potential in carp fishing remains underexplored, leaving anglers unaware of the benefits they could reap.

angling with subbraid


A standout feature of SUBbraid lies in its exceptional sinking capabilities, akin to a brick plummeting through water. Upon initial encounter, one might notice its relatively thicker diameter compared to similar breaking strains of braided lines like Apex braid or Marker/Spod/SLR braids.

The reason behind this lies in the design philosophy: while other braids aim to repel water to maintain buoyancy and enhance casting, SUBbraid stands out for its ability to absorb water. This unique trait enables it to sink effortlessly, a boon in various UK fishing scenarios, where it gracefully settles atop weed beds.

Furthermore, SUBbraid boasts a slender profile coupled with zero stretch, facilitating enhanced bite indication. Even when fishing with slack lines, any subtle movement at the rig end is promptly conveyed.


Navigating winter waters demands finesse, and SUBbraid delivers with its supple nature. Unlike stiffer, wiry braids, it hugs the lake bed contours with finesse, minimizing the risk of fish encountering it and spooking. This attribute proves invaluable in pressured lakes where carp are wary of visible lines, ensuring a stealthy approach.

Despite the absence of stretch, it enhances angler control, offering a direct connection with fish movements. This aids in discerning subtle nuances during the fight, contributing to a more responsive angling experience.


Moreover, its durable composition withstands encounters with weed or snags, ensuring longevity and resilience on the reel spool. The absence of memory eliminates the frustrating tangles associated with mono, enhancing its usability over prolonged periods.


SUBbraid finds its niche in varied fishing scenarios, offering adaptability and performance. Its compatibility with leaders or tubing further enhances fish safety, mitigating the risk of damage during fights.

While Apex braid may dominate when casting to extreme ranges, SUBbraid shines in snag-free environments, where its sinking properties and reduced visibility reign supreme. Anglers like Darrell Peck utilize it strategically in conjunction with Apex, capitalizing on the best of both worlds for optimal performance.



Available in 15lb or 20lb breaking strains with diameters of 0.30mm and 0.34mm respectively, it comes clad in a dark green hue, blending seamlessly with the lakebed.

In essence, SUBbraid emerges not just as a fishing line, but as a strategic asset, offering anglers unparalleled control, stealth, and durability across a spectrum of angling scenarios.

Get SUBbraid now at Big Carp Tackle Store:


Winter Angling Motivation

Winter Angling Motivation by Alex Shorrock

Odd as it may sound, winter emerges as my preferred season for carp fishing. The tranquil banks, the crisp brightness of winter days, and the enchantment of waking up to frozen bobbins and a frosty bivvy all add to the allure. How do I maintain Winter Angling Motivation during these dark, wintry days?

For me, winter angling revolves around maximizing bites. I eschew targeting specific fish in sparsely populated venues, opting instead for high-stocked waters boasting excellent winter activity. Choosing the right winter destination becomes paramount in navigating this challenging time of year.

Winter Angling Motivation: Picking the perfect venue

In the realm of winter fishing, I initially gravitate towards deep lakes due to their slower cooling process. Carp in these depths tend to remain highly active, feeding voraciously through December. From January to February, I shift focus to shallower lakes, pinpointing areas that warm up swiftly. Pegs basking in ample sunlight, the margins, or shallow gravel bars serve as prime starting points, their rapid warming effects underscored by the winter sun’s gentle touch.

Winter Angling Motivation


Once venue selection is sorted, the subsequent crucial step involves carp localization. Typically, carp tend to occupy familiar spots year after year. Delve into past captures via social media, consult with bailiffs, and if feasible, conduct regular walks around the lake during evenings to pinpoint their whereabouts. Carp tend to stay put once located in winter, making it essential to capitalize on this consistency. Some of my most fruitful carp hauls have materialized during winter, thanks to the enduring presence of carp in known locations.

Winter Angling Motivation

Winter-Wise Tactics for the best Winter Angling Motivation

As for tactics, I lean towards naturals at winter’s outset: straightforward combi maggot rigs paired with PVA mesh bags laden with maggots and bug crumb. Upon gauging fish activity, I gradually introduce bait. Opting for carbohydrates over oil-rich baits proves prudent, as they digest more easily without congealing on the lakebed. Corn, flaked maize, the bug, the switch, and humble maggots emerge as reliable winter bait choices.

Towards late winter’s awakening, I pivot towards singles on chod rigs or small solid bags injected with thin liquids for enhanced attraction sans overfeeding. Pre-tied solid bags streamline preparation amidst wintry conditions, facilitating mobility—a crucial aspect as carp prioritize warmth over feeding during this phase. Quick deployment of rods after relocating becomes feasible, thanks to the efficiency of pre-prepared solid bags.

Winter Angling Motivation


To fully relish winter angling, dress warmly, stock up on hot beverages, invest in a quality sleeping bag, and don a snood for added warmth. So, venture forth, select the optimal spot, pinpoint their whereabouts, and reel in a winter carp.

Tight lines!

Alex Shorrock

best time of year for carp fishing

Best Time For Carp Angling: Seasons

Engaging in carp fishing is a favored pursuit among many anglers, and discerning the best time for carp angling can be the key to transforming a day on the water from frustration to success. This discussion delves into thebest time for carp angling and imparts some insights on maximizing the outcome of your fishing expedition.


The best time for carp angling typically unfolds during the warmer months, spanning from late spring to early autumn. During this period, the water temperature is at its zenith, motivating carp to be more active and engaged in feeding. As cold-blooded creatures, carp experience an uptick in metabolism with rising water temperatures, necessitating more frequent feeding.

Weather conditions play a pivotal role in planning a carp fishing venture. Carp exhibit heightened feeding behavior when confronted with low barometric pressure, often coinciding with an approaching storm. Overcast and rainy days are opportune for carp fishing, as these conditions encourage carp to venture closer to the water’s surface for feeding.

best time for carp angling

Considering the time of day is equally critical when orchestrating a carp fishing excursion. Optimal fishing times are typically early morning and late evening, coinciding with cooler water temperatures. Carp tend to be less active during the hottest part of the day, retreating to deeper, cooler waters.


Now armed with knowledge about the best time for carp fishing, here are some strategic tips to enhance your fishing experience:

  1. Choose the Right Bait:
    Carp are omnivorous, consuming a variety of bait like pellets, boilies, sweetcorn, and bread. Experimenting with different baits can help determine what works best in your specific fishing location.
  2. Use Appropriate Tackle:
    Given the strength of carp and their formidable resistance, employing the right tackle is imperative for successful landings. Utilize a robust line, a high-quality reel, and a suitable rod.
  3. Exercise Patience:
    Carp can be elusive, demanding patience. Set up your fishing spot, wait quietly, and be patient for the opportune moment when carp are enticed to bite.
  4. Practice Stealth:
    Carp possess keen eyesight and are easily startled. Maintain quietude, avoid sudden movements, and wear muted clothing to prevent casting shadows over the water.
  5. Maintain Fresh Bait:
    Carp have a keen sense of smell, necessitating the use of fresh bait free from overpowering odors that might deter the fish.

Best Time for Carp Angling: CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

To sum up, the best time for carp angling aligns with the warmer months, emphasizing early morning and late evening as optimal fishing times. Overcast or rainy days further enhance the prospects.

Success in carp fishing involves employing the right bait and tackle, coupled with patience, stealth, and the use of fresh bait. Wishing you a rewarding and enjoyable carp fishing trip!

Happy angling!

Solidz rigs

Why Solidz rigs Are My Go-To Choice

In this piece, Neil Spooner shares his deep affection for using Solidz, elaborating on how he sets up his Solidz rigs and offering valuable tips for optimal usage.

Solidz, in my opinion, are a tactic I hold in high regard, and I still believe they don’t receive the credit they deserve.

For guaranteed presentation, I don’t think there’s a better approach—you can be confident, with 100% certainty, that you have an enticing parcel of bait surrounding your hookbait. Additionally, you can rest assured that your rig isn’t tangled and is positioned perfectly, ready for action.

The versatility of Solidz is remarkable; they can be employed in various scenarios, whether as stand-alone rigs or over beds of bait in a spodded area. Whether fishing multiple rods on a single spot or spreading them around the swim, Solidz prove mega effective both in the edge and when cast over significant distances. They adapt seamlessly to weed-covered areas or polished gravel spots. Their reliability and adaptability make them a crucial component in my angling strategy.

Solidz rigs
Easily stored in a compact carryall.

My Solidz rigs are set up with inline square pear leads, typically on leadcore or safe zone leaders, allowing me to pre-make several setups and easily loop them onto my mainline.

I prefer short 4-inch Supernatural braided rigs tied to a size 6 or 8 Krank, often with a small kicker added for extra appeal. Ready-tied rigs have also yielded great results, making Solidz fishing more convenient.

When selecting hookbaits, I opt for something small, balanced, and attention-grabbing. Orange Fake Corn has proven highly effective in my Solidz approach, especially in day ticket venues like Norton and Linear.

Solidz rig
The perfect presentation with your hookbait a homing beacon.

I lean towards using the small Solidz, incorporating micro pellet around my hooklink to ensure complete coverage while neatly nestled within the bag. This approach guarantees that your rig is discreetly positioned, concealed by the pellet, and when the carp approach, the first thing they’ll notice is your well-balanced bait situated above the pellet.

For popped-up or balanced baits, it’s crucial to test the weight against the hook in the edge to understand how it sits. Paying attention to the hookpoint is also important to prevent blunting. Adding crumb, powder, or groundbait around the hook or carefully positioning the hookpoint outside the bag can address this concern.

Solidz rig: Super easy yet highly effective.
Super easy yet highly effective.

An additional tip for Solidz enthusiasts: if you need to dry your rig, dipping it into a bag of powder or groundbait efficiently absorbs moisture. Dealing with a wet rig while tying a bag can be frustrating, so ensure the lead is dry by removing it from the swivel.

In conclusion, don’t underestimate the power of Solidz—they’re a fantastic way to catch carp, and their simplicity makes them accessible for anyone to use, providing confidence in every fishing endeavor.

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Carp Spring Strategies: Marc catches "Matts Mirror" as part of a big hit

Carp Spring Strategies Unveiled by Marc Cavaciuti

In this insightful piece, Marc Cavaciuti, a key member of Team Korda, delves into the Carp Spring Strategies he employs during the spring season and sheds light on why they prove highly effective as carp begin to stir.

Be Ready with these Carp Spring Strategies

Spring marks a crucial phase in the pursuit of big carp, demanding meticulous preparation for optimal results.

By now, your chosen spring waters should be identified—a critical opportunity that shouldn’t be left to the last minute. It’s imperative to be present when the fish truly wake up, rather than waiting at home for venue updates. Be the one igniting the spark, not the individual left dampening the embers.

Familiarity with your campaign water enables effective preparation. Last year, the 15lb Touchdown stood out for me—sinking well, nearly invisible in its submerged green color, robust, and a dream to cast. This versatility allowed me to adapt swiftly based on swim availability and, more importantly, the fish’s location—essential elements in circuit water angling.


As mentioned earlier, the ability to respond promptly to what you observe or don’t observe is paramount. My kit is downsized significantly, with spare leads and food left in the van until I’m convinced I’m on fish. On busy circuit waters, being back on the barrow and moving faster down the path than the competition is vital.

Carp Spring Strategies
Carp Spring Strategies: Marc cradles 30lb Common caught in two feet

Shallow Waters

As daylight hours extend, shallow areas become pivotal, especially if they receive the sun’s first rays. Cold-blooded creatures seek warmth, enhancing their eyesight, senses, and metabolism. These areas are remembered by the carp, as it’s their neighborhood. Shallow regions receive much of my attention, allowing me to react to visual signs of activity.

Zig Rigs

In spring, shallower water warms quicker than deep, dark water. Zig rigs are crucial for several reasons:

1. They enable fishing in the water column where the fish are, avoiding the futility of presenting baits too far below or above them.
2. As their senses awaken from the winter cold, fish are more likely to accept a piece of Goo’d up foam in their hazy vision.
3. Zig rigs facilitate swift responses to showing fish without worrying about presentation issues in leftover winter debris or new weed growth.

Carp Spring Strategies
Kiana Goo on a Zig Rig


Fishing with singles or employing minimal baiting has proven successful in landing big fish. With their senses slowly recharging, exploiting their adapting eyesight and heightened sense of smell/taste is crucial. They aren’t after large quantities of food at this stage.

Spinner RIg
Spinner RIg
Naked Chod Rig
Naked Chod Rig

Excluding zigs, I use only two rigs in spring, both featuring pop-ups. Employing the Heli-Safe and Naked Chod system allows me to switch between the two presentations quickly without the need for leadcore or tubing.

My preferred rigs are Naked Chods for depths over three feet, ensuring presentation, stealth, and consistency with big fish. The second rig is an adapted spinner rig for depths under three feet, suitable for fishing close to snags and/or up island shelves, with an adjusted top bead for a softer drop.

Scaley Mirror caught just 3ft below the surface

In summary, prioritize mobility and reactivity. Opt for bright, enticing singles—be it Goo’d up zigs or pop-ups presented in areas where the fish want to be. Being right in front of them is undoubtedly the key in spring.

polarized sunglasses"

Important! Polarized Sunglasses in Carp Fishing

Carp fishing is a pursuit that demands patience, skill, and, of course, the right equipment and among the often-overlooked essentials is a quality pair of Polarized Sunglasses. In the realm of carp fishing, these sunglasses can be a game-changer. Let’s delve into the reasons why Polarized sunglasses are indispensable for carp fishing.

Understanding Polarized Sunglasses:

Polarized sunglasses boast a special lens coating designed to reduce glare. This coating filters out horizontal light waves, particularly those reflecting off surfaces like water – a boon for anglers. The outcome is a clearer, more comfortable vision, reducing eye strain and enhancing contrast perception.

Why Polarized Sunglasses are Crucial for Carp Fishing:

1. Glare Reduction:

Carp fishing involves extended periods observing the water’s surface. The sun’s reflection often creates glare, hindering visibility beneath the water. Polarized sunglasses act as a shield against this glare, enabling a clearer view and facilitating the spotting of carp movements.

2. Spotting Carp:

Carp are adept at blending into their aquatic surroundings, their scales reflecting light to mimic the environment. Polarized sunglasses cut through the glare, allowing anglers to spot carp more easily. This advantage proves particularly beneficial in clear water or under sunny conditions.

3. Eye Protection:

Carp fishing often entails prolonged exposure to sunlight. Harmful UV rays pose a risk to your eyes, potentially causing issues like cataracts. Polarized sunglasses offer a protective barrier against UV rays, mitigating the risk of eye damage and fatigue.

4. Enhanced Fishing Performance:

The impact of Polarized sunglasses on fishing performance is multi-faceted. They improve visibility of fish, thereby increasing the likelihood of successful catches. Additionally, by reducing eye strain and fatigue, these sunglasses contribute to prolonged focus during fishing sessions.

In Conclusion:

In the toolkit of any carp fishing enthusiast, Polarized sunglasses stand out as an essential gear component.

Beyond glare reduction, they facilitate easier fish spotting, provide crucial eye protection from UV rays, and contribute to an overall enhanced fishing performance.

Investing in a quality pair of Polarized sunglasses may be a small step, but its significance looms large in elevating your carp fishing experience.

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