Category: General

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.

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!

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.

Get Sunglasses now at Big Carp Tackle Store:


'The Strawberry' taken on a flipper rig over a small patch of boilie.

A Master of Precision – Luke Vallory

Within the esteemed Korda Mindset team, Luke Vallory stands out as one of the most consistently successful anglers.

Regardless of the venue, Luke Vallory’s catch rate remains impressively high, showcasing his ability to adapt to diverse fishing situations. While Luke possesses various strengths in his angling repertoire, one of his standout attributes is his meticulous attention to detail – a quality undoubtedly contributing to his remarkable success.

'The Pit 4 Fully' taken on a size 4 Krank over a bed of seed. Luke Vallory
‘The Pit 4 Fully’ taken on a size 4 Krank over a bed of seed.

Undoubtedly, Luke is among the most reliable anglers in our team, consistently hauling carp from challenging waters nationwide, making the process appear deceptively effortless.

Luke gives his rigs his full attention, making sure everything is perfect.
Luke gives his rigs his full attention, making sure everything is perfect.
Time is carefully spent studying the rig to make sure every detail is perfect.
Time is carefully spent studying the rig to make sure every detail is perfect.

Whether it’s ‘The Pit 4 Fully’ captured on a size 4 Krank over a bed of seed or any other catch in his impressive portfolio, Luke Vallory’s angling approach involves a thorough analysis of key elements contributing to his success. Amidst these considerations, one constant factor is Luke’s unwavering attention to detail.

Rigs are always tested to ensure the bait sits exactly right.
Rigs are always tested to ensure the bait sits exactly right.

Every aspect of Luke’s angling receives meticulous attention – from locating the fish to baiting and rig tying. His approach is characterized by care, thoughtfulness, and a commitment to excellence. Rig tying is a meticulous process, hooks undergo detailed scrutiny, and hooklinks are painstakingly straightened.

Attention to detail with accuracy is also a key attribute to Luke's success.
Attention to detail with accuracy is also a key attribute to Luke’s success.

Rig testing in the edge ensures flawless presentation, leaving nothing to chance. With rods deployed, Luke takes solace in knowing that he sits behind perfectly presented setups.

Luke Vallory’s commitment to excellence extends to his choice of equipment, such as fishing with Sub Braid for accuracy and utilizing IQ2 leaders for near-invisible end tackle securely pinned to the lakebed.

'The Strawberry' taken on a flipper rig over a small patch of boilie. Luke Vallory
‘The Strawberry’ taken on a flipper rig over a small patch of boilie.

Observing Luke in action is enlightening, illustrating how simplicity in fishing is intertwined with a relentless pursuit of perfection. His approach revolves around giving 100% to every aspect of angling and refusing to settle for anything less than impeccable – a mindset undeniably at the core of Luke’s ongoing success.

Rig Baiting Spring Tactics

Rig Baiting Spring Tactics

Team Korda member Marc Cavaciuti delves into his Rig Baiting Spring Tactics, shedding light on the strategies that prove highly effective during this awakening period for carp.

Recognizing the paramount importance of Spring in the big carp angler’s calendar, preparation becomes key to maximizing success. Identifying your Spring waters early on is crucial, constituting a significant window of opportunity that cannot be left to the last minute. Being present when the fish truly come alive is the objective; being proactive, not reactive, is the approach to adopt. Instead of waiting at home for your venue’s newsfeed to stir, be the angler igniting the fire, not the one left dampening the embers.

Rig Baiting Spring Tactics: Understanding your campaign water

This becomes the foundation for effective preparation. In Cavaciuti’s case, the 15lb Touchdown from last year proved to be the ideal choice. Its ability to sink seamlessly, nearly invisible green color when submerged, robust strength, and excellent casting performance ticked all the necessary boxes. This versatility allowed him to swiftly adapt his tactics based on swim availability, a significant factor in circuit water angling, and, more crucially, the fish’s location.

Scaling down tackle and luggage was a pivotal strategy, enabling Cavaciuti to react promptly to visual signs of fish activity. This strategic approach underscores the importance of knowing your gear intimately and tailoring it to the specific demands of Spring angling. The ability to switch tactics seamlessly and stay attuned to the nuances of the environment positions the angler for success during this pivotal season.

Rig Baiting Spring Tactics: Touch Down is a low stretch sinking mono from Korda
Rig Baiting Spring Tactics: Touch Down is a low stretch sinking mono from Korda

Rig Baiting Spring Tactics: Emphasizing Mobility

As highlighted earlier, the ability to swiftly respond to observations or the lack thereof holds paramount importance. In my approach, the gear is streamlined, with spare leads and food stored in the van until I’m confident about fish presence. Even single small water bottles find their place in the van initially. When navigating busy circuit-type waters, the capability to return to the barrow and traverse down the path faster than fellow anglers becomes a crucial edge. This emphasis on mobility ensures a strategic advantage in dynamic fishing scenarios.

Rig Baiting Spring Tactics results: 30lb Common caught in two feet of shallows

Exploring Shallows

Rig Baiting Spring Tactics: Not ignoring the Shallows
With the lengthening daylight hours, my attention is consistently drawn to specific areas, particularly those basking in the early rays of the sun. It’s a known fact that cold-blooded creatures crave warmth, and in its presence, their faculties improve – enhanced eyesight, heightened senses, and increased metabolism. These sought-after spots become a familiar neighborhood for the creatures inhabiting them. The shallows, in particular, command a significant portion of my focus.

I recall a night a few years back on a vast reservoir when a robust southerly wind stirred the waves on the northernmost bank. Ordinarily, this scenario would have excited me, but I chose to walk the additional half mile to the shallows. With the sun casting its warmth over an acre-sized area on the leeward side, I witnessed a series of impressive shows – one after another.

Abandoning my initial setup, I quickly grabbed my scaled-down barrow and kit. Within an hour, I secured the first fish of the year, and later in the night, amidst the thickest fog I’ve ever fished in, I landed a rare mid-thirty, all in water less than three feet deep.

When you factor in the safety of avoiding snags in these shallow spring waters, this, on paper, emerges as a key hotspot – a convergence of safety and warmth!

As touched upon earlier, the shallower waters warm up more swiftly compared to the deep, dark depths. In spring, employing zigs becomes a pivotal strategy for various reasons.

Firstly, zigs enable you to position your bait in the water column where the fish prefer to be. It’s futile to fish ten feet below them when they are huddled just two feet below the surface, basking in the warmth with their companions.

Considering their awakening senses after a cold winter, the fish are in a “green” state, and in their somewhat blurry vision, they readily accept attractively presented Goo’d up foam. Zigs prove effective in responding to showing fish without concerns about hookbait being entangled in residual winter debris or encountering fresh weed growth. The key is getting the depths right.

Rig Baiting Spring Tactics that include adopting a strategy of fishing singles or very light baiting has yielded significant catches of sizable fish. Reiterating a point made earlier, their senses are undergoing a recharge – their slowly adapting eyesight and heightened sense of smell/taste should be exploited. In this phase, they aren’t voraciously seeking kilograms of food; their readiness for such consumption is yet to fully kick in. It’s crucial to remember that their chosen location is more about comfort and safety than filling their gut, especially considering their metabolism isn’t fully active yet.

Beyond zigs, I limit my rig choices to two in spring, both involving pop-ups. Utilizing the Heli-Safe and Naked Chod system provides the flexibility to seamlessly switch between these presentations without the need for leadcore or tubing.

Rig Baiting Spring Tactics: Spinner RIg

My top preferences are Naked Chods, particularly in depths exceeding three feet. Their reliability in presentation, stealth, and consistency in landing significant catches make them my go-to choice during this season.

The alternative in my rig arsenal is the adapted spinner rig, ideal for depths less than three feet and tailored for fishing in close proximity to snags or along island shelves. A simple adjustment of the top bead facilitates a gentler descent.

An essential aspect of employing this second rig is its suitability for fishing close to snags and islands, a practice that demands caution with slack lines to prioritize fish safety.

Both these rigs share a common advantage – minimal disturbance. I’m not fixated on pinpoint accuracy or meticulously finding the perfect one-foot square of gravel that might be a surefire spot come July. Instead, my focus is on discreetly presenting where the fish currently reside.

In essence for the proper Rig Baiting Spring Tactics, the key is to stay mobile and responsive! Bright, enticing singles—be it Goo’d up Zigs or Pop-ups—are strategically presented in the areas the fish prefer. Being right in front of their noses is, in my experience, the winning approach during the Spring.

By Marc Cavaciuti

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The most advanced bivvy material


Unveiling the Cutting-Edge AquateXX EV® Bivvy Material:  The ‘EV’ in Aquatexx EV® signifies ‘evolution.’ Since the introduction of the original Aquatexx® fabric, dedicated efforts have been invested in enhancing and evolving this material, exclusive to Trakker and Aqua bivvies and accessories.

The foremost commitment is to shield you in the most severe weather conditions. With an outstanding 25,000mm hydrostatic head (HH) rating, Aquatexx EV® sets a new benchmark, offering waterproofing levels unparalleled by other bivvy materials currently available.


  • Technologically advanced multi-layer composite material
  • Record-breaking waterproof fabric with a 25,000 HH rating
  • Unmatched breathability, ensuring prolonged fishing comfort
  • Uncompromising wind resistance for enhanced warmth and safety
  • Environmentally friendly – Bluesign® approved for sustainable production
  • TEFLON® fabric protector guarantees performance


What does Hydrostatic Head mean?

Hydrostatic Head (HH) is a method for measuring a fabric’s waterproofness. Using millimeters (mm) as the unit, it indicates the height of a water column required to penetrate the fabric. Aquatexx EV® has been rigorously tested and boasts a minimum 25,000mm HH, making it the highest-rated bivvy material on the market today, surpassing most competitors at around 15-20,000 HH.

What level of UV protection does Aquatexx EV® provide?

Aquatexx EV® material ensures UV protection up to UPF50.

Does Aquatexx EV® fabric let in light?

No, Aquatexx EV® fabric on our range of brollies, bivvies, and social caps offers total blackout for optimal rest conditions. Note that Skull Caps and Skull Cap Wraps lack the blackout feature, as it’s unnecessary.

Is Aquatexx EV® 100% waterproof?

Yes, Aquatexx EV® fabric is 100% waterproof, utilizing Teflon® fabric treatment and a specialized technical coating to repel water effectively.


I’ve noticed dimples on the inside of the bivvy after heavy rain. Is this normal?

Yes, this is normal. The inner coating minimizes condensation, causing small dimples during heavy rain. This effect is temporary and disappears when dried out.

Will my Aquatexx EV® bivvy or accessory change color over time?

While our bivvies are designed for prolonged use, exposure to sunlight may lead to some fading. We recommend placing the bivvy in shaded areas to minimize color impact.

How do I clean and maintain the performance of my Aquatexx EV® bivvy and accessories?

Optimize your Aquatexx EV® bivvy’s longevity by using our Revive Shelter Complete Care Kit regularly for cleaning and re-proofing.

How often should I re-proof my Aquatexx EV® bivvy and accessories?

Re-proof your bivvy at least twice a year or as needed, depending on usage. Consider re-proofing when you observe a noticeable decline in rain ‘beading-up’ on your bivvy.

Get AQUATEXX Products now at Big Carp Tackle Store:


Carp Fishing Weather

Optimal Carp Fishing Weather Conditions

Carp Fishing Weather: Carp fishing presents challenges, and beginners may feel disheartened after several unsuccessful sessions. Even seasoned carp anglers experience blank sessions—it’s all part of the journey. Understanding the weather conditions preferred by carp can enhance your chances of success.

The perfect Carp Fishing Weather involves a moderate to warm air temperature, low air pressure, south/south-westerly wind, and an overcast sky—creating ideal ‘carpy’ conditions.

Stable water temperature is crucial. Carp are less active in excessively cold or warm water but become feeding machines in more temperate temperatures. Evening, night, and early morning hours often yield the most bites, as lower temperatures and increased oxygen levels prevail. Ideal water temperatures range from 47 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit (8 to 14 degrees Celsius) in Autumn/Winter and 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 22 degrees Celsius) in Spring/Summer.

During winter, carp gather in deeper, slower-cooling areas of the lake, so targeting these zones increases your chances of success.

Barometric pressure significantly influences carp behavior. Low or gradually falling barometric pressure is optimal. After an extended period of high pressure, a pressure drop (preferably over several days) can trigger increased carp activity and feeding due to reduced pressure on their swim bladder.

Understanding air pressure is essential for optimal carp fishing weather. High-pressure systems in winter bring clear skies and cold temperatures, less favorable for fishing. In contrast, low-pressure systems, characterized by cloudiness and warmth, create better conditions for carp fishing.

While wind direction isn’t the most critical factor, windy conditions can benefit carp fishing. Ripples on the water reduce light visibility, allowing carp to feed more confidently. Agitated surface water absorbs more oxygen, and wind pushes food supplies toward the margins, attracting carp.

Southern or southwesterly breezes, often warmer and coinciding with lower air pressure and moderate temperatures, are ideal for carp fishing.

An overcast sky with dense clouds is favorable for carp fishing. Clouds reduce underwater visibility, making cautious carp feel more comfortable. Heavy cloud cover retains warmth, moderating the ratio of daylight to nighttime temperatures in air and water, keeping carp active for longer.

While we can’t always plan around the weather, monitoring forecasts is crucial to understand the optimal carp fishing weather conditions. Apps like XC Weather provide reliable information on air pressure, wind direction, and rain, aiding anglers in planning their sessions.

While not universally applicable, understanding and leveraging weather conditions can significantly improve carp fishing outcomes. The described conditions consistently yield success for many carp fishermen, as carp behavior remains consistent across locations. Whether you’re a novice or exploring new fishing spots, fishing in these conditions increases the likelihood of landing your first carp. Best of luck and tight lines!

catching more carp

Tips for catching more carp, without spending a dime

Carp fishing can be an expensive hobby. But before you rush out to buy the latest gadget or gizmo, take a look at these tips to help you become a better angler – for free and you will be catching more carp!

Always watch the water and make sure that you don’t just drop in the first swim that you find when you arrive at the venue. Take time to walk around the lake and keep an eye on the water at all times. Look for any signs of fish, such as bubbling coming up in the water that can indicate the fish are feeding on the bottom. A fish jumping out is another indication. Also, look for a little ripple of rings that could be where their dorsal fin just leaves the water and leaves a little reflection. It’s obviously a lot harder when it’s windier, but spending the time walking around the lake, looking, will help you find the fish. If you find the fish and you’re getting a swim near them, you’re much more likely to catch them. Don’t forget to look for signs of fish in the open water, as well as right in the edges under a tree and in the margins.

Research the Venue
If it’s your first time going to a venue, do your research first. There is so much information available online, and the first place to go is YouTube. Search the venue name, and you’ll find lots of videos available where you can pick up some tips about where the good areas are and other bits of advice from anglers who fish there regularly. Go to the website of the fishery, and you’ll most likely find write-ups where other anglers have said how they’ve caught fish on zigs or where they caught fish on the bottom. You might even get a bit more information about the depth of the lake, which is the deeper end, and which is the shallower end.

Check the Weather
One topic that we love to talk about in the US is the weather, and there are plenty of apps available that you can download to get accurate forecasts. Understanding the weather conditions while you’re at the lake is one of the best pieces of advice to help you catch more carp.

One such app is Windy, which tells you which direction the wind is blowing and how it will change every hour during your session. For instance, if you have a nice Southwesterly wind coming that’s warm, then quite often the fish will follow this wind if it’s blowing into the one corner that’s a good chance where the fish are going to be. However, if it’s a Northerly wind, it tends to be really cold, so sometimes you will find the fish on the back of this wind.

Also, and this may sound completely obvious, but understanding the weather will also have an effect on what you need to wear to make sure you’re comfortable in all conditions while on the bank – sometimes the obvious tips are the best ones!”.

Master Your Accuracy
Tip number four is to master your accuracy. This is something that can only come with time and practice. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep a rod with a reel and a lead in your car, so anytime you get an hour, you can get down to a lake and practice casting at the same marker in the distance or even over to the far margin. Another way to be accurate is to learn how to wrap up. Once you can wrap up and once you’ve found your spot, you know that you will always be casting into exactly the same area. This means that you can accurately bait the same spot and then place your rig exactly over the bait, increasing your chance of a catch massively.

Learn How to Feel the Lead Down
This is also called looking for the ‘donk’ and is a technique that takes a bit of practice. However, once mastered, it will give you valuable information about how your lead is sitting and the nature of the lake bed. When you cast out your rod, keep your line tight as the lead hits the water. As the lead falls through the water, you will feel a slightly different sensation when the lead hits the bottom. For instance, if the lake bed is firm, you will feel a ‘donk’ sensation through the rod. If you feel it very lightly, then it’s an indication that there could be silt. If you don’t feel anything, then you are definitely in some thick weed. The sensation is always felt best when using braid on your spod and marker rods.

Maintain Your Gear
Keeping your gear clean is crucial not just for protecting your carp fishing essentials but also for optimal performance. For instance, ensure the rod’s eyes stay dirt-free to prevent casting issues, and run your line through a towel when reeling in to eliminate any sediment.

After using bite alarms, ensure they’re dry before stowing them to prevent moisture from causing malfunctions during your next session. Maintaining clean gear not only ensures its longevity but also enhances your comfort on the bank.

Organize Your Tackle Bag
Maximize your fishing time by keeping your tackle bag well-organized, ensuring quick access to hooks, leads, lead clips, and other terminal tackle. A designated place for everything streamlines rig adjustments after a bite or when switching tactics, making your fishing experience more efficient, even in the middle of the night.

catching more carp

Be Ready
Always be prepared for the specific lake you’re fishing. Have pre-tied rigs and ready-tied PVA bags to minimize time spent preparing and maximize time spent fishing.

Put in the Effort
While the closest peg to the car park may be popular, exploring more distant pegs can pay off, as they receive less fishing pressure. Putting in the effort to walk around the lake can lead to better results. Stay flexible and be willing to move to where the fish are, even if it means packing down and setting up elsewhere.

catching more carp

Be Courteous
One of the most, if not THE most important tip, is to be nice and polite to fellow anglers and lake bailiffs. Building good relationships can provide valuable information that can give you an edge. Bailiffs often possess extensive knowledge about the lake, so take the time to chat, offer them a drink, and you might gain insights that make a difference. Remember, manners cost nothing!

These tips, whether obvious or simple, can help you catch more fish without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned angler, continuous learning is key to success in carp fishing!

Importance of Location

The Importance of Location

The Importance of Location: This article primarily focuses on Carp fishing in cold water, but the principles can be applied throughout the year.

The two most crucial elements for successful angling are timing and the importance of location. Even with the best bait and rigs, without being in the right place at the right time, your efforts may be futile.

Locating carp during the colder months can be challenging. Several factors can either work in your favor or against you. These include the size of the lake, stock, depth, climate, angling pressure, bait restrictions, club or syndicate rules, and the ever-present factor of “time”. All these factors can either increase or decrease your chances of getting bites.

Keeping things as simple as possible is essential. Here are five basic rules I follow for winter fishing:

  1. Observation
  2. Listening
  3. Feeling
  4. Tight Lines and Angles
  5. Pre-Baiting


Staying alert and keeping a keen eye out is crucial! Even a minor sighting can contribute to a larger understanding. Look for the obvious signs – shows, bubbling, and cleared areas that indicate fish activity. Also, pay attention to what others are catching, as fish tend to stay localized, meaning they won’t move far if they’re comfortable.

Importance of Location


As we transition into Autumn and the clocks adjust, so do the patterns of carp showing. It seems that the lake comes alive after dark. Although it’s challenging to see the shows in the dark, our hearing tends to compensate for the lack of vision, making us more attuned to the slightest sounds. Sometimes, it can be beneficial to not set up before dark (unless there’s obvious evidence), and let the carp reveal their location. By walking around and listening for shows, you can gain an advantage.


Using a bare lead on a braided line rod, you can feel the areas of the lake bed that the fish visit regularly. It’s not about clean, bumpy gravel areas. It’s about soft, clean, odorless silty areas rich in naturals.

Importance of Location

Once you find these zones, the carp won’t be far away. Also, when it’s cold and the fish start to group together, casting around with a light lead can help you feel it drop through the layers and locate the carp in higher stocked venues. A few casts in each swim as you walk around the lake might just lead you to bump into one on the way down, revealing their location.

Tight Lines and Angles:

Fishing a reasonable distance out into the lake with tight lines can not only provide a chance of a bite but also give you an indication if the carp are moving around. If they are, you’ll receive liners, allowing you to bring your rig in and recast shorter. If the liners continue, repeat the process until they stop. It’s a simple, old-fashioned method, but it works!


When all other strategies fail and you need a reliable backup, consider consistently baiting one or two areas, this always provides the chance to fish in spots that have been baited before.

I’m not suggesting massive amounts, I’m referring to a frequent but small quantity. The birds and fish will provide all the information you need about your baited spot. If birds are continuously diving in that area, the bait is still present, and you haven’t had any bites from the fish. Conversely, fizzing and a change in feel on the spots will indicate that they are being visited.

Importance of Location

Importance of location: I’m convinced that after three or four visits you start to form an image of where the fish are located, if you start to receive regular bites from a specific area, keep trying your luck, if it’s not broken don’t fix it! But trust your instincts and confidence is crucial, for pinpointing the right location. Once found, the fish can often be caught.

In January, I embarked on a small campaign on a local club ticket water, which I estimate is 6 to 7 acres, with a large population of fish, varying depths and high pressure. There’s a 45lb plus common in there, which can be like finding a needle in a haystack. So, location was crucial. I took all my factors into account and saw another angler catch it. I was sure due to the time of year it wouldn’t move far as it was content there. I started to fish in that area, when I could get in there. And sure enough…. The rest is history…. 45lb 15oz of pristine UK Common.

Enjoy your winter campaigns folks, catch a big one! ~ Jim Chisnall