Carp Fishing Articles

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Catch more river carp part 3

River Thames, Hampton Court to Kingston upon Thames

The Hampton Court stretch of the river Thames is perhaps one of the most well known amongst carp anglers. With so many visitors, if you are an angler walking over the bridge it is hard not to stop and take a look over towards the palace and the river below.

During the summer months once the rivers are open you will often see bivvies all along this stretch which can make it a little off-putting to those looking for a quiet tucked away river swim. But there have been numerous reports of carp up to 30 lb from this stretch, usually being caught from the near-bank marginal drop off and in-line with the furthest bridge support when casting towards the palace bank.

This is a very wide section of river with lots of tourists who sometimes stop along the palace bank to feed any passing swans and ducks, so not only is there the angler’s bait, but also the bread used to feed the ducks that sinks to the bottom.…

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Catch more river carp part 2

In part 1 of this series we took a look at pre-baiting for river carp, baiting methods and location. But once you have been baiting a spot for a few weeks or even longer, what happens when you come to want to fish the spot? What happens to the baiting technique, what gear do you need on the bank and what rigs should you be using to catch after all your hard work in baiting? In the second article in the series we will look at answering all of these questions.

Tackle requirements for powerful river carp

Rods, reels and mainline:

When it comes to choosing your rod and reel setup, as well as the breaking strain of the mainline and end tackle it’s worth being aware of how much harder a river carp can pull compared to many of those found in stillwaters. As the carp have had to survive floods and fight against the current on a daily basis and may never have seen a hook before, if they do get hooked the chances are they will bolt a lot harder than stillwater fish that may be more used to being hooked.…

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Catch more river carp part 1

Why rivers?

For some the answer to this question is the same attraction that draws anglers who fish big windswept, low stocked pits year after year. Unlike many commercial waters today, when it comes to rivers many of the fish you see and catch would never have seen a hook before, and are very unlikely to be named fish. The added fight of a river carp report is also often much stronger due to the constant fight against the current, particularly in larger rivers such as the Thames.

As well as the attraction of large and uncaught carp, there is also the knowledge that because there is often such a variety of areas to fish and a high number of places to setup a bivvy next to many rivers, which means you will rarely see a busy bank side. Contrary to some commercial waters where you may need to queue at the gate from 5am or earlier to get your favourite spot or even get onto your chosen lake, with rivers you can almost certainly turn up at any point throughout the week and most weekends to find a selection of likely looking swims available to you.…

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Surface fishing for specimen carp part 2

Hook choice

Possibly the most important aspect of surface fishing is the hook choice. The Fox Series 2b pattern is ideal for fishing in open water on lighter rigs in the fine version as you shouldn’t need to put too much pressure on the hook hold with no snags around.

For even more delicate fishing, try the Mustad Long Point in sizes as small as 16. These can be much more effective both when fishing for carp that are extremely shy and when fishing for smaller carp on commercial pools.

Some of our favourite YouTube clips of surface fishing and feeding carp


Hookbait choice, preparation and mounting

Surface baits comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. These can range from floating dog biscuits and bread, to dedicated floater fishing baits such as buoyant trout pellets and pop-ups.

The two most important things to consider when choosing a hookbait are how easily you can match your hookbait to the free samples you are feeding, and how to mount your bait on the hook in a way that it won’t stand out from the free samples.…

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Surface fishing for specimen carp part 1

Surface fishing has to be one of the most exciting forms of fishing there is, particularly when looking to catch a large carp. Carp will often be seen patrolling the surface layers in warmer weather. As soon as they start moving around the water in this upper water layer they become much easier to locate, and can often be seen just inches from the bank basking in the sun or sheltering in the shade of overhanging cover such as lily pads or trees.

This article takes a look at every aspect of surface fishing for carp, from location to hook choice and even the best ways to mount a variety of baits on the hook to keep the carp from spooking.

Which weather conditions are best for surface fishing?

Periods of high pressure will often bring the carp up in the water layers, but it makes a big difference when the sun is out as well.…

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