How to Find Carp
Whether you have the perfect bait and rod or not, you cannot have a successful carp fishing trip if the areas which you are targeting contain a small amount of carp. Therefore, it is for this reason that choosing your spot is arguably the most fundamentally important factor to consider when carp angling.
One of the paradoxes of carp fishing is that the spots which many anglers develop a habit of going to, because they feel as though they are the surest locations for good fishing, often develop into being the worst places to find carp after a time. This is because carp prefer to feed in areas where they do not feel in danger, therefore the fishing hot spots will soon become useless as the carp will not feel safe enough and will move elsewhere. As a result of this, it is always a good rule to keep in mind that, if you are struggling to find an area dense with carp, you should consider giving the spots a go where no one else is fishing.
Signs of feeding
There are certain signs to look for when you arrive at the water in order to locate the best spots to focus on for the day. These signs will be certain movements in the water which indicate that carp may be feeding there such as rolling, crashing and swirls of movement on the surface or bubbles moving along the waters. It helps to bring a set of binoculars for this process in order to see these small signs more clearly. If you look closely you may be able to see carp jumping out of the water in the areas which are not heavily targeted for fishing.
Weed beds, lily pads and rush beds
As mentioned above, carp prefer to feed in areas where they feel safe. Consequently, a good place to find plenty of carp will be areas where vegetation offers them the feeling of security and protection, such as around weed beds, lily pads and rush beds. Furthermore, these areas usually contain plenty of food for the carp, meaning that there is always likely to be a comparatively high number there.
Unfortunately, these areas do come with the downside of difficulties regarding clear hook bait presentation, and you will also need to try and make sure the carp does not dive down into deeper vegetation once you do have them hooked. It should be taken into account in addition that rush beds offer the carp the least protection as they will be close to the bank. So, although the area may be more accessible, it may not be as heavily populated with active and confident carp.
Once more, as was the case in the above examples, the fact that overhanging trees offer the carp the sense that they are more protected means that they will more likely group together in this area and feed freely. If overhanging trees grow berries which drop into the water then the carp may already associate the area with feeding, and so be more responsive to bait.
There are some areas such as snags which some anglers will not risk focusing on, but, as a result, these areas may offer rewards to those who are willing push themselves. Areas just to the side of snags may be full of carp that feel it is safe there because it is not heavily targeted and because they have a means of escape. If you are positioned close to your rod and use a tight line however, you should be able to pull the carp away before they have the chance to dart back down into the snags.
- Header image - carp basking in the sun at Newsham Park by Pete