The buzz of stepping onto a low stock water or one that doesn’t have much information about it is what circulates my blood for carp fishing. However, many busy day ticket waters hold some breathtaking carp of their own. Due to the short sessions spent on these waters and minimal people doing campaigns, the pictures of these fish are publicised more than private or syndicate waters, making these certain carp viewable with a click of a mouse or a flick of a page. As you can imagine and have probably witnessed time and time again, people tend to turn up for a 48 hour session and put in as much bait as they brought (usually boilies) and just sit there until their time is up hoping that one will come there way! These pressured day ticket water carp have seen it all before and they know what a bed of bait looks like and how to avoid it. The bait will get eaten eventually in most cases due to the greedy nature of certain carp, however they may take up to a week to even take their first mouthful.
Outwitting these creatures of habit can be difficult and sometimes you can try every trick you know but it still doesn’t work. Sometimes the smallest things can make a difference, the hook size and size of hook baits are my favourite thing to tweak. When approaching these waters you should always pay attention to certain things about the carp that may give away clues as to how they feed and what sort of type & size hookbaits will work best. Heavily fished and pressured waters hold carp that have been caught a fair few times in their life and unfortunately they will occur signs of damaged mouths due to hook holds over the years. This is another reason why looking at your hook bait size can be affective. If a carp has a smaller mouth it’s not going to take a 20mm boilie tipped with corn very easy. I tend to use 13-14mm NS1+ pop ups and trim them down to give them a un-uniform edge and then cork them with 6mm cork ¾ way through the bait. Corking the bait also gives a massive advantage for buoyancy and also the way the bait goes into the carps mouth, usually hooking dead centre about 2 inches back!
Just because the banks are usually busy on most day ticket waters doesn’t mean you should just slot into the first swim available, in fact carp tend to swim in groups and groups tend to follow other groups and this is when you find the areas where they are usually holding up in numbers. Carp tend to give themselves away a little more during later evenings and early mornings. I tend look for the obvious signs to start with, such as carp in the upper layers or showing fish. If nothing is visual then try a few other things like the wind direction and temperature on the face of it. A massive give away and one that is over seen by 90% of anglers is how the birds are acting on the lake. If you find that the birds and ducks are flying short distances from spot to spot this usually means that there are carp underneath them and are spooking the birds and making them move about and act uneasy on the surface. In the warmer months look for swallows and gulls swooping down and picking at the surface, this usually means that there has been a fly hatch and everything on the pond will want to feed on it! Naturals are a carps’ favourite meal in most cases, they thrive on what grows and lives amongst the stands of weed nestled on the lakebed between the pressured spots.
I hardly ever tend to use whole boilies unless I’m using a throwing stick for a spread of bait. I like to crush my baits by hand to give them all a different size and presence. I also am a big fan of mixing baits, Pacific Tuna and Odyssey XXX being my favourite at the moment, adding some small bits like pellet and hemp covered in some Pacific Tuna boilie dip to add more to the meal. This gives yet another edge to the chances of getting a bite, keep em guessing and they will soon slip up! It’s all about the percentages…
© Copyright: The images used in the article contained on this website are property of the angler(s)and this blog, you may not use, copy or publicise any image on this website without prior consent from the angler or CC Moore & Co Ltd.
Buy products listed in this article