Summer Stalker Approach- How To Catch Carp Using This Technique
At this time of year, opportunities during the day when fishing out in open water are often few and far between; with many of the carp moving into the shallows and using the weed beds to soak up any much-needed oxygen.
Instead of sitting behind motionless rods during the daylight hours, it certainly pays to get up and get on the move, looking for those marginal areas that will give you the best chance of a bite.
On many clear gravel pits, the margins can be the best place to find fish throughout the warm hours of daylight, with the warming water often pushing them in close to the bank. These areas are often overlooked at this time of year, but with a little thought and observation, you can certainly reap the rewards when fishing the margins during the early summer period.
This mini feature highlights some important factors that are well worth taking into account when undergoing this style of angling, along with a special mix I have been using for a number of seasons to trip up those wary margin feeders.
Spot choice plays a big part when tracking down and trying to catch carp at close quarters and this is often dictated by observation and learning the habits of the carp. There is no substitute to watching, in fact, most of my days are spent observing with very little time actually have a rig in the water.
When it comes to spot choice, I do favour the more ‘polished’ areas where the carp have clearly fed on previously. You can usually pick out these areas in the margins, as they are generally lighter in colour where the carp have sifted and moved any debris and silt. A good pair of polaroids will help you to determine exactly where these are. I have also found that smaller ‘polished’ spots can be more effective, especially if they are surrounded by slightly dirtier, choddy lakebed. These are those ‘hotspot’ than are great for carefully lowering rigs into position on, ensuring any leader and line is trailing over the surrounding sediment for ultimate concealment.
It pays to find and fish areas that provide a degree of cover, allowing you to watch the fish feed and monitor the rig and hookbait while being out of sight. Staying well back from the spot also ensures that there are no alien noises that scare the fish off when feeding and risk spooking fish with your shadow on the water.
Also be wary that when fishing to snags or overhanging trees to fish safely, fish welfare is paramount and you need to be able to safely hook and land those carp once hooked.
Polaroids are an absolute must, in fact, if I had left home without them, I would have to go back. They allow you to clearly see into the depths, which is important on bright glary days where spotting fish without them can be particularly challenging. I opt for amber lenses, with good all- round polarisation throughout the day and into the evening.
From the years I have been stalking, I have noticed that the fish approach and feed much more confidently on chopped baits as opposed to round boilies. In some circumstances, I have seen them eat boilie chops and completely avoid the round baits, which has basically convinced me to fish with chopped baits when fishing at close quarters. Also, on many venues, you will find that fish feed with a great deal more caution when close to the bank, so by chopping up your baits and building their confidence, you are more likely to covert bites by shy feeding fish.
Chopped and crumbed baits also go a lot further than whole baits, by crushing them up in your hands, you are creating lots of different sizes of items which in turn generates a stronger feeding response with the carp less likely to be able to differentiate between sizes and your hookbait.
Each component of the mix works effectively to add a unique dimension in order to increase attraction. The small pellets break down quickly, releasing a plume of cloudiness into the water column. The Krill Micromass breaks down slowly, releasing distinctive fishy oils that draw fish down onto the baited spot. The mix is perfect for stalking throughout the warmer months of the year, creating a burst of attraction from the moment it is introduced!
Single Rodding it
For many of the spots I choose to fish at close quarters, one rod is all you need and all you can often physically get away with fishing, especially if the spots are small and tricky to get into.
A shorter rod will significantly make things easier, especially when playing fish and lowering rigs into position; plus you can focus all of your attention on getting that one rod perfect, as opposed to struggling with multiple spots and rods. The one rod approach also means I can travel light, staying mobile and covering ground around the lake in search of feeding fish.
The key to effective stalking is being in the right place at the right time; quite often, rods are only in the water for short periods before a bite and it pays to keep lapping the lake and watching spots until you have found them feeding in one area.
Where safe to do so, getting a better vantage of the lakebed and moving fish from a tree will significantly improve your watercraft and ability to act on signs. Trees allow you to see directly into the water column, meaning you can pick out spots and watch fish moving between areas. If climbing trees.
Always consult with the fishery owner first to get permission and also ensure you have suitable footwear and any trees that you climb are safe to do so. Do not climb trees in wet weather, as they can be seriously slippy and dangerous.
My edge fishing rigs are a little different to the ‘norm’ I would say, being longer in length than most anglers who fish at close range on clean spots. I have generally found that a slightly longer link can trip up the bigger fish, who normally suck at baits from further distances than smaller fish.
If I have a number of fish feeding on a spot, I would always where possible try to single out the bigger ones and I have found a longer hooklink can be the way to achieve this.
Your hookbait is also a crucial aspect of your arrangement when you are fishing and being as subtle and discreet as possible is certainly the way to go. For me, I want my hookbait to looks exactly the same as my free offerings; a whittled down Pacific Tuna hookbait is the way to go! These perfectly mimics what I am feeding in terms of shape, size and weight; key to tripping up those wary feeding fish!
So, if you are looking to get some stalking in this summer, here are a few points I would advise to maximise your chances out on the bank! Get out there and be lucky…