Surface Fishing For Carp !
Surface Fishing For Carp !
One of my favorite ways of fishing for carp is to catch them "off
This means to catch carp using floating baits on the surface film
of the water.
The types of baits you can use are endless but of course they must
float. Breakfast serials such as sugar puffs ect , work quite well
but have the disadvantage of being light so you cant catapult them
very far ( especially on a windy day !)
The most popular bait and probably one of the best is bread.
This is a good option when there are no small fish around as they
will peck the bread off the hook in no time at all. Sometimes
stealth is needed to get a large carp so if you are always recasting
to replace the bread this will spook the fish.
Another option is "floater cake" . This is a boilie mix with baking
soda added to make a sponge like cake. By adjusting the consistency
you can make it quite hard but will still be buoyant.
By far the best type of bait to use are various pet foods (purina ,
pedigree chum ect ) Before buying a large sack check the size of
the pellets and that they do float.
The problem with these types of baits is they are rock hard so how
do you put them on the hook. What you need is a knife and some
superglue (carp anglers friend !) . You cut a groove in the dog buscuit
just deep enough so the shank of the hook will lie in it then superglue
the hook to the buscuit.
It takes about five minutes to dry but will stay on for at least
30 mins in the water.
Some friends of mine have had a lot of success replacing the dog buscuit
on the hook with a piece of cork or balsa wood cut to shape.
Even with the weight of the hook and bait this is still not enough
to cast very far so you have to add weight to the line in the form
of a controller. This is a weighted float (bobber) which lets the line
run along the top of the water.
At long range this can act as an indicator when its difficult to see
Its best to have the controller set at least five foot (1.5 metres)
from the hook to avoid spooking the fish .
Sometimes the fish might even be out of the controllers casting range
so we can add a lead to the line and fish a sliding controller set-up
If carp in a water have been caught on the standard floater setups quite
a bit they can become wary of the line attached to the hook lying across the
water.In this case we can use the "Beachcaster set-up" as follows
As you can see from the diagram no line touches the water so its very
difficult for the carp to spot the hookbait from the free offerings.
In the UK some waters have banned this method as it is too good !
The best way to approach floater fishing is to build the fishes
confidence by not casting in too soon. You must keep introducing
free offerings till you get the fish feeding confidently that they
wont mind you casting a controller out.
Also this encourages other carp to join in .Its not easy to hold back
and wait while the fish are feeding but this means that you can try
and select a bigger carp.
For if you hook a carp in amongst feeding fish there is a great
explosion as all the fish are scared off . It may take a while to get
the fishes confidence back so you dont want to waste the chance on a
smaller fish. Sometimes it may seem that some people are lucky in the
size of fish they catch. With this technique you can be more selective
about the size of fish you catch . I tend to pull the bait away from
the mouth of a fish if i think its a smaller one. This tends to spook
the fish (but only a little if you do it slowly !).This is why you need
to get the fish confident so you are always in control of the situation.
With floater fishing it is best to watch the bait rather than the controller
as you will be able to strike quicker. At range if you cant see the
bait always try and wait for the line to move before you strike as you dont
want to spook the fish for no reason .
You may get a lot of swirling around the hookbait if the fish are not very
confident . You must have nerves of steel and the patience of a saint to
avoid striking before you get a "real" take. That moment of excitement is
well worth waiting for !
The sort of tackle needed for floater fishing depends on the situation
but i would tend to go for a 11-12ft through action rod of about
2 pound test curve. You need a rod that will cushion the initial
take from the fish . The first run can be stunning in its speed
and power.The line size depends on surrounding conditions. If there
are lots of trees and snags in the water nearby, you may need to bully
the fish away from these so 12-15 breaking strain would be about right
Try to use a line with lots of stretch as this will adsorb a lot of the
power of the fish.
If conditions allow use a lighter breaking strain , especially for
the hooklength as this is less likely to turn the carp away.
Hook size and pattern are important , dont go any larger than a
size six , as anything else will be too heavy for your floating
buscuit plus the carp may be able to see and feel it and spit
the bait out. The pattern i use are Drennan Super specialist size
six or eight . Dont be frightened to use small hooks as they have a
smaller gape and are really strong.
None of the fish on my web page were caught with anything larger
than a size six .You can use a standard reel as long as it has
a good drag (clutch).
The Controller can be made out of pike floats or you can use
a bubble float half filled with water to add casting weight without sinking.
Floater Fishing Conclusions
Floater fishing for carp in the UK is very strange in that some waters
are "floater waters" and others are not . This means that at some waters
the carp are not very responsive to floating baits where others they get
caught all the time. I believe its possible to catch carp off the top
at most waters but at some its very hard to be consistent.
Some anglers in the UK use floater fishing method to exception of all
others.There is no doubt that floater fishing is one of the most
exciting ways of catching carp . There is nothing like the excitement
of watching a big carp approach your bait .
Floater fishing can be considered as another method that can be used
when the situation arises. Floater fishing can turn a bad day into
a good day.
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