Everyone getting into carp fishing wants the secret bait mix to land more fish. Most people don’t realize that the most expensive boilies and dips on the most expensive rod doesn’t mean you’re going to be landing more fish. Having some basic gear that you know works will allow you to work on your rigs and presentation without wasting a ton of money on those expensive baits.
1. Get Carp Looking For Food
The only way to get carp to bite is if they’re in the area. Trying to follow a patrol around a lake can be difficult on a good day, even for people with experience. Bringing them into the area you’re fishing can mean days of action without moving to a different swim.
1.1 Area/Swim Baiting
This technique is used to get carp into a feeding frenzy. Lowering their guard and increasing the chance of a runner. Think things that dissolve in the water like oatmeal or creamed corn. Chili Powder is a great addition to really kick up the smell for them.
Baiting this way creates a large area of oils in the water that the carp will smell, but there isn’t anything around to eat. This keeps the carp around and looking for the food on your rig.
1.2 PVA Bags
A PVA bag is a fast-dissolving plastic bag that you can put bait in to keep it around you hook. When filled with your hooklink, sinker, and a bit of oatmeal it will sink to the bottom before dispersing a cloud of food around your bait. To make a bigger cloud, leave a longer link with your weight outside of the bag. This will allow the bag to float over the sinker before breaking down and dispersing over a larger area as the water carries it.
Another good tip is to use small seeds, nuts, or cooked maize.
2. Sharpen Your Hooks
Sharp hooks can be the difference between blanking for the day or having 2 runners before your third rod is in the water. It doesn’t matter how great your rig is or what bait you put down if the hook won’t catch their lip. A “sticky-sharp” hook will grab your skin just by dragging it over your hand.
Using a fine ceramic stone, you can shave away at the extra material to make the hook-point much finer. Many have a small barb from the manufacturing process that make it much harder to get a good set on your hook. Even just getting rid of the imperfections at the end of the hook can make a huge difference in your catch rate.
3. Leave Your Rods Alone
You spent all of that time learning how to tie new rigs and use different baits, now it’s time to let them do their job. This can also be a great time to tie more rigs and get ready for a runner. Learning to have some faith in your rig, and deploying it properly means you aren’t re-casting every 10-15 minutes and scaring the fish out of the area.
Increase the drag on the line before your PVA bag hits the water by dragging your index finger after you cast. This will help to prevent tangles and snags under the surface where you can’t see what happened.