Questions on Carp Fishing Methods

Below is a list of many questions asked by our visitors. These questions are generally about methods for improving carp angling approach and fishing techniques.

I have heard that washed-out carp boiles can work well. What are they?

A boilie's colour can be "washed out" if it remains in lake water for a long time. The bait slowly starts to lose its colour and turn a pale white. Some carp anglers believe that the bait may then look safer to wary carp and more likely to feed on them.

Instead of washing out the colour, you could try using white coloured boilies. This could be an effective carp fishing tactic to be used on high pressured waters that receive lots of angler's baits.


Is margin fishing for carp really an effective tactic?

Of course yes! The margins are under-fished on many lakes and therefore, carp are probably less stressed about feeding in the margins than any other area of a lake. I would say fishing the margins can be a great tactic on some waters, especially ones that have enough depth and are tree-lined.

If you have seen carp regularly visit specific areas in the edge, then it is definately worth giving edge fishing a chance. You will need to be quiet though, or possibly try to find a way to fish the next peg - if this is possible - . I have heard about some anglers to even place the lead leader on the bank so that only the hookbait and link is in the water!

You may need to watch out and prepare for other wildlife that could take your hookbait, especially if the margin is too shallow. 


What's this single boilie tactic you have suggested?

Single boilie tactics are just that, you use one hookbait but do not bait up with other freebies. It can produce some good carp catches on waters where everyone seems to be spodding or fishing for carp over big bait beds.

Remember, single boilies fly out of spod fill and drop out of catapults so they often land where there is no carp rig presence. For a wary carp, they may have learned that singles are a safer bait. A big fish that avoids capture around bait beds or on a PVA bag will immediately be drawn to a single. This is when a single baiting method can help catch out the bigger, wary carp.


How can I accurately place a pile of bait onto a small clear patch?

If you can use a bait boat, there is a method that can place bait very accurately. Use a spare rod with a small lead tied to the end, and find the clear spot by casting to it. Place the line into the reel line clip once you found the spot. Take off the lead and tie the line to the bait boat securely.

Now load the boat with bait and drive it out to the clear patch until it tightens to the line clip - remember to open the bail arm on the reel before driving the boat out. This will give you an accurate distance mark to the spot. You can use a lake's visual feature on the opposite bank to gain the horizontal marker.

Once you drop the bait then reel the boat back using the rod - this saves the battery and limits the potential tangle of loose line. Now repeat this process numerous times until the bait piles up.

If bait boats are not allowed, then do the same clip-up process with a spod. This can be difficult so try to find a spot that is less than 30 yards out. At this short distance you can be more consistant with casting. If the water is shallow, you could try wading out in chest waders but remember to get permission first. 


I have been told to pre-bait to catch big carp. Do you think pre-baiting is an effective fishing tactic?

I would say yes, it can be useful at times and definitely worth a try on heavily fished waters. If you manage to pre-bait in or around carp patrolling routes then it can work very well.

Another sort of pre-baiting method is to continue baiting the area after a fishing session so it is ready for the following week. I did this on a lake near Heathrow. I didn't catch on the first visit but spodded the remaining bait where the rigs had been. A week later I returned with a friend, but I chose to fish the next peg because I had seen carp topping. I told my friend where I had placed the bait before and he had numerous twenty pound carp within the first few hours!