Catching Carp from the Surface

Catching carp off the top of a water's surface can be one of the best ways to catch good fighting carp in the summer. Actually seeing the fish take the bait can give a huge buzz, and it's very rewarding when you finally get to see the carp in the net. 

Images of floating bait rigsBait used when surface fishing


Although floater bait fishing for carp is not exactly easy. It takes some good fishing tactics to get hookable bites from the feeding carp. Ever noticed the way carp will take all the free offering without touching the hook bait?

That's usually because carp can see the end tackle, and especially the hook. The water in lakes is usually much more visible at the surface where sunlight levels easily penetrate the water. this means carp have an advantage over seeing tackle, even some fine end tackle can be visible to carp.


There are some tactics you can employ to make catching off the surface easier. One of the main things is to make sure you're camouflaging as much of the end tackle as possible. I use fluorocarbon line as much as I can, and as low breaking strain as possible. I also use an oily grease (Muscilin line grease) smoothed along the last 3 metres of the line, this helps keep the line floating on the surface reducing the chances of carp touching the line. It's also best to use a clear controller or bubble float when fishing for carp on the top. 

Hiding the hook from carp when fishing off the top

Another trick is to hide the actual hook well. I do this by adding weight to the end of the bait, this causes it to flip over so the hook point sticks out of the water, rather than underwater where it is clearly more visible. You can also hide most a the shank by clueing it into the bait itself. Hiding the hook when surface fishing is illustrated using the photos below.

Pictures showing creation of floating bait fishing rigssurface rig chum mixers
Fake mixers on surface carp rig
Fishing for carp on top surface

Using fake chum mixer to fish for carp off the top with shot weights to hide the hook.

Carp surface fishing off the top
Image creating floater rigCreate a hole to glue in shots
Glue shot to help flip rubber bait
Showing how bait turn on floating to hide hookChum bait turns to hide hook carp
Image of effective floating carp rigFishing off top with mixer carp rigs


Tactics to Catch Carp off the Top of the Surface

It is a good idea to try to get as many carp in the area feeding off the top. If they are shy then it may be because they are aware of the end tackle, for this reason it's often best to leave the rod out of the water altogether and concentrate on coaxing the fish to feed with only loose, free offerings. If you are hidden, keep quiet, and have no rod in the water, you'll be surprised at how quickly they will start to feed, especially if introduced in their "safe" areas where they hold up regularly. They are usually keen to feed simply because they are very greedy fish, thus carp are very keen to take advantage of most free food sources. When they're not feeding it can be because they're aware of the danger, but you should persevere and try to create a competitive feeding situation amongst the shoal, if you manage to start a feeding frenzy you will catch without a doubt!

Once a bunch of carp are feeding well, they lower their guard and make it easier to catch them out. 

Remember take time to get them feeding, it should never be rushed. Hide the end tackle as much as possible.


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