Tactics When Fishing for Carp Near Snags or Trees

twenty Pounder Carp caught by TreesA 20 pound common caught under a tree by some snags. The reel was kept tight and locked as I sat close to the rods ready for the action!

When fishing snags, tree lines or next to awkward features you will generally have more success if you place the rig tight under the tree coverage, or very close to the snag during the day. The reason is that many carp, especially in pressured waters, tend to hold up tight under the trees, or directly in the snags during daylight hours. This may be because there is noise and/or a disturbances, or probably due to the general angling pressure from fishermen. Whatever the reason, carp prefer to hold up in “safe” areas where they rarely get caught.

In the past, I have placed effective carp fishing rigs up to 6 feet away from hanging trees when casting to the opposite bank, and on many occasions, have not caught all day. Yet, as soon as I have managed to get the rig right under the tree, I have caught carp almost immediately. This has happened to me on numerous occasions when fishing to both snags and trees. Even when fishing against islands, I have sometimes had to cast right against the island bank in order to get action during the day. 

I would like to point out that to avoid any potential problems it's always best to try and catch carp away from any snags first. Rather than just whacking a rig right into snaggy areas at first cast. encouraging carp away from snags can be achieved by baiting up a good 6 feet or so away from the snags and let the fish come out for their food. 

A Different Story at Night

During the night time I have noticed I can relax with the accuracy. At night the carp will come out from the snags because it’s usually much quieter. This is the best time to position a rig further away from a snag feature and more into open water. 

Casting a rig away from the snags at night also gives other benefits:

1. You won’t have to struggle trying to get a rig tight under a tree in the dark

2. You get more time before the carp reaches any snag during a screaming run.

In point 1 above, it is obvious why you don’t want to be trying to cast accurately in the dark. Yes, you can use the clip, but you could still be off target either left or right, plus you wont see if it’s about to be heading for any hanging branches. Also, not fishing the “safe” spot gives it time to rest the area so fish will feel safe there during the next day.

In point 2, you have distance from the snags. At night you don’t really want a rig too close to a snag because if a fish takes it, the carp can be tied into the snag before you've even got out of the sack!

During the day it’s ok, you can lock up when fishing next to snags, and you’ll be able to stay close to the rods, so if a fish takes the bait, you’ll be in the best position to control the fish and guide it away from any snag. 


How to Play a Carp Out of Snags

Once you hook a fish among the snags, the best way to get it out is to try hold your rod up high in the air and walk backwards a little. This puts steady and constant pressure on the line and you can often pull it out of the snags before it gets chance to swim around any further objects that cause it to become tethered. But in all fairness, I think it's going to be best to get a boat out and release the fish for its own safety!

Fishing for carp in snags or other “safe” areas can be very productive if you approach it correctly. You should always think about your fishing tactics before starting a carp fishing session.

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