'Ditch the marker'
“Mobility and location are a huge part of my fishing and it’s never more important than in the spring. The fish will be uber active after their winter slumber and they’ll be actively moving about in search of quick and easy meals. If you can stay in touch with this fact, you can get bites quickly by simply fishing singles or bags once you’ve found them and that eliminates the need to be carrying bags and bags of boilies or buckets of unnecessary spod mix.”
'Ignore the weather'
“My number one tip for spring is to ignore the weather. Once carp wake from their winter slumber they will be investigating the whole lake on the search for food. Even on the coldest spring days they can be found in their summer haunts.”
'The best weed is...'
“Try to locate areas of fresh weed growth (bright green). The best two types that I have found are Canadian and the eelgrass variety. Drag an old rig across the spot to help pick up strands of weed.”
'Keep your eyes peeled'
“Keep your eyes and ears on the water at all times. In the early spring the carp can have very short spells where they show themselves, so there might be 20 shows in 15 minutes, but then nothing for the rest of the day.”
'Go shallow, particularly in the sun'
“The water warms from the surface down so deep water is a no, no in spring. When the sun is out, go shallow or get the Zigs up in the water and reap the rewards.”
'Keep the noise down'
“As ever, when you’re by the bank you should make as little noise as possible for the sake of the fishing and of course the other anglers. In spring this is really important as the fish will not be ‘used to it’ and so in turn will have a greater effect on your results.”
'Different areas for different times of day'
“In spring I have always found it worth my while to fish the shallower areas on warmer days then move swims with access to deeper water a couple of hours into dark. A perfect swim will have both deep and shallow areas that receive long hours of sun.”
'Fish the margins'
“Just because we are increasingly encouraged to fish at range these days, spring is the time to fish the biggest feature of any lake: the margins. Warm water and a plentiful natural food supply make it the ideal place to concentrate our efforts.”
“Water temp-eratures take much longer to change than air so even though the weather has been warm for a while the water may still be at its winter temperatures so tactics need to take account of this. The sun produces ‘radiant energy’ and this energy, when absorbed by water, turns into ‘thermal energy’ producing localised warm spots. Depending on how much direct sunlight a piece of water gets will obviously affect this. Carp are prone to moving into shallower areas quite quickly in spring just so they can search out these warmer, more comfortable areas as well as moving up in the water for the same reason.”
'Look at the wind and the sun'
“Location – and that requires being aware of the wind and the sun. Carp will avoid the chilling effects of cold winds and also, as the sun gets high in the sky it has more potential to warm the water, so carp will seek out those areas where the sun is most effective and/or where cold winds have the least effect. So that is my location sorted, now what tactic?”
'You'll find them here...'
“The spring is when everything comes to life. The carp will begin to show themselves a little but where you’ll find them is where the weed growth is starting to sprout.”
'Head for the weed'
“Although weed is something a lot of anglers avoid, spring is the best time to target and fish in it. Much of the carp’s natural food will be active now and the emerging weed is where much of it will be hiding. The carp will invariably capitalise on this, therefore for it would make sense for us to do the same!”