1. John Kneebone
"It's all about the willingness"
“Although it’s a simple one, I believe a willingness to watch the water, until your eyes bleed, whether that’s from a tall tree, sat on a bucket or via a mooching wander about the lake, is a massive edge. Why?
Well, because it can lead to so many other little edges, all of which, I believe help me catch bonus fish. Things like switching to a heavy, fluorocarbon main line, pinned to the deck when fish can be seen visiting the margins.
Or hitting the first ‘silly-season’ boilie, feeding spell perfectly, when the carp are no longer found in the upper layer. So if you have an edge, have a think about its root cause and you may find that other such advantages will evolve.”
2. James Armstrong
"Sleep in the quiet times"
“The biggest edge is pinpointing feeding times and don’t be lazy. Last year, I wouldn’t see a carp at all during the daytime making location very difficult. However, that one show at 2am revealed their whereabouts and allowed me to gain that one, special bite. What I’m trying to say is spend as much time awake as you can, getting sleep during the quiet times. If you need to set an alarm at midnight then do it and listen for a few hours because quite often they’ll show when you’re fast asleep.”
3. Jack Brown
"Get on the zigs"
“The biggest edge for me at this time of year has to be the use of Zig Rigs. Just having the confidence to use Zig Rigs solely on all my rods is a big advantage, compared to most who usually will chuck one out on a single rod for half-an-hour or so. With spring here, fresh weedbeds will start to appear and the growth of any other vegetation will become present and with this, the first fly hatches will occur, a natural food source for the carp to feast upon. The fly hatches will drift through the lake’s water column and the carp will feed upon these in the mid- to upper-surface layers of the water. Presenting a Zig at the correct depth, the one at which the fish are present will catch those wary carp, which may be eluding other anglers who are fishing on the bottom. Hookbait-wise the most effective has to be black foam, the smallest you can get away with is definitely the better in my honest option. Alternatively, the new Nash Zig Bugs have caught their fair share of carp for me. The most important thing with Zig fishing is to be very proactive with your approach, chopping and changing the length of your hooklink and colour or size of hookbait, will most certainly get you better results, so for the best results, keep working at it. Seriously, ignore Zig Rigs at your peril!”
4. Mark Pitchers
"Use a quality bait"
“As we move into the month of May, the elevated daylight levels combined with prolonged periods of more favourable temperatures (hopefully!) ensure the carp will be feeding with a greater degree of regularity, as they continue to build up energy reserves lost during the winter and also in readiness for spawning. Using a quality bait is a big edge at any time of year, but at this point in the season, I believe it is vital! It provides the carp with a superb source of nutrition and one that I’m convinced they actively search for as a beneficial food source.”
5. Leon Bartropp
"Just six or seven baits"
“I have so many little edges that I use at this time of the year, but the one that has accounted for many fish from some difficult waters around the country is going light on the feed, even as far as using single hookbait fishing sometimes. For many years, I was under the illusion that come the spring the fish fed their heads off and I would fill it in and subsequently blank, nowadays, after learning my trade so to speak, I will often be found fishing a single, high-attract hookbait where I’ve seen fish and occasionally introduce six or seven freebies, if I feel it needed it, which isn’t too often.”
6. Lewis Read
"I love May!"
“I don’t ever seem to get loads of action in April! The nights are often clear and horribly cold and this can hold the fishing back, especially on open waters. The lovely month of May always sees a general upturn in ‘consistent’ fishing. You know what – I bloody love May! I think that being able to get out and do some work nights midweek really helps to keep me more in-tune with the waters I’m fishing. Being on the bank a little more regularly, applying a bit of bait midweek and observing the lake when there is a little less pressure puts you in pole position for the weekend as well.
The longer days and having that bit more time to watch before the darkness sets in and before having to pack up in the morning obviously helps. The fish are a little happier down on the lakebed as the warmer winds in May help turn the warm surface water over and bring the ambient temperature up so this fits nicely with trying to pick the odd bite up off of the bottom from pre-primed spots.”