Carp Specialist UK
CARPology Features
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Can that really be true?!

Think everything you hear is correct? Think again. We spoke to some people who know a thing or two about carp to see where we’re going wrong…

A. ‘I’ve found the thermocline’

“Anglers talk about thermoclines in the UK but the reality is that they don’t exist in most lakes,” points of our underwater pal, Rob Hughes. “To have a proper thermocline you need really deep water, and quite frankly, we don’t fish lakes with water that deep over here. There are hot and cold patches, and there will be parts of the lake that are warmer than others due to wind movement, warmer water being held up by weed, sun being reflected back over gravel and warmer silt patches, but as for proper thermoclines, I have only really ever dived in one, and that was at Bundy’s in spring. Bloody freezing it was too.”

B. ‘Carp know what food is good for them’

“I’ve heard it, read it and yet experienced or witnessed hundreds of captures that would point towards the contrary,” states Korum’s Brand Manager, Mat Woods. “On the majority of waters I’ve fished in the last 10 years, all the bigger fish get caught more often on single hookbaits, Zigs, bits of rubber and nutritionally useless baits like maggots and casters. If they do know ‘what’s good for them’, then they must be as obstinate as humans. I should eat salad and drink carrot juice but I don’t. If a bait passes the acid test and catches me a fish, I’ll keep using it - it’s as simple as that really.”

C. ‘Feathering will outstretch a soft hooklink’

Lewis Read grins: “This is one that some people still believe: that by feathering a cast the hookbait and a soft hooklink will be outstretched as it hits the surface and will also settle like that on the lakebed. How?! Yes, the feathering will ensure the hooklink and lead land with maximum separation (avoiding tangles) but as the lead plummets through the water dragging the hookbait with it the same won’t be true as the lead hits the bottom and the soft hooklink lands on and crumples around the lead. But that leaves another question: is this a bad thing? Probably not really…”

D. ‘Superglue scares carp, fella’

“When I first started carp fishing I must admit I was not too au faye with knots and the like and always superglued knots no matter where they were in the set-up,” reveals carp fishing’s most open and honest angler, Julian Cundiff. “I then started to read up on bait, aminos and the like and a very ‘revered’ bait boffin of the day stated that superglue was a repellent to carp as they could identify it just as easy as they could detect a strawberry flavour etc. So no more superglue and I tried all sorts of things to replicate it. I had knots slip, the lot… duhhhh… And then I went fishing with Andy Little at Willow Park and watched him glue rock hard chummies to the back of Drennan Super Specialist 12s, cast out and catch immediately. And he was very liberal with the glue. From that day on it has never bothered me again and I carefully dab most knots with it and still catch a lot carp.”

E. ‘Carp spook off big beds of bait’

“What a load of old rubbish!” laughs carp vetaron and Solar boss, Martin Locke. “Whenever has anyone witnessed a carp swimming along, seeing the baited area, thinking to himself, ‘Oh no, that’s too much food, I’d better do the off as quickly as I can!’ I
think not.

“Sure, there are times when too much is going to slow the takes down, maybe 20kg in January/February won’t do you much good, but as for spooking off because there’s too much?! Carp spend their lives swimming about and eating; conditions denote just how much he/she eats and for how long he/she feeds for. If Mr. Carp has been seem quickly vacating the area, I would guess that it’s something other than the bait that causes this reaction.”

F. Joe Morgan

“Big hooks need big baits… What a load of rubbish,” laughs Joe Morgan. “I’ve been using a size 4 with an 8mm pop-up loads over the last few years and it’s not done my fishing any harm. It’s all about the balancing and a lethally sharpened hook!”

G. ‘You must present your bait on a clear spot’

“I’ve been told, or read, much advice that has turned out, in my experience, to be false, misguided or incongruous,” jokes regular CARPology contributor, Matt Eaton. “Bottom baits are the way to go.”… I’ve caught loads more on pop-ups. “Mainline Baits boilies don’t work on here.”… They certainly did work on there. “Singles are only effective in the winter/spring.”… Wrong again.

“I should think the biggest piece of misinformation I’ve come across is that we must all look for and present our baits on clear spots. What a load of claptrap! When I stopped being obsessed about searching for a proper drop and began fishing in the weed I started to get a lot more bites. Of course carp can be caught from the blatant clear areas but they feel more comfortable, spend more of their time and are more prone to making a mistake in amongst the green stuff. It’s where they find all manner of natural food but a lot of anglers aren’t confident and think that their presentation is compromised unless they feel the classic ‘donk’. Find yourself a method where you can fish in the weed effectively - it’s a massive edge.”

H. ‘That swim doesn’t produce’

“Well, my misconception is a localised one, but I have heard it on so many lakes and it always makes me smile. It’s when the bailiff or a self-proclaimed ‘lake’s top rod’ tells me that, “You won’t catch a carp from that swim, they get in there but won’t feed.” This swim is normally tight, uncomfortable and a good trek from the car park. As soon as I hear this I’m straight over with a marker rod to find a nice spot or two and give it a bit of pre-bait, safe in the knowledge that no one else will fish it and the fish aren’t too wary about getting caught in there. Then it’s just a case of reaping the rewards until everyone cottons on to how productive this area can be and it
gets fished to death!”

I. ‘You’ll only catch from gravel spots’

“As a kid, I remember one bloke waffling on about how you will only really catch carp from gravel areas,” explains Cypography owner, Elliott Gray. “Now don’t get me wrong, gravel offers a wonderful option when targeting carp but it’s certainly not the only place you’re going to catch them from. However, with my newly found ‘top tip’ I spent the next few sessions trying to find gravel, in a lake that turned out to hold almost none. Mr.-Know-It-All just thought he knew it all, when in actual fact I don’t think he had a clue how to even dictate what gravel felt like or not. He was most probably just trying to come across like a real pro in front of poor old me, the beginner that at the time was still trying to create Hair rigs!”

J. Simon Crow

“The biggest load of rubbish spouted in carp fishing is those anglers telling folk they shouldn’t fish somewhere because the carp are ‘imports’ or the ‘fish don’t count’,” says Simon Crow. “Go fishing for yourself and enjoy the memories.”