Scott's Tips For The Top
How do you maximise your chances in summer? Scott Lloyd shares his thoughts…
With the spring weather now well and truly here, I hope you too will be packing your surface gear, along with the usual appropriate essentials. In this feature, I’ll go through some top tips to help you catch more when you’re floater fishing: one of carp angling’s most heart-stopping tactics.
As soon as the water temperature starts to rise, carp will be on the move. They’ll head in search of the sunshine that tends to warm the shallower parts of the lake first, and they’ll spend time near the surface. Whilst people might presume that floater fishing is a tactic just for hot and sunny days, carp can also be found on, or near the top when it’s raining. Carp behaviour will alter throughout the day as light levels rise, and I’ve found from previous experience that they’re most interested first thing in the morning. I can’t emphasise enough, how important it is to keep looking until you’ve found an opportunity.
Once you’ve located fish which look like they’re up for a feed, it’s time to give them some floaters. I’ll always carry a bucket of mixed The Krill Floaters in 6 and 11mm, and I soak these in some Cap-Oil for added attraction. The 6mm baits are incredibly effective at creating a feeding frenzy, but I’ll introduce more of the larger ones to mimic my hookbait once the time comes to cast in.
Since their release, The Krill Floaters have really transformed my surface fishing - once carp get a taste for them, they just can’t help themselves! Forget your standard dog biscuits; The Krill baits are laced with various liquids and powders designed to entice and trigger carp into feeding. Only when they’re feeding with confidence, will I consider casting out a rig. If possible, I’ll feed them closer, as fish tend to push out into open water. If you start closer in, you can create a tighter area of bait with your catapult and so increase your chances of a decent hit.
Moving onto a couple of potential problems you might be faced with when fishing on the surface, we’ll first consider birdlife. Gulls can be a real pain in the backside and unfortunately, there’s no real solution, other than to feed them off. Don’t give them the real good stuff though, carry some standard dog biscuits or bread to use to get them out of the way and eventually, they’ll leave you alone. I guess the amount you’ll need will depend on how many there are flying around looking for an easy meal. Keep your cool and the time and effort you spend feeding them off will pay dividends in the long run - mind you, if you have more gulls circling than you might see in a David Attenborough seabird documentary, you could struggle!
Another factor which can be hard to cater for is the wind, and how it can cause your floaters to drift. If you add a good helping of Cap-Oil to your floaters as I’ve mentioned, it’ll help create a flat spot as your baits hit the water - and attraction levels are increased as explained.
When it comes to hookbaits, I love to ‘match the hatch’. The Krill’s Special Floater Hookbaits mimic the freebies perfectly in look, taste and smell, and so are extremely difficult to distinguish from the free offerings. The only downside is how hard it can be seeing your hookbait among the free offerings when you’re preparing to strike a taking fish! Some anglers like to let the controller do the work when they fish on the surface, but if you watch carp carefully, they’ll spit your hookbait out as soon as they sense something’s not right. If you strike as soon as they suck in the bait, you’re not giving them an opportunity to eject it, and more often than not, you’ll find yourself attached to a fish. It’s imperative though, that you keep a close eye on your hookbait and not what’s going on around it - you need to be focused as you might get only a few opportunities, especially if they’re wary.
Keep the faith
Floater fishing can be hard work and it does require a lot of patience on the part of the angler. Keep the faith though, work at it, and it’ll happen. Just think of all those hours you waste scrolling on your phone whilst laying on your bedchair when you could’ve been reeling in and looking for an opportunity instead, and consider this the next time you’re trying to make something happen.