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01 Aug 2016
by CARPology
The key to consistent peak summer success
We asked the pro's 'What's the key to consistent peak summer success?' and this is what they said...

01 Rob Hughes: Little and often

“Be adaptable. Look around for them and try different tactics rather than just boilies on the bottom. Look for chances to stalk fish. Might they be on the surface, under the scum in the corner, tucked away under a tree. They tend to feed little-and-often through the summer and sometimes will have a morsel stuck in front of them but won’t get on a bed of bait until dark. Somewhere on the pond in front of you there will be a fish that wants to pick up your hookbait. You just need to locate it and that’s a damn sight easier in the summer than winter.”

02 Ian Poole: Be flexible

“I think the key to being consistent through the summer months is to simply stay flexible in your tactical approach and be fully prepared to up-sticks in order to stay on the fish. Sitting in one swim for the duration of the session can still work well at times but once spawning is over with, the carp usually spread out a lot more and because of this the big hits are not so easy to come by. However, this does open up loads of opportunities for the angler who is willing to stay mobile and nick out the odd fish from here and there using stalking and floater tactics.”

03 Leon Bartropp: Look at the quiet areas

“There are many factors that I would count as the key elements to consistent summer success, but amongst those I would probably rate being adaptable and being prepared for every situation that may arise as the most important. As the long, hot summer days are upon us there are always chances to nick a bonus fish when all around are soaking up the rays. The fish will find a quiet area to settle for the day or they maybe scooting around in the margins in a swim where there is no pressure. Go have a good walk around and when you find the fish it may just be a case of lowering a small bag or single hookbait in their path or it maybe that they look up for a floater, so be mobile, be prepared and look for those opportunities.”

04 Simon Crow: Go stalking

“By now the carp will be well aware of angling pressure and very particular about what they pick-up. In the day especially, they will spend lots of time resting and soaking up the sun so stalking and surface fishing will work very well. Don’t try to rush things because the fish will be very spooky, if they don’t want to feed, don’t push it by casting too much or firing out too much bait near to them, they will sample in their own time. The summer can be very rewarding and certainly singles out the working anglers from those who rely on the luck of sitting and waiting.”

04 Julian Cundiff: Don't burn out

“Forget all the stuff about water temperature, angling pressure and the like, as the key to being consistent in summer is to actually go fishing! With more and more anglers kicking off their season in March, come mid-summer a lot ‘blow out’ due to ‘too-much-too-soon’ fishing. Add to that the recession and need to grab work when you can, the Olympics, football, kids holidays and assorted events that happen in summer, a lot of lads find a lot of reasons not to go and many are just excuses due to the fishing being slower. If you want to be consistent you should aim to go every week and at worst visit the water every week. Sure there maybe times when you can’t do your usual type of fishing you’d like but a bit of stalking or floater fishing can come up trumps. Miss a week or two of fishing in the summer and you definitely won’t be consistent.”

06 Ian Chillcott: Be ready

“Versatility is the word for success in the summer without doubt. Even on the hottest of days carp are catchable. You can sit looking at your matching set of rods all day but they are probably not going to do anything until the early hours of the morning. Shady margin areas are spots where carp will head to and are likely to feed in, so go and have a look. Armed with a rod of course, because the chance may not be there by the time you get back! Be prepared to fish on the surface, floaters rule at this time of year. Zigs will also produce fish when fished on or near the surface. In fact, just about everything works at this time of year, you just have to be prepared to take advantage of the situations as they arise.”

07 Nigel Sharp: Be adaptable

“In my mind the key to remaining consistent during the summer months is no different to any other time of year and being able to adapt to whatever situation the carp throw at me is the way forward. Obviously during the summer months other styles of angling such as floater fishing and stalking have to come into play so when they do, I won’t sit still and let opportunities pass me by. You could call this being a jack-of-all-trades and a master at none, but to me those extra few fish banked whilst nothing else is happening speaks volumes.”

08 Nick Maddix: Dedication catches more

“The key to success in my opinion is dedication. The more time/effort and fishing hours you put in, the more fish you’ll catch – simple as that! Use a quality bait that you have faith in and keep applying this to the areas you are likely to fish of an evening or night. Whether time is limited or not, be pro-active, get on the fish rather than hoping they’ll swim to you and having two or three different baited areas for the evenings/nights can up your chances of getting on feeding fish. When angling pressure is high you’ll often find swims that get ignored day-in, day-out will produce some unexpected results!
“Last but not least: don’t be afraid to fish all rods on Zigs! Zig fishing with just one rod doesn’t do this method justice; fish at different depths until you get the bites then change all rods to the same depth. When bites are near-on impossible to come by on scorching hot days, Zigs have saved a blank many a time.”

09 Mat Wood: Fish like it's winter

“Consistency and summer are polar opposites in my experience! Flexibility is crucial because the goalposts can change all the time. Natural food blooms, weed explosions and a lack of wind means that summer fishing can often be terrible, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve done well in summer by fishing like it was winter, rather than trying to force feed fish that aren’t interested. Zigs, singles, little patches – they’re all well worthy of consideration. Take each day on its merits basically and look to fish new clear areas, not the old ones. The fish will be creating new spots all the time, away from the pressured, obvious ones.”

10 James Turner: Find the feeding spots

“Very tricky question, as by its nature summer fishing can be so dependent on spawning, the weather etc. I have found the key is to find the feeding spots, although they spend the heat of the day sat in the weed/snags/lilies, they will come out to feed so finding that zone whether they visit it midnight or 4am will result in constant and consistent fishing. Then of course to floater fish or stalk them for the remaining time can buy bonus bites.”

11 James Armstrong: Shallow water

“The key to summer success is being in the right spot at the right time. Weather conditions play a huge part in summer fishing but on roasting hot days never neglect the shallows. I consistently caught big carp through the summer of 2011 in around 3-4ft of water amongst weedbeds. It’s amazing how shallow a big fish will feed. However, when a summer weather front comes in, keep your eyes peeled because it could all change.”

12 John Elmer: Turn to the particles

“Summer can always prove tricky at some point. This can be down to high pressure and sweltering heat. But there are ways around this. As I’ve said before, this is when the margins can come in to their own. The main feature in any lake is the marginal shelf: it’s a carp’s natural patrol route. As long as you can keep your eyes peeled and get some bait/particle up on the marginal shelf, i.e. it’s shallowest part you should start to pick-up some bites. Yet again it’s all about prepping the area and building up their confidence.”

13 Ben Hamilton: Pellets in the margins

“I think the best way to be more consistent in the warmer weather is to use more particles, what with nuts, hemp and corn normally pulling in a few more extra bites as the fish seem to go through a stage of taking a liking to this approach once the water is really warm. Also I find that the fish do really like pellets on the warm shallow ledges around the lake and if you are allowed to climb a few trees then this is a massive edge as when you’re higher up you can see all the nice little glow spots that need a rod on.”

14 Elliott Gray: Get up early

“Personally, I think the key to success is versatility. With the weather being so warm and the fish having recently spawned, they will be getting about the lake. The heat doesn’t exactly result in the best fishing ever but there are always opportunities in one form or another and being prepared for properly will help you put fish on the bank when you otherwise wouldn’t. Whether it’s Zigging, floater fishing, stalking or early morning moves/recasts, these little tweaks to your standard bait and wait approach WILL catch you extra carp.”

15 Duncan Maclean: Location is key

“As always, location is critical for consistent summer success. I’m forever reeling in and going for a wander when things don’t seem right. Spending time walking the lake with the polaroids on and climbing a few trees can tell you so much more than just sitting in your swim for hours on end. Understanding the carp’s daily habits and movements is crucial. You may well be in a good area for fishing the night, but where do the carp go for the days? Be mobile and fish effectively for the whole time you’re on the bank!”

16 Oli Davies: Don't forget the mixers

“In order to keep catching when the weather is hot, you need to vary your tactics a little to keep the bites coming. The fish will favour the shallow water, so concentrate your efforts here. On deeper lakes, this is when the margin fishing can be at its best, as the fish are attracted to the shallower water. Of course, floater and Zig fishing should never be neglected and it is always worth carrying a bucket of Mixers. Quite often when the fish are on the surface this is the only way to get bites, while others around you are blanking fishing on the bottom.”

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