As I have progressed through my angling career, I have learnt so much along the way, which has certainly helped me become more of a successful angler. With spring just around the corner the carp starting to wake up after another winter. To try and help you catch more this spring, I thought it would be good to share one of my most valuable attributes to catching more carp – speed fishing!
This entirely comes down to the enjoyment of each individual angler. Some like to pursue big target specimens, some like to go fishing and if they catch “it’s a bonus” and others like myself generally enjoy going fishing and catch as many fish as we possibly can in the time they have on the bank.
When I was a youngster at school and college, I had a lot more time on the bank, doing longer sessions and to be honest it didn’t really matter whether I got my rods out quickly or not – simply because I had all week. Since I have got older, I have competed in quite a few matches where “Speed fishing” really does make a difference and come into its own. There is a set time to accumulate as many fish as possible, so you really do need to have your rods fishing in the water for as much time possible to increase your chances of hooking and landing more fish. For many of us, our time on the bank can be somewhat limited, the majority of my pleasure angling nowadays is over nighters between work, so upon arrival I need to be prepared and make sure that I can get my rods out quickly and efficiently maximizing my chances whilst I am at the lake.
Quite often I see anglers successfully land a fish and then take what seems like a lifetime to get the rod back out again. I know it can be good practice to unhook the fish, take care of the fish and get your pictures done before thinking about getting the rod sorted again. I tend to unhook the fish in the if the fish is calm or quickly unhook the fish on the unhooking mat and keep the fish in the net in the margin for 5 minutes, whilst I quickly get your rod back out in the pond. I always use the Covert Kwik-Lok swivels, which enables me to slide the anti-tangle sleeve down the rig, unattach the hooklink from the leader allowing me to attach a new hooklink and recast whilst leaving the fish in the water for a few minutes.
I am a great believer that on heavily stocked venues, large groups of fish come into feed on our baited spots and move off quickly after clearing the area out of bait. To add to this theory it is a known fact that in different lakes and at different times of the year the fish can have short feeding windows (feeding times) and by getting your rod recast onto the spot, you will be making the most of the time that the fish are in the area. On many occasions this has resulted in me excitingly receiving another take on the same rod before even getting my camera set up for any pictures of the first capture, resulting in two fish in two separate nets. If your rod is laid on the floor or leant up against your bivvy more often than not you will be missing out on these opportunities of bonus fish.
As I mentioned before, for me, being prepared is one of the biggest parts of speed fishing. This preparation can vary greatly depending on the angling situation. Sometimes this means having lots of PVA bags pre tied, spare leaders and hooklinks matching what you are using on the day (just in case your hook point burrs off or goes completely blunt) and I always make sure I have a couple of rigs with hook baits on ready to go at all times, so I can quickly swap them over if needed.
Another way I speed up my fishing is by using Wrappers (measuring sticks), noting the range that I am fishing on each rod, then once I have successfully landed a fish, I can quickly clip the rod up using the Wrappers and in no time at all I am ready to cast the rod back out onto the spot with the anticipation of the rod rattling off again soon after.
Lastly, If you are fortunate to have a spare rod or two with you, then getting this rod with a fresh rig and bait on, all clipped up ready, can be a huge benefit and the quickest way to your baited rig back live on the spot again.
I hope you found this helpful and that it will increase your chances of putting more of those lovely scaley carp on the bank this spring.