Spring is the time of the year that we carp anglers look forward to the most. Not only are the longer days and lighter evenings so much more pleasant than the long winter ones, but big fishing rewards are also there to be had as it’s when the fish are often at their easiest to catch.
That said, it’s easy to become blasé and think that it’s going to be far simpler to land a string of whackers than the reality turns out to be! Although the carp are much more visible and generally show themselves more than any other time of the year, I often see many anglers make mistakes which cost them opportunities. I’ve done it myself several times, and then come away from a session with nothing, kicking myself for being so stupid.
Personally, I think the most common mistake comes with baiting approaches. This is where I’ve certainly got it wrong. After thinking the fish are up for a big feed after a long winter, and then putting way too much in and spoiling everything almost before I’ve started. I now try to view spring with a ‘one bite at a time’ approach. This is my way of stopping myself from over-baiting.
Single hook baits often score well in spring, and although I’ve caught on these, I have more confidence in fishing over some bait. The main factor with baiting is also how mobile the fish are at this time of year. Whilst they may hold up in snags that are hit by the sun during long parts of the day, they can also fly around the lake making location tricky to say the least. The question that arises is how much bait do you need to get them to stop and feed, or is going for singles, in an attempt to grab a bite as they pass you by, the better method?
When fishing near snags the baiting is more straightforward, as the fish normally remain static in there for longer periods, but out in the lake that is often very different. Success comes for me when I can anticipate where the fish are going to be at some point while I’m at the venue, having my traps set before they arrive.