Summer months can often be tricky to get a bite, the carp have generally spawned and you’ve either hit it right and had a couple after they have done the ritual or missed out completely and your fishery is inconveniently going through a slow period because It’s that tough bit that’s in between the hard feeding spring and autumn period, when the fish tend to be feeding properly, and instead take to basking on the surface, without a care in the world! However, it’s lovely being out there without a ton of clothing on, despite the mosquitos!
So how do I normally go about catching carp in the warmer months?
Ideally, my water has an abundance of weed, I love the stuff, but then I make sure I’m geared up to landing the fish should I come into contact with one, both safely and sensibly. Weed is my friend and certainly not my enemy. It provides the much craved sanctuary carp require, as well as natural food larders from the many insects that thrive within its mass. Finding small holes in the weed is what I’m looking for, be it silt or gravel, or failing that, low level weed where I can fish a Chod Rig suitable for this application is also something I’m not adverse to. You just need to make sure the weed is of the right type and not something like Canadian pond weed if you want to present on top of it.
Weed is my friend and certainly not my enemy. It provides the much craved sanctuary carp require, as well as natural food larders from the many insects that thrive within its mass.
Other areas to consider would be snags, which I apply the same logic as with weed, in that all careful measures need to be recognised for the fishes safety. Snags easily give the whereabouts of the carp away, as the fish can be often found here, usually in the upper layers basking, whilst they comfortably reside in the warmer levels of the water. The margins are also a firm favourite with the warmer shallower water and, yet again, observational skills are key here with a good pair of polarised glasses required to help spot your quarry.
In the warmer months, the fish are far more active than they are in the colder ones, so be prepared to be up at first light as this is usually the most popular time for the carp to be throwing themselves out of the water. This can save you a lot of time and energy trying to find their whereabouts.
Personally, I try to stay away from the deeper water, contrary to the winter months, there are exceptions to this rule but as an approach, I’m far happier fishing the warmer, shallower areas if I’m presenting my baits on the bottom. On weedy waters, where I predominantly fish, zigs and surface fishing can be devastating but, applying this method in the weedy areas is dangerous to the fish’s welfare as the terminal tackle required to get the bite is not strong enough to land the fish, in my opinion.
That leads me on to line and rigs. I’m a recent convert to the Gardner Hydro Sink braided main line, which I find invaluable for weedy lakes, especially ones where a boat isn’t necessarily on hand when it comes to helping you land a weeded-up fish. The abrasive material of the braid helps cut through the weed, helping to enable a constant contact with the fish. I have also witnessed the carp behaving far better when they brush against braid in comparison to mono as I suppose it feels more natural to weed. If I wasn’t using braid, it would be a minimum of 0.40 diameter mono in the form of the GTHD, or the ridiculously strong tow rope, known as Hydro Tuff, only if your water is very weedy.
I don’t necessarily change my rigs, other than upping the hook size to say a 4 over a 6 which is something a few friends have advised me who have greater experience when it comes to braid fishing.
Finally, keep an eye on weather conditions, like new wind directions and drop in air pressures that can switch the carp on and, if you are into your moon phases, time your sessions around the new moon, but I’m not going there, that’s for another time!!
Enjoy and tight lines!