Sunday, 3 May 2020

Carp Fishing Tips - Carp Season Analysis



In 1991 I got made redundant, at the time my payout was quite good, I had enough to upgrade my sun lounger to a fox super deluxe bedchair and I bought a fox supa bivvy, that left me with enough money to tax and insure my car for a fair few years and some backup cash to see me through. I also bought a season ticket for burton mere which was my local carp water. That makes 1992 a perfect year to analyse because I just fished all of it!.

Carp Fishing Tips - Carp Season Analysis (click below to watch)

January
I only caught 1 carp caught in January, a 9lb 6oz mirror, winter is a hard and my first carp fishing tip is not to start on a new water in January, it’s a tough time of year and the chances are you’ll struggle. I certainly did and I had a few blanks throughout the month. Every year I see people joining one of the clubs I’m in, prince albert angling society, they’re so excited it’s like getting a golden ticket but the carp fishing is tough and many end up disappointed with the club, believe me the carp fishing is best left until late march when the clocks change.

9lb 6oz Carp Fishing Tips for Winter, don't start a winter campaign in January!

February
3 carp caught in February, funnily enough they all came from the same spot at the same time of day. My carp fishing bible is the book Carp Fever by Kevin Maddocks. The location section of this book is superb and every carp angler should read it. In it Kevin spoke of carp turning up in a certain place at a certain time of day like clockwork and if you found one of these spots you could move in there an hour or so before, set your trap, get a quick result then move on quickly with your bonus fish. I’d found one of these spots and all 3 fish came from a reedbed at 13.05pm. We had some fun with this, on the third fish I stopped my mate mid-sentence, tapped my watch and said excuse me Phil, my left hand rod is going to go in the next 30 seconds and I started walking over to the rods, no sooner had I got there when the left hand rod pulled up. The look on Phil’s face was a picture and he just didn’t get it, once I’d explained the carp turning up at exactly the same time he got it. The next weekend I turned up to find Phil sitting in my swim tapping his watch which brings me to another important carp tip, keep your detailed info to yourself!. It’s ok sharing captures from waters but the inner workings of how your captures come about and the secrets you uncover you should definitely keep to yourself, if anyone asks just put it down to good luck!. Phil played the same trick on another angler, he stopped him mid-sentence and right on cue his rod went off, we told the guy all good carp anglers know how to use ‘the force’….lol. Seriously though, understanding carp movements around the lake has been a cornerstone of my carp fishing since I started, KM was absolutely right and as a hunter, knowing where your prey is going to be at a specific time is golden information and it makes ambushing them really easy.

Carp Fishing Tips, bite time really matters!

March
I caught 6 fish in March, double the February total. March is a great month, the temps are creeping into low double figures and the amount of daylight we get is increasing and I think that’s what gets the carp moving out of their winter holding areas, once the clocks change it’s definitely carp fishing time.

Carp Fishing Tips, wait until the clocks change!

April
April is a great month for carp fishing, one of the best of the year in fact. The carp are moving round again after winter and looking for food. I caught 16 carp in April, a very good total, in fact I was catching so many fish people were starting to talk and I found I could never get back in a swim I’d caught well from, all eyes were on me and my bait!. I was rolling my own boilies at the time, a 50/50 mix of Haiths red factor bird food and semolina, to 6 eggs I was adding 30ml of olive oil for fat content, 2ml of intense sweetener for taste and 3ml of strawberry flavour. Another one of my carp tips is your flavours. It’s not so much the flavour you use but the solvent on which it’s based. I’d been using a Richworth’s strawberry flavour which was based on propylene glycol or PG as it’s known. The lake owner was selling Richworth readymades so it was logical that PG was the flavour the carp were used too. Whilst using the PG flavour I was introducing another strawberry flavour, strawberry Nutrafruit from Nutrabaits which was a flavour based on glycerol, two strawberry flavours but completely different. I let anglers break up my bait and smell them, Richworth strawberry I always answered and off they’d go to the hut. Because it had been in use for years the PG wasn’t that good and Nutrabaits hadn’t been going long so the lake hadn’t seen any glycerol flavours yet. I’ d been baiting up with the new strawberry bait whilst fishing with the old one, that was until April when I switched. All hell broke loose when I did, my bobbins were just flying and I’d never experienced anything like it. I’d been reading Geoff Kemp and his comments on flavour bases and my own results confirmed he was right on the money about the base solvent of a flavour. Pick yours well, there aren’t that many of them and what’s been used before on a lake really matters!.

Carp Fishing Tips, the flavour of your bait matters!

May
I rate may as the best month of the year and another 17 carp fell during this month, the fishing was frantic to say the least, it was run after run after run. The carp are well active during this month and it’s the month you’ll see the most captures as the fish feed up ahead of spawning, it’s also the month the carp are at their heaviest weights before they spawn. This leads me to another one of my carp fishing tips, May is the best month to hit a day ticket water. I’m always looking at getting value for money from my fishing, let’s face it, day ticket carp prices are a bit of a rip off and I want to tip the odds of a result in my favour if I’m going to have to pay a premium day ticket rate for my fishing. Many years ago I decided to sack day tickets off and these days I do one trip a year to a premier day ticket carp water and it’s always in May because it’s the month you’ll catch the most fish.

Carp Fishing Tips, May is the best month of the year for carp fishing

June
June was an incredible month with 27 carp landed. There is an old saying about lies, damn lies and statistics. Whilst June was the best month of the year it was greatly exaggerated by one particular session when I caught 16 fish in a day off the top. Without that result I would have only landed 11 carp. That one result brings me to the next of my carp fishing tips, floater fishing. The 16 carp all fell to the beach caster rig. At the time the beach caster rig wasn’t popular and was still very much limited to those in the know. I was first to use the rig on burton mere and the results I had with it were incredible. The carp just didn’t know what hit them. The beach caster still isn’t that popular today and some waters have even banned it because it can kill the floater fishing on a water. If you can use it, it can be a deadly method on the day. This brings me to another of my carp fishing tips, know what’s been used in the past so you can decide the best tactics and baits to use in the future. It pays to do your research, if you’re the first angler to use a new of forgotten bait or method the fish aren’t used too then you’ll catch an awful lot of carp. This is why this blog and youtube channel is focused more on being different and not following what I call the Ronnie rig crowd.

Carp Fishing Tips, new methods the carp haven't seen can be devastating

July
I caught 15 carp in July. July is another good month, the days are long and the temperatures are high, a great time to be on the bank comfort wise. The floater fishing is often good and a few of my fish came off the top in this month. The carp are still not at their top weights though, they spawn usually in late May, sometimes early June, then they can take a good few months to come back into decent condition. They are hungry at this time of year but the fishing often isn’t easy. July coincides with our highest water temperatures of the year and an abundance of natural food so the carp will often switch off boilies and onto naturals. Another one of my carp tips, if you can use them, particles are brilliant at this time of year. Particles were banned on burton mere so I just kept those glycerol based strawberry boilies going in, if the carp find your bait often you’ll keep catching so keep your bait going in.

Carp Fishing Tips, never underestimate floater fishing for carp

August
I only caught 8 carp in August. Again it’s those statistics, I was offered the chance to fish the syndicate lake in August, it didn’t have as many fish but they were a bigger average size for sure. Although August doesn’t look as good as the other summer months I caught a pb that month, a well known fully scaled mirror called ‘spike’ that later found fame when Rob Hughes and Simon Crow put the fish in Carpworld when they caught it as part of their day ticket carp fishing series. I was keeping the bait going into the main lake during this time and had I have fished it more I’m sure I’d have added a few more carp to the August tally.

Carp Fishing Tips, don't forsake your baiting, keep it going in

September
I bagged another 12 carp in September, that’s still 3 carp a session for the month despite the temps slowly starting to fall and the angling pressure of spring and summer really starting to bite. Although the runs kept coming the fishing was clearly past it’s peak and starting to slow down. During this month I just kept fishing and kept the bait going in, that was the most important thing and one of the most important things to consider during the year, you have to keep the bait going in, the carp will keep coming if you keep it going in. My home mades weren’t exactly a complete food source but they had enough fat content so they at least offered something although I knew I would need a change of flavour/base solvent for next year.

Carp Fishing Tips, carp fishing has past it's peak for the year

October
Another 10 carp came my way during October. As you can see there is a gradual slowdown in captures as we go through late summer and autumn towards winter. By now I’d stopped floater fishing and was concentrating on the boilie fishing. In mid October we had early frosts and I managed another PB in bitterly cold conditions, I remember the night well, it went down to minus 5 which was bitterly cold for October but I still caught 3 fish, one of which was the banana leather, a well known fish that eventually got moved into the syndicate lake, I caught the banana from there too one January afternoon and it became the last fish I caught before leaving the syndicate in early 1994. The banana weighed 16lb 13oz, one ounce heavier than spike the fully scaled I’d caught in August. Back then these were big fish for the Wirral area, in fact they still are to this day. Despite the cold air temperatures the water hadn’t ‘caught down’ yet and I caught well through October, a month that can often throw up a biggie and that’s another of my carp fishing tips, don’t give up too early before winter sets in.

Carp Fishing Tips, don't give up carp fishing too early

November
In November I had a very respectable 8 carp, most of them came early in the month before the cold weather chilled the water down and my results at this time reflect my winter carp fishing to this day, I fish up until the third week of November then I hang the carp rods up and go lure fishing. One thing you’ll notice in the graph is that there is no ‘feed up’ before winter, just a gradual decline in captures as we progress through autumn and into winter. I believe the ‘feed up’ is a fairy tale carp anglers tell themselves to keep going but I’ve never seen it in my results and I analyse them every year. If there was a feed up I think I’d see an increase in the number of carp caught in October or November but there never has been so there’s another useful carp tip, if anyone goes on about the feed up, treat what they say with a pinch of salt!.

Carp Fishing Tips, hang the rods up after the middle of November

December
Zero carp in December, it’s possibly the worst month of the year to go carp fishing. There seems to be a period when the carp completely switch off and it’s from mid November through until the end of December, it’s like the carp have an adjustment period to the lower water temperature and the shorter days. Even since 1992 I’ve always found December to be a poor month for carp fishing and this is why I put my carp rods away around the third week of November. I have had some success at Christmas time but not in this year so the last of my carp fishing tips is to leave December alone, try a bit of lure fishing, have some time off in the run up to the festive season and re-charge your batteries, that’s what I do and it works well for me.

Carp Fishing Tips, December is the worst month of the year for carp fishing

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at my carp season of 1992, it was an epic season for me, I’ve only included carp over 5lb in weight, I actually ended up catching well over 250 carp in total but there were a lot of fish in the 3-4lb range that I ended up just putting back because they were too small to document and I was catching so many. To give my results some perspective, the person who caught the next most had 60 fish for the year so I was well out in front of everyone when it came to catches. I learned an awful lot from books like carp fever and from magazines like Carpworld and I took what I read and applied it to my own fishing, I’ve had good years since then, quite a few in fact but this was my best learning year and it set the foundations of my carp fishing life today, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and/or watching this and I hope the carp fishing tips throughout this article and video help you on your way. Catching carp isn’t about x-bait or x-rig, it’s about location, setting traps, thinking outside the box and protecting your edges.

Keep your own secrets and be lucky.

Mark.



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