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)

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!

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!

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 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!

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


Sunday, 8 March 2020

Peperami for Carp Fishing

Peperami has been around for many years, as carp baits go this spicey and meaty flavoured snack is really good. Carp seem to like the taste of it and they are attracted to it in a big way so let’s take a look at peperami for carp fishing.

Peperami is available in most stores and shops, I tend to buy mine in the multi packs from the supermarket, bought as a bunch of 5’s I think they are cheaper than individual peperami sticks. One tip I have for buying Peperami from the supermarket is to wait until it’s discounted. Every now and again they mark peperami down to clear stock and when I see it at a discount I’ll pick up a bunch of 5’s. At the moment a bunch of 5’s is £2.75 so it’s not a cheap carp bait by any means.

A low double common carp taken on peperami with a small mesh bag of peperami chops

When carp fishing with Peperami I open up a stick and cut it into pieces with a pair of braid scissors. Chopping up a stick of peperami like this gives you a hookbait for your carp rig and a small handful of freebies which you can either throw in, mix with pellets or mesh up in some PVA Mesh. Peperami and pellets are a great combination for carp fishing but in winter I like to use just the peperami for my carp fishing.

Peperami for Carp Fishing, click below to watch

I put one piece of peperami on my carp hair rig, once the bait is held in place with a hair stop I start to trim the peperami with my braid scissors to remove most of the outer skin. I leave the skin underneath the peperami, where the hair enters the bait. Peperami skin is quite tough and by leaving it alone at the entry point, I lessen the risk of the hair cutting through the bait when playing a carp. If you can keep your peperami hookbait after catching a fish, you can re-use it without needed another piece for the hair rig.

With a trimmed down piece of peperami mounted on my carp hair rig I’ll either add a small pva mesh bag of chopped peperami or I’ll just fish it as a single hookbait. Remember it’s winter so you don’t want a lot of feed in your carp swim, you just want to try and ‘nick a bite’ and using peperami for carp is ideal for doing this.

Peperami carp bait clearly visible at the capture of this carp

Some carp anglers like to tip their peperami with foam so they have a bright colored ‘sighter’ for the carp to home in on and to add a little buoyancy to the hookbait. Be very wary of doing this, it works and works well but don’t critically balance your hookbait. Peperami is loaded with oil and oil is heavier than water. As the oil leaks out of your peperami and water replaces it, your peperami will get lighter. If you’ve critically balanced your bait so it sinks very slowly, you may find your bait floating once some of the oil has leaked out. Tip your peperami with a piece of Rig Foam by all means but make sure it sinks reasonably quickly rather than very slowly.

Rods are out and my peperami carp baits will catch fish today

Used as a single hookbait, peperami is very easy to use, it comes nice and neatly packed and it’s ideal for carp fishing, you can just keep a couple of sticks in your bait bucket or tackle box and it’s really convenient. Most people fish with boilies but it’s important to have a ‘change bait’ for scratching time when you’re struggling for bites and peperami is one of my favorites when I’m struggling. You may have your own ‘go to’ carp bait for those tough times but if you haven’t, you should consider trying peperami for carp fishing.

Video fish, 13lb 6oz taken using peperami for carp fishing

If you'd like some ideas to help you improve your own fishing please visit my YouTube Channel for access to tons of tips videos and ideas to help you level up your fishing.

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