Enjoy summer carp fishing

Summer carp fishing is well under way. I have been “hooked” on carp fishing since I caught my first “double” of 12�lbs by design when I was 15, writes Mike Winter.

Since then I have caught more double figure carp than I can remember including a number over 20lbs up to 27�lbs.

I also lost a “known” mid-30 pounder, recognisable by its mirror carp scale pattern. I had it almost over my landing net, then the hook came out!

Obviously my next “aim” was to successfully land a 30lb+ fish. I managed to obtain permission to fish three lakes containing carp well over 30lbs, including one where a carp should have grown to an amazing 60lbs by this autumn.

Then disaster struck. Otters got into one of the lakes and killed all the carp including a 36 pounder.

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Then I caught bacterial meningitis which almost killed me. I spent nearly a year in hospital and, for the moment, am still confined to a wheelchair! So I'm adapting to fish from a static position rather than the creeping and crawling, stalking approach I've developed over the years.

However, I'm still able to fish two waters holding carp in excess of 30lbs, still able to cast a line, so I'm still in with a chance!

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These waters are fished by “boilie boys” using “irresistible chemically concocted” baits that I won't touch with a bargepole!. The only commercial baits I'll use are “oily floaters” which work well.

I use more natural baits on the bottom – worms, maggots, prawns, cockles, bread, beans plus fish food pellets made into paste – for ground bait well stewed hemp seed and pigeon feed.

These waters are very weedy and snaggy so strong tackle is necessary. Lines – Soft Steel and Maxima Chamelion – from 12 to 20lb breaking strain. Rods in the Mk IV design from carp to stepped up versions with Mitchell 300 and Ambidex Mk 9 reels, my big carp landing net given to me by the late Dick Walker (the same as landed his 44 pounder). Any carp too big to go in that will be a new record!

Super Strong eyed hooks are “Palomar” knotted to the end of the line – easy to tie with the line going twice through the hook eye, but they need bedding down properly or I use a “Grinner” knot.

I either “freeline” with a cylinder of cooking foil over the line between reel (with the pick up open) and butt ring for bite indication or the simple float tackle I've described in previous articles.

Rarely do I fish “blind”, always finding some feeding carp to cast to. Good polarising glasses are essential. Don't ignore the margins. Look for bubbles, mud stirring and small whorls in the surface film indicate feeding carp.

Lastly try to keep low off the skyline, silent, and sit behind the cover of reeds and bushes, even though big carp will usually sense your presence!

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