Welcome to the new blog! I hope it is easier for my followers to view and is overall a more pleasurable experience than my standard text-box website. I’ll be using WordPress a lot more now, as it is perfect for blogging as I am at the bank with my rods out whilst using my mobile phone.
Throughout the past two months, I’ve been using a method that’s caught thousands of carp each year, however it is a method that is usually used in the summer months, it’s surface fishing. This is a method I’ve used regularly throughout the course of my fishing life, however I’m focusing on it a lot more now and hope to stick at it. I will post pictures and information on how to set up a rig for surface fishing below, as a lot of you have been asking me where to start when it comes to surface fishing. Anyway, here we go!
Firstly, for surface fishing you’ll need a decent rod and reel. Personally, I use one of the Daiwa Mission rods with a 2.1/3lb test curve, this rod is perfect for the job in my opinion and I’ve had a load of carp out in the past month using this rod since my pellet waggler rod snapped at the end when I caught a 21lb common carp at a commercial fishery. If you’re on a tight budget though, a normal avon rod will do, however try to avoid the quiver tips as sometimes they won’t be able to absorb the shock of a big fish. As for reels, you’d be better off purchasing a decent baitrunner reel with a decent gear ratio and smooth action. You’ll also be wanting some decent line, personally I use 10lb mainline and 8lb/12lb line for hook links. However, I use 10lb line since I regularly fish a pool which has a lot of weed and snags in, and the line usually doesn’t break easily when under strain of being pulled from reeds, weeds and lilies. If you’re confident in the water that you’re fishing and you know for sure there isn’t many snags and weeds to get hooked into, try notching it down a little and use 8lb mainline and a relatively weaker hook link of 6-7lbs. You’ll also need a few controller floats and some strong hooks. I personally favour the Korda range of surface fishing accessories so I use the following (note: some accessories aren’t Korda, this is just my general surface tackle!):
- Korda Interceptor 15g – 25g depending on the distance I wish to cast.
- Korda Kruiser for shorter range fishing and better visibility when in the water.
- Korda Mixa B for my hooks, it’s a win/win, they’re ultra-sharp and suitable for braided line.
- Drennan Gravel Braid 12lb for my hook links, it’s extremely durable and will almost certainly not snap, perfect in conjunction with the Korda Mixa hooks, tie a knotless knot rig for the best results.
And that’s mainly the only tackle I use, throughout the past few months it’s proved to be very strong and will give you some great results. The only thing to watch out for with barbless hooks is the risk of having hook pulls, to prevent hook pulls make sure you tire the carp out fully before you surface it and always moisten your knots with either water or good old saliva, or it could be game over. Always be cautious when surface fishing, carp up to 45lbs have been caught on the good old controller float method, so be sure to play the fish all the time to ensure you don’t lose it.
At most day ticket waters, I see people fishing with artificial baits such as pretend dog biscuits, which are fine, sometimes. However, in some waters, fish will just know straight away that it’s different from the offerings surrounding it, fish aren’t to be underestimated, they’re not stupid, especially CARP!
Personally, I use Pedigree Chum Mixers, and nowadays I hear a lot of talk about folk soaking their biscuits before they use them at the bank, however the results can be just as devastating using dry mixers, there isn’t really a difference, however wet mixers will travel further when being catapulted out, however dry mixers can get just as far in PVA bags, but you don’t have to worry about distance in surface fishing, you can get carp eating right under your feet, that’s how good the method is, these dog biscuits can be purchased in a 10kg sack for around £9.90 from any supermarket. Bakers dog biscuits also work a treat, and the fish have a selection of different shapes to chose from.
I’ve seen a lot of other baits being used, but the Chum Mixers for me, are the most cost effective and most fish effective when at the bank, however other baits can be used, such as pop-up boilies in tutti-frutti flavour, however for the price, they’re totally not worth it, if you’re lucky you’ll get about 50 boilies for around £10 as a pose to 1000+ dog biscuits for an extra £3.
In all honesty, you can use any method you want, I’ll be telling you mine since it’s served me extremely well over the past few months, and it’s yet again, keeping it simple.
1. When you arrive at the bank, be sure to open up your bait tub straight away, and begin to bait up the area that you’re going to fish. This is an extremely important step when it comes to surface fishing, and this is where a lot of people get it entirely wrong, they think that as soon as they set up their rods, they cast in and then bait up, but this will in fact take longer to start catching compared to baiting up at the start. If you bait up first, before casting in, the fish will become a lot more confident, and they will begin to scoff on any food that’s put into their path. Once the fish have built up confidence, you’re almost guaranteed a catch if you follow these next steps carefully.
2. Set up your rod, make sure your mainline is either 8lb or 10lb, and get a strong hook link, but don’t forget to feed the fish! If you’re thinking about saving money, just buy some hooks to nylon with a bait band on, but if you want to be more technical about it, get some 8lb line on a small spool from your tackle shop, or some braided 12lb line, make sure you have either size 8-10 hooks to hand. Carefully, with your 8lb line or 12lb braid, make 3-6ft of line length, and then get your size 8/10 hook and tie the hook to the line using a knotless knot, for those of you who don’t know what that is, you can find out here. Once that’s done, your hook link has been successfully created, now for your mainline side of things. Attach your preferred controller float, if you’re using a swivel, attach it using a polomar knot. Now, you’re set up and ready, attach your hook bait with a baiting needle and a drill, and you’re ready for some hard going action for the day!
3. Once you know that the fish are confident, and you’re confident yourself, get ready to whack your rod in! Howver, make sure you overcast where the fish are feeding, then slowly reel into the feeding area, this means that the fish will not get spooked and they will be more confident when facing your hook bait. Remember, this method of fishing is all about patience, that’s the key for this. Sometimes you can get a bite in 2 minutes, sometimes you won’t get one for 20, that’s just the way fish are and nobody will ever know why. Continually whack bait out there, and be sure not to spook the fish in the process.