There’s nothing wrong with sitting it out and waiting for your bites, but there are a few simple ways of speeding up the whole process – Billy Flowers and Jamie Londors are experts when it comes to catching numbers of fish; here’s how they do it.
Tip 1 : Observation
There’s no substitute for hard graft and a bit of effort, and successfully watching for and seeing signs of fish can often be just that, hard work. It’s been said many a time, but location must always be priority and if you want to speed up your catch rate, you’ve got to be on the fish. We’re lucky to have a decent set of eyes on us and it’s crucial that you use them to your best ability. Always concentrate as much of your time on locating fish as possible, that’s the difficult part – once you’ve found them, catching them can be the easy part, particularly in the winter months.
Tip 2 : Keep mobile
If you’re catching fish from a swim then there’s no need to move, unless a better situation arises, but if you’re not catching then quite often a move is the way forward. You’ll have to assess the situation for yourself, but sometimes you can just feel that you should be catching, and if you’re not then something is wrong – probably your location. Moving around the lake can be hard work, but if you see signs of activity in other areas then it’s well worth the effort and can change your session around. Travelling light will make life easier but even if you carry a load of gear, the will to move until you’re in the right place will serve you well. Five minutes in the right place is better than two days in the wrong place, as they say…
Tip 3 : Bright hookbaits
Hookbaits that are both easy for the carp to see and smell are always great for getting quick bites. You can use these baits in many different ways, from single hookbait fishing to use of huge beds of bait. Because the high attraction baits are so easy for the fish to spot, they will often pick them up quickly. This can be particularly useful when introducing free offerings. The baited area is a great way of pulling the fish down onto the spot to feed, and once they’ve had a few mouthfuls the carp will often spot the bright one and snaffle it straight up, thus speeding up the bite time tenfold. With the winter well on it’s way we will be using bright hookbaits more and more, particularly as singles or over pre-baited areas. When the carp aren’t searching for a feast, something that’s easy to spot and appears tasty will often produce the goods. Once the really cold weather is upon us they will often be the most effective method of catching carp – less is sometimes more.
Tip 4 : Accuracy and rhythm
One of the most important aspects of catching quickly and consistently is accuracy, particularly when fishing to a feature or over a baited area. Using the line clip on your reel, distance sticks, and some Marker Elastic will enable you to fish with extreme precision. Once you have located the spot you want to fish, be it a gravel bar out in the lake or even an overhang off the tip of an island, start by clipping up the reel. Once the line is in the clip it’s time to pop your distance sticks in the ground, a rod length (4 yards) apart. Place your lead at one end and then start wrapping the line around the sticks until you hit the clip. Log the distance somewhere and then mark the line. Doing this will enable you to hit the same spot time and time again, with ease, and will certainly speed up the time in which it takes you to get bites. Eliminating the need to keep finding the spot between captures will not only dramatically reduce the chances of you spooking the fish but it also saves you a lot of time.
Tip 5 : Go Prepared
One of the most time consuming aspects of carp fishing is rig tying, especially if your rigs are on the complex side of things. Taking the time out to get rigs ready before your sessions will save you lots of time on the bank. It’s okay if you’re catching one carp a day but if you’re like us and the aim is often to catch as many as possible, we don’t want to be messing around between bites and losing valuable time with rigs in the water. Storing rigs is no problem at all these days and it’s very rare that we don’t have at least a couple of brimming rig safes at our disposal, something which has definitely sped up our catch rate over the years.
Tip 6 : Liquid additives
There’s something special about a fresh burst of attraction when it comes to getting those quick bites and we use a whole range of liquid attractors in order to catch. The liquids we use are not only extremely attractive to the fish but are also very water soluble as well, which for example means they disperse much quicker in the water than fish oils. Once the water cools the previously highly attractive oils will start to slow down, as the water is not warm enough for them to disperse, and instead they’re locked onto or inside the bait. Things like the Goo are extremely easy to use and it takes a matter of seconds to apply them to a bait prior to casting, but once in the water they’re work wonders!
Tip 7 : Regular re-casting
Sometimes we will use our fishing rods to locate the fish, particularly once the colder months arrive. The carp will be showing themselves and moving a lot less so it often takes the use of the fishing rods to locate the fish. By simply attaching a high-attract hookbait, in one form or another, and casting it about, we are able to land on groups of fish and start catching, rather than wasting time and hoping they come to us.