I think it’s fair to say my time in pursuit of Carp over the years has dramatically decreased due to various reasons really. At one stage in my life Carp were my only focus and, like many of you reading this article it became more of an obsession than a hobby. Things change though and due to my interests in chasing specimen fish of many species, and a demanding full time job, my time in pursuit of Carp is somewhat limited to what it used to be. Despite this I still manage to cram in some carping every year and strangely my results haven’t seemed to suffer as a result of having limited time.
I don’t mind admitting that 90% of my carping now is crammed into very short sessions often consisting of no more than a few hours. Now when I compare my catch results from when I was often putting in 48 hour sessions most weeks to now it makes me laugh, as I land not only more Carp now fishing a few hours here and there but my personal best has also slowly increased. Now I can imagine readers of The Session being a little bemused at this point, but let me explain the reasons why!
There is nothing more important in any form of fishing than watercraft. Reading a water and knowing where fish will be at certain times will catch you more fish – fact. It still amazes me how people often overlook the importance of being on fish. In my eyes it’s the number one priority, you can’t catch fish that aren’t there after all. Having limited time does make you work harder at this there is no doubting that. I look at the tackle I take now for much of my carping and its scaled down to the bare minimum meaning I’m super mobile and looking for chances the whole time. On busy lakes the fish are getting pushed around by pressure on a daily basis and making a move of swims quickly can often mean the difference between a blank and nicking that quick fish. I compare it to my earlier years carping and realise just how static and lazy I was.
Dawn and dusk on most lakes always offer an increased chance of a bite, certainly in the summer months anyway so it’s no surprise that my short sessions coincide with one of these periods meaning im there fishing at the best possible times. I have found sneaking a few hours in before work has caught me more fish than I care to remember. Of course having a water close to home is vital for this style of angling as time travelling is wasted fishing time.
Another major factor to my increased success with less time, is fishing with washed out baits. There is no doubt in my mind this is a major edge when fish are cagey. All you need to do is leave you baits soaking in a tub of lake water for 24 hours and bobs your uncle. It’s so simple yet so effective and interestingly sees me catch fish that are often rare visitors to the bank. Now I will leave that up to you to decide whether or not it’s that factor alone or a combination of reasons but it seems to have been the case on a number of lakes over the past few years.
Timing my sessions to coincide with perfect conditions have also had a real impact on my improved results. I think most anglers now have access to technology that allows them to watch the weather like a hawk. We all know what a major factor the weather can have on the way carp feed, so timing your fishing with text book conditions can only help in my opinion. Wind changes can also give you a great head start on knowing where the fish are likely to be. I make sure I’m well aware of the lakes positioning so that I know which winds blow where. We all know that carp often like to move on a new wind so if you know where that winds going to blow it’s going to give you an edge.
Well there you have it just a few thoughts to get the brain ticking. Certainly don’t be put off by having less time to fish, it will make you think a little more about your approach and make you work harder to put more fish on the bank.