4 July, 2014 | Carp | Tips | Articles2 Comments
Fishing for carp off the top can be one of the most exciting and action-packed methods of targeting carp. Jake Lund is a huge fan of the method and has caught some stunning fish from the upper layers in recent years. Here he gives his top surface carp fishing tips…
Jake reveals the best methods and the top baits for catching carp off the top including the top surface baits and how to hook them. The best rigs and floats to use as well as what and how to feed…
Travel light – Floater fishing is quite an opportunist type of angling, walking around looking for likely areas so its key to travel light some days I will walk miles before I find a opportunity. All I take is a rucksack just big enough for my camera, scales, small tackle box and fish care kit with my unhooking mat clipped to it. Leaving my hands free to carry a rod and net. I also like a bait pouch around my waste full of floaters and soft hook baits at the ready.
Pre-baiting? – Baiting is more important in my eyes than you may think, I like to walk around the whole lake before fishing, baiting likely area’s that I can keep an eye on. I like to put a big handful of floaters out in all likely area’s such as snags, rafts of weed, in scum that might have built up in a bay or corner of lake even into a warm wind. Like I said I tend to use a big handful in all likely area’s when baiting though towards snags I like half of my freebies to go into the snag and the other half just short of the snag. I’ve found carp will be very confident in the safety of the snags, however once one carps starts slurping down mixers in the snags they get greedy and with the competition for the freebies before you know it they are forced out of the snags to take the left over floaters, once there’s competition they go silly for em intern making them a lot easier to catch.
Feed – For freebies, I don’t think you can go wrong with the XL Floating Expander Pellets, they are quite similar to the good old faithful chum mixer. However they are better because they are slightly more oily giving them more attraction, plus they are slightly heavier quite handy when free lining, or try to catapult them out further. If your really wanting to give your free offerings some extra weight try putting these pellets in a tub covering them in water then immediately draining all the water away and leave them to dry for a little while. They will soak in enough water to give them extra weight for getting that bit of extra distance but won’t become too soft.
Float or free – Controller floats for me are a big no no, I never use them, I’m not saying they don’t work they just don’t work well for me! I like to free line in my eyes there is not a more natural way either.
Hookbait options – Free lining an Expander Pellet you will need to soak them in lake water for 30 seconds let them drain and leave over night to prepare them for hooking strait on, they will now be soft but firm enough for one cast and weighty enough to cast 50 yards on the right set up. Also being soft when you get a take and strike your hook will pull strait out of the hook bait hooking the fish on most occasions. Another bonus of fishing with soft hook baits is you can have the hook pulled back into the bait having no hook point showing. This allows you to drag your bait back over surface weed without hooking any debris plus if buy mistake you cast to far and get into a snag if your careful you won’t get hooked up, allow you to carry on fishing without spooking any fish. If your fishing at extreme distances or wanting a durable hookbait have a look at the Dynamite Surface Distance Baits, these are soft enough to hook directly and can be moulded into any shape you like, they are also weighty so cast really well. They come in two colours, white and brown, so you can use them to imitate bread or dog biscuits/expanders.
Balanced set-up – Having a balance set-up for free lining is the most critical part, a short stiff rod or a 12ft 3lb carp rod is not ideal as you want a rod with a soft tip something that may be ideal for flicking out light leads as well, remember your only casting a free line. It also pays to use a lighter line to aid casting and prevent spooking fish, using a 2lb test curve rod give you plenty of cushion for allowing you to get away with the lighter line. For mainline I use I use a line from Sufix called DuraFlex in 0.20mm which breaks at 10lb. As you will notice the diameter is very thin for such a high breaking strain (at least 25% thinner than most mono’s in comparison) aiding casting. Another important benefit of this line is it stretches a lot less than most mono’s, so when you strike your movements are picked up that bit quicker. The line having less stretch does make the lighter rod all the more important though, particularly when playing a fish under the rid tip.
The business end – Surface fishing is such a short window in the year and its easy to shell out a fortune of kit and then let it rot for 12 months! The line I use comes in handy for zig fishing both as mainline and hooklink (it particularly good is clear waters as its so hard to see!) and if I was going to fish with a controller and hooklength I would use the same line! For the all important hook I use Razorpoints Zig & Floater, usually a size 10. As the name suggest they double up as a zig hook so they don’t get left, they are just as good for hair-rigging and when hooking bait on directly. They come in micro barbed and barbless so I know I can take them anywhere as well!
Surface fishing for carp for me is exciting as it gets, it requires little effort and time so in mind gets me out fishing more! Tight lines..