12 July, 2018 |0 Comments
River Thames regular Steven Lloyd has been enjoying some fantastic success campaigning the waterway this summer. Steve has caught a number of fish over 20lb already this season and has had river specimens to 30lb in the past. Steve reveals the do’s and don’ts to river carping..
How do I find the carp?
When trying to find the carp it can be a long process on the river as it’s so large what I tend to do is look for likely spots where I believe the carp will be such as weirs somewhere with cover ie snags shallow bars or somewhere where people feed the birds on a regular basis as the carp won’t be to far away large amounts off boats something interesting for the carp.
Should I pre-bait?
Yes pre-baiting is often essential. Once I have found the carp I will pre-bait at least three times a week as the carp will disappear if there is nothing there food wise.
Should I walk the banks?
Yes as a lot of the carp I have found on the river will be in the margins so by walking the banks you will often spot them. An example off this recently was when I fished two nights on the river and blanked. I was on the way back to the van and was walking back past a jetty which is used by the local rowing club and found a group of 20 odd carp. I fished it straight away and it resulted in five carp landed in less than 24 hours – all being 20 pounders!! These days I have two – boats a cabin cruiser and a small inflatable vessel which I use to find the carp. Carp arent frightened off by the boats so they are useful for carp spotting.
Are carp in rivers always visible?
No most definitely not if I was looking at the weirs they are so hard to see unless it’s a shallow area due to white waters it’s pretty hard to see them. Don’t assume they arent there just because you can’t see them.
What kind off spots do you prefer to fish on the river?
In the summer months I will always look for a shallow gravel area around 5ft or less deep. The reason being is I can watch what is going on. If I pre-bait I can see if the carp are munching on the bait or if they have moved from the area. But in the winter I will try to find a deep slack area
What are the best rigs to use on the river?
I tend to use basic rigs on the river as the carp are not as ‘riggy’ as lake carp a long rig 10 inches and a heavy lead 4 oz just so I no I’m fishing as the flow will move the rig if the lead isn’t heavy enough and wouldn’t use anything smaller than a size 4 as the power off the river carp is unbelievable
What’s the best bait to pre-bait with?
I feed bollies and maize. The reason for the maize is to bulk up the mix and they are also more visual than boilies and when mixed together the carp love them. At the start of the week when i’m fishing at the weekend, I will prepare my bait and glug it all with the Dynamite Garlic Liquid Carp Food which for me is a big edge as the stuff absolutely stinks and produces a nice cloud. I will feed 2 to 5kg per visit. On the day I will feed three or four more handfuls over the top.
Should I use a lead ejection system?
Yes the reason being if I’m using a 4 or 5 oz lead like you often need in running water, I want to be dropping this as when playing a fish. A lead that heavy could see you lose a fish!
Do I use PVA?
I always use PVA. Normally when casting out I slide a bag over the rig just for piece off mind as you can’t be sure what’s on the bottom of the rivers these days and this will also help stop the hook blunting on the gravel too.
What sort off mainline do I use on the river?
Always use a strong a line as you can get away with. River carp fight like hell and the river can be snaggy in some areas 15lb fluorocarbon is what I tend to use in normal conditions.
What size leads do I need?
A min off 3oz but it all depends on the flow off the river. If you are using a lead which is to small you will no about it as once the rod is on the buzzer it will keep bleeping and you will see the line moving with the flow off the river. If this happens change up an by an oz or two.
Do I need a heavier rod than a use for fishing a lake?
I use two sets for my river work. I have a set of 10ft 3lb test curve for smaller tighter areas but if I have the space I will use my 12ft 3.75 test rods which are a bit beefier than your normal lake rods.
How should I feed I feed my chosen spot?
If i was on the bank I would spod if it was at distance but make sure you judge the flow by knowing the depth and the flow. If the flow is flowing right to left, spod more to the right of where you wish to cast so the bait lands over your chosen area. If I am fishing closer in then I tend to use a catapult if you don’t have a boat.
What’s the ideal river carp hookbait?
I would air dry my baits and glug them using a re-hyrdation or concentrated dip liquid to make it harder for crayfish and other nuisance species from pulling it off the hook. By glugging my hookbaits and leaving them to soak for a long time the carp will find them more quickly due to the added attraction. I also like to add salt to the hookbaits especially after spawning time.