At Fisherman Holidays we pride ourselves on our customer service. The customer is king in our world! In our visits to the venues on our website we see lots of waters with varying degrees of difficulty so, to help you get the best from your holiday, we’ve put together a selection of top tips to make your carping vacation with Fisherman Holidays one you’ll never forget.
Boilies may be the easiest and most convenient bait to use but that’s why you should always bring an alternative bait with you. If everyone is using them it’s well worth taking the trouble to try something different. We’re thinking of particles here (if permitted) or simply fishing with boilies cut in half, perhaps two halves put back to back to make a butterfly shape or try baiting up with broken boilies. Also worth trying are maggots, sweetcorn, and even worms. Ringing the changes could be just what the doctor ordered!
You’re probably going to be fishing for a full week so if you have all your rods out 24-7 then the fish are going to be wary. Try resting your swim, either by having a change of position with one or two rods or taking all of them out for a few hours and feeding the swim while you have a break. This will give the fish a chance to sample your bait without coming across your lines which can spook them.
We often see many anglers casting to the far side of carp fishing lakes in France when the nearside margins are easier to fish. Why not try moving a couple of rods right into the margins to the left or right of your swim? You’ll be able to bait up easily and you could even place your baits by hand in the exact spot you want to fish. You can then sink your lines and make the most of the fishing without casting to the horizon. Remember, all those lines cutting across the lake could make the fish come into the margins right under your feet!
On waters where baiting up can be done from a boat or by using a bait boat, fish can become wary when they see and hear boats overhead. The baiting pattern from using a bait boat is often very compact so, by leaving the boat on the bank for some of the time and putting in free offerings by catapult, throwing stick or even just a PVA bag, the fish won’t associate this method of baiting with danger. Remember, going out in a rowing boat or using a bait boat can make a lot of noise in the water which makes the fish move into quiet areas.
Most anglers fish with tight lines. Of course, if you are fishing at long range, tight to snags or the far margins, then this is a virtual necessity, but if you’re not then consider fishing with slack or semi-slack lines. By fishing with a slacker line it will hug the lakebed better and the fish may not be alarmed as they can be if the come across tight lines. Try a heavy lead and a slack line. The heavy lead will hook the fish and you should get a blistering run.
Now, this may seem a strange thing to do but why not try fishing with less rods? If you are allowed to fish with three or four rods why not try fishing with just two? Perhaps put the other rod well away from the others or don’t use it at all for some of the time. By doing this you’re dropping the pressure in the immediate area around your baits. Remember, more rods doesn’t always mean more fish!
On most lakes there are known ‘hot spots’ and every angler that turns up will fish them. Of course, they’re not hot spots for nothing and you’ll catch fish from them but often they’re so obvious it may be worthwhile to think outside the box and try some areas that are not quite so popular. Remember that if you are fishing to the lovely little spot under the bush, then every angler before you will have done exactly the same! By just moving to one side or fishing neglected areas you can, very often, produce some very nice surprises.
The old saying, ‘you can put it in, but you can’t take it out’ is well worth remembering here. Take a tip from the match anglers and try feeding little and often instead of piling bait in twice a day. How about feeding four times a day, say at 6 a.m., then 12 noon, followed by 6 p.m. and then staying up to feed again at midnight? Why not try resting an area and putting bait in then not fishing it, that’ll really fool the carp! Oh, and why not try fishing the first day or two without any free baits? Remember that, on busy waters, there could still be baits in the swim from the week before.
If you’ve got a bait out and you’re happy with it then why change it? Re-casting time and time again can just push any fish in the area away. If you do feel the need to re-cast get it out of the way by doing all the rods at the same time then sitting on your hands so the swim can settle. Often, bait that has been in the water for some time will appear safer to the carp so washed-out baits can make carp feel safer whereas fresh, highly-flavoured baits can make them wary.
A kilo of 15mm baits will bait up an area much better than a kilo of 24mm baits so why not try using smaller baits instead. Smaller baits will give you hundreds, if not thousands, more baits to bait up with and the fish can get pre-occupied with them. This is also one of the principles of using particles or pellets. Get the carp feeding on small baits and they may trip up easier on your hookbait. Mixing different sizes or using different colours is always a good bet too.
We hope these tips will give you something to think about during your holiday with us and remember, it’s the angler who thinks outside the box that catches the most. Try to do something different from everyone else, at least on one rod, and more often than not, you’ll tempt one or two extra carp into taking your bait.
Good luck and we hope to see you again at Fisherman Holidays!