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10 Top Spring Edges

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Last Updated: 24th March 2016

TIP 1 – Observation Is Key

The first thing you must do when you choose your target water for the spring is to spend as much time you can walking the banks and observing. The coming weeks are the perfect time to get out there and start seeing what’s going on.

Watch the shallow areas and spots that receive the most sunlight. Pay particular attention to any obstacles such as fallen trees, or even things like sunken boats, as it’s very likely the carp won’t be far from these spots. Most importantly, to make the most of this tip, DO NOT forget you polarized glass… they are indispensable.

 

TIP 2 – Check The Water Temperatures

Keep an eye on the water temperature at different spots around the lake. You will see that sometimes there is a big different between them.

Don’t be surprised at how quickly carp will seek out the warmer places, and move between them throughout the day. I look for temperatures of 11°C or 12°C, which I have found to be a water temperature that really makes a difference at this time of year. Of course, you’re going to need a thermometer for this one!

 

Tip 3 – Stalk ‘Em

Now is the ideal time to stalk and ‘nick’ a quick bite. A mobile approach will pay off through the spring, but even carrying a rod and a few bits while walking the banks observing can bring a bonus fish in very quick order. Better still, there are few things more exciting than watching a carp take your hook bait in shallow water… it’s addictive.

When you find a few active carp they are very susceptible to an easy, small meal. Try carefully positioning a bright, single hook bait nearby, but be careful as they are very ‘spooky’ as they start to get more active and you can easily ruin your chance.

I have found Jacko Pops and Candy Floss pop-ups to be my most productive singles through the spring.

 

TIP 4 – Get Ziggy

On busy, heavily-pressured lakes or deep waters in particular the carp will still seek out warmer, shallower areas, but they may do this by spending their time in the upper layers if there are no, or at least no ‘safe’ shallower parts of the lake.

In these situations there’s only one good way to catch them, and that’s with a zig rig. With this way of fishing you create so many options and, if you work at it, it can be a very active and rewarding method. It’s just a matter of time and confidence in the method, and trying different baits and depths until you start to catch.

Of course, this zigs are also a great option if all the best ‘spring spots’ are already occupied when you arrive at your chosen water.

 

TIP 5 – Up & Down Zigs

When zig fishing, I find it can be very productive to introduce some attraction around your hook bait, which isn’t easy when it’s mid water! You can of course spod over the hook baits with a sloppy spod mixture, but for a more subtle approach try using Solar’s active Up & Down mix in a small PVA bag. It sends up a column of attraction right around your hook bait. For this style of fishing, mix the Up & Down with a little of the supplied liquid and water, but use quite a dry mix for maximum ‘activity’.

 

Tip 6 – Don’t Forget The Hot Spots

With all the spring action and tactics such as zig rigging, stalking and fishing the shallows (as advised in previous tips), the usual areas can get overlooked. It’s well worth still fishing a rod on known ‘hot spots’ on the bottom as you would normally as the carp will be used to visiting these areas regularly to find food, and in the spring they are hungry. It’s a good way to pick up a ‘bonus fish’ or can give you a good option if the lake is busy.

 

TIP 7 – Stay Mobile

Take as little gear as possible and fish mobile. If you see carp activity then move on to it if you can. On busy waters this can sometimes be a bit of a ‘race’ and so being ready and able to move will pay off. On bigger, tough waters, the swim moves can often be long and tricky, so again less gear will help your cause.

Similarly, prepare yourself with lots of diferent baits. Because you might be fishing different areas and different tactics all in one day you may need boilies, pop-ups, pellets, PVA bag mixes, spod mixes etc. Take some of a variety of baits and leave the rest in your car, so you have access to more of whatever bait it is you find to be productive or needed most on that trip.

 

TIP 8 – Use Ester-based Falvours

The best flavours you can use in colder conditions, and that includes the spring, certainly the early part, are the ester or alcohol-based ones. These leak out attraction far better than others in colder temperatures.

For example take a little bit of Ester Pinapple, put it in empty pop-up pot and soak some fake baits in it.
Let them soak for a couple of weeks and they’re ready to use as single hook baits or for tipping boilies or particles.

 

TIP 9 – Use A Short, Supple Rig

As the carp become more active, through the early part of the spring their movements and feeding hanits will still be slow and lethargic. This is why I like to use short, supple hook links and quite large leads, to maximize the rig’s hooking potential if the carp picks up the hook bait and doesn’t move very far or quickly.

 

TIP 10 – Crumbs

For stalking or quick bites I often chop or crumb my boilies so that they let out more attraction more quickly. Sure, the baits are then more susceptible to nuisance fish, but it definitely pulls the carp in too. Smaller particles will also keep them in your swim and searching for a little longer, which may be the extra time you need for them to make their mistake and pick up your hook bait.



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