Best Time To Go Carp Fishing – Seasonal Breakdown

The best time to fish for carp tends to be summer, the warmer temperatures combined with longer days, especially in the UK have always seemed to increase fish appetite considerably. Prices, demand, and popularity all change depending on the weather.

Carp in particular are known in the fishing community to be most active during the warmer months. The higher temperatures allow carp to feed consistently, which is a prime reason behind the sudden increase in popularity and demand. During the winter months fishing in general is not as common. The fact that carp are cold-blooded and take a longer time to adjust to colder temperatures does have a significant impact on the bite ratio.

This is a general rule. However, there are always factors to consider when getting to consider when answering this question.

How Seasons Affect Carp Feeding Behaviour

With that being said, there are always 2 sides to the story. When the weather starts getting hotter carp may also struggle to gather the required levels of oxygen needed in order to maintain a healthy appetite.

You will notice when the weather gets past 25-30 degrees Celcius, carp will start to disappear. In the UK and Europe, summers can vary but tend to sit around that 25-30 degrees temperature which can be ideal for carp fishing.

Understanding that the environment is complex and continuously changing allows for a better understanding of feeding rhythms. Although specimen carp lakes are maintained very highly, existing fish, plants, parasites, and PH levels can all have an effect on feeding.

MonthCarp Feeding Activity
JanuaryLow Levels Of Feeding (Not Ideal For Fishing)
FebruaryLow Levels Of Feeding (Not Ideal For Fishing)
March Medium Levels Of Feeding (Adequate For Fishing)
AprilMedium Levels Of Feeding (Adequate For Fishing)
May Good Levels Of Feeding (Good For Fishing)
JuneGood Levels Of Feeding (Good For Fishing)
JulyGood Levels Of Feeding (Good For Fishing)
AugustGood Levels Of Feeding (Good For Fishing)
SeptemberGood Levels Of Feeding (Good For Fishing)
October Medium Levels Of Feeding (Adequate For Fishing)
November Medium Levels Of Feeding (Adequate For Fishing)
December Low Levels Of Feeding (Not Ideal For Fishing)

With the temperatures changing certain plants may also be affected along with the other life that is present in the lake. Spawning and disease, along with sunlight exposure all affect the environment as a whole.

Carp are also very active during the night time. The quiet atmosphere combined with less light exposure has also been shown to increase the bite ratio. The lack of pressure and commotion from anglers may be part of the reason behind this as well as a decline in other species feeding.

Best Time To Catch Carp During The Spring

Spring can fantastic time of the year to catch plenty of carp, the cool but mild temperature in some cases is ideal for optimum feeding. Carp usually spawn from around April to August which means their natural metabolic rate increases in preparation causing an increase in appetite.

When fishing in spring there are a few different techniques to optimize your chances of landing fish. The first is looking for some sunny spells in the weather. We find that carp come up to the surface when more during this time allowing you to spot them and place rigs perfectly.

Tips For Spring Carp Fishing

When fishing in the spring the carp are increasing their rate of feeding leading on from the winter months. A great way to catch their attention and use the situation to your advantage is small piles of attractive bait with plenty of colour and smell. A simple but effective way to do this is using a method feeder rig with a bright wafter.

Using this very rig for the majority of our carp fishing it’s proven time and time again to be one of the quickest ways to get a bite.

Fishing a Lake that is heavily stocked is always something to look for however can be especially important when fishing in spring.

Best Baits For Spring Carp Fishing

A feeder mix with some extra pungent ingredients is a recipe for success. Whether this is carp goo or small bits of sweetcorn, something to spice up your feeder mix will be beneficial. For your hook bait, bright pop-ups and wafters are the way to go. Baits such as maggots, sweet corn, and luncheon meat will also work just as well. Testing out different baits to see what works for you on the day is an excellent way to get a better understanding of the fish in your swim.


  • Fish may be getting ready to spawn, resulting in an increased appetite.
  • The water temperature has increased since winter and days start to get longer.
  • An increase in sunlight makes the carp easier to locate and monitor.
  • Simple rigs and perfect for spring fishing
  • Less is often more. Carp sessions will cost you less.
  • Lakes are still not overly pressured by fellow anglers


  • Some spring months can be extremely cold, in turn negatively affective bites
  • colder mornings and evenings mean the prime time to catch carp is affected
  • Much bigger fish do stay deep out in the lake so if specimen carp is a target for you waiting a few months may be beneficial.

Best Time To Catch Carp During The Summer

Summertime is without a doubt the most popular season to fish for carp. Enthusiasts all over the world prepare for the summer season in hope of landing some monsters. The popularity of fishing in general rises as a whole, this does, however, mean that lakes are packed with anglers. Which in some cases spooks the fish.

Let’s not forget summer can get too hot and deter fish from feeding, but from a general standpoint fishing for carp is best during the summer. The ideal time is usually early morning just after sunrise and an hour or 2 before sunset.

Tips For Summer Carp Fishing

Summer carp fishing can be an extremely enjoyable and rewarding time, the atmosphere is ideal, hence the reason behind the sudden increase in popularity when this time does come around.

When fishing for carp in the summer, you are aware that the fish are feeding. It’s crucial to keep fish in your swim. Even if the lakes are heavily stocked with fish, the high pressure from anglers means they’ve got plenty of food and are spoiled for choice. It’s your job to ensure your rig and hook bait stand out from the crowd.

Adapting your fishing depending on the venue is another key factor to consider. For some lakes chumming a spot beforehand works and for others, you need to be mobile. When fishing in the summer stalking carp is something we found gave excellent results the majority of the time.

With so many rigs and bits of tackle on the market these days it can be a daunting task, especially for novice anglers. Check out our article on best carp rigs for a detailed guide on different rigs and how to tie them

Best Baits For Summer Carp Fishing

Boilies, wafters, and maze and some excellent baits to use all throughout summer. As carp eat pretty much anything there’s no magic bait that is better than the rest. Trial and error can be a great way to determine what works best for you. We have had lots of success using wafters, maggots, sweet corn, luncheon meat, pop-ups, and bread. Not to mention feeder and spod mixes are also worth trying.


  • Fish are feeding the most
  • Spawning season increases appetite
  • All fisheries are open
  • The fishing community is at an all-time high


  • Lakes can be overly crowded spooking fish
  • Temperatures can become too high in turn affecting feeding negatively

Best Time To Catch Carp During The Autumn

Autumn, especially earlier on can also be excellent for carp fishing. Once November starts getting colder and the days become shorter there’s a clear drop in fishing all over the country.

Carp can still be caught in the colder months, the only things that change slightly are the methods implemented in order to catch them. Smaller and more attractive baits are the way to go.

Tips For Autumn Carp Fishing

Depositing small piles of attractive bates in different locations, all with dedicated rigs is a great way to catch carp as the weather becomes colder. There’s no real advantage to fishing in the autumn apart from the decreased competition from other anglers. Many carp fishermen take time of fishing through the colder months which also provides you with opportunities you won’t necessarily get in the summer.

Best Baits For Winter Carp Fishing

Pellets, wafters, maggots, and luncheon meat all seem to work wonders throughout winter. Adding extra attractions to your bait mix is definitely worth considering. It’s important to make your bait irresistible. A few easy ways to do this are with additives such as carp goo, hot sauce, or any other carp bait enhancer.


  • Lack of competition
  • Quite venues, more options, and variety is available
  • Plenty of great carp can still be caught


  • Decline in feeding
  • Some lakes close restricting choices
  • Can be more challenging and requires more patience

Best Time To Catch Carp During The Winter

Releasing a mirror carp

Winter carp fishing isn’t easy but is definitely not worth missing out on. Carp do feed year round so presenting them with something irresistible is going to ensure success on the bank. Keeping your tackle, lightweight and mobile is something that would help you grasp opportunities quickly.

Tips For Winter Carp Fishing

When fishing in winter it’s important to stay wrapped up, if the temperature is approaching 0 degrees and you do end up getting a bite, without the appropriate clothing you could end up ill.

Use easy-to-set-up rigs and baits and keep your tackle to a minimum. Fishing in winter often requires you to move around and go out and find the fish. Their movement is at an all-time low.

Best Baits For Winter Carp Fishing

Maggots and pellets are some of the most reliable baits when catching carp in the winter. We’d recommend staying away from big boilies and pop-ups instead, try to lure the fish in with something slightly different.

Maggots have been used in fishing for years but have recently been overlooked. The amazing results we’ve seen when using maggots during winter prove their reliability.


  • Lakes are sometimes completely empty
  • Fish will bite especially on sunny days
  • Stalking carp can work well in some cases


  • Feeding decreases
  • The fish move around less, giving them less chance of seeing your bait


The best time to go fishing for carp will always be the summer. This doesn’t however mean that carp anglers can’t continue catching amazing fish all throughout the year. With a few changes in bait techniques and tackle it’s possible to maintain consistent bites.

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