Spring fishing is sometimes neglected, the main reason for this is many anglers often prefer fishing those hot summer sessions and don’t believe the level of success they’ll have in the spring time is worth the effort. Although it’s a fact that the fish will usually feed more when summer comes around, capitalizing on the spring is something that many anglers are missing out on.
With the temperature rising to sometimes double figures the carp will start coming up to the surface and feeding once again, they’re biologically cold-blooded creatures so it will automatically increase their activity once the days start getting longer and warmer. This time is perfect to get a few sessions in and catch fish before everyone else starts, we find fishing in the spring time comes with its perks, lakes are often less packed with anglers and the fish can be ravenous especially if they’ve just gone through the colder months without eating much. For that very reason, we’ve created a list of our top tips for spring fishing, in the article, we’ll be going through the ins and outs of what works best for spring fishing, tactics you need to know, and lots more. If any of that sounds interesting stick around for a few more minutes and continue reading.
1) What bait should I use?
When it comes to fishing in general having the right bait for the job is crucial for success, this isn’t any different when fishing during the spring. We’ve discovered that as the fish are not in that summer feeding frenzy, tempting them to come out and take your bait will require an improved level of attraction, with that being said, this doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend loads of money expensive baits and additives. In this section of the article, we’ll be going through our top spring baits as well as explaining why these baits in particular made it onto this list.
Sweetcorn: One of our favourite all time baits, sweetcorn is one of a few baits that works pretty much every time you fish with it, it’s evident that as the carp are so used to this bait as well as it being highly attractive, using it during the spring time is a great way to lure them out. This way the carp get something they know and love, whilst also keeping them grubbing around for ages. Its bright colour and sweet smell is a major factor as to why it’s so effective all year round. Not to mention this stuff is dirt cheap meaning you can use it generously without having to worry, sweetcorn is a great hook and feed bait again showing it’s immense value and versatility when it comes to carp fishing. A clear all round winner for spring fishing.
Pellets: Yet another highly attractive and worthwhile bait perfect for spring fishing, we often fish the simple method feeder rig with a banded pellet during early spring, it’s a really simple yet effective rig that allows us to incorporate pellets into our fishing brilliantly. The pellets work great in a feeder mix and add an extra level of attraction, perfect for luring in those big carp. If you’d like some more info about how to make feeder mixes then check out one of our articles on best carp bait mixes. All in all, when fishing in the springtime using pellets is defiantly an opportunity not worth missing. There are lots of different brands, sizes, and styles on the market so it can be a daunting task to decide what to buy, especially for novice anglers. Here’s a link to the ones we use if you’re interested. Bait-Tech Pellets 900g
Pop-ups: With many big name angling businesses constantly releasing new products, we anglers are spoilt for choice, we’ve found with pop-ups if you stick to a carp fishing brand you’ll be perfectly fine, they all seem to work great and will catch you fish. With that being said by going off the same principle as we’ve mentioned earlier the carp will go for a highly attractive bait, however, will still be feeding slightly less, this means chumming your spot hard could still be a killer technique for bringing the fish in, but its important to take into consideration that it’s clear the carp will not have that ravenous appetite which is displayed during the summer. However, using a bright pop up with a PVA bag of heavily attractive bait will get them feeding, there’s no to ways about it, we’d definitely recommend giving this a go.
2) Best techniques for spring fishing
When it comes to spring fishing there are a few techniques we found to just work. In this section of the article we’ll be going through a few different techniques we often implement into our spring fishing along with the reasoning behind there excellence. An extremely important technique when fishing in the spring is getting your rigs right. Here’s some info about our favourite spring rigs and why.
Method feeder rig: This rig has caught us a countless number of carp all throughout the year, it’s very easy to tie and in our opinion is defiantly one of the best rigs out there if you’re looking to catch lots of carp quick. As the rig dispurses nice quantities of bait around the hook it’s ideal for the spring, not too much and not too little! If you feel the need to add in extra bait that’s also fine, the groundbait you use in the method feeder can be mushed into bait balls and thrown in my hand or with a slingshot. In fact, a great tip when feeder fishing is once you’ve found a spot pre bait it, this doesn’t have to be heavy, 5 handfuls of ground bait can really alter the level of activity in the swim, not only will it keep the carp grubbing around for ages but it won’t be enough to fill them up. The hook bait on method rig can be anything from hair rigged sweet corn to banded pellets and pop-ups, trying and testing different hook baits is a great way to find out what works best.
After having lots of success when feeder fishing, we’ve decided to create a curriculum-based course going through exactly how to implement the method feeder into your carp fishing successfully. If you’d like to learn everything from the basics right up to the more advanced aspects of fishing, consider signing up for our course: LEARN METHOD FEEDER FISHING
Stalking set up: One of our all time favourite ways to fish is stalking, the level of excitement and fun you’ll get from fishing with this technique is unlike any other. The rig is dead easy you can tie on some non sinking line or just tie a simple hook onto your mainline, it’s really that easy. The best bait for this rig is without a doubt either bread, dog biscuits, or zigs. In all honesty, when spring comes around the fish are waiting eagerly to come up to surface, this is where stalking for carp can work wonders. Choosing a warmer sunny day is what we’d recommend, it doesn’t have to be super hot by any means, essentially when the rays from the sun hit the water the carp will start coming up to the surface. Keeping a trusty loaf of bread is well worth doing whenever fishing in the spring, if all else isn’t working using this technique could well and truly save you from blanking.
PVA rig: Another great rig for fishing in the spring. Incorporating PVA into your angling can be an excellent way to increase your number of bites. PVA is a material that dissolves as it comes into contact with water, this means you’ll be able to place some calculated baits right around your hook, which is ideal for spring fishing when the carp aren’t as active. We find PVA mesh works better with dry baits such as bollies, pellets of sweet corn however PVA bags allow you to incorporate more liquidy baits such as feeder mix with some added attractant or a pack bait. PVA is defiantly something worth considering if you’ll be fishing during the spring.
All in all the main things to remember when spring fishing is don’t over bait nor under bait, it may take some time to discover the feeding pattern of the carp where your fishing which moves us perfectly onto out next tip of location and observation, without a doubt the most important things in carp fishing period.
Without a doubt location and observation are probably one of the most important factors when carp fishing in general, whether your stalking or placing a bottom rig, finding the fish first is what we’d recommend. If you’re fishing a smallish lake or a reservoir, understanding the movement patterns of the carp will without a doubt put you in a much better position to catch them. This defiantly does not change during the spring. We personally tent to fish smaller lakes during the spring, that being said wherever your fishing always take a few laps around the lake initially.
Spring mornings tend to be cold but sunny, this is great for observing the carp, you’ll notice the increase in sunlight urges the carp come up to the surface, you’ll probably see them making their way from one end of the lake to the other, at this stage the carp will be slowing swimming through the water allowing you to keep an eye out for where there roughly heading. If your not so lucky to be fishing on a sunny day then looking for signs of fish is the next best step. This can be anything from discolouration of the water to ripples and bubbles appearing on the surface, these are all dead give aways that carp are present in the area. If you’d like a more detailed guide about how to find the carp in a lake you may want to check out one of our other articles where we go through exactly that, how to find carp in a lake.
When choosing a swim always think about how it’ll suit your fishing, for instance, if your fishing further out in the lake you don’t want the trees above your swim to be restricting, getting a rig stuck the trees is the last thing you want to be dealing with on the bank. Once you’ve found a spot where the fish are present and that’s suitable for how you’ll be fishing bring your tackle into the swim, be aware carp will get spooked very easily so take your time and keep noise to a minimum especially so if your planning to fish close in. Last but not least always be prepared to do more, if your doing overnight sessions or the fish just aren’t biting then packing up your gear and going back the hunt for signs of carp may be your best chance of catching fish. We know it’s much easier to sit in a dead swim and go on your phone, belive us we’ve done it, however, if you really do want to get the most out of your trip making small sacrifices such as these are essential for success.
4) Staying comfortable
Keeping comfortable is key if you want to stay motivated to spend that extra bit of time of the bank, that’s, why we believe when you go fishing whether it’s on a commercial fishery of specimen, being appropriately prepared for the elements, is essential. In the spring you’ll probably want to bring a nice warm coat and whatever else you’ll need if you’re doing an overnight session. We find being rapped up allows you to focus more on the fishing and less about how cold you are! As carp fishing does take some brain power you want to be fully focused on the task at hand. If you’d like to know how we always stay comfortable on the bank then check out our article on how to keep warm when carp fishing. There we go through everything you need in order to keep comfortable along with some useful tips.
5) The tackle required
The tackle you’ll need when spring fishing should be fairly similar to the rest of the year. It should always be the right bit of kit for the job, essentially don’t try fishing for specimen carp with a float set up. In this section of the article, we’ll be going through the basic tackle we use for spring fishing.
Rod: We tend to stick with a method feeder during the spring period especially, which means a good feeder rod does the job for us nicely. We find this style of fishing will catch you a larger number of carp than that one monster however we’ve caught 20lb carp on the feeder in the past. If you’d like more information about what feeder rod to buy then check out our article on best feeder rods. There we go through lots of different feeder rods at different price points as well as going through their advantages and disadvantages.
Reel: No matter when your fishing, we’d always recommend investing in a good reel, we’ve unfortunately made the mistake of purchasing non-brand reels in the past and they’ve caused absolute havoc on the bank. A good reel we’d recommend to most anglers, in general, is the Shimano bait runner (check price on Amazon). However, if you’d like more information about what carp reel to buy then feel free to check out our article on the best carp reels.
So there you have it, our top tips for spring fishing, if you found this articles useful then feel free to check out some of our others @carpreviews.co.uk