How To Catch Carp In The Summer – A Complete Guide

Picking The Right Swim

Taking a couple of laps around the lake is one of the best things you can do when summer carp fishing. This can mean the difference between an amazing fishing session or going home empty-handed. Take a good look at the lake your fishing from lots of aspects and try to spot carp hiding near features like lily pads and reeds. For this job you’ll want a pair of polarized sunglasses, there not required but the job is much easier and a hundred times quicker.

This tactic has got us great results and nearly every time we go fishing we’re successful, It’s really surprising how many anglers can’t be bothered to use this simple technique, it only takes a few minutes and can transform your fishing session.

If you’re struggling to find the right spots, a fish finder might be something worth investing in. Its a small device that you can easily pack into a tackle bag and connects to your mobile phone displaying a live feed of the lake bed which is perfect for finding features where the fish could be hiding!

Use Oily Baits

Try to use oily baits when fishing in the summer, carp go insane for these baits in the summer, and its one of the best ways to draw fish into your swim quickly. An effective way of doing this is by incorporating pellets into your particle baits. Pellets contain lots of oils and are bound to keep the carp grubbing around for ages.

This is exactly what you want however check that the lake your fishing does not contain lots of nuisance fish as they will get to the pellets before the carp do the technique will become much less effective.

Why Feeder Fishing Is Perfect For The Summer

If you’re looking for one of the fastest ways to catch carp during the summer, we’d recommend method feeder fishing. Most anglers have heard about the method from match anglers who are trying to catch loads of little carp and bream but with a few modifications, the method feeder can be absolutely devastating for targeting specimen-sized carp as well. We caught this immaculate 17lb on our last session as well as plenty of other double-figure fish. If you want to learn method feeder fishing, we’d recommend taking a quick look at our Method Feeder Fishing Course which covers the entire topic from start to finish.

Bait Up Little & Often

A common mistake made by many anglers is throwing too much bait in one go, feeding little and often is the best way to optimize your chances of a bite. If there is too much bait in your swim your hook bait will often go unnoticed by the carp.

Think of it this way, you can always add more bait but you cannot take it out. The consistent flow of bait entering the swim means that the carp will remain in that area but they won’t be spoiled for choice, a good way to further increase your chances of a bite is to make your hook-bait stand out, a brightly coloured Pop-up, dipped in flavouring will just be too good for them to resist!

Try Stalking Carp This Summer

Stalking is an unbelievable technique in the summer, If you’re not getting any bites from your rods, stalking is a great alternative that is incredibly fun and effective.

Weedy Margins revive a lot of sunlight in summer and get very warm and all the natural food in the lakes is very concentrated in these areas which draws in the fish.

This is why you see carp near the margins in the summer or in warmer areas of the lake. Whenever we arrive at a new lake we take a lap or two around wearing polarized sunglasses and try to spot any areas in the lake where there may be fish

Look for ripples, murky clouds, and movement in reeds and lily pads, almost every time we go fishing in the summer we see fish around the margins of the lake. 

A great place to stalk carp or to place your rig is around lily pads or bullrushes. This particular type of environment makes the carp feel secluded and hidden from dangers, this will make them feel more comfortable with their surroundings meaning that there is a higher chance that a fish will take your bait.

However casting to the lily pads does come with its risks, all the plants in that particular area mean that there are lots of places where the fish could potentially snap your line even after being hooked. When you hook a fish just off the margins or plants try and pull the fish into open water, this will increase your chances of landing the fish. 

Also having a good lightweight stalking rod is also a major advantage when doing a very active style of fishing and so much easier to carry around than a traditional 11/12ft carp rod and any lightweight reel coupled up with a stalking rod will do the job nicely. The rod we recommend is the Wychwood Extricator MLT (check price on Amazon)

Surface Fishing In The Summer

The best time to surface fish is early mornings, this will give you an advantage over the other anglers on the lake as they will probably be sleeping so you essentially have all of the lake to yourself and the carp will be more than likely feeding on the surface.

In the early morning, you will notice a substantial increase in the number of carp you see coming to the surface of the water, use this to your advantage and make sure you have a stalking rod all set up and ready to cast out.

Also, big carp are known to sometimes come into shallow waters which again gives you a great opportunity to target them. A great surface you bait is dog Biscuits, they’re dirt cheap and work wonders.

Keep comfortable

In summer make sure that you are comfortable when fishing, the heat combined with all the things you’re doing may irritate you causing you to make mistakes which is really the opposite of what you want. A good bed chair is advised as well as appropriate clothing, fishing comfortably will put you in a better mindset which will certainly show in your fishing.

There is a wide range of Bivis bed chairs, clothing, and other accessories on the market, through extensive research we have tried to find the best products in different price brackets to make your purchasing decision easier and help you find what’s best for you. For more information check out one of our other articles on how to stay comfortable on the bank.

Stay away from Angling pressure

Fishing in summer usually means that lakes are packed with anglers, this can sometimes force the fish into the middle of the lake so it’s very important to know where the fish are before you cast out a rig. Take some time after arriving at the lake to walk around, look for signs of fish and make a calculated decision on where you want to set up.

Anglers usually prefer to fish in the summer due to the longer hours of sunlight and increased sightings of carp coming up to the surface, this usually means commercial fisheries are packed and the fish are well aware of angling pressure.

Try to stay away from a big group of anglers because the fish will be under a lot of pressure and will be very hesitant to bite, your best bet is to find a secluded swim that is showing some signs of fish, by doing this you are much more likely to get a bite.

The Best Baits For Summer Carp Fishing

Depending on the size of fish you want to catch and the location, you can use different baits to your advantage. Our number one tip for when fishing in the summer is to bring a large variety of baits, you don’t want to get to the lake and find out that a certain bait is working very well when you don’t have it.

SweetcornA great bait that works well no matter the size of the fish you want to catch is sweet corn. It has been proven that carp are attracted to the colour and scent of the sweet corn making it an excellent all-round bait. Even though sweetcorn can be used all throughout the year when carp fishing, we personally noticed that it works exceptionally well in the summer.

However many carp anglers we know will use fake corn on a hair instead of regular corn. We use fake corn so that every time we get a bite we don’t need to keep re-baiting which is especially useful in the summer when the action is very fast.
MaggotsMaggots are notorious in the fishing community for being the number one carp bait all around the year, they are especially favored in the colder seasons but also work incredibly well in the summer.

We love using maggots in the summer because of how versatile they are, they can be used in feeders, PVA bags, ground baits, and hook baits.
BreadWe will bring bread on almost every fishing session in the summer along with a spare stalking rod at hand. There have been several occasions in the summer when big carp have a few feet away from the bank and we’ve managed to catch them using a slow sinking piece of bread.
Zig BugsA zig bug is a surface bait, it’s just a piece of plastic that impersonates a fly or bug sitting on the surface of the water. You’ll often find the zig to be working very well when bottom baits aren’t. However, you do need optimum weather conditions when zig fishing, it needs to be hot enough for the carp to be coming to the surface and it’s almost impossible to fish any kind of surface bait when it’s windy.
You can find zig-bugs in most carp tackle shops, if not you can get Esp Zig Bugs (check price on Amazon)
Pop-upsIn the summer we found the majority of our success coming from the margins where it’s mostly very weedy. This is why we almost always use pop-ups in the summer, it’s very frustrating to fish with boilies in these conditions as your rigs get tangled with weed and you lose a lot of fish. A very simple way to use a pop-up is by using a chod-rig which is infamous for preventing snags in weedy waters.
PelletsWe use pellets a lot in day sessions or during match fishing as a hook bait but we almost always incorporate pellets into our ground baits and PVA mixes. This is because different-sized pellets have different breakdown rates so that means you can keep a consistent amount of bait in your swim for a much longer time.

On the occasions that we do use pellets as hook-baits, we have to make sure that they are reasonably sized otherwise your hook-bait will just keep being hit with lots of nuisance fish like roach and tench. It doesn’t really matter what season it is, it’s always good to have a variety of pellets and baits in general in your tackle box.
BoiliesBoilies come in different sizes, colours, and flavors. Choosing what size boilies to use really depends on the size of fish you want to catch, however, this is not always the case as some of the biggest carp we have ever caught have been of sweet corn which proves that the biggest fish aren’t always after the biggest bait.

Using a massive boilie might also decrease your chances of a bite because a lot of carp won’t even be able to fit a massive go-stopper boilie in their mouths! When fishing for carp in summer using crushed or whole boilies gets the carp feeding and its a very good bait to incorporate into your ground baits and bait mixes. 

The Best Rigs For Summer Carp Fishing

The Float Rig: A simple float rig can be an effective way to catch large quantities of carp in the summer, many match fishermen use this rig and are able to catch hundreds in their sessions. We’ve personally had a huge amount of success using this technique and usually average around 20 fish per session.

In the summer the placement of the rig is also very important, float rigs can’t be cast very far so the best option is to stick the shallow, warm water near the margins. This is because warm water is full of natural food and attracts the carp into that area, this is why so many carp anglers have great success when fishing the margins in the summer.

A float rig is also very easy to tie and use making it ideal for beginners, it’s the rig we used to start carp fishing as well as many other anglers, if you’re new to carp fishing and just getting started, we’d highly recommend that you start with a float fishing

Method Rig: Another great rig for your summer fishing is the method rig. They allow you to have your hook bait over your feeding bait automatically.

Fishing a method feeder is a great way to bait up your swim and have you hook bait in the water all in one go. Using a feeder allows you to place a ground bait accurately around your hook-bait which will draw the fish into your swim and drastically increase your chances of a bite.

Method feeder rigs are simple and effective they are easy to tie as well, they’re basically the same as any other in-line lead system. 

The colour of most method feeders is similar to the colour of the lake bed meaning that carp do not get spooked by them. In the summer the water can also be clearer than in winter so using a well disguised rig is key when trying to catch carp.

You can find method feeders here – Croch Fishing Inline Method Feeder

PVA Bags: Pva bags are another great piece of tackle you can add to your rig when fishing in the summer, they disintegrate after being in the water for a small period of time making another great way to get fish feeding around your hook bait.

People use PVA bags in their rigs in different ways meaning they are adaptable for different fishing environments and situations.

Mesh PVA bags have a quicker breakdown rate than solid PVA bags.

anglers put a lead and the hook inside the bag as they think it is better when casting but really it is whatever you feel works best for you. The concept of a PVA bag is very similar to a method rig, it allows you to accurately bait up your swim to draw fish in and get them feeding.

Zig rigs: Zig rigs are typical summer carp bait that works most effectively in warm temperatures. Carp come to the surface of the water in summer when the temperature is warm, using zig rigs is a great way to target those fish and use different fishing techniques like stalking.

Using zig rigs is a different way to fish for carp than normal, as they are usually bottom feeders and hoover up bait from the lake bed but they do come up to the surface frequently in warm temperatures so using a fake bug as bait is a smart idea.

Zigs are not hard to use and come in many different shapes and sizes so when trying to catch carp using zigs try a few different bugs and see which ones are getting you a bite most frequently. All-round zigs rigs are excellent for fishing in the summertime and in our opinion should defiantly be given a chance by all carp anglers.

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