Why are carp so hard to catch

Many people are under the impression that carp are a very hard fish to catch. They believe that in order to get a shot at landing a big carp you need to spend days on the bank waiting for a bite. The easy answer is that carp can be a very hard fish to catch if you are unaware of how to fish for them properly.

Carp get smarter as they get older which is a reason why catching a smaller carp is easier than catching a bigger carp, they are an easily spooked fish which is one very important factor you have to take into consideration.

Most people do not have days to give away to their fishing and are more interested in spending say an afternoon fishing. In this article, we will go through the ways in which you can increase your chances of a bite as well as understand that by using the correct methods carp can be an easy fish to catch.

Are you using the right technique?

There’s thousands of rigs and techniques in carp fishing which vary vastly in terms of complexity and effectiveness. We found that the largest determiner for the rig we used was the venue that we were fishing.

For instance, if we were fishing in the summer on a weedy lake our initial rig choice would probably be a chod rig. However we found that on most commercial fisheries the rig we constantly kept going back to was the method feeder rig. A lot anglers associate the method feeder with match fishing which is completely correct, many match anglers use the method feeder to catch loads of little F1’s and bream but with a few tweaks the method feeder can be just as effective for targeting larger carp.

The method rig works best in lakes where there is sufficient stock and can be absolutely devastating on the right venue. If you’re finding it difficult to catch we’d defiantly recommend giving it a go.

17lb common taken on the method. Some micro-pellets wrapped around the method and bright pink wafter

If you want to learn more about method feeder fishing, have a quick look at our method feeder fishing course. It covers all the fundamentals of method feeder fishing and we’d highly recommend it if you’re struggling to catch.

The best way to learn

There is a surplus of information available online that covers topics on carp fishing, including our website, but the best way to improve is by doing it yourself.

You only become good at carp fishing through trial and error, there are thousands of articles, videos, and tutorials online but there is no substitution for practice. Whenever we start fishing at a new venue, the fishing is normally always tough during the first few sessions. But then you start to get a feel of what’s working, you start to notice the carp’s feeding patterns and then you hit the goldmine and it’s a breeze.

A book we found to really help broaden our knowledge of carp fishing and inevitably significantly improve was the Carp fishing manual by Kevin Green (check price on Amazon)

The carp fishing manual is laid out perfectly making it extremely to understand. Ideal for the novice fishermen who want a better general understanding of fishing combined with simple step by step guide of how to do different fishing tasks from making bates to tying rigs. The ultimate guide in our opinion, this manual is full of interesting facts and helpful tools that should add to your fishing knowledge. The book is packed with tips that can help anglers of all different levels which is another clear way this book shows its value.

If you’re thinking about getting into fishing or just want to learn more, defiantly consider picking up a copy of the carp fishing manual by Kevin green. This book is great to read at the bank whilst waiting for a bite, something that we found to be very useful. As this book is packed with so much, you’ll be learning and implementing the tools and tips into your fishing for days, we can’t find anything better for the price on the market. The amount you get for your money really makes it a worthwhile purchase.

If you’re struggling to catch carp, or just want to increase your knowledge and learn something new, this carp fishing manual should help put more fish in your landing net, in our opinion, it’s definitely worth a read. Here’s a link yo get the most up to date price Carp fishing manual by Kevin Green (check price on Amazon)

However, the best way we’ve found to learn the fundamentals is by reading this book: “Ali Hamidi’s carp fishing masterclass”. It’s packed with information and is incredibly helpful for a beginner but still provides tips for more advanced anglers. We’ve had our copy since the book launched years ago but we still find it useful and refer back to it every time we’re stuck on something. You can find a copy here: Ali Hamidi’s carp fishing masterclass (Check price on Amazon)

Ali hamidi book 1.PNG

Ali’s a well-regarded angler in the carp fishing community and one of the best carp anglers out there. If you’ve heard of Korda, chances are you would’ve heard of Ali too. His tactics and tips are useful and detailed and there’s no gimmicky rubbish whatsoever.​

Personally being a fan of Ali Hamidi as a fisherman we have a signed copy of this book which has helped us to progress into better anglers, from the fundamental basics of carp fishing to the advanced techniques and approaches, this book has pretty much all you need to know about catching carp.

It goes through many aspects of carp fishing starting from the essentials and gradually building in detail and complexity. Apart from being a great factual book which provides lots of fishing knowledge

it also gives an insight into the fishing life of Ali Hamidi which is interesting to read about.

The book has 32 chapters targeting different aspects of fishing. The clearly set out step by step guides makes everything easy to understand which really helps especially if you have taken this book to the bank with you and want to know the answer to something quick.

The guides also go into great detail, for instance when Ali is demonstrating how to tie a rig, he shows every single, small precise step in order to get the neatest and most presentable rig which will be the most effective

The book teaches many different skills such as how to prepare baits, tie hooks, and carp safety, it’s also filled with images which is another reason it’s so easy to understand. We’d recommend this book to any carp angler, whether you’re just starting out or have lots of experience under your belt, Ali Hamidi’s carp fishing masterclass is a must-read.


Having the right equipment is crucial for success when carp fishing, however, knowing what to buy can be difficult for novice anglers due to such a wide range of products designed for carp fishing. The tackle you will need in order to be able to fish for carp may surprise you especially because there are stereotypes that carp anglers have thousands of pounds worth of tackle.

A couple of good quality rods like the Diawa Black Widow G50 (check price on Amazon) is what we recommend as they are great for casting and are affordable. Along with this you will need a  reel of your choice, try to go for a reel with a big spool this will increase the amount of line you can have on your reel as well as a more line being brought in with every turn.

A net is essential as carp can be injured if lifted out the water incorrectly so make sure you have one, most fisheries will require you to have a 42-inch net as a minimum, carp-care is super important and if you’d like to learn more on carp fishing safety, you can check out our article on how to safely handle carp .

Rigs are also key for carp fishing, and this is where most people get scared off. Rigs can be incredibly intricate and complex but they can also be very simple, we recommend a method feeder rig for new carp anglers, you’d normally associate the method feeder with match fishing and although it is a popular technique among match anglers, it is just as effective for carp fishing. We recommend using this rig on fairly unpressured waters where there is a decent stock of carp.

The bait you can use for carp fishing doesn’t have to extraordinary, this is because carp pretty much eat anything so if the food is edible for you its most likely a bait carp will go for. There are baits specially designed for the job such as pellets and boilies but not having them doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish.


We believe that there isn’t one best way of catching carp but a variety of different methods that work better in different circumstances. Depending on where and when you are fishing to get the best possible results you need to make sure that you are using the conditions you are in, to your advantage.

This means selecting a style of fishing, for example, if you are fishing in the middle of summer on a hot day and you can see carp at the surface of the water then stalking or surface fishing would be a sensible option. As carp are easily spooked it is a good idea to get them feeding confidently around your swim before you cast a rod out. This will optimize your chances of a bite as well as give you a clear indication as to how the fish in that area tend to behave.

In the winter carp generally, tend to be even harder to catch, this means taking your observations of the lake one step further. When fishing in the winter make sure to walk around the lake you are going to be fishing and analyze the surface of the water for any indication of fish. Using a feeder to fish in the winter can be a really effective technique. It is a known fact that fish feed less in the summer so giving them small piles of bait on the lake bed is more likely to entice the fish. Overfeeding your swim will in most cases lessen your chances of the bite especially in the colder weather.

Another way to increase your chances of catching is by using a hair rig, the hook is not covered by bait and is able to move freely which cuts down the time it takes for the hook to pierce into the mouth of this fish.


Knowing where the fish are is a must if you want to get the most out of your fishing trips. There are certain areas which carp naturally like to be in, these are places where you should be casting to.

A particular area which is known for being heavily concentrated with fish are the margins, however, it’s important to be extra alert when you get a bite as the fish will automatically try and snag the line. As it is already so close to the edge of the lake you the angler should try and get the fish into open water. This will decrease the chances of losing the fish.

Another great place where your chances of a bit are higher is any sort of features in the lake this can be anything from an island to Lilly pads. They all provide the fish with a hiding place which is exactly what they look for, not to mention they are also more comfortable in sheltered areas which increases the likelihood of feeding.


So that you have it, a quick insight into why we believe anglers can find carp very difficult to catch. Aside from our favourite carp fishing books if you’d like to learn more then feel free to check out some of our other articles @carpreviews.co.uk

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