Mirror carp


What is vital is the introduction of at least half a kilo of the boilies you intend to use on the hook.

Tackle should be robust without being over top. I like a stepped up Avon type rod 12 feet in length. You need 12 feet at least for casting when the float is set 10 feet or more. Line strength is generally 10lbs and floats will waggles obviously, routinely carrying 2 to 3BB shot, slightly more in a gale. A pin is not obligatory but preferable to a fixed spool reel. Hooked close in, a carp will generally make an initial run of 50 yards or more and a thumb on a revolving drum is by far the most reliable form of control. The fun factor of course is immense.


Set the float at least one foot over depth so the line is lying on the lake bed and the line through the

water column is slack and nonthreatening to fish brushing against it. Put all the cocking shot up top, around the base of the float. You do not want shot on the line in midwater: this scares the fish and it can result in false bites from silvers. In extremely windy conditions, you might need a shot near the hook but generally the weight of the boilie acts as an anchor.

Casting is not easy(I have never mastered sliding floats!) but as distances are so small manageable. We lay the rods on the reeds and keep low and quiet. I’ll fish for twenty minutes to see if carp are already in the swim but if not I’ll bait with most of a Vitalin bucket and two handfuls of boilies. I’ll repeat the process every 45 minutes or so. You cannot overfeed. There will be many silvers in the swim along perhaps with tench and bream… it was trying to catch these species that showed me the carping potential as well.

The fight is dynamic, pulsating and addictive. Runs of 80 yards plus are frequent so you need 150 yards of line on the reel to be safe. Put decent pressure on and fight the carp briskly. 10 pound line should give you plenty of margin on balanced tackle. Obviously try to keep carp away from any danger features and, as I have said, likes are my bugbear. Kiting is a major issue. If a carp veers seriously right or left, put big pressure on early to get them back in front of you. There is a point of no return when further pressure simply pulls a fish more quickly into bank-side snags.

Top notch gear is essential. You want to fight these fish with confidence and get them in the net without undue stress. My team of Piscarios is as good as it gets for this job. Utterly simple. Utterly reliable. Can’t ask for more.