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Carp fishing - Don't forget the margins

As you may have guessed from my previous blogs, I absolutley love Carp fishing. Everything about it just brings enjoyment, the wildlife, the sun sets and sun rises and the calm serenity of a peaceful lake.

Even the rain, bouncing off the bivvy roof and surface of the lake, offers a level of relaxation un-matched by anything else I've ever done.

When you couple that with the anticipation and excitement or waiting for the line to tear off, bringing the alarm into song and the adrenalin rush experienced, when playing a fish to the net, Carp angling just has it all for me.

Fox alarms and Stem Tackle all black illuminated bite indicators
Alarms and bite indicators patiently waiting

Over the years, I've fished lakes of all sizes, from ponds stocked with silvers, Crucians and sub 10lbers to large featureless lakes with 40 and 50lbers in. Across these varied waters, 1 thing has always stuck with me, and that is;

Don't forget the margins.

Especially if there are lilies, overhanging trees or bull rushes and irises, for the Carp to feed and shelter under.

Fizzing can be seen on the surface after baiting up
Lilly pads, a great safe haven for the Carp

I think this comes from the days spent as a youngster, fishing with my Dad on day ticket lakes. At the end of every day, anglers would chuck their left over bait into the margins, before leaving for home.

Of course the fish get used to this, and feed on all the freebees, every evening. This over time generates feeding habits, that if observed, can be used as good areas to drop in a hook bait.

In this Carp fishing session, I had a reasonable area of open water in front of me that I believed must be used as a bit of a transit lane into the bay to my right. So, after a play around with the marker float, I found a nice solid area to place my baits, and dropped 2 rods out there, hopeful of a fish from a feeding shoal.

Having 2 rods close together, eases loose feeding and also increases the chance of a bite if a shoal swims over your spot.

Great for a little baited spot just under the branches
Overhanging Willow tree

The margin to my left though, had a lovely overhanging Willow tree, which extended out, over the surface of the lake by about 8ft. This had Carp written all over it, and was where I placed my 3rd rod.

Throughout the day the entire lake was extremely quiet, so I had a nice chat with the Bailiff. He confirmed that fishing had been tough all week, with just 1 fish out in the last 6 days.

It sounded like this was going to be a challenging session, even with my trusted L7 fillable corn stops in use.

The night drew on and I got my head down around 11pm, having scoured the lake for signs of fish activity, all day.

Then came the wakeup call! How I love margin fishing for Carp.

The rod under the tree rocked off. I must have been in a mega deep sleep, as my head was so fuzzy that I struggled to get my crocks on, before running out to the rods.

The line was ripping off the spool at a scorching rate, my bite alarm singing that amazing tune and my illuminated bobbin, glowing bright, tight up to the alarm, was allowing the line to run free, pulled by a powerful Carp.

This fish was no slouch and it pulled for every snag it could before it bolted for open water. The bend in the rod told the story of an epic battle with a fantastically fit, strong fish.

I definitely breathed a missive sigh of relief, when I slipped the net under this amazing Common. Thank you Carp gods for smiling down on me again.

In to the next day and again there were no visual signs of activity at all, so I had a lead around with the marker float to try and find some features. Most of the open water in front of me was between 12 and 15ft deep with a mixture of silt and hard spots.

Nothing jumped out to me as a Carpy hot spot, so I opted to keep the same open water area as the previous day. I would just feed little and often, to hopefully ring the dinner bell and entice the Carp to feed.

Instead, I spent most of the day talking to walkers passing by, taking pictures of lakeside flowers. Watching the Geese and Goslings and Ducks with their rapidly growing Ducklings, swimming, feeding, relaxing in the sun and probably laughing at me not catching.

Geese and Goslings coming to say hello

Experiencing lakeside nature, makes the quiet times in Carp fishing, almost as rewarding as the catching. Well at least that is what I tell myself anyway.

A peaceful, golden sunset closed out the day and I hoped for a repeat of last nights run, as I drifted off to sleep.

Bang! There it was, the same rod from under the tree ripped of again, just as aggressively as it had done the night before.

I was buzzing almost as much as my alarm. Again my illuminated bite indicator was pulled up tight, with the line ripping through it so fast, that it should be producing steam!

Another hard fought battle ensued, but this fish continued to pull for the snags in the far margin to the left. And it pulled and pulled and pulled, what amazingly powerful creatures these fish are.

I was able to recover it from the snags, but as it got closer to the net, it had a second wind and charged off again.

Ping, Oh no, has it come off?

The line remained tight and the bend in the rod, constant. It had just flicked over the Carp's dorsal fin as it changed direction. Still a heart stopping moment all the same.

Eventually in the net, I clapped eyes on another fantastic Common, extremely happy to say the least.

With photos done and the hook hold treated, the 2nd fish of the trip was safely retuned to the lake, followed by another sound sleep.

Although this trip was only 2 fish in 36hrs, I was very pleased with the results. During my time on that peg, only 1 other Carp was caught from around the lake. Had I not have dropped that rod under the tree in the margin, I could have blanked too.

Don't forget the margins.

Thanks again for reading my blog and if you have any angling stories you'd like to share, please get in touch.


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