How to catch the Biggest Carp in the dam
By Dick Jones
Big, heavy carp feed every day, in fact, they have to feed a lot to keep their size weight and condition. Yet, the biggest fish tend to be caught the least……why is that? This article has a few pointers on how to catch the biggest carp in the lake.
Targeting big carp means that you have to think and plan differently. Getting your target fish to feed strongly enough to be caught is going to take time and effort. Firstly, you need to research and find out where the big carp have been caught before. Also, it’s important to have an idea about the bait it’s feeding on. Certain baits appeal more to big carp over others, and it’ll be your job to find this out. If you can’t find out this information through talking to others, then why not try placing very general types of boilies and particles, as well as your chosen bait, in an area where the big carp are known to patrol. A baiting campaign begins.
Getting your target to recognise your chosen bait as “safe” is key. Throw out a kilo or so in the margins, around a feature [tree, reed bed] or any place where you can come back a few times in the week to see if it has been eaten, [I know I hear you all say “how is that possible on our large dams here in SA”? I did say where you can go back to SEE if it’s been eaten, sometimes that is not possible, so you have to create your own “hotspot” in a known patrol area, and because it’s a “known area” have confidence in your baits quality] A good idea when doing this is to use very large boilies to cut down the chance of small, nuisance fish taking the bait before the carp. On one of them days you may well see the carp taking the bait, and if it’s a bigger fish then you’re onto something.
Another ploy is not to always fish in the more popular swims on the dam. Line pressure creates a very “crafty carp” Very often the bigger carp know that these areas contain a supply of food but they’re also aware that it means greater danger, so they may avoid these areas altogether. It could be the case that the bigger fish are often found in swims rarely used by anglers. These “poor” swims may mean a much longer wait but if it produces one big forty then it’s all been worth it.
Try to look at what other anglers are doing. For instance, if they are using bait boats, or if they can use a rubber duck, there’s probably a case that they’ll always pile in tons of bait. So look at finding a new element of surprise. A situation like that would be an ideal time to use a single hook bait, with maybe just a few freebies on a stringer. Always try to think laterally when fishing for big carp.
When targeting the biggest carp you need to except the slowness and be patient. Anglers rarely catch the biggest carp quickly. They often have to target them with a sound and solid approach. Researching about the type of bait, and the correct location, as well discovering a carp’s patrol route can be invaluable when targeting the biggest carp in the dam.
These are only a few thoughts, and [as always] are not cast in stone, but I hope they have got you thinking.