Why Should I Stalk for Carp?
Stalking carp may be not for everyone, but if you give it a try, you can be sure you’ll never look back.
The anticipation of close combat margin fishing (or stalking) is unrivalled.
The thrill of knowing all the effort you’ve put in doesn’t come close to any other style of carp fishing!
So many anglers may disregard margin fishing, but until you’ve tried it with some degree of success, it really can turn those blank days into winners.
Carp fishing is most definitely a long game.
If you can add stalking to your skill set, it not only gives you an edge, but you’ll learn more about carp behaviour and how far you can push yourself as an angler.
Well renowned carp fisherman Simon Scott, is a ‘stalking machine’ who’s expertise on carp behaviour and fishery management is well known in the industry.
“Stalking For Carp”
The Creep, Bait & Wait Method
Stalking for carp is an art form.
Key ingredients include choosing the location, stealth tactics and plenty of patience if you’re to be successful – and of course plenty of luck!
The ‘creep, bait and wait’ method combines all three of these ingredients.
Firstly, we’re going to discuss how choosing the right location is the perfect way to begin.
Lily pads, overhanging trees, weedy areas and snags are all ideal spots – this is because carp like to hang out in spaces that offer them protection and security.
Carp absolutely love these areas because they feel SAFE.
Other notable spots include quiet bays and corners, or even on the end of a warm wind – so don’t turn a blind eye to these!
“Lily pads -a popular place for holding carp”
So, let’s imagine you’ve located the PERFECT target area.
It’s time to put on your polarised sunglasses and survey the area, taking notes of any activity such as bubbles from feeding disturbances or lily pad movements.
If necessary, climbing a nearby tree (make sure it’s safe!) can help you get a bird’s eye view of the whole area.
In time, carp will give themselves away – you just need to be patient.
You could even flick in a bait offering or two, and then move on around the lake to other potential stalking zones.
What you’re doing here is building up a picture of activity by working out areas where carp may patrol or just holed up in.
Close quarter fishing requires a stealthy and cautious approach.
Potentially, you could be a few feet from a group of carp as you pull back a branch to reveal the swim so move as slowly and quietly as you can.
Wearing the right clothes (camo wear or brown and green) may help you blend into the background.
You should be aware of your silhouette if you can – casting a great big shadow over the lake isn’t going to keep carp hanging around for too long!
Deciding which bait to throw in may not seem so important at first, but think of it like this – a handful of boilies or pva bag can make quite a racket on impact, enough to scare off any nearby carp at least.
We suggest smaller baits such as pellets, chopped boilies or hemp – all proven big carp baits.
“Always choose high quality bait”
Because these baits are quite small, carp may become pre-occupied when feeding and hang around that little bit longer.
You could try a combination of these – and perhaps adding a little bit of the old faithful sweetcorn for even more attraction (think of the colours and the smell of these baits!)
You’d be wise to hang around after you’ve baited up to see if any carp are actually feeding on your free offerings – you could even carry on throwing more bait in after a few minutes.
So, you’ve found a great location and approached it as careful as can be.
You think you’ve spotted a carp or two lurking around and applied the little and often bait technique and they are feeding on it – the traps are set!
Well, it’s time to think about flicking a rod out – but before you do, we just want to make sure you’re adequately equipped!
Because the stalking location you’ve chosen might not be very accessible to you, it’s best to equip yourself with the lightest setup that you can.
“It’s important to choose a shorter rod than your main one”
The point we’re trying to make here is you should use a short carp rod for stalking – have you tried to navigate a 12ft main rod through dense woodland?
This is going to cause you no end of problems.
As far as the business end of your rod setup goes, you should choose a minimal lead/rig combination.
As with bait selection, a large lead or heavy rig will crash into the water scaring off any prowling carp.
So, as we’ve hopefully drummed into you by now how important it is to stay quiet, it’s time to place your rig in carefully and slowly – take your time to practice a few ‘fake’ swings out to get your eye in.
Once you’re happy everything is in place, try crouching down and make yourself comfortable – this is you versus the carp now!
Now is the perfect opportunity to carry on throwing a small handful of bait around your rig to entice the carp in.
If this is an area you’ve been watching a few hours and you’ve trickled in your bait offerings, localised carp should trust the bait enough for a quick take!
Be patient, and if you’ve applied everything we’ve suggested, there is no reason why you haven’t had great success with stalking.
“This is me!”
10 Tips for Stalking Carp
To round things off, we wanted to quickly recap on a few points raised in this article.
- Walk around the lake more than once, you may have missed something first time round
- ALWAYS carry a good pair of polarised sunglasses so you can see under the surface
- Wear dull, drab clothing where possible
- Carry small bait offerings, as well as a variety
- Choose a light rod setup, including a small lead size and a minimal rig
- Break down your landing net before entering a dense lake area
- Make a note of any carp you’ve spotted
- Check the rules for fishing between swims
- Be sure to top up any areas you’ve baited regularly
- Make yourself aware of your silhouette
- Move slowly keeping as quite as possible
Well, we hope that we’ve persuaded you to give stalking a bash. It’s an incredible style to add to your carp fishing, and wish you great success!
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