Why Should I Stalk for Carp?
A more active part to carp fishing, stalking can be hard work – and a lot of fun.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy sitting behind my carp rods watching the lake and the world go by, but when you can get out there and roam around looking for those active fishing spots, it gives you a real buzz.
Stalking carp may not be for everyone, but I’m writing this article to try and convince you otherwise!
You just can’t beat the anticipation of close combat fishing – especially as you might of put in a decent amount of effort!
It may even turn those dark blank days into a successful session by nicking a late bite at the end.
As we anglers know too well, carp fishing is most definitely a long game.
If you can add stalking to your skill set, it not only gives you an extra edge to your carp game, but you’ll learn more about carp behaviour in the process!
Renowned carp angler Simon Scott, is a ‘stalking machine’ who’s expertise on carp behaviour and fishery management is well known in the industry.
Before you proceed, it may be worth taking a look at his stalking video to give you an insight into stalking for carp.
The Creep, Bait & Wait Method
Stalking for carp requires preparation, stealth and patience!
Wear clothing that blends in (greens and browns), and make sure your main rods are out of the water!
What we’ve dubbed the ‘creep, bait and wait’ method, we show you each step to landing your very own stalking carp monster!
Firstly, the perfect way to begin is going about choosing the right location.
Good stalking spots are lily pads, overhanging trees, weedy areas and snags, because carp likespaces that offer them protection and security, a well as providing them with a natural food source.
All these areas are known to make carp feel very safe (because the’re more than likely unfishable!)
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.
This ‘bait pouch’ will free your hands up!
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, 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”
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.
“Craig, the previous owner of this website with a nice looking Carp!”
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!
Mike has over 30 years of fishing experience in carp fishing and general coarse fishing. He is always looking for the latest fishing kit to try out and talk about and needs a bigger shed due to all the fishing tackle he owns. You can read more about him here.