How to catch more carp this spring

Catch more carp
Catch more carp (Image credit: Angler’s Mail)

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Carp fishing in spring can be truly epic. This is the time for bagging up with double-figure carp…. and for me May and June have always produced my biggest hauls.

I’ve had 1,000 lb hauls and up to 20 doubles including 20s at this time of year.

From now until true summer arrives in July is always a great time to get a few runs as the water temperature is warming up – but the carp haven’t been hammered yet.

Nowadays winter is what the old Close Season was, certainly as regards angling pressure for carp. For me, right now – in proper springtime – is the new June 16 th.

Here are my top spring carp fishing tips to help get your rod bent…

Catching carp

A perfect venue for carp fishing (Image credit: Angler’s Mail)

They’re hungry

Spring carp are often ravenous as they have not eaten loads over winter and need to build up for their spawning season.

Therefore it’s a good time to get them feeding hard so don’t skimp on feed.

A lot of my carp fishing is done as close to medium range so my ever dependable Drennan Feederpult catapults get a lot of use and are perfect for all my carp baits.

Warm shallows

Shallow water warms up quicker than deeper stuff so in spring these areas can hold good numbers of fish. These shallower spots are definitely worth a chuck.

Look for margins, islands and bars – basically anywhere the water is a lot shallower than the surrounding areas.

Super boilies

Boilies are not the one wonder bait of carp fishing but in the spring they can be exceptionally good before pressured fish get fed up of them.

As the weeks go by the carp may start ignoring them almost completely – this does happen in the height of summer.

So at this time of year give ‘em plenty of boilies to gorge on if using quality baits or go for an instant hit with a noted attractor fruity bait.

My own carp fishing in recent years has seen me using Dynamite Baits’s Source, Nash Scopex Squid, Nutrabaits’s Trigga and Mainline’s attractor baits. All these boilies deliver results for me.

Sweet ’n’ sour

Another good spring carp fishing trick is to use both savoury and sweet boilies at the same time. So try fishing fruit boilies on the hair over loosefed fishmeals or vice versa.

Or if using double boilie on the hair try one of each with a mixture of freebies.

You can then add a PVA bag of the different or combined freebies as an extra touch with or without a few pellets.

double bait

Doubling up on the bait (Image credit: Angler’s Mail)

Double trouble

A standard 14-16 mm boilie on a hair-rig next to a size 6 or 8 hook soon gets sussed out by heavily pressured carp so be different.

My favourite trick is to use double bottom baits with two 10 mm boilies on a size 10/12 hook, two 14 mm baits on size 6 hook or two 18 mm baits on a size 4 or 2 hook.

Not many anglers use double boilie and those that do normally use a snowman rig of one floating and one bottom bait that sinks very slowly. So double bottom baits often bring a lot of action for me.

A big double bait is also a great way to beat nuisance tench and bream. Also half baits can also be very, very good and can be used in conjunction with a whole boilie in a one and a half bait option.

Super particles

Particles also do very well in the spring either on their own or fished in conjunction with boilies. Hemp, maize and tiger nuts are superb fish catchers.

You don’t even need to bother preparing them thanks to forward-thinking firms like Dynamite Baits who produce them ready to go for you, without any fear of getting them wrong.

Just a pouchful of tigers over a few pouches of hemp can often bring lots of action but you need to top up after each fish. But please make sure fishery rules allow particles as sadly some don’t.

Be prepared

Springtime carp fishing can be hectic so be prepared with having spare rigs made up ready for action.

Have a few made up ready for each session stored on a Rig Bin (or four in my case) but of course you can make up new traces during the trip to suit new presentations.

But if like me and you want to maximise your precious trips it’s nice to be able to cast out ASAP after arrival to maximise a few hours on the bank. You can then make up new presentations as the session progresses.

Keep it tight

Carp love snags and awkward places any time of the year and now is the time to cash in on it when they really have a hunger on.

A baiting spoon, even a home-made one of a large plastic pot mounted on a landing net handle, can position your hookbait and freebies accurately. It will get your feed right where you want them like next to reeds, lilies, overhangs or even fishing platforms.

And alternative is to cast a plain lead to the far bank, go round and retrieve it, tie a baited trace on and lower it in with pin-point accuracy… with plenty of freebies.