How to catch carp in summer

How to catch carp in summer
Learn how to catch carp in summer with this expert advice (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

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If you want to learn how to catch carp in summer, it's  important to remember that angling pressure has had a major effect on the habits and routines of the fish.

Those anglers that seem to be doing things slightly differently from the crowds catch the most fish and the bigger ones too.

Weedy margins that receive plenty of direct sunlight always seem to be crawling with natural food during the warmer months so as you would expect carp are drawn to them like a magnet. Fishing zigs and surface baits at close range allow anglers to sharpen up their tactics.

We spoke to top anglers Julian Cundiff, Haydn Joskins and Paul Martin to learn how to catch carp in summer. It’s no surprise that they seem to be focusing on the margins.

Don’t overlook the margins on your summer carp fishing sessions, says Julian Cundiff

Don’t overlook the margins on your summer carp fishing sessions, says Julian Cundiff (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Carp summer fishing tips: what is the best baiting approach?

"At this time of year I get plenty of questions on social media and letters on what is the right ‘baiting approach’," says Julian Cundiff.

"Being totally honest, all waters are different. But what I can say with a degree of certainty from watching others is that it seems that too much bait is put in on arrival and not enough when actually fishing.

"Having spent my formative years as a coarse and match angler I know that little and often and fishing for a bite at a time is far more consistent than an ‘all or nothing’ approach."

Carp summer fishing tips: why should you research your venue?

"Research is everything! Although I do trust my own judgement I do keep my ear to the ground when it comes to how a water is fishing and most importantly what is and isn’t working," says Cundiff.

"No point turning up and finding that maggots, particles, zigs etc. are working and not having them with you. So keep tuned in on the water so you are prepared even if you decide to do something different on the day…"

Carp summer fishing tips: should you fish for one fish at a time?

"Whatever swim you decide to set up in the golden rule is to fish for one bite at a time, one fish at a time," says Cundiff.

"The temptation can be to put in bait but to what effect? Is that going to make them feed? Or will it mean your chances of them locating the hookbait are even less?

"If I find fish I tend to fish a single bait be it on the bottom, a pop up or maybe a zig."

Carp summer fishing tips: should you top up the swim with some bait?

"If I have had a fish AND believe it’s an area the carp will return to I will top up the swim with some bait," says Cundiff.

"However I keep it light rather than heavy…Occasionally I will wind in and go looking for signs of fish (clouded water etc.) and repeat what I mentioned above."

Carp summer fishing tips: how do you catch carp at night?

"If I am doing the night or a similar time period and I am satisfied that I am not baiting up on top of fish and that they will come across the area when I am fishing I will put a larger amount of feed out," says Cundiff.

"At this time of year I tend to use 50% boilie crumb and chops-30% hemp, 10% pellets to match my feed bait and 10% boilies ( usually 10mm or boilie pellet ) and either Spomb or spod it out.

"Different breakdown rates and lots of attraction during the whole of the session can work wonders."

Haydn Hoskins with a huge 36lb+ carp

Haydn Hoskins with a huge 36lb+ carp (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Summer carp fishing tips: how to stalk carp

"Stalking carp is without a doubt my favourite method of angling," says Hoskins.

"This is what summer carp fishing is all about for me.

"I love the long days spent chasing carp around the lake trying to outwit them and the thrill of watching a carp pick up your hookbait and hook itself is quite exhilarating!!

"One of my first tips for catching carp at close quarters is to use a good quality boilie that the carp will readily accept.

"Simply walking around the margins of a lake dropping a few handfuls of whole and chopped boilie crumb will often be met with a positive response.

"The key is to keep priming and checking several areas of the lake.

"And it goes without saying that this should not interfere with other anglers. If you’ve chosen your spots wisely, you may even find the carp prior to even giving them any bait.

"In fact, this is the method I employ most in the summer months. Find the carp first and if they move, move with them."

Carp summer fishing tips: why do you need to stalk carp?

"With daytime temperatures  much higher the window of opportunity when fishing over a bed of bait normally only lasts from first light until 8am," says Martin.

"Not being blessed with much fishing time I can’t sit around and wait for things to happen so I need to try my hardest to get something else going, which leads us nicely towards my favourite style of angling; stalking!

"You will probably have noticed that carp are starting to use the margins more than they have been and this really can work in your favour.

"Firstly you need to be quiet and stealthy. Dress in drab colours and wear a hat or hood to cover/obscure your face and hands.

"You’ll also need polarising sunglasses so you can see what’s going on down there – once you’ve used them you’ll never go fishing without them again!

"Some good margin spots really stand out and have obvious features like snaggy trees or reedbeds.

"Others are less obvious with little in the way of marginal cover and often you’ll find fish using un-assuming bits of margin to get from one snag/holding area to another."

Paul Martin’s catching in the margins

Paul Martin’s catching in the margins (Image credit: Angler's Mail)

Carp summer fishing tips: what are the best carp fishing tactics?

"Much of the time my rigs will simply be lowered into place so there is no need for anything too fancy," says Martin.

"Shorter rods can be helpful in cramped swims and I’ll often use my 9ft 2.75lb Scope rods.

"On that I’d fish 15lb mono straight through to a  Weed Clip without the tail rubber and a 3oz  flat pear attached. I’d then add a short 5” 20 lb hook link with a simple knotless knot rig and hookbait.

"I would also add a few lumps of heavy putty to the line directly behind the rig to ensure the line stays pinned down whilst the fish browse around the spot.

"Start by putting a handful of bait in the edge of 4 or 5 swims and keep checking them in rotation, topping up each spot with bait and then watching for ten minutes at a time.

"You’ll normally find that one or two spots will get some interest and you can then concentrate solely on those.

"Generally speaking you can get away with smaller baits when fishing in the edge.

"Stay mobile just like the carp and you will enjoy huge success!"

Angler's Mail

Running from 1964 until 2020, Angler's Mail was the UK's leading weekly magazine devoted to coarse fishing, telling readers everything they needed to know about which fish to catch, where to catch them, and what kit they needed to do it. Now, loads of the magazine's expert advice can be found on, as a helpful resource for angling newcomers and experts alike.